Top Majors List that Pay you Back

Your decision of majors can have a huge effect on your post-graduation earnings. See Pay scale’s rundown of school majors by compensation potential.

Top 10 Majors by Salary Potential

  MethodologyAnnual pay for bachelor’s graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have two years of experience; mid-career graduates have 15 years. See full methodology.

 

Majors by Salary Potential – Full List

Rank

Major

Starting Salary

Mid-Career Salary

1 Petroleum Engineering $103,000 $160,000
2 Actuarial Mathematics $58,700 $120,000
3 Nuclear Engineering $67,600 $117,000
4 Chemical Engineering $68,200 $115,000
5 Aerospace Engineering $62,800 $109,000
6 – tie Electrical Engineering (EE) $64,300 $106,000
6 – tie Computer Engineering (CE) $65,300 $106,000
8 Computer Science (CS) $59,800 $102,000
9 Physics $53,100 $101,000
10 Mechanical Engineering (ME) $60,900 $99,700
11 Materials Science & Engineering $62,700 $99,500
12 Software Engineering $60,500 $99,300
13 Statistics $52,500 $98,900
14 Government $43,200 $97,100
15 Economics $50,100 $96,700
16 Applied Mathematics $52,800 $96,200
17 Industrial Engineering (IE) $61,100 $94,400
18 Management Information Systems (MIS) $53,800 $92,200
19 Biomedical Engineering (BME) $59,000 $91,700
20 Civil Engineering (CE) $54,300 $91,100
21 Environmental Engineering $49,400 $89,800
22 – tie Construction Management $51,500 $88,800
22 – tie Mathematics $49,400 $88,800
24 Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) $57,900 $87,600
25 Computer Information Systems (CIS) $50,800 $87,400
26 Information Systems (IS) $51,900 $87,200
27 Finance $49,200 $87,100
28 International Relations $41,700 $85,700
29 Geology $46,100 $85,300
30 – tie Chemistry $44,100 $84,100
30 – tie Information Technology (IT) $49,900 $84,100
32 – tie Biotechnology $48,700 $84,000
32 – tie Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) $54,100 $84,000
34 – tie Supply Chain Management $52,800 $83,700
34 – tie International Business $43,800 $83,700
36 Industrial Design (ID) $44,800 $82,200
37 Industrial Technology (IT) $50,800 $81,500
38 Telecommunications $43,100 $81,200
39 Food Science $45,200 $80,500
40 Occupational Health and Safety $50,500 $80,300
41 – tie Biochemistry (BCH) $42,900 $80,200
41 – tie Marketing Management $42,100 $80,200
43 Civil Engineering Technology (CET) $49,200 $79,700
44 Advertising $40,000 $79,400
45 Philosophy $39,700 $78,300
46 Marketing & Communications $40,200 $77,600
47 Fashion Design $39,400 $77,100
48 Political Science (PolySci) $41,700 $77,000
49 Linguistics $39,700 $76,800
50 Molecular Biology $40,400 $76,400
51 Architecture $41,900 $75,800
52 Accounting $45,300 $74,900
53 Agriculture $38,500 $73,600
54 Microbiology $40,800 $73,400
55 Global & International Studies $39,600 $73,200
56 Urban Planning $41,100 $72,200
57 Nursing $55,400 $71,700
58 Environmental Science $41,300 $71,500
59 English Literature $40,800 $71,400
60 – tie Business Administration $43,500 $71,000
60 – tie History $39,700 $71,000
62 Film Production $38,200 $70,900
63 Biology $40,200 $70,800
64 Health Sciences $38,400 $70,500
65 Hotel Management $40,600 $69,800
66 Communication $40,000 $69,600
67 Forestry $40,000 $69,400
68 American Studies $41,400 $69,000
69 Broadcast Journalism $32,700 $68,800
70 Landscape Architecture $41,200 $68,700
71 Speech Communication $39,400 $68,100
72 Journalism $38,100 $67,700
73 Zoology $37,400 $67,600
74 Geography $40,800 $67,200
75 Public Administration $40,600 $66,900
76 French Language $40,900 $66,700
77 English Language $38,700 $65,200
78 German Language $41,400 $65,000
79 Human Resources (HR) $38,800 $63,900
80 Public Relations (PR) $37,400 $63,300
81 Hospitality & Tourism $35,700 $62,600
82 Humanities $37,900 $61,800
83 Anthropology $36,200 $61,400
84 Multimedia & Web Design $41,600 $61,300
85 Psychology $36,300 $60,700
86 – tie Medical Technology $48,900 $60,500
86 – tie Liberal Arts $36,600 $60,500
88 – tie Kinesiology $35,600 $60,400
88 – tie Visual Communications $37,300 $60,400
90 Organizational Management $41,900 $60,300
91 Interior Design $36,000 $59,300
92 – tie Nutrition $41,300 $59,100
92 – tie Fashion Merchandising $39,100 $59,100
94 Art History $36,900 $59,000
95 Sociology $37,400 $58,800
96 – tie Health Care Administration $39,300 $58,600
96 – tie Theater $36,200 $58,600
98 Criminal Justice $35,300 $58,400
99 Radio & Television $37,900 $58,300
100 Fine Arts $37,400 $58,200
101 Religious Studies $34,900 $57,900
102 Sports Medicine $39,300 $57,400
103 Art $36,100 $57,100
104 Classics $38,700 $57,000
105 Dietetics $44,200 $56,600
106 Public Health (PH) $35,900 $56,500
107 – tie Physical Education Teaching $34,900 $56,300
107 – tie Drama $35,600 $56,300
109 Graphic Design $37,000 $56,000
110 Photography $36,200 $55,500
111 Sports Management $37,000 $55,400
112 – tie Education $37,400 $55,200
112 – tie Animal Science $33,600 $55,200
114 Social Science $37,300 $54,800
115 Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) $37,600 $53,400
116 Paralegal Studies $35,000 $53,000
117 Theology $34,000 $52,200
118 Recreation & Leisure Studies $35,000 $51,900
119 Music $35,700 $51,400
120 Culinary Arts $34,800 $51,100
121 Exercise Science $32,600 $51,000
122 Horticulture $35,200 $50,900
123 Biblical Studies $35,400 $50,800
124 Special Education $33,800 $49,600
125 Human Development $35,900 $48,000
126 Athletic Training $34,800 $46,900
127 Social Work (SW) $33,000 $46,600
128 Elementary Education $32,200 $45,300
129 Child & Family Studies $30,300 $37,200

Methodology

This graph is based upon PayScale Salary Survey information for full-time representatives in the United States who have a four year certification and no higher degrees and have majored in the subjects recorded previously. These outcomes may not speak to all graduates with these degrees. More than 1,000 schools and colleges over the U.S. were incorporated. Subsequently, average pay figures may be skewed to extensive state colleges, since these schools have the biggest participation. Compensation is the entirety of remuneration from base pay, rewards, benefit offering, requisitions, and extra minutes, if material. Compensation does not incorporate value (stock) remuneration.

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