Best Colleges in North Carolina by Salary Potential

Education is an investment, and you want your degree to pay off. Research earning potential for bachelor’s degree graduates from North Carolina’s colleges and universities.

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RankSchool NameSchool TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:1School Name:Duke UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$71,100Mid-Career Pay:$132,100% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:26%
Rank:2School Name:Wake Forest UniversitySchool Type:Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$60,700Mid-Career Pay:$114,800% High Meaning:44%% STEM Degrees:13%
Rank:3School Name:Davidson CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$106,900% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:28%
Rank:4School Name:North Carolina State University at RaleighSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$106,500% High Meaning:52%% STEM Degrees:47%
Rank:5School Name:University of North Carolina at Chapel HillSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$55,000Mid-Career Pay:$100,800% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:19%
Rank:6School Name:Elon UniversitySchool Type:Private School, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$53,600Mid-Career Pay:$93,700% High Meaning:43%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:7School Name:North Carolina A & T State UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$52,600Mid-Career Pay:$93,400% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:25%
Rank:8School Name:University of North Carolina at CharlotteSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$52,500Mid-Career Pay:$92,600% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:25%
Rank:9School Name:Queens University of CharlotteSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,400Mid-Career Pay:$86,600% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:10School Name:Lenoir-Rhyne UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$46,400Mid-Career Pay:$86,300% High Meaning:54%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:11School Name:East Carolina UniversitySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,400Mid-Career Pay:$85,400% High Meaning:55%% STEM Degrees:11%
Rank:12School Name:High Point UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$48,600Mid-Career Pay:$84,300% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:13School Name:Johnson C Smith UniversitySchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$45,700Mid-Career Pay:$83,300% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:16%
Rank:14School Name:Belmont Abbey CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$46,700Mid-Career Pay:$82,900% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:15School Name:Appalachian State UniversitySchool Type:For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$46,600Mid-Career Pay:$82,700% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:16School Name:Campbell UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$46,300Mid-Career Pay:$82,400% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:16School Name:University of North Carolina School of the ArtsSchool Type:Art, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$46,400Mid-Career Pay:$82,400% High Meaning:44%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:18School Name:John Wesley UniversitySchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$45,100Mid-Career Pay:$82,100% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:19School Name:University of North Carolina WilmingtonSchool Type:For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$46,400Mid-Career Pay:$80,500% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:14%
Rank:19School Name:Methodist UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$45,800Mid-Career Pay:$80,500% High Meaning:58%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:21School Name:North Carolina Wesleyan CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$45,300Mid-Career Pay:$78,800% High Meaning:62%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:22School Name:Catawba CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$42,500Mid-Career Pay:$78,100% High Meaning:58%% STEM Degrees:11%
Rank:23School Name:Pfeiffer UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,200Mid-Career Pay:$78,000% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:24School Name:Barton CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$42,400Mid-Career Pay:$77,900% High Meaning:62%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:25School Name:Western Carolina UniversitySchool Type:For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$44,700Mid-Career Pay:$77,700% High Meaning:58%% STEM Degrees:8%

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College Student

some of the best colleges inNorth Carolina are well known for schools like North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina. The top employers and jobs in the state are in medical fields, but many graduates who stay in state go on to work for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wells Fargo or Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc., among others.

North Carolina State University is the alma mater of stand-up comedian Zach Galifianakis.

A Famous Rivalry: Duke vs. UNC

Duke’s Blue Devils and UNC Chapel Hill’s Tar Heels compete in just about every arena, and they have a sports rivalry that is as passionate as it is old. But Duke’s alumni earn more than graduates of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in both early career and mid-career salary rankings. Michael Jordan and Andy Griffith are both UNC alumni.