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The 10 Best Entry-Level Jobs for New College Grads, According to a New Report

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Graduation is right around the corner, and the class of 2022 is in a great position to negotiate salary and benefits for their first post-grad job. 

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2022 Job Outlook report, employers plan to hire 26.6% more new graduates from the Class of 2022 than they did from the Class of 2021. But which roles will offer new graduates the best combination of high compensation, growth and benefits? 

New research from personal finance website WalletHub shows that the best entry-level positions are largely in engineering. To identify the best and worst first jobs, WalletHub compared 108 entry-level occupations across three key dimensions: Immediate opportunity, growth potential and job hazards.

They then measured those dimensions using 12 metrics, including average starting salary, projected job growth by 2030 and typicality of working over 40 hours a week. The weighted average across all metrics calculated each job's total score and rank.

Based on WalletHub's report, here are the top 10 best entry-level jobs of 2022:

1. Software Engineer

Total Score: 81.07

2. Electronics Engineer

Total Score: 80.30

3. Engineer

Total Score: 79.92

4. Systems Engineer

Total Score: 79.68

5. Industrial Engineer

Total Score: 79.51

6. Electrical Engineer

Total Score: 79.21

7. Operations Research Analyst

Total Score: 78.86

8. Hardware Engineer

Total Score: 78.57

9. Web Applications Developer

Total Score: 78.52

10. Environmental Health and Safety Engineer

Total Score: 78.22

WalletHub also included the top 10 worst entry-level positions in its report: Architectural Drafter I, Consumer Credit Analyst I, Mechanical Drafter I, Claims Processing Clerk, Welder I, Aircraft Painter I, Building Inspector, Emergency Dispatcher, Floor Assembler I, and Boilermaker I. 

The report found that tax attorneys have the highest average starting salary at $102,509, 5.9 times higher than that of a college teaching assistant, the job with the lowest starting salary, at $17,428. Employee-relations specialists have the highest income growth potential.

STEM roles are also proven to have high earning potential long term, with computer/information systems managers earning over $160,000 a year on average, CNBC Make It's Morgan Smith reports. Agricultural/engineering managers are a close second taking home $158,970 annually. The average annual wage among all STEM workers is $100,900.

With the uncertainty that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, experts want first-time job seekers to value long-term job security just as much as they do compensation and benefits.

"Any job or industry that requires creativity or problem-solving will continue," says David Earnhardt, an associate director of employer relations at UNC Asheville, in the report. "Graphic and website design, writing, database management, inside sales, customer service, architecture, and engineering are examples, but there are many more. If job security is a concern, work with your state's career offices to make sure you are looking at all your options."

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