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Jobs That Pay New Grads the Best

Jobs That Pay New Grads the Best

By Charles Purdy, Monster Senior Editor

Most college grads enter the workforce with thousands of dollars in student-loan debt -- the College Board cites an average of close to $20,000 for bachelor's degree recipients. And then come the lean years: At the beginning of a career, many people expect to live on the cheap as they build a resume, develop relationships with clients or continue to hone their skills.

But not all careers require a long apprenticeship. People who want to earn high salaries right from the start of their careers can choose from several fields in which newcomers are relatively well-paid, according to the second edition of Laurence Shatkin's 250 Best-Paying Jobs.

"Within these occupations, the workers who earn at the 10th percentile -- meaning that 90 percent of the workers in the occupation earn more than they do -- still earn at least $51,540," Shatkin says.

In other words, the lowest-earning 10 percent of workers in these careers earn more than 75 percent of all American earners. (Shatkin's salary figures are based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Survey released in May 2008.) The following list is taken from the book 250 Best-Paying Jobs. It features 10 occupations in which Shatkin says beginners are paid well. People who want an immediate return on their educational investment may want to take note. Have an interest in teeth? Even better:

1. Orthodontists

Beginning Wage: $100,980
Median Earnings: $166,400+

Search for orthodontist jobs.

2. Prosthodontists

Beginning Wage: $72,710
Median Earnings: $166,400+

Search for prosthodontist jobs.

3. Nuclear Engineers

Beginning Wage: $68,300
Median Earnings: $97,080

Search for nuclear engineer jobs.

4. Computer and Information Scientists, Research

Beginning Wage: $57,480
Median Earnings: $97,970

Search for computer and information scientist jobs.

5. Education Administrators (Elementary and Secondary School)

Beginning Wage: $55,580
Median Earnings: $83,880

Search for education administration jobs.

6. Airline Pilots/Copilots and Flight Engineers

Beginning Wage: $55,330
Median Earnings: $111,680

Search for pilot/copilot and flight engineer jobs.

7. Lawyers

Beginning Wage: $54,460
Median Earnings: $110,590

Search for lawyers jobs.

8. Financial Managers

Beginning Wage: $53,860
Median Earnings: $99,330

Search for financial manager jobs. 

9. Chemical Engineers

Beginning Wage: $53,730
Median Earnings: $84,680

Search for chemical engineer jobs.

10. Mathematicians

Beginning Wage: $53,570
Median Earnings: $95,150 

Search for mathematician jobs.

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