Many job seekers aim to figure out what they’re passionate about while getting paid the most for their time. With technology-related jobs expected to grow more than 20% over the next decade, many wonder what technology-related jobs are the easiest to get started in the industry.
The easiest tech jobs to get into are data entry, digital content management, and technical writing. Technical support, sales, and quality assurance testing are best for collaborative people. Tech-savvy jobseekers generally find web design and network engineering rewarding.
I’ve performed many of these job functions over my 20+ years in IT. For a tech job to be easy, you need to have some aptitude but, most importantly, a willingness to enjoy the work. That said, I’ve broken the following list into categories based on persona type, including what each job typically does and links to the current average salary you can expect.
A Data Entry Clerk is generally responsible for entering, editing, and validating records in an information system such as a customer relationship management application. Fields like names, addresses, and other data are often recorded through automation, so the market tends to be smaller, with fewer openings for this type of role.
This computer job generally requires no experience or formal training. Most of the functions can be learned on the job. Candidates need to be ready to show their ability to type quickly (especially with a number pad, read and comprehend rapidly, find mistakes, and possess good soft skills, open-mindedness, patience, and effective communication.
Data entry is usually well suited for highly-detailed-oriented people who are good at math but may not yet have the education or experience for other positions in the tech industry. This is an excellent position for someone who works well alone, with less need to collaborate on tasks.
The salary for data entry jobs in the US (at the time of writing) is about $38,000/year.
A Technical Writer creates documentation and instructions for users to understand a product or service. They make anything from user-facing manuals to instructions for developers on how to program an application correctly.
A Technical Writer will inevitably proofread and edit text that has already been published to ensure that it is error-free and has consistent formatting. But this writer will also be responsible for generating documentation from scratch.
Technical Writers must be able to research topics to find accurate facts and information to include in their compositions. Often, a writer will need to attend product demos and collaborate directly with developers to gain the expertise required to communicate to readers how to use a company’s product. Technical Writers need to have some understanding of programming languages.
Generally, a technical writing position will work for long sessions alone, but collaboration is necessary when interviewing or researching new information.
The salary for technical writers in the US is about $59,000/year.
Similar to a technical writer, a Web Editor is responsible for creating and editing content to be published on a website or other digital medium. The audience for this content is generally more laypeople, whereas a Web Editor must have excellent writing skills to explain complex subjects in simple terms.
This job is well-suited for creative individuals who enjoy working primarily alone. Editors will, of course, need to collaborate and so will need excellent written and verbal communication skills.
The salary for web editors in the US is about $51,000/year.
Digital Content Manager
A Digital Content Manager (DCM) is not a manager of people but text, images, audio, video, and other digital assets. A DCM helps brands connect their marketing and educational content with customers.
On a typical day, a digital content manager might generate new ideas for content that appeals to their audience.
Additionally, the DCM will be responsible for the ongoing optimization of the website content. This can include optimizing the site for search engines and monitoring traffic and analytics reports to determine where visitors are coming from and how they interact with the site once they arrive. From this data, the manager can make informed decisions on how to improve the site to increase engagement from site visitors and convert them into customers.
Some positions might also require email marketing campaign creation and management, where digital content managers must collaborate with a copywriter or graphic designer to create compelling email marketing campaigns.
This position is generally an even mix of both solo work and collaboration with others.
The salary for content managers in the US is about $57,000/year.
Social Media Manager / Social Media Coordinator
A Social Media Manager or Social Media Coordinator works with multiple teams and departments to coordinate all aspects of marketing campaigns, especially on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the like.
An SMM or SMC manages the entire social media strategy and execution, including content creation, scheduling, monitoring, reporting, etc. An SMM may also collect and respond to customer inquiries via social media. This position may work closely with customer success and/or help desk members to resolve problems.
This job suits individuals who love social media and have strong analytical, written, and verbal communication skills. They must be highly collaborative and rarely work solo for long periods.
The salary for social media managers in the US is about $60,000/year.
Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Managers or Digital Marketers are one level up from a DCM or SMM from earlier. This position oversees online marketing, including strategy, planning, execution, measurement, reporting, and analysis. They are responsible for driving revenue growth via online marketing channels like paid search, display advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, and other channels.
