Your first job out of college could pay more than $86,000 a year depending on the field you’re in. That’s according to career website Glassdoor, which collected median local pay data from across the country to determine which jobs offer the highest starting salaries to new grads.
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The top position is software engineer, with median base pay of $86,391, Glassdoor reports. That’s pretty remarkable given that the median household income in the U.S. was $61,372 in 2017.
Here’s more detail about that and three other high-paying entry-level jobs for new grads:
Median base pay: $86,391
Software engineers “work closely with product owners, senior engineers, designers and programmers” and tend to specialize in a few areas of development, including networks, operating systems, databases or applications, according to Glassdoor. Workers in this position develop, expand and/or update existing computer software and programs based on the needs of the company or client.
Median base pay: $69,530
Like software engineers, field engineers install, maintain and repair various systems, though they tend to focus more on hardware than software. They generally work at various job sites instead of in an office, and their training can range from electronics to construction to machinery.
Median base pay: $62,277
Financial analysts work in “banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other businesses,” providing guidance on investment decisions, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.”
Median base pay: $54,177
Customer-service reps interact with customers on behalf of an organization, says Glassdoor: “They provide information about products and services, respond to customer complaints and process returns.”
Making this kind of money could be very helpful to the 44 million Americans who owe more than $1.5 trillion in federal student loans and 4.2 million who were in default as of 2016.
The average debt load for 20-year-olds with loans is $22,135. For 30-year-olds, it’s $34,033. So, the more you make right out of college, the easier it could be for you to pay off, or begin to pay off, whatever you may owe.
How much money you make exactly will depend on your individual circumstances, of course, like the amount of experience you have, what company you land a job with and what state you work in. To get a more customized glimpse at your salary potential, check out these wage calculators that estimate your pay based on college, education level, company and age.
But, while these numbers can provide useful insight, they shouldn’t deter you from pursuing a career that doesn’t make the list. As billionaire Mark Cuban says, do what you’re good at, because that’s what you’ll enjoy.
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