top of page


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

Dive In
  • Writer's pictureThe CareerBeacon Team

Updated: Jan 15

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.

bottom of page