Careers

The 17 best jobs for launching a successful and high-earning career

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Your first job might not be your dream job, but it can serve as a crucial launch point for the rest of your career.

Personal finance site WalletHub recently released a ranking of the best and worst entry-level jobs, shedding light on positions that will set you up for new opportunities, salary growth and long-term success.

For the ranking, WalletHub compared 109 entry-level positions, focusing on three main factors: immediate opportunity (40 percent), growth potential (40 percent) and job hazards (20 percent). Within these categories, each job was ranked on 12 metrics, including median starting salary, projected job growth by 2014 and income growth potential.

While there are no guarantees that your professional goals will pan out, these positions can give you an elevated jumping-off point.

Here are the 17 best entry-level jobs for launching a successful and high-earning career:

Lawyers
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17. Attorney

Median starting salary: $89,052
Median annual salary: $118,160
Immediate opportunity rank: 11
Growth potential rank: 1

16. Network engineer

Median starting salary: $65,277
Median annual salary: $101,210
Immediate opportunity rank: 12
Growth potential rank: 6

15. Aerospace engineer

Median starting salary: $69,735
Median annual salary: $109,650
Immediate opportunity rank: 36
Growth potential rank: 19

14. Web designer

Median starting salary: $54,816
Median annual salary: $66,310
Immediate opportunity rank: 48
Growth potential rank: 15

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13. Industrial engineer

Median starting salary: $63,928
Median annual salary: $84,310
Immediate opportunity rank: 29
Growth potential rank: 32

12. Certified nursing assistant (nursing home)

Median starting salary: $25,840
Median annual salary: $68,450
Immediate opportunity rank: 20
Growth potential rank: 49

11. Environmental, health and safety engineer

Median starting salary: $54,208
Median annual salary: $86,720
Immediate opportunity rank: 33
Growth potential rank: 18

10. Chemical engineer

Median starting salary: $71,842
Median annual salary: $98,340
Immediate opportunity rank: 31
Growth potential rank: 13

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9. Electronics engineer

Median starting salary: $68,732
Median annual salary: $99,210
Immediate opportunity rank: 23
Growth potential rank: 24

8. Software engineer

Median starting salary: $64,573
Median annual salary: $100,690
Immediate opportunity rank: 4
Growth potential rank: 22

7. Training specialist

Median starting salary: $48,411
Median annual salary: $59,020
Immediate opportunity rank: 2
Growth potential rank: 26

6. Safety representative

Median starting salary: $58,071
Median annual salary: $70,920
Immediate opportunity rank: 1
Growth potential rank: 57

5. Electrical engineer

Median starting salary: $66,026
Median annual salary: $94,210
Immediate opportunity rank: 14
Growth potential rank: 38

Web design
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4. Web applications developer

Median starting salary: $57,773
Median annual salary: $66,130
Immediate opportunity rank: 21
Growth potential rank: 15

3. Architect

Median starting salary: $48,379
Median annual salary: $70,010
Immediate opportunity rank: 7
Growth potential rank: 9

2. Systems engineer

Median starting salary: $68,127
Median annual salary: $84,310
Immediate opportunity rank: 3
Growth potential rank: 32

1. Engineer

Median starting salary: $63,934
Median annual salary: $91,010
Immediate opportunity rank: 5
Growth potential rank: 20

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