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20 Jobs Where You Can Make $60,000 Out of College

Cynthia Measom
·11 mins read

Finding a job that pays $60,000 with no experience can give you a jump-start on your financial future. For example, earning around $60,000 annually will allow you to live comfortably in some major U.S. cities, such as Cleveland and El Paso, Texas. Getting a higher-paying job after graduation can also allow you to more easily manage expenses, but which jobs offer this kind of salary?

GOBankingRates analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find occupations with a 2018 median pay of $60,000 or more, which required a bachelor’s degree or less. Other qualifications included no on-the-job training or work-related experience required. Find out what your career options are if you’re interested in some of the highest-paying entry-level jobs available.

Last updated: Sept. 23, 2020

20. Public Relations Specialist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $60,000

If you enjoy writing and being in the public eye, a job in public relations might interest you. To become a public relations specialist, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, English, business or journalism. People in this job are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive public image for clients they represent. One of the main job requirements is handling public communication for clients by drafting press releases, distributing them to media outlets and fielding related questions. The job growth rate for public relations specialists from 2016 to 2026 is 9% — which is slightly better than the 7% average growth rate for all occupations.

 

19. Respiratory Therapist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $60,280

Respiratory therapists need a minimum of an associate’s degree, but some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. These medical professionals are licensed in every U.S. state except Alaska. Their primary duty is to care for patients who have issues breathing — often from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. The job growth for this profession between 2016 and 2026 is projected at 23%, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

18. High School Teacher

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $60,320

The job growth for high school teachers between 2016 and 2026 is projected at 8%, which is about as fast as average when compared to other occupations. To become a high school teacher, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree if you want to teach in a public school. Most states expect high school teachers to have an academic background in the subject they will be teaching, such as English or history. Some states even request that high school teachers obtain a master’s degree in order to maintain their teaching credentials. All U.S. states require teachers to be licensed or certified in the grade level they choose to teach.

 

17. Human Resources Specialist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $60,880

Another $60,000 job option is a human resources specialist. HR specialists are tasked with recruiting, screening and interviewing job applicants. In addition, they are responsible for conducting new employee orientations and handling questions related to compensation and benefits. To become an HR specialist, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or a similar field. Professional associations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management, offer certification programs for HR professionals, and some employers prefer or require certification. Job growth in this profession from 2016 to 2026 is projected at 7% — the average for all occupations.

16. Conservation Scientist or Forester

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $61,330

Becoming a conservation scientist or forester are other career paths for jobs that pay above $60,000. Typically, you must hold a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field, like agricultural science, environmental science or rangeland management. In some states, foresters must be licensed, but conservation workers are not required to obtain a license. The job growth rate in these professions is projected at 6% between 2016 and 2026, which is about as fast as the average growth when compared to other jobs.

15. Film and Video Editor

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $62,650

Film and video editors spend much of their time working in studios or office settings. Those who work in the motion picture industry often have periods of time in between pictures where they have to look for work. Most of these types of positions require a bachelor’s degree related to film or broadcasting. An understanding of digital cameras and specialized editing software is required. Between 2016 and 2026, job growth in this field is predicted to grow by 13%.

 

14. Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $63,000

Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists are responsible for workplace compensations and benefits programs. In addition, they are tasked with analyzing job descriptions to determine job classifications and salaries. To become a professional in this field, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as human resources, business administration, finance or communication. The rate of job growth between 2016 and 2026 is projected at 9%.

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13. Market Research Analyst

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $63,120

Market research analysts conduct research and study market conditions to assist companies with their marketing efforts. To become a market research analyst, a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field is typically required. However, many have backgrounds in statistics, math or computer science. Certification is voluntary. The job growth outlook between 2016 and 2026 is 23% — much faster than average.

 

 

12. Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $63,420

As a zoologist or wildlife biologist, you could work in an office, a laboratory or the great outdoors. For those who are involved in fieldwork, worldwide travel to remote locations with varying weather conditions may be required. A bachelor’s degree is expected for entry-level positions. A master’s degree is required for positions involving advanced investigative or scientific work, and a Ph.D. is needed to participate in independent research. Job growth in this field between 2016 and 2026 is projected at 8%.

11. Agricultural or Food Scientist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $64,020

Agricultural and food scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree, though many earn advanced degrees. They are tasked with conducting research related to advancing safety and productivity within agricultural, food processing or pharmaceutical environments. From 2016 to 2026, job growth in this field is projected at 7%.

