What Are Starting Salaries?

Jeremy Laukkonen

Starting salaries are the amount of money that people can expect to earn when first beginning a job in a new field. This is usually the least amount of money that someone can earn at a particular job, so there is typically some expectation for future promotion or advancement. Many factors can affect starting salaries, such as demand for new workers, industry trends, and the cost of living in a particular area. Similar jobs in the same industry can have different entry level pay scales, and the same job in different parts of a country can also offer a range of compensation. Many people look at the starting salary of a position to determine what type of education they will seek out, though other factors such as benefits and the average pay after several years of employment can also be important.

Local cost of living can have a large affect on starting salaries.
Local cost of living can have a large affect on starting salaries.

Most jobs have some type of starting salaries that new workers can expect to earn. These salaries can vary depending on a variety of factors. Some people start off at a higher pay scale than others, mostly depending on factors such as education, experience, and expertise. Graduating from law school can lead to a very high starting salary if the individual attended a top university, though not everyone will see that sort of entry level pay scale.

The starting salary for any particular job can depend almost as much on where the company is located as on the job title. Local cost of living can have a large affect on starting salaries. Companies that are located in large cities with expensive housing costs often have to provide higher starting salaries. Without these better paying entry level positions, companies in locations such as these might have difficulty attracting new employees.

Some people aim specifically for a job with a high starting salary, though that is not always the case. Certain industries pay more than others for entry level positions that require essentially the same education and skills. For example, computer science majors can often earn much higher salaries in database administration than game programming, but many people choose game programming since that is the type of work they prefer to do. In other cases, someone might choose to take a job solely because of the higher starting salary. This can be especially necessary if extensive college loans were taken out.

In other cases, the three or five year average salary for a particular position is more important. Some entry level positions do not pay well even though they can lead to more advanced jobs that have more competitive compensation packages. Various benefits, such as health insurance and paid vacation, can also be more attractive to some people than starting salaries.

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