How many years of experience you need to land an ‘entry-level’ job by industry

Our recent post revealing that candidates are required to have an average of three years of experience to get hired for an entry-level position stirred up some debate on social media. (You can read that story here.)

How can a job be ‘entry-level’ if you already have to have three years of experience to do it? And where can you gain that experience in the first place? It’s tough. That is why the unemployment rate for young people is consistently much higher than the overall average. Your first jobs are the most difficult to get hired for.

To shed more light on the situation, we took a deeper dive into the data to see just how much experience is typically required in job postings by industry. (This research was conducted by the team at TalentWorks who studied the content from 100,000 job ads. You can read the details of the study and their methodology here.)

How many years of experience you need to get hired for entry-level jobs by sector

Fast Food Workers 1.24 years
Dispatch & Operations 1.50 years
Retail Sales Rep 1.59 years
Drafting, Engineering, Mapping Tech 1.63 years
Other Sales years 1.68 years
Other Office Support Specialist 1.72 years
Services Sales Rep 1.74 years
Info & Record Clerks 1.89 years
Bartenders & Waiters 1.90 years
Legal Support Workers 1.94 years
Physical & Social Science Technician 1.99 years
Secretary & Admin Assistant 2.01 years
Media Production Specialist 2.10 years
Sales Rep years 2.12 years
Protective Service Workers 2.25 years
Nursing/Home Health 2.27 years
Media/Comms/PR 2.42 years
Financial Specialist 2.58 years
Health Technicians 2.67 years
Healthcare Support 2.67 years
Financial Clerk 2.73 years
Business Operations Specialist 2.86 years
Physical Scientist 2.93 years
Engineer 2.97 years
Counselors, Social Workers 2.98 years
Designers & Visual Artists 3.30 years
Admin Support Supervisor 3.36 years
Lawyers & Judges 3.73 years
Computer Occupation 3.82 years
Math/Science Occupation 3.91 years
Other Teacher/Instructor 4.26 years
Medical Practitioner 5.07 years

So, where can you get your first few crucial years of experience? How can you get started? Another study of recent college and university graduates recently uncovered the most common first jobs they end up working in their first few years after leaving school. The good news is, we have positions open for all of those roles available right now on CareerBeacon.

The other key takeaway is that you usually only need to have about 50 per cent or the requirements listed in a job posting in order to land an interview. So, if you are confident that you can do the job – even if you don’t quite have all of the experience requested – then apply anyway and state your case.

Source: TalentWorks: 61% of “Entry-Level” Jobs Require 3+ Years of Experience.

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