Whether you鈥檙e a newly minted graduate on the hunt for a job or looking to make the switch to an entirely different career, talking about salaries can be daunting. It鈥檚 impossible to figure out what you鈥檙e worth when you have nothing to compare it to, which is where Levo鈥檚 2015 Entry-Level Salary Report comes in. We asked everyone from friends of friends to members of empowering groups like mentorship nonprofit Step Up what they make, and better yet, exactly how they feel about the money that hits their bank account every payday. Here, we鈥檙e giving you the salary low-down from entry-level women in fields like publishing, banking, medicine, and more. Read on so when you need to #ask4more, you can do it with all the confidence in the world.


$22,000 鈥淕oing into the fashion media industry, I knew it was going to be hard work, long hours and overall extremely competitive. Throughout this journey, my motto has always been 鈥榙ream hard, work harder.鈥 I want to make my passion a reality and work in a career field that I truly love and want to work in for the rest of my life. I know with passion comes sacrifice, and I am willing to strive to achieve my dreams. I know the money will come later if the dedication, focus and hard work ethic come first.鈥 鈥擩ulia, 23, fashion editorial contributor

$26,400 + commissions/bonuses 鈥淥bviously I鈥檓 not very pleased with the amount I am making, but it鈥檚 ultimately up to me if I鈥檒l make more than my base. I came out of school wanting to get away from the sports world. I鈥檝e been involved with it my entire life and wanted a break. I love the place I work and the people around me are awesome. Although I have only been in the sales world for a few weeks, I know this is not a lot to live on鈥nd it definitely doesn鈥檛 support my shopping addiction.鈥 鈥擭icole, 25, sales representative

$28,700 + overtime 鈥淚 started off making $28,000 plus overtime, which will add up to about $35,000 a year, but I started shortly before our yearly review and raise process. Obviously, I鈥檇 like to make more, but I love my job, and I honestly don鈥檛 have any problems paying my rent, my car payments, my student loan payments, phone bills and buying groceries/necessities. Plus, I still have some money left over for fun and entertainment. I really thought I wouldn鈥檛 be able to live in the city making that amount, but it鈥檚 easy if you鈥檙e smart with your money. People who make more probably look down on my salary, but I highly doubt their job is as awesome. I do think I鈥檓 worth a lot more, and that鈥檚 why I initially tried to negotiate a higher salary, but I couldn鈥檛 be as assertive as I wanted to because I wasn鈥檛 in the best position. I wanted to break into the industry, like thousands of other recent grads, and when they asked if I would turn down the job if they couldn鈥檛 give me the salary increase, I just didn鈥檛 feel comfortable saying yes. I said I鈥檇 still consider it, so of course they said they couldn鈥檛 do it. It was a good learning experience, and I think now that I鈥檓 in I鈥檒l be much more willing to ask for more when I鈥檓 applying for other jobs in the future.鈥 鈥擬ary, 24, editorial assistant

$30,000 鈥淔or those who work in fashion, it鈥檚 never a surprise how much money we鈥檙e not making. My salary goes directly to bills, and I pay for my social life by babysitting. I still struggle over the fact that companies truly believe a young adult 鈥 saddled with astronomical rent, bills and let鈥檚 not forget student loans 鈥 can afford to live in New York City on almost nothing. Still, we youngin鈥檚 find a way to do it. I like to think that鈥檚 the point rather than people being stingy: if you can make it on nothing in New York City, you can make anything work, at any time, in any place.鈥 鈥擸vonne, 24, digital PR coordinator

$30,000 + overtime for special events 鈥淚 am an on-air personality on two radio stations and production director of the entire cluster. I do two four-hour air shifts a day Monday-Friday while simultaneously writing, voicing, and producing all the commercials that are played on our five radio stations. I am essentially doing three full-time jobs for the price of one. I am the only person at my job of 50 employees that does this. The special events are usually on weekends, so to make more than $30K a year, I have to sacrifice the majority of my weekends of rest and relaxation. I am also the youngest employee by 10+ years, all while going to school full time. It鈥檚 a lot of work for not a lot of money 鈥 at least not enough money to actually take my paid vacation and go somewhere other than my couch.鈥 鈥擥isele, 24, radio host and production director

$33,000 鈥淔rom what I can tell, my salary is generally pretty good for entry-level in the field of social work. I鈥檓 a case manager at a youth center, and I absolutely love my job. I wish there were more ways to make a better salary and still work in direct service, but it seems like all the higher paying jobs in social work are administrative or director positions. I want to work with the community directly, so it looks like I鈥檒l have to be happy with a living wage.鈥 鈥擲arah, 24, case manager

