Getting into the job market can be a nightmare. You may have earned a college degree, but a lot of employers still want years of experience before they even consider hiring you. It’s time to start thinking outside the entry-level box and looking into careers that offer a maximum return on your investment with a minimal amount of experience.
Here’s a list of some career options to get you started and hopefully set you on a path to financial solvency and personal fulfillment.
Who doesn’t love the idea of socializing, slinging drinks and making money all at the same time? Bartending is the perfect way to do all that and more. There are two ways you can break into this career. One is to start as a barback, washing dishes and wiping down the bars, and the other is to complete bartending school, where they will teach you all the drinks you might ever need to make, and all the laws you need to know that pertain to tending bar.
Bartending school is usually inexpensive and doesn’t take long to complete — depending on how often you attend classes, you can finish the program in as little as two weeks.
Another perk of this career is you can take your skills anywhere. Want to tend bar at a ski lodge in the mountains? Take a trip and throw out some applications. Want to skip out on the cold weather and tend bar on a beach somewhere? It’s the same process with a different destination.
This might sound like a trashy job — ha-ha, pun intended — but it’s one where you can get in on the ground floor, make a decent amount of money and receive good benefits and sometimes even union support. Depending on the city where you live, you might not even need a degree — some waste-management positions don’t require anything more than an eighth-grade education to get you in the door.
All you need to be able to do is drive a truck and lift heavy objects — and possibly lose your sense of smell. You don’t need any experience at all, and there is plenty of room for advancement, you start at nearly $20 per hour.
Whether you’re patrolling the mall, handling cash deliveries and deposit pickups or even working for Homeland Security, being a security guard can be a great way to make decent money with no experience. Most security job positions don’t require anything more than a high school diploma for an unarmed guard position. Armed positions may require additional schooling and a firearms license, but many facilities are willing to pay for you to receive this training if they offer you a position.
Like many entry-level positions, you will be required to pass a pre-employment drug test and background check, and you can’t work as a security guard if you have a criminal record, but it’s a great entry-level career option — again, often with lots of opportunities for advancement.
We can’t live without our cable and Internet, so there’s a high demand for people to work as linemen and cable installers. These are excellent entry-level positions, because they require no experience, you don’t need anything more than a high school diploma and they offer on-the-job training to make sure you have all the skills you need. You don’t need to be an electrician to be a cable installer, and if you’re really good at it, there are training and management positions available as advancement opportunities.
This career option does require additional schooling, but if you’re already in college, why not look at a nursing degree? Certified nursing assistants can make an average of $15 per hour, and registered nurses can make up to $30.
Nursing is an outstanding career if you like working with people, or enjoy helping people. The fact that it’s also a lucrative career is just a bonus.
No, we’re not talking about signing up with Uber or Lyft and ferrying people around in your vehicle — we’re talking about becoming an actual taxi driver. All you need to break into this career is driving experience — which most of us have been accumulating since we were 16 — a clean driving record and the ability to pass a background check.
A taxi driver in a busy city can make upwards of $70,000 a year, making it a pretty decent career if you love to drive. The hours can be rough — working weekends and holidays — but you can often set your own hours, which helps mitigate that a little bit.
While it takes years of schooling and a master’s degree to become an official librarian, you can become a library technician with as little as a high school diploma. You’ll work in a public library, assisting patrons and shelving books. Becoming a library tech is ideal for anyone who loves books, loves working with people or who might be in school working toward that degree to become a librarian.
Depending on the library, you will probably need computer skills as well, but for most of us, that’s not a problem — we’ve been on computers since before we could walk, so for us, it’s as easy as breathing.
Did we miss your favorite no-experience-required entry-level position? Let us know — we are always looking for new ideas to help college students and everyone else break into or get back into the working world without having to have years of experience under your belt.