Best Colleges in Michigan by Salary Potential

Before you invest in a bachelor’s degree, find out which Michigan schools produce alumni with successful careers. These are the Michigan colleges with the highest-paid graduates.

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Bachelor's Only
All Alumni
RankSchool NameSchool TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:1School Name:Kettering UniversitySchool Type:Engineering, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$71,800Mid-Career Pay:$124,100% High Meaning:44%% STEM Degrees:74%
Rank:2School Name:Michigan Technological UniversitySchool Type:Engineering, Research University, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$67,400Mid-Career Pay:$114,700% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:81%
Rank:3School Name:University of Michigan-Ann ArborSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$65,900Mid-Career Pay:$112,300% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:38%
Rank:4School Name:Lawrence Technological UniversitySchool Type:Engineering, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$59,200Mid-Career Pay:$111,100% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:60%
Rank:5School Name:Albion CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$51,500Mid-Career Pay:$107,400% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:23%
Rank:6School Name:Kalamazoo CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,700Mid-Career Pay:$104,100% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:31%
Rank:7School Name:Michigan State UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$56,300Mid-Career Pay:$101,400% High Meaning:46%% STEM Degrees:20%
Rank:8School Name:University of Michigan-DearbornSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$56,500Mid-Career Pay:$99,600% High Meaning:39%% STEM Degrees:37%
Rank:9School Name:Alma CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,600Mid-Career Pay:$94,500% High Meaning:53%% STEM Degrees:15%
Rank:10School Name:Calvin UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, Sober SchoolEarly Career Pay:$50,600Mid-Career Pay:$93,600% High Meaning:53%% STEM Degrees:23%
Rank:10School Name:Oakland UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$52,200Mid-Career Pay:$93,600% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:19%
Rank:12School Name:Western Michigan UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,900Mid-Career Pay:$93,000% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:16%
Rank:13School Name:Hope CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$50,700Mid-Career Pay:$92,700% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:18%
Rank:14School Name:College for Creative StudiesSchool Type:Art, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$52,500Mid-Career Pay:$92,100% High Meaning:41%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:15School Name:University of Detroit MercySchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$53,800Mid-Career Pay:$90,600% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:13%
Rank:16School Name:Wayne State UniversitySchool Type:Research University, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$52,300Mid-Career Pay:$90,000% High Meaning:53%% STEM Degrees:21%
Rank:17School Name:Ferris State UniversitySchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,500Mid-Career Pay:$86,600% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:18School Name:Cleary UniversitySchool Type:Business, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,700Mid-Career Pay:$85,700% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:19School Name:Eastern Michigan UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,500Mid-Career Pay:$85,500% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:20School Name:Northwood UniversitySchool Type:Business, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,600Mid-Career Pay:$85,000% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:1%
Rank:21School Name:Walsh CollegeSchool Type:Business, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,300Mid-Career Pay:$84,300% High Meaning:43%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:22School Name:Central Michigan UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$49,000Mid-Career Pay:$83,800% High Meaning:46%% STEM Degrees:13%
Rank:23School Name:Andrews UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$48,900Mid-Career Pay:$83,700% High Meaning:52%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:24School Name:Grand Valley State UniversitySchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,700Mid-Career Pay:$82,700% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:11%
Rank:25School Name:Olivet CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$45,400Mid-Career Pay:$80,900% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:9%

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College Student

There are more than two-dozen four-year colleges assessed in PayScale’s report for undergraduate colleges and universities with the highest earning potential in Michigan. Some of the most noteworthy schools in the Wolverine State are Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, and the University of Michigan — which was founded in 1817 as the first university to be established in America.

Michigan’s status as an advocate for higher education was further cemented when it became the first state to guarantee all children the right to tax-paid high school education.

The top industries in Michigan are Automotive, Manufacturing, Tourism, and Agriculture. Many celebrated alums representing a broad spectrum of industries hail from the Wolverine State including James Caan, Magic Johnson, Tom Sizemore, Bubba Smith, Lloyd Groff Copeman, Joanne Maguire, Steve Garvey, Eli Broad, Roverk Klark Graham, and Russell Kirk.