$33,500 鈥淭he only reason I鈥檓 comfortable working in publishing right now is because I鈥檓 living at home. I really enjoy publishing, but I want to afford to live on my own while also having a bit of a personal life, so I鈥檓 open to going into other fields. It鈥檚 very frustrating that New York is the capital of arts and publishing, but those industries pay entry-level workers almost too little to actually live here.鈥 鈥擩ulia, 23, publicity assistant at a publishing house

$35,000 鈥淚 always knew that when I graduated college I wanted to work for an organization that helped people. Now, I鈥檓 lucky to work for a non-profit that impacts the lives of teen girls and supports their education. Although I work as an executive assistant and don鈥檛 get paid much, I feel I make a difference in the work I do. That鈥檚 what keeps me going. Being an assistant in communications at a non-profit has given me an incredible learning experience and professional opportunities I would not have found elsewhere. The non-profit I work for also supports me as I finish my Master鈥檚 in communication at USC, which I am extremely grateful for. When the time is right, I feel prepared and ready to take the next step in my career.鈥 鈥擜manda, 24, executive/PR assistant in nonprofit communications

$35,000 + overtime and bonus 鈥淎ll together I make over $40,000, which is pretty great for a first job with just a Bachelor鈥檚 in Chemistry. But I also have a Master鈥檚 degree, so it鈥檚 hard to find a job that doesn鈥檛 require three+ years of experience too. One big thing I had to accept was that I may not be getting paid as much as my education is worth right away. I really do enjoy my job and value the experience I鈥檓 gaining though, which is what matters to me at this point.鈥 鈥擬elinda, 24, chemist

$37,000 鈥淢ost of my friends work in finance or consulting and make more than double what I make. It鈥檚 frustrating to hear them complain about how much they work when I work just as much, and for a salary that sometimes averages out to be less than minimum wage when you take my hours into account. I definitely live paycheck to paycheck, but my salary is a standard for the industry, so I know I just have to power through and pay my dues until things get easier.鈥 鈥擠ana, 24, public relations assistant account executive

$37,440 + overtime and bonuses 鈥淚 knew that starting out I would be at the bottom, but I see pros and cons to my position. I鈥檓 at a relatively small company, so I am gaining experience in a number of sales/marketing/production/customer care fields. I am also excited about the industry I work in and the opportunity I have to move up within the company I work for. I try not to compare my pay and lifestyle to friends, but I probably fall somewhere in the middle. Compared to people my age I feel like I got lucky, because I鈥檓 not a college graduate waiting tables. But I also have a lot of friends that are older with more work experience, and a lot of male friends who definitely make more money than I do.鈥 鈥擜li, 22, customer care representative

$41,000 鈥淚鈥檓 fine with my salary. I鈥檇 say if it were a scale of 1-10, I鈥檓 at a 7 of happiness. I wouldn鈥檛 mind if it were higher, but I understand with my industry that it鈥檚 tough to get a cushy salary. I ultimately want to be a film/television director, but my work is all right. I鈥檓 still learning, so that makes it worth it.鈥 鈥擟atie, 24, assistant producer for an ad agency

$45,000 + bonus 鈥淚 had always heard to expect not to earn much your first job out of college, but I wanted to challenge myself to find the right cultural fit with a compensation package that made me feel like the company valued my contributions. With base plus bonus, I brought in about $65,000 this past year and I am on pace to exceed that this upcoming year. I feel confident being in a work environment where my opinions matter, my hard work is recognized and my achievements are rewarded financially.鈥 鈥擬ichelle, 22, finance recruiter

$48,000 鈥淢y salary may sound OK, but when you factor in what it costs to live, eat, and have a social life in the city, the budget can be tight! On the bright side, the salary does increase a small percentage each year, and getting your Master鈥檚 increases your salary as well. It鈥檚 a difficult job, and one that does not end when the bell rings, but it is extremely rewarding. Summers are pretty great, too!鈥 鈥擟aitlin, 26, 6th grade teacher

