10 of the most common industries right out of college


More than 4 million students graduate every year, according to Educationdata.org. Graduates graduating this year likely flocking to job market, hoping to start building their lives and careers.

When it comes to where they go directly after school, their backgrounds vary. Some start working in a field of their choice, such as advertising or finance, immediately. Others get a job in an industry they are less interested in as they build their portfolio and experience in one they want, like entertainment.

With so many jobs available ― 11.3 million on the last business day of May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ― “I think this is an exciting time for graduates who can really make informed decisions about what they want to do,” says Kristin Kelley, chief marketing officer at career builder.

Worksite ZipRecruiter looked at some of the industries with the highest share of recent first hires for their report Labor market prospects for graduates. Here are their top 10 industries, including first-time hire share and average annual salary for a position in the field by pay scale.

Food and drink

Restaurant manager salary: $48,392

Share of first-time hires: 17.65%


Salary of a store manager: $50,617

Share of first-time hires: 12.35%

Advertising and Marketing

Salary of an account manager: $51,426

Share of first-time hires: 7.06%


Automotive Technician Salary: $54,234

Share of first-time hires: 5.29%


Salary of a high school teacher: $51,367

Share of first-time hires: 5.29%

Health and pharmacy

Pharmaceutical Representative salary: $88,866

Share of first-time hires: 5.29%

Commercial and logistical support

Salary of a logistics specialist: $53,101

Share of first-time hires: 4.71%

Entertainment and leisure

Director of photography salary: $59,514

Share of first-time hires: 4.71%

Finance and financial services

Financial analyst salary: $63,146

Share of first-time hires: 4.12%

Construction, machinery and houses

Salary of a construction estimator: $62,543

Share of first-time hires: 3.53%

When it comes to those first jobs out of college, “entry-level almost always had a work requirement,” like two years of experience, Kelley says, but “on-the-job training is a big trend right now.”

In fact, “I think the biggest trend is that there are opportunities” in the workforce, she says. “And I think graduates should do some research” to understand what’s out there and what interests them. Use sites like CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, In effect, Freakand LinkedIn to see what jobs are open in your areas of interest and what their requirements are.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do at the start of your career is to be “a driving force,” says Kelley.


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