start out as

start (one) out as (something)

To have one begin at some basic or low-level position, especially as the first stage in a process of development. Phil, start him out as a dishwasher and see how he does with that. Just because your boss started you out as a data-entry clerk doesn't mean that you can't move up in the company.
See also: out, start

start out as (something)

To begin development from some particular status, condition, rank, etc. I started out as a QA tester, but I was eventually given the chance to be one of the company's software developers. It started out as short story, but I kept adding characters and plot developments until I eventually made it into a full-fledged novel. Hey, don't feel bad—we all start out as beginners. It's only through practice and experience that we get better!
See also: out, start

start out as something

to begin one's career as something. I started out as a clerk and two years later I'm still a clerk! I wanted to start out as an assistant manager.
See also: out, start