A DMM needs good analytical skills to measure the effectiveness of their efforts. While creative written skills like copyrighting and visual skills like illustration are essential, this position may also manage people in the marketing department, so it’s not purely creative.
A DMM works extensively with others in the organization to successfully execute online marketing campaigns.
The salary for digital marketing managers in the US is about $59,000/year.
A Technical Sales Representative is the front-line spokesperson for a company’s product. They are responsible for driving revenue growth by interfacing with customer prospects.
Along with being a good communicator, Technical Sales Reps should be able to prepare presentations that effectively convey technical information about their products and services to general audiences. These aren’t the stereotyped slick salespeople of the past. Modern sales reps are educators that take the time to understand and solve problems for prospective clients.
Technical Sales Representatives must work collaboratively at all times, be it with colleagues or customers.
The salary for technical sales positions in the US is about $51,000/year.
Customer Success Manager
After the sales cycle converts a lead to a customer, a Customer Success Manager (CSM) generally takes over to provide post-sales support to the client, ensuring the customer experience is positive and the company wins repeat and even referral business.
A CSM is often as much a marketer as a sales rep. Generally, clients will communicate more frequently with their CSMs as they receive assistance in using the company’s products and/or services. Most CSMs don’t have any tech experience and often help companies improve their products through customer feedback.
Their primary goal is to ensure happy customers, so this position is always well suited to educators and problem-solvers who work patiently in collaborative settings.
The salary for customer success managers in the US is about $55,000/year.
Help Desk Support Technician
A Help Desk Support Technician (or Support Tech) helps to resolve issues affecting computer hardware, software, or applications.
This is an excellent entry-level position for a career in the computer industry. It’s also a standard job opening as companies of all sizes increasingly rely on computers for their day-to-day operations.
In addition to responding to customers, a Help Desk Support Technician is responsible for determining the cause of problems and often fixing them. They will primarily provide support for external customers but may also help internal employees with support cases.
The Help Desk Technician role is generally the first point of contact, and so needs to be someone who listens well and communicates clearly. This job requires someone good at asking questions and internalizing the answer to step closer to a resolution.
Naturally, this position is ideal for those who enjoy working with others, and successful techs typically consider themselves extroverted. You can expect to be in constant contact with the tech-savvy and those who are not so adept.
The salary for help desk support technicians in the US is about $55,000/year.
A Computer Technician differs somewhat from a help desk position. Generally, a Computer Tech is primarily responsible for supporting a company’s internal network, computer equipment, and other physical technology systems.
This role has various levels, some of which are well suited as entry-level, while other responsibilities will require industry certifications or an associate’s degree.
Often, this job is performed solo but may include collaboration in small teams, especially when working with installing physical infrastructure.
The salary for computer technicians in the US is about $27,000/year.
Stepping up from a computer technician role, a Network Engineer focuses on the hardware and software that connect computers within an organization’s network. They maintain an organization’s local and wide area networks by connecting end-user devices to the organization’s servers, storage devices, printers, and other networking components.
Most organizations require Network Engineers to have an industry certificate or bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. However, hirees with practical experience in the area can move into this role.
A Network Engineer will work closely with information security colleagues, computer technicians, and help desk support. This role is ideal for someone who likes a mix of self-directed and collaborative work.
The salary for network engineers in the US is about $90,000/year.
User Interface (UI) Designer
Tech jobs aren’t all number-focused math types. Creatives can find it relatively easy to jump into the industry by working as a User Interface Designer.
A user interface (UI) is any point where a computer or system comes in contact with a human. For example, if you’re reading this on a laptop or phone screen, you’re looking at the computer’s interface.
UI Designers develop the overall layout of websites and mobile apps, including how information is organized and how users navigate between them.
This role is ideally suited for creative individuals that like to collaborate within a team and then go off and work independently to complete tasks. The team may discuss the goals of a design, divide design tasks, and then designers focus individually on creating a wireframe mockup as an example.
The salary for user interface designers in the US is about $85,000/year.
User Experience (UX) Designer
Closely related to the UI is UX. A User Experience Designer is tasked with zooming out one level and focusing on the interaction between the various stages in using the user interface to operate software products or services.
