10 Common Jobs at a Startup (and How To Get Hired)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 5, 2021 | Published November 23, 2020

Updated August 5, 2021

Published November 23, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working for a startup company can be an exciting opportunity. While there are some pros and cons, working for a new business with growth potential can also lead to exponential rewards.

Startups recruit for several positions — from web developers and engineers to more unique opportunities like customer success managers. Some startups even hire people with little to no experience, especially if they are motivated professionals willing to put in the time and effort to do great things for the company.

In this article, we share 10 common startup jobs. We also describe what to expect working at a startup company, why you might consider working for one and how to get hired.

What to expect working at a startup

A startup is a new company founded by one or more entrepreneurs with the goal of providing a unique product or service to the market. Startup founders begin their business vision by determining what the market is lacking. They hire a team of highly skilled professionals to develop a new product or service and present it in an exciting way.

Startups usually seek funding from venture capitalists. They tend to consist of a few employers who juggle multiple roles within the company. For instance, a startup in its early stages may hire a product engineer who also manages customer support.

Startups also may work with limited budgets and resources to launch their offerings. Over time, successful startups see rapid expansion and profits.

Read more: What To Expect When Working at a Startup: 10 Things You Need To Know

How to get hired at a startup

If you already know that you want to work for a startup, you’re probably wondering the best way to find a job. Here are a few tips:

  • 1. Discover the startup field you want to work in: There’s a startup in nearly every job sector, so it’s easy to narrow down your job choices if you know the field you want to pursue.

  • 2. Research startup companies based on your skill set: Take stock of your strengths and begin researching companies that may be a good fit. You also may want to decide if you prefer working for a younger startup or a more established one that is looking to scale.

  • 3. Work your network: Because people who work at startups wear many hats, you may be more successful in finding a job through networking versus traditional recruiting and hiring practices.

  • 4. Prepare for interviews: Work on your elevator pitch and identify how your skills match the job description. Make sure your resume is designed effectively to pique the interest of a startup hiring manager who may have several competing demands.

Related: How to Get Hired Now: 12 Actionable Tips That Actually Work

10 jobs to look for at a startup

Here are 10 common startup jobs to explore. Click the links provided for the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed Salaries.

1. Customer service representative

National average salary: $47,686 per year

Primary duties: A customer service representative works to create a positive image for the startup. They help customers with questions or concerns. Common tasks include answering phone calls, responding to emails, creating support tickets and troubleshooting issues. Startups may hire customer service representatives to increase client retention and build a good reputation.

2. Recruiter

National average salary: $48,612 per year

Primary duties: A recruiter is in charge of finding the best talent for the startup. As many startups are within the tech industry, this kind of recruiter needs to have the expertise to find highly skilled developers and programmers. They are responsible for the entire hiring process, including screening, interviewing, hiring and onboarding new employees. They may also help the executive team write and post job openings.

3. Office manager

National average salary: $52,351 per year

Primary duties: An office manager oversees the administrative duties of a startup. They are responsible for a variety of clerical duties, such as coordinating schedules, answering phone calls, planning meetings, taking messages and organizing files. This person acts as an intermediary between the different departments of a startup, ensuring that everyone is organized and aware of company changes.

4. Marketing specialist

National average salary: $59,832 per year

Primary duties: A marketing specialist is responsible for helping a startup build brand identity and awareness. Because startups are new endeavors, the marketing specialist has the job of making a name in the industry. They work to define the target audience and figure out ways to reach these consumers. Marketing specialists are typically experienced in various marketing channels, including social media, email, pay-per-click, search engine optimization and traditional media.

Read more: Learn About Being a Marketing Specialist

5. Business developer

National average salary: $60,383 per year

Primary duties: A business developer helps the startup make important business connections. They use their networking skills to build relationships with clients, investors, vendors and other important stakeholders. People in this kind of role need to have strong negotiation skills, as they may be responsible for coming up with the terms of contracts and business deals. They assess the needs of the startup and use their persuasive skills to make beneficial deals and partnerships.

6. Customer success manager

National average salary: $60,915 per year

Primary duties: A customer success manager is a common role in software-as-a-service startups. This individual is responsible for helping clients get the most value out of the software and services they offer. The customer success manager may help clients create goals and connect them to resources they may need to reach these goals. They help with the onboarding process of new users and ensure their client knows how to properly use the company's products and services. Hiring a customer success manager helps startups boost renewals and build relationships.

7. Engineer

National average salary: $63,906 per year

Primary duties: An engineer's duties can vary quite a bit depending on the focus of the company. Generally, it's their job to design, develop, test and implement new systems or products for the startup. They are responsible for upgrading systems and troubleshooting any issues that might occur. Startup engineers need strong computer and creative skills. They use innovative thinking to create offerings that fill the gaps in the market.

8. Consultant

National average salary: $64,089 per year

Primary duties: A consultant typically works for a startup on a freelance or contractual basis. They use their expertise to provide new business owners with advice. Startup companies are typically looking for consultants who are highly skilled and experienced in a niche area. For instance, they may look for someone who has experience opening their own startup. It's this person's job to advise startup leaders and offer them insights into their success.

Read more: Learn About Being a Consultant

9. Sales representative

National average salary: $64,964 per year

Primary duties: A sales representative in a startup is responsible for getting the company more clients. This role is crucial to the company’s success, as it needs to rapidly grow to meet its goals and key performance indicators. This person works to engage with clients and close deals using a variety of sales tactics, such as cold calls, emails and in-person meetings.

10. Product manager

National average salary: 96,903 per year

Primary duties: A product manager oversees everything involved with product development. They are responsible for designing products, collaborating with engineers and creating prototypes. Someone in this role may also oversee customer development and project management. This highly skilled individual needs to have strong computer skills and a decent amount of coding experience.

Related: How to Conduct Your First 100 Days in a New Remote Job

Why work for a startup?

While you may not know yet if joining a startup is right for you, most startup jobs offer the chance to:

  • Develop multiple skill sets: You're likely to do a lot of multitasking working a startup job. Younger, smaller companies have more limited resources, sometimes requiring staff members to be resourceful and stretch their skill sets. This kind of experience gives you the opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, customer service, project management, time management and networking.

  • Explore growth opportunities: While the early stages of working in a startup can be challenging, if your company can attract the attention of investors and customers, the payoff could be huge. By putting in the time and effort now, you can earn quite a high salary — and more senior responsibilities — later on.

  • Increase work flexibility: Many startups have a more fluid work schedule. You may be able to set your own hours as long as you're getting your work done. Rather than working within a strict professional hierarchy, people who work at a startup tend to take on a sense of ownership with their tasks. Filling your days with busy work will be a rarity, as there will always be important tasks to get done.

  • Enjoy a creative work atmosphere: The whole reason startups exist is because innovative entrepreneurs want to make their ideas a reality. You should be open to creative thinking and unique solutions to thrive in this type of work environment. No two days will look the same for someone working at a startup.

  • Improve recognition of achievements: When you're working for a big corporation, your professional accomplishments might go unnoticed. When you work for a startup, your colleagues are much more likely to recognize the value you bring to the team. Taking on big opportunities tends to pay off in this setting, especially if you are exceeding the company's goals.

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