$48,000 鈥淚 think my salary is miserable and embarrassing because I鈥檓 doing the work of two people. My company laid off a lot of people in 4Q last year. They have now hired people in my department, but not on my team, so it鈥檚 really frustrating. I got laterally moved to this position in February and was told that I couldn鈥檛 ask for more money off the bat and instead had to wait at least a year because I had not proven myself. My boss is hoping that if they promote him, he will be able to justify getting me a promotion. I鈥檓 hoping if I鈥檓 loyal and stick it out, it鈥檒l pay off. I wish I made more since I can鈥檛 afford to move out of my parents鈥 house because of what I make. It鈥檚 a huge sacrifice for me to save $500 a month, but I鈥檓 doing it.鈥 鈥擨bis, 25, media planning specialist

$48,000 + time differentials and overtime 鈥淚鈥檓 a social worker in the Emergency Department at a children鈥檚 hospital. I knew I wanted to be in the medical field after my second-year placement in graduate school. I stayed in a newly created position at the hospital I was already working at part-time as I started working at the children鈥檚 hospital, but they were able to eventually hire a full-time clinician for that role. I continue to have odd hours in my full-time role (mostly 2:00 p.m.-midnight shifts on a rotating schedule where I work every other weekend). I knew I would be giving up some of my social life by accepting a job at the children鈥檚 hospital, but the pay for an entry-level social work role is quite decent due to being in a medical setting. I鈥檓 hoping I can move into a more regular daytime schedule within the year.鈥 鈥擟ristina, 27, licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) clinician

$50,000 鈥淚n comparison to my journalism friends in the city, I鈥檓 making great money. I鈥檓 at a very stable company with good benefits, but I don鈥檛 like my job. The work I do now doesn鈥檛 make me happy, and I have a terrible shift of working 2:00-10:00 p.m. No happy hours, no clubs, no classes. I know this is a stepping stone that I just have to go through, and things are changing. I鈥檓 going to stick it out because I feel like opportunities are coming.鈥 鈥擬aria, 24, video producer

$52,000 + overtime 鈥淓ver since I learned the art of networking at age 15, I鈥檝e made incredible connections, gained tons of experience and paved my own path to where I am now. I went to school for Arts Management and graduated in 2014 with my Bachelor鈥檚 Degree. I鈥檓 the first in my family to do so, and it definitely felt great. I knew that I wanted to do something in the entertainment industry. I loved action, behind-the-scenes and music, but I didn鈥檛 know exactly what field would have all of that. But of course, everything falls in place when it should, and I got an email from the person who is now my boss. I鈥檇 introduced myself to her last year when she gave a speech at a fundraiser, and I always kept in touch. She was emailing because she鈥檇 recently started her new gig at Cond茅 and needed people on her team, and thought of me since I never lost touch with her鈥 even though she barely replied. Because of networking, I have a job that I love. I work with talent (I research and book celebrities, influencers, entrepreneurs, speakers, etc.) and I also work with production. It is very fast-paced industry, but I love the adrenaline and challenges it gives me at the end of the day.鈥 鈥擜strid, 22, talent and production coordinator

$54,065 鈥淚鈥檓 really excited to finally have a salary after so many years of education, especially since it鈥檚 a job I鈥檝e always dreamed of! I鈥檓 in a Family Medicine residency. I love Family Medicine since I get to treat everyone from babies to grandparents. I get to see my patients repeatedly and establish that special doctor/patient relationship of trust and being 鈥榯heir doctor.鈥 Student loans are rough but I鈥檓 still very happy with the amount I鈥檒l be making.鈥 Victoria, 24, first-year resident physician

$55,000 鈥淚 work in the construction industry. As someone who just graduated with a master鈥檚 degree in civil engineering, I have a lot of friends and family giving me shit about my salary, telling me that I make way less than I should and that I should definitely look for a new job that makes $70,000 at least. Personally, I feel very lucky to even have a job doing something that I actually enjoy and making a decent amount, especially since I just came out of school with virtually zero experience. I don鈥檛 plan on quitting. However, I do know that if I ever want to support some kids or the aging parents, I鈥檒l need either a partner鈥檚 income or a higher one of my own. 鈥擜ngela, 25, project manager

$21.50 an hour +overtime 鈥淚 started at $21 an hour a year ago at my current position. I average about 50 hours a week, and take home about $15 an hour post-tax and 401K. I鈥檓 satisfied with my earnings, especially since there鈥檚 always work to do and if I need a few extra hours, I鈥檓 always allowed to work them. Living in New York City, if my hours got limited, I would have to start budgeting really strictly. It鈥檚 an expensive city and I feel like I鈥檓 just above the minimum of what you have to make here to not live paycheck to paycheck.鈥 鈥擬axi, 25, camera technician

