With graduation fast approaching, it’s time for students to start thinking about their next step: the “real world.”

By Blake Bakkila
Updated April 24, 2017

Recent grads, welcome to the real world. As you leave behind studying and preparing for the work field, it’s important to consider your next move. More specifically, it’s time to find your first job. According to a study by WalletHub, you should start filling out your application to become an engineer.

Reviewing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, Indeed.com, and Salary.com, researchers compared 109 entry-level occupations based on immediate opportunity, growth potential, and job hazards. Of the 12 metrics considered—including median starting salary, projected job growth, and fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 employees in the past three years—engineer took the top spot. A close second was system engineer, while architect came in third.

On the other side of the scale, welder was deemed the worst entry-level job, followed by floor assembler and boilermaker. Interestingly, tax attorney took the number one slot for highest starting salaries and certified occupational therapist assistant has the fastest projected job growth by 2024.

The careers with the most job openings were architect and engineer, while aircraft painter and geophysicist were among the occupations with the least available openings.

As for the most dangerous career choices, there was a five-way tie between boilermaker, carpenter, electrician, floor assembler, safety technician and plumber. Take a look at the top 10 below.

10 Best Entry-Level Jobs

  1. Engineer
  2. Systems Engineer
  3. Architect
  4. Chemical Engineer
  5. Electronics Engineer
  6. Aerospace Engineer
  7. Software Engineer
  8. Electrical Engineer
  9. Safety Representative
  10. Web Applications Developer

10 Worst Entry-Level Jobs

  1. Floor Assembler
  2. Welder
  3. Boilermaker
  4. Plumber
  5. Tool and Die Maker
  6. Machinist
  7. Sheetmetal Mechanic
  8. Aircraft Painter
  9. Automotive Mechanic
  10. Tax Accountant