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
Salary data for alumni who earned a bachelor's degree and did not go on to earn any additional degrees.
All Alumni
Salary data for all alumni who earned a bachelor's degree, including but not limited to those who went on to earn additional degrees from any school.
Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
1Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,000$120,40044%74%

1Kettering University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,000
Mid-Career Pay$120,400
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees74%
2Engineering, Research University, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$64,600$110,20048%80%

2Michigan Technological University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$64,600
Mid-Career Pay$110,200
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees80%
3Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$62,000$107,90045%38%

3University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$62,000
Mid-Career Pay$107,900
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees38%
4Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$56,700$106,40048%60%

4Lawrence Technological University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,700
Mid-Career Pay$106,400
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees60%
5Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$50,200$103,90044%23%

5Albion College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,200
Mid-Career Pay$103,900
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees23%
6Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$53,900$99,80046%19%

6Michigan State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$53,900
Mid-Career Pay$99,800
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees19%
7Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$49,900$99,50052%31%

7Kalamazoo College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,900
Mid-Career Pay$99,500
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees31%
8State SchoolBachelorsPublic$54,400$95,50039%37%

8University of Michigan-Dearborn
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$54,400
Mid-Career Pay$95,500
% High Meaning39%
% STEM Degrees37%
9Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$49,800$91,20047%16%

9Western Michigan University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$49,800
Mid-Career Pay$91,200
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees16%
9Private School, Religious, Sober SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$49,000$91,20056%23%

9Calvin College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,000
Mid-Career Pay$91,200
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees23%
11Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$50,500$90,20049%19%

11Oakland University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$50,500
Mid-Career Pay$90,200
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees19%
12Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,600$90,00049%17%

12Hope College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,600
Mid-Career Pay$90,000
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees17%
13Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$51,900$88,10059%13%

13University of Detroit Mercy
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,900
Mid-Career Pay$88,100
% High Meaning59%
% STEM Degrees13%
14Research University, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$49,900$88,00053%20%

14Wayne State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$49,900
Mid-Career Pay$88,000
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees20%
15Art, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$50,000$85,70041%0%

15College for Creative Studies
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,000
Mid-Career Pay$85,700
% High Meaning41%
% STEM Degrees0%
16State SchoolBachelorsPublic$49,900$85,50050%8%

16Ferris State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$49,900
Mid-Career Pay$85,500
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees8%
17Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$46,400$84,10050%6%

17Eastern Michigan University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$46,400
Mid-Career Pay$84,100
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees6%
18Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,200$83,50054%15%

18Alma College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,200
Mid-Career Pay$83,500
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees15%
19Business, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,000$83,40047%1%

19Northwood University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,000
Mid-Career Pay$83,400
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees1%
20State SchoolBachelorsPublic$45,700$81,90046%14%

20Lake Superior State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,700
Mid-Career Pay$81,900
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees14%
21Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$47,000$81,60045%13%

21Central Michigan University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$47,000
Mid-Career Pay$81,600
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees13%
22Private School, Religious, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$46,600$81,30050%7%

22Andrews University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,600
Mid-Career Pay$81,300
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees7%
23Business, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$46,900$81,10049%0%

23Cleary University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,900
Mid-Career Pay$81,100
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees0%
24Business, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$49,800$80,40042%5%

24Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,800
Mid-Career Pay$80,400
% High Meaning42%
% STEM Degrees5%
25State SchoolBachelorsPublic$45,500$79,60053%12%

25Saginaw Valley State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,500
Mid-Career Pay$79,600
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees12%
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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.


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