The 21 careers with the largest salary growth potential

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The 21 careers with the largest salary growth potential
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As the old adage goes, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.” For anyone not fully satisfied with their current salary, this saying can inspire hope.

Many young job-seekers are eager to earn money, but the promise of a high starting salary shouldn’t be prioritized over future earning potential. Many occupations have uninspiring entry level salaries, but the more important factor is the ability for employees to increase their wages.

With this in mind, CareerTrends looked at 21 different career fields and found the occupation with the highest difference between entry level and well experienced salaries in each field. To do this, we used the most recent employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014) and salary data from the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (June 2015) to find each occupation’s average starting salary. We then took the job’s average well-experienced salary and subtracted the average starting salary to get the salary difference.

Read more: The 29 highest-paying entry level jobs in the U.S.

All of the 21 jobs we selected had salary differences of at least $20,000. We ranked them from lowest to highest, including two occupations with six-figure differences between entry level and well experienced salaries.

21 careers with big salary growth potential

21. Chefs and head cooks

  • Employment: 118,130
  • Entry-level salary: $28,407
  • Well-experienced salary: $49,315

20. Massage therapists

  • Employment: 87,670
  • Entry-level salary: $24,095
  • Well-experienced salary: $46,186

19. Animal care supervisors

  • Employment: 18,530
  • Entry-level salary: $33,283
  • Well-experienced salary: $56,343

Read more: The 10 best jobs in America for 2016

18. Morticians

  • Employment: 25,160
  • Entry-level salary: $33,311
  • Well-experienced salary: $58,602

17. Office supervisors

  • Employment: 1,404,070
  • Entry-level salary: $31,583
  • Well-experienced salary: $56,983

16. Religious education directors

  • Employment: 18,850
  • Entry-level salary: $28,470
  • Well-experienced salary: $58,124

15. Mechanics supervisors

  • Employment: 434,810
  • Entry-level salary: $40,982
  • Well-experienced salary: $71,285

14. Production supervisors

  • Employment: 592,830
  • Entry-level salary: $37,033
  • Well-experienced salary: $67,509

13. Customers inspectors

  • Employment: 108,720
  • Entry-level salary: $48,020
  • Well-experienced salary: $78,811

12. Elevator installers

  • Employment: 20,590
  • Entry-level salary: $52,276
  • Well-experienced salary: $85,308

11. Art directors

  • Employment: 33,140
  • Entry-level salary: $46,637
  • Well-experienced salary: $91,589

Read more: Get a tech degree that guarantees you a job — or your money back!

10. Airline pilots

  • Employment: 75,760
  • Entry-level salary: $68,679
  • Well-experienced salary: $128,786

9. Actuaries

  • Employment: 21,490
  • Entry-level salary: $61,401
  • Well-experienced salary: $122,397

8. Commodities traders

  • Employment: 316,340
  • Entry-level salary: $35,112
  • Well-experienced salary: $103,184

7. Lawyers

  • Employment: 603,3101
  • Entry-level salary: $55,505
  • Well-experienced salary: $125,103

6. Physicists

  • Employment: 16,790
  • Entry-level salary: $71,046
  • Well-experienced salary: $145,918

5. Personal financial advisors

  • Employment: 196,490
  • Entry-level salary: $41,222
  • Well-experienced salary: $119,349

4. Petroleum engineers

  • Employment: 33,740
  • Entry-level salary: $78,605
  • Well-experienced salary: $157,520

3. Law professors

  • Employment: 15,990
  • Entry-level salary: $54,262
  • Well-experienced salary: $154,079

2. Chief executives

  • Employment: 246,240
  • Entry-level salary: $75,917
  • Well-experienced salary: $193,496

1. Dermatologists

  • Employment: 349,000
  • Entry-level salary: $98,544
  • Well-experienced salary: $224,916

Read more: Top 20 work-from-home companies for 2016

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