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5 Entry-Level Jobs Where It Pays to Stay

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- Mailroom-to-boardroom job success stories are more common in movies than business, but there are still careers where entry-level positions have access to higher ground.

With the U.S. stuck in 9% unemployment and job growth not yet matching demand, the American rags-to-riches dream job is taking its place next to homeownership as fairy tales previous generations used to tell but only a dwindling, privileged few can make come true. Despite the dour job outlook, though, there remain some industries that can take a newcomer from starting salary to financial security without having to leave their field.

Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., and Michael Farr, co-authors of 200 Best Jobs for College Graduates, try to point out new job opportunities with each release of their book, but even their most recent edition -- the book's fourth, from 2009 -- doesn't address the post-recession worker who hasn't been in college in years and is still seeking an entry-level opportunity.

With help from the good folks at the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, TheStreet found five instances in which entry-level employees can nearly double their salaries while staying within the field they love. Some require an upfront master's degree-sized investment, others will take a high school diploma, but all have a high ceiling for any salary-minded career climber:

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