 

10. Avionics Technician

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $64,140

Avionics technicians typically earn an associate’s degree prior to enrolling in a Part 147 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved aviation maintenance technician school. Some, however, receive on-the-job or military training. Separate certifications for body and engine work are offered and required by the FAA, and employers may prefer that technicians hold both types. In general, an avionics technician works full time, and overtime and weekend hours are typical. Between 2016 and 2026, job growth in this field is projected to be at 5%, which is almost as fast as average when compared to other occupations.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technician

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $64,330

To become an electrical or electronics engineering technician, you’ll typically need to earn an associate’s degree via a technical institute or community college. Certification is optional. These professionals assist electrical and electronics engineers with related design and development tasks. These tasks include adjusting, testing and repairing equipment. The projected job growth rate is slower than average as compared to all occupations, registering only 2%.

 

 

8. Cartographer or Photogrammetrists

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $64,430

Cartographers and photogrammetrists are tasked with collecting, measuring and interpreting geographic data to design and update maps and charts that are used for regional planning, educational purposes and emergency applications. To snag one of these high-paying jobs, a bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, surveying or geomatics is required. Some states expect licensure as a surveyor or photogrammetrist. Job growth is projected at 19%.

 

 

7. Industrial Designer

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $66,590

At 4%, the job growth rate projected for industrial designers is slower than average. These professionals are tasked with developing a wide range of manufactured product concepts with an eye toward function, aesthetics, usability and production costs. For entry-level jobs in this field, a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, engineering or architecture is typically required.

6. Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $67,010

To become an aerospace engineering and operations technician, an associate degree in engineering technology is required. Completion of a vocational-technical program in robotics and machining or computer programming can also prove acceptable. Work environments in this field include industrial or manufacturing plants, labs and offices. Job growth from 2016 to 2026 is projected at 7% or as fast as average for all occupations.

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5. Web Developer

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $69,430

A web developer designs and creates websites, with a focus on technical aspects, such as speed and capacity for traffic. Approximately one in six web developers are self-employed, whereas others work in industries such as publishing and advertising. Knowledge of both programming and design is typically required and educational requirements — such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree — can vary, depending on the scope of work performed. Some web developers, however, build a successful career without a degree — backed by only a high school diploma and practical experience.

 

 

4. Accountant or Auditor

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $70,500

A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is typical for an entry-level accountant or auditor job. Accountants can also pursue a certified public accountant credential to gain an edge in the job market. Most accountants and auditors are full-time workers, with increased hours during certain times of the year, such as tax season. Between 2016 and 2026, job growth is projected at 10% — faster than average for all occupations.

 

3. Environmental Scientist or Specialist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $71,130

Environmental scientists and specialists are responsible for analyzing environmental issues and developing successful solutions. Environmental issues typically include the negative results of society’s impact on the environmental system or environmental conditions that result in adverse effects on people’s health. To become an environmental scientist or specialist, a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a science-based field is typically required. Job growth in this field between 2016 and 2026 is projected at a faster than average rate of 11%.

According to a GOBankingRates study, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one of the top places to live if you have an environmental science degree.

 

2. Microbiologist

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $71,650

Microbiologists work in lab and office environments studying microorganisms, such as bacteria, algae and viruses to determine how they flourish and interact within environments. A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a related field is required for entry-level positions. Independent research positions typically require a Ph.D. Average job growth in this field is projected at 8%, which is as fast as average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026.

 

 

1. Registered Nurse

  • Median annual salary in 2018: $71,730

If you’re interested in high-paying jobs, a career as a registered nurse (RN) might be considered one of the best entry-level jobs due to its median annual salary. RNs can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing care facilities or outpatient clinics. To become an RN, you can opt for one of three educational paths: a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma from an approved nursing program. In addition, all U.S. states require RNs to pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Job growth in this profession from 2016 to 2026 is projected at 15%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.

 

 

 

Follow These Degree Paths To Make $60,000 After Graduation

It’s important to choose the right college major when ultimately deciding your future career path. The highest-paying jobs on the list, such as an RN, microbiologist or environmental scientist, require science-based degrees.

Lower-paying jobs on the list, including public relations specialist, high school teacher or human resource specialist, tend to require degrees in liberal arts, education or business.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To find the 20 jobs where you can make $60,000 out of college, GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Occupational Outlook Handbook, which utilizes and categorizes the May 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. GOBankingRates analyzed all occupations that had 1) a 2018 median pay above $60,000; 2) a “typical entry-level education” of a bachelor’s degree or less; 3) an “on-the-job training” of none; and 4) “work experience in a related occupation” of zero.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 20 Jobs Where You Can Make $60,000 Out of College