Fake content
Skip to main content

Good entry-level jobs by industry

An entry-level job is one of the first positions that people usually work in. A good entry-level job can help you gain experience, build your resume, pay the bills, and network with other people in your industry. The right entry-level job can act as the foundation for a successful career. For example, people in food preparation and serving can learn about cooking, food safety, and customer service. People in retail often find out more about inventory management and other aspects of running a business, and people in finance can learn how to save money and invest wisely.

Consider the opportunity for advancement, benefits, pay, training opportunities, and other factors before you choose a position. Whether you're a recent graduate looking for your first job or a more experienced worker searching for a fresh start, one of these entry-level jobs could be right for you. CoLab can help you explore your options and decide on your next role.

Food preparation and serving

The food service field is expected to expand in the coming years. According to Global Industry Analysts c., the global market for the food service industry was worth about $3 trillion in 2020, and it will likely reach $4.1 trillion by 2026. If you have culinary talent, this is the field for you.

You can get experience as a food preparation worker. These employees usually report to a chef, cook, or food service manager. They can learn under their instruction. This role doesn't have any formal education requirements, but it can be a good idea to get a high school diploma or the equivalent and consider enrolling in culinary school if you want to be a chef or run your own restaurant someday. Here are some entry-level food preparation positions.

  • Preparatory cooks handle raw ingredients, set up kitchen lines for op before shifts, and prepare and restock items.
  • Line cooks handle basic cooking tasks like preparing vegetables or fried food.
  • Barbecue pit cooks use specialized equipment to cook meat at barbecue restaurants.
  • Meat cooks prepare all meat and fish that's not fried.
  • Short-order cooks specialize in making simple meals quickly.
  • Relief cooks are on call to reinforce kitchen staff in case they get overwhelmed, and they often work for two or three restaurants at once.
  • Bussers clean tables and get them ready for new customers, and many younger people start in this position.

People who start in these positions can eventually occupy a variety of jobs, including:

  • Sous chef
  • Executive chef
  • Baker
  • Saucier (Saute or sauce chef)
  • Entremetier (vegetable chef)
  • Rotisseur (roast or meat chef)
  • Poissonier (fish chef)
  • Garde Manger (pantry chef)
  • Patissier (pastry chef)
  • Friturier (fry chef)
  • Grillardin (grill chef)
  • Boucher (butcher chef)


Retail workers help customers in stores, online, and over the phone. About one-quarter of jobs in the United States are in the retail industry. While entry-level retail jobs often start near the minimum wage, retail managers can earn $40,000 to $175,000 per year. Here are some common entry-level retail jobs.

  • Cashiers operate cash registers and help with customer service, and many people work as cashiers to gain experience.
  • Front end associates spend most of their time on customer service, but they may also operate cash registers occasionally.
  • Customer service associates handle customer concerns, item returns, and some inventory corrections. They can work inside stores or in call centers.
  • Shoe department attendants help customers find the right pair of shoes for them by sizing feet, helping people find shoes, and maintaining the department area.
  • Perfume and makeup department attendants give out samples, explain products, and make sales.

More advanced retail positions include:

  • Department assistant manager
  • Department manager
  • Advertising and marketing manager
  • Inventory manager
  • Customer service manager
  • Loss prevention manager
  • Retail floor manager

Business and finance

The fields of business and finance are ideal for people with analytical minds and entrepreneurial spirits. These industries have some of the most competitive, lucrative positions in the United States. Some entry-level finance jobs include:

  • Banking assistants or bank tellers handle customer deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions at bank or credit union branches.
  • Finance customer service representatives handle transactions over the phone and help resolve customer service issues.
  • Tax associates or junior accountants work for accounting firms or accountants. They help accountants prepare many types of tax returns, and they're familiar with local, state, and federal tax laws. While a specific degree isn't required, many tax associates have a bachelor's degree or an MBA in accounting or finance.
  • Credit analysts can work for banks, asset management companies, equity firms, or other financial institutions. They assess customer credit applications, and the job usually requires a certification or college degree.

People working in finance jobs make an average of $68,760. You can upload your resume to showcase your skills and get in touch with employers in the finance industry. More advanced finance jobs include:

  • Branch manager
  • Customer service manager
  • Accountant
  • Stock analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Senior accountant
  • Hedge fund manager
  • Investment banker

Getting an entry-level job is a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of an industry. You can improve your skills, meet new people, gain experience, and eventually get a promotion or a raise.

Related reading: Entry-level job tips

Here are a few tips for finding entry-level jobs as a graduate.

Here are some good jobs in the hospitality industry, including some entry-level ones.

Check out the best-paying jobs for entry-level workers with high school diplomas.

Here are a few resume skills to help land you those entry-level positions.

Related Topics: , ,