As the last, fateful note of "Pomp and Circumstance" chimes and graduates shed their caps and gowns, some young professionals have bleaker prospects than others. Seeking to find the grimmest of daily grinds, WalletHub, a social network and news aggregation website that focuses on personal finance, looked at 109 types of entry-level jobs.
The resulting weighted average rank of each job showed a common theme: Today's workers need to be smarter than a computer.
"The greatest decreases we saw in job types and sectors were those that could be outsourced or automated," Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub spokeswoman, said. "This study just backed up with numbers that those things are happening. We may not see careers like data entry exist anymore."
Wallethub's 10-person data team examined a designated entry-level job in each field by looking at job openings (posted on Indeed.com), employment rates and starting salaries (from Salary.com). Then, the team tracked the same job to the mid-career level to assess growth opportunities such as average tenure, projected job growth and on-the-job training, using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
Finally, WalletHub knocked off points for hardships such as long workweeks and high rates of worksite fatalities, or jobs that were easily outsourced or automatized, based on research from Oxford University.
Click through to see if your dream job is considered the worst entry-level job.
—CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan
Posted 22 April 2015
Welders, prepare to enroll in the school of hard knocks. When looking at workplace fatalities and long hours, only boilermakers and telecommunications technicians have it worse than welders for hardship conditions. It turns out holding a flaming torch while climbing scaffolding has some downsides.
Dream of calling in code violations? Unfortunately, this job has a double whammy of hard working conditions (8th worst) and lack of immediate opportunities (7th worst).
Clocking in to review applications for insurance policies? Pick up a bulk-package of instant noodles on your way; you'll have the same salary for a while. This job ties with claims processing clerks for 5th-worst income growth potential.
With openings on the decline, electronics assemblers had the 3rd-worst projected job growth by 2022 on the list, beat only by records clerks and computer operators.
Really want to live on the edge? Pursue a career making boilers. It's the most dangerous job and has the most hardships. According to the BLS, working conditions range from great heights to dark, cramped vats, often subject to nature's elements, all on an unpredictable schedule.
Like policy processing clerks, claims processing clerks have a gloomy forecast for growth potential. On the plus side, clerks suffer the fewest fatal injuries at work. At least your have your health, paper cuts aside.
Approving loan applications may sound dull. In actuality, it's terrifying. Clinging to opportunities with white knuckles, these clerks are plagued by some of the scarcest job postings in the entire ranking.
Maybe millennials don't have to worry about landing this dreary job; there is little projected job growth. Besides, refinery life is notoriously brutal, and low energy prices sent pink slips soaring this winter.
WalletHub found few job postings for sheet-metal workers. Despite a positive growth forecast by the BLS, sheet-metal jobs move up and down with construction work, thus are sensitive to macroeconomic conditions.
With a starting salary of just over $26,000 per year, according to Salary.com, floor assembly is a tough job because of exposure to chemicals.
Placed in one of these jobs? Remember there's still hope, said Gonzalez, since in today's changing world, your first career may be far from your last career.
"It's a lot different than it used to be, and millennials are realizing that more and more," Gonzalez said. "Now young people are looking at up to 10 career changes, not just job changes within a lifetime."