You have likely heard it said that the U.S. is “the land of opportunity,” but what are those opportunities? When immigrating here, you want to know that you can provide for yourself or your family, but hiring standards differ between most countries, making it a challenge to start a new career. So in order to move forward, you most likely will need to go back to school to earn more education or training, and that can be expensive. So the question becomes: What do you do in the meantime?
While the coronavirus pandemic has certainly affected the national job market, projections for America’s workforce are still looking strong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment should see an increase in 6 million jobs by 2029, which means plenty of opportunities for newcomers. And thankfully, there are a variety of entry-level positions requiring little to no experience to get you started while you settle into life in the U.S. Here, we’ve compiled 8 great suggestions for entry-level jobs in America.
Requiring only a high school diploma or equivalent education and a bit of on-the-job training, delivery driver is one of the easiest and most accessible entry-level positions. Plus, given that almost everyone is staying home these days, delivery is in higher demand than ever, from packages and goods to food and beverage. Salaries average around $32,000 per year, in addition to the benefits that many companies offer. If you’re looking for more flexibility, try working for one of the many food delivery service apps like DoorDash or Uber Eats, which allow you to choose when you work. Finally, if this feels more like a permanent fit, you can always look into obtaining your commercial driving license (CDL) in order to work as a long-distance truck driver hauling goods across the country. Many logistics and freight companies offer apprenticeships for new drivers and access to employee unions. Another added bonus to delivery work? It’s a fantastic way to get to know your city or state, or even the whole country, depending on the type of work you choose! Perfect for any newcomer to the United States.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty while interacting with customers, plumbing is another great career option. Again, a high school diploma or equivalent can get you in the door for an apprenticeship. If you’re looking for a more guaranteed in to this field, specific training is widely available and can assure you a better starting wage as well. Paid apprenticeships are a fantastic way to earn money while receiving on-the-job training. Even better, they can help you build a rapport with a company and a client base as well, thereby building your reputation and earning work through referrals! Plumbers average $55,000 per year with plenty of opportunity for salary growth and many subspecialties you can train in to guarantee specialized pay. Also, trade work never goes out of style, so it’s a great job to have as a fallback if your primary plans don’t work out. Lastly, answering house calls and servicing local businesses is a great way to get to know your new community. With many open job opportunities, plumbing is a reliable place to start developing a great career.
For the more business-minded, administrative assistants are in high demand in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. Interested in working in a business setting but not sure where to start? A position as an administrative assistant will introduce you to the everyday life and responsibilities of the corporate world, providing you with a stepping stone of experience and connections should you wish to move up at your company later on. Interacting with various departments will familiarize you with the components of the company and help you build the necessary relationships that can help you move into higher positions for which you’re suited. Plus, the roughly $40,000 a year salary doesn’t hurt either! The entry requirements for an administrative assistant job are minimal and include a high school diploma or equivalent, a willingness to help with paperwork, correspondence, schedule, and a bit of on-the-job training. Furthermore, the future of business is shifting everyday due to the current pandemic, which may afford you other perks such as working remotely.
The U.S. has various film industry hubs across the country, not only in Los Angeles and New York City but in Austin, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. Wherever TV shows and movies are made, there will be work. Though a lesser-known job, Production Assistants, or PAs, are the foundation of any film, either on set or in the production office. Production relies on these assistants for their communication skills and help to ensure that the production runs smoothly. While it requires the same level of experience as the positions mentioned above, the real key to success is some networking and a willingness to do whatever is required. Production Assistants help with even the smallest of tasks, from moving equipment to taking lunch orders, to larger ones such as getting the cast ready to go on set or handling paperwork. Searching for PA jobs on local film job hiring boards is pretty easy, and from there, building relationships with others on set can guarantee you more jobs in the future. Working diligently as a Production Assistant is often the first step towards landing other positions of interest in the production side of the film world. Plus, almost every other position in film has a workers’ union. Averaging $34,000 a year, it’s a fantastic start to an exciting career path and a great way to meet people.
If you don’t mind late nights, security work is a relatively easy job to get. If you have a basic high school or equivalent education, a clean criminal record, and decent physical fitness, you’re sure to find work. The average salary of $30,000 per year is on the lower end of some of these jobs, but it’s a great place to build experience while also studying to move up in the industry, such as joining law enforcement later on. Additionally, the more experience you have, the higher the salary you can negotiate on your next contract. Plus, security will always be in demand across a wide variety of settings, including residential, commercial, and personal security.
Though it’s not as highly-paid as some of the other jobs on this list, landscaper is a perfect fit if you like to work outside. Most landscape positions will earn you about $30,000 a year. Plus, with a bit of experience and some investment in specialized training or post-secondary education, you could find yourself with a position at a golf course, a formal garden, or even working for your city. Generally, all that’s needed is a willingness to get your hands dirty and do some good, heavy lifting and digging. In more seasonal locales, you’ll need to make sure you’re saving for the winter months when work won’t be as plentiful, but even then, there’s always some work to be done handling snow instead. Plus, you can get to know the local landscape (ha!) well and develop relationships within the community.
Yes, at the moment, the prospect of being a flight attendant is dicey, but as times start to return to normal, this career is a wonderful choice. Who wouldn’t want to travel the world and get paid handsomely for it? Averaging about $55,000 a year and requiring only a high school diploma or equivalent to get in the door, you’re only a few weeks of on-the-job training away from a great job opportunity. Most flight attendant jobs are contingent upon a great attitude, excellent customer service skills, and maintaining your training and performance standards. If you love the work, this won’t be hard to do. While prior customer service experience isn’t necessary, it certainly doesn’t hurt (and is thankfully easy to come by, as we’ll discuss momentarily!) Plus, if you get work at an airline that flies to and from your home country, visiting family and friends can become that much more affordable!
Food and Beverage Service Industry
Everyone has to eat and drink; that’s a given. So, why not be there to help with that and get paid for it? Restaurants are everywhere, and many more may be opening back up now that the coronavirus vaccine is available. Plus employee turnover tends to be high, so you’re sure to find a position with ease. Most restaurants offer on-the-job training, though some additional education may be necessary for more advanced bartending jobs. While the wages aren’t very high, the tips you earn will account for most of your pay. Generally, the average salary in the service industry is around $25,000 a year, but it’s the flexibility of serving that counts, especially if you’re a student or expanding your training for more advanced job opportunities. The social aspect of this job will make it easy to meet people and learn more about your new city from your coworkers and local diners.
This list of entry-level jobs for newcomers to the United States is far from exhaustive but is an excellent place to figure out your next steps. Remember, the most important thing to take into account when considering any new job is whether or not it fits you, your lifestyle, and your priorities or responsibilities. If you have the luxury of time to research and consider a new line of work, make sure it’s something that aligns with your interests and your talents. Next, think about what you’re after: a temporary or part-time job while you’re studying or looking for something better, or are you choosing your life’s career path that will allow you a lot of room to grow and get you to where you want to be?
If you need any help at all or have questions about other entry-level jobs and where to find them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Golden Beacon USA! Our Career Coaching services and Resource Referrals are here to help you find your way in your new country, making the transition to your new country as easy as possible! Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text (866) 403-7173. Remember, you are not alone!