$58,000 鈥淚 just graduated from law school, so I鈥檓 starting out at entry level this fall! I鈥檓 in a semi-unique situation in that I鈥檓 starting out with a one-year federal clerkship. I feel thankful for that salary considering my boyfriend is going into a mid-size law firm and making $50K, but at the same time, it sucks because I have about $140K of student loans that need to be paid back. So I鈥檓 okay with the amount, but it sucks in the sense that I have so much debt for this degree. Plus, people tend to think that lawyers make bank, but most of us actually don鈥檛 start off that high.鈥鈥擜nn, 27, federal law clerk

$58,250 鈥淚鈥檓 a contractor, so that鈥檚 roughly what I make working 40 hours a week. If I work more hours than that, I make more money. Because of my student loans, I don鈥檛 have a lot of spending money after paying off that and other bills each month. I would want to make more, and have seen others in similar positions making a bit more, but getting that amount was incredible. I was pretty strapped financially when I first graduated, so the relief of making more felt really good.鈥 鈥擩oanna, 25, health policy contractor

$60,000 鈥淚 put 25 percent away before taxes, so I really see only half. It helps me manage better since I can鈥檛 keep up with putting money away after it鈥檚 in my account. Even with a significant chunk of savings, I have enough to cover bills each month and do something extra like going to a concert or buying a new outfit. The 鈥榝un money鈥 varies and sometimes is spent on less fun things such as car repairs. I also get to travel a lot for work, so I always feel like I鈥檓 doing something fun, even when the extra cash is spent on the 鈥榞rown up鈥 stuff like insurance payments.鈥 鈥擥race, 23, public policy manager for a private nonprofit organization

$66,000 for 193 duty days 鈥淚鈥檓 definitely happy with my salary at the start of my new career. It did take a lot of time and effort (three years of grad school after college) to get to the starting point, but it was worth it to me. It also helps to be doing what I love. In my profession, I get to work closely with lots of different people (kids, families, educators, administrators) on a daily basis, and my role varies each day (psychoeducational assessment, academic and behavioral consultation, counseling, etc.) so the job is never boring. Though we only have to work 193 days a year, the hours can be quite tedious and work frequently ends up getting done at home after dinner and occasionally on the weekends. When you divide up the salary by the number of hours worked, sometimes it seems as if I could be making the same at a lower-stress job. However, when you find something you鈥檙e passionate about, it becomes less about the dollars per hour and more about how you feel at the end of each day. I鈥檓 definitely looking forward to many years to come in this profession!鈥 鈥擲tephanie, 30, school psychologist

$70,000 + $10,000 signing bonus 鈥淚 interviewed for jobs in consulting at large global firms, at specialized boutique firms, and everything in between. I did not necessarily have any expectations of how much I could/would make coming out of college until the offers started coming. I was actually pretty surprised by the results given I studied the History of Science and didn鈥檛 necessarily have any practical business skills. When compared to my peers who are not all in consulting and i-banking, it鈥檚 clear that there鈥檚 a large disparity in incomes. Seeing as we all work similar hours, it鈥檚 pretty disheartening to see a good friend making half as much as me, but working just as much as I do.鈥 鈥擜lyssa, 24, general management consultant

$78,000 鈥淚 never went into psychology for the money. It was very clear from the start that you will never be paid what you鈥檙e worth. That being said, I am grateful to have the starting salary I have with less than five years experience, including my time as a postdoctoral fellow. I am newly licensed and working to obtain national board certification, which will likely add a monetary boost. I can absolutely say it鈥檚 worth the time and effort I have put in over the years 鈥 even with student loan debt equivalent to a six-bedroom brand new fully upgraded house!鈥 鈥擬ykea, 34, clinical psychologist

$85,000 + $10,000 signing bonus + $35,000-55,000 year-end bonus 鈥淣o one I know in investment banking is really happy. It鈥檚 something that smart but directionless kids looking for prestige or the stereotypical money-chasing kids do. You have no control over your life and are expected to respond to emails and phone calls at all hours (Saturday at 3:00 a.m. is not unheard of). You definitely aren鈥檛 struggling, but the perks aren鈥檛 great compared to more people-friendly industries like tech. This industry has a high turnover because people seek better hours or better pay. Most people don鈥檛 last beyond two years at the junior level. I鈥檒l be leaving the industry in August to pursue a career in software engineering.鈥 鈥擫ynn, 22, investment banker

What do you think about the findings of this report? Weigh in on the comment section below.

This post was originally published on Levo League by Zahra Barnes.