UX Designers collaborate with product owners and developers to meet user needs while providing a positive use that leads to customer satisfaction and repeat business.
While visual skills are necessary for this career, UX designers must be excellent communicators who can both listen and communicate their needs to others on the team and with clients. A strong understanding of human psychology and behavior is a plus, especially supported by a formal degree or proven years of experience.
This role is also well-suited to problem solvers and people who enjoy solving creative challenges within a team with occasional independent work.
The salary for user experience designers in the US is about $97,000/year.
A Web Designer is generally responsible for translating the work of UX and UI designers into webpages served to a browser.
To be successful as a Web Designer, it’s first critical to have knowledge and experience using the programming languages of the web. Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the primary coding languages you’ll use to lay out web pages. These two languages are easy to learn for entry-level developers, but applying them and gaining experience writing standards-compliant code is crucial for being hired.
Web Designers usually work in a team with other professionals and split their time 80-20 working alone and then in team collaboration.
The salary for web designers in the US is about $53,000/year.
A Web Developer adds a layer or two of life to a web design and produces interactive experiences delivered through a web browser or mobile app (yes, it’s possible to take web programming and output installable mobile apps).
This role is easiest for those who like puzzles and producing beautifully interactive experiences while providing customer value.
A WebDev will generally work individually, but a disciplined engineering shop will have several touchpoints between team members where the work is divided and tasks collaborated. Most developers now work from home and meet remotely with their teams.
The salary for web developers in the US is about $67,000/year.
Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst
Before any hardware and/or software solution can get into the hands of customers, it’s crucial that it first passes a suite of tests and the watchful eye of a Quality Assurance Analyst. Some job titles will call this position a QA Engineer to emphasize it’s no small task. This role is as critical to a successful product as the engineers.
This type of analyst does more than just run through the intended functionality of the software. They must try to break the software by using it in unintended ways in the hopes of seeing it fail. A tester may try to use their access to source code to input bad data, or they may launch authorized internal attacks against the product to simulate threat actors (hackers) in the real world.
A QA Analyst will inevitably learn programming skills on the job. Still, they must come to this position with a detail-oriented mindset and an apparent ability to communicate orally and in writing with engineers and non-engineers alike.
This role has a large amount of individual work with some collaboration with development engineers to communicate findings and report vulnerabilities.
The salary for QA engineers in the US is about $67,000/year.
Digital Project Manager
If you’re a naturally organized person or even have project management skills from your current role, a Digital Project Manager (DPM) may be an easy way to get into the tech industry. This job description is relatively new to the market, so many companies haven’t yet defined their process or expectations or may still refer to it generically as a Project Manager (PM).
This digital version of a PM has a different twist than managing projects in non-tech contexts. A Digital Project Manager is responsible for maintaining schedules, budgets, and quality with a team of coders and digital designers while focusing on client deliverables and metrics. This role needs an understanding of the software delivery lifecycle (SDL) and incorporating sprint ceremonies to meet the deliverables. These scheduled meetings bring together the creatives and technical talent to
- refine technical specifications
- estimate work effort or time
- integrate software deliverables into related systems
- coordinate rollouts and maintenance
As with most manager-type roles, a Digital Project Manager requires much collaboration with little solo work.
The salary for Digital Project Manager in the US is about $70,000/year.
Harder Tech Jobs To Get Into
Want something more challenging, or are you ready to bump your skills and pay grade? The following are tech jobs that require you to obtain more experience and perhaps even a degree or certification but are worth investigating.
- Cybersecurity Analyst: ($71,000/year) Hackers are some of the most creative computer engineers. A Cyber Security Analyst is tasked with finding weaknesses in a company’s technology infrastructure, policies, and processes and preventing future attacks.
- Mobile App Developer: ($93,000/year) With 1.35 billion of the world’s 7.9 billion people buying smartphones, a Mobile App Developer programs applications designed to run on these devices.
- DevOps Engineer: ($115,000/year) The Internet infrastructure is evolving. A DevOps Engineer is responsible for configuring and deploying software-defined systems and networks to support delivering software and systems delivery into production. This is a step up from the aforementioned Network Engineer.
- Computer Engineering: ($81,000/year) In a previous article, I compared Computer Science and Computer Engineering. Read that one next.