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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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
1Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$68,700$133,10050%26%

1Duke University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,700
Mid-Career Pay$133,100
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees26%
2Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$58,200$118,60047%13%

2Wake Forest University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,200
Mid-Career Pay$118,600
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees13%
3Liberal Arts School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$55,000$116,10050%28%

3Davidson College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,000
Mid-Career Pay$116,100
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees28%
4Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$55,800$104,70052%47%

4North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,800
Mid-Career Pay$104,700
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees47%
5Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$53,500$97,80050%19%

5University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$53,500
Mid-Career Pay$97,800
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees19%
6Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$52,300$92,70043%7%

6Elon University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,300
Mid-Career Pay$92,700
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees7%
7Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$51,500$90,90049%25%

7University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$51,500
Mid-Career Pay$90,900
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees25%
8Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$51,800$89,80061%25%

8North Carolina A & T State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$51,800
Mid-Career Pay$89,800
% High Meaning61%
% STEM Degrees25%
9Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$47,200$83,80055%11%

9East Carolina University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$47,200
Mid-Career Pay$83,800
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees11%
10Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$50,000$83,60044%9%

10Queens University of Charlotte
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,000
Mid-Career Pay$83,600
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees9%
11For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$45,500$81,80047%9%

11Appalachian State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,500
Mid-Career Pay$81,800
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees9%
12Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$45,100$81,30059%16%

12Johnson C Smith University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$45,100
Mid-Career Pay$81,300
% High Meaning59%
% STEM Degrees16%
13Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,300$81,10048%7%

13Belmont Abbey College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,300
Mid-Career Pay$81,100
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees7%
14Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$47,100$80,40051%8%

14High Point University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,100
Mid-Career Pay$80,400
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees8%
15Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$39,700$80,20074%12%

15Warren Wilson College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$39,700
Mid-Career Pay$80,200
% High Meaning74%
% STEM Degrees12%
15Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$45,300$80,20056%8%

15Campbell University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$45,300
Mid-Career Pay$80,200
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees8%
17Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$45,900$79,90056%7%

17Lenoir-Rhyne University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$45,900
Mid-Career Pay$79,900
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees7%
18Art, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$45,400$78,50045%0%

18University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,400
Mid-Career Pay$78,500
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees0%
19For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$45,300$78,40047%14%

19University of North Carolina Wilmington
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,300
Mid-Career Pay$78,400
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees14%
20Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$45,300$77,70056%9%

20Methodist University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$45,300
Mid-Career Pay$77,700
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees9%
21Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$42,000$76,60059%11%

21Catawba College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$42,000
Mid-Career Pay$76,600
% High Meaning59%
% STEM Degrees11%
22Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$41,800$76,500N/A4%

22Brevard College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$41,800
Mid-Career Pay$76,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees4%
22Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$42,400$76,50063%6%

22Barton College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$42,400
Mid-Career Pay$76,500
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees6%
24Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$41,500$76,00052%5%

24Wingate University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$41,500
Mid-Career Pay$76,000
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees5%
24Private School, ReligiousBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$44,200$76,00048%4%

24Pfeiffer University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$44,200
Mid-Career Pay$76,000
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees4%
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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.


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