Highest Paying Jobs With a Bachelor’s Degree

Your major can have an even bigger impact on future earnings than choice of school. Find out which majors pay you back, and which make it hard to pay back student loans.

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RankMajorDegree TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
Rank:375Major:Environmental ScienceDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$46,500Mid-Career Pay:$82,800% High Meaning:60%
Rank:377Major:Advertising & MarketingDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$46,300Mid-Career Pay:$82,700% High Meaning:38%
Rank:377Major:AnimationDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$43,100Mid-Career Pay:$82,700% High Meaning:36%
Rank:379Major:General ScienceDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$46,900Mid-Career Pay:$82,600% High Meaning:62%
Rank:380Major:Biology & ChemistryDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$46,700Mid-Career Pay:$82,500% High Meaning:66%
Rank:381Major:American StudiesDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,000Mid-Career Pay:$82,400% High Meaning:50%
Rank:381Major:Product Design EngineeringDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$61,500Mid-Career Pay:$82,400% High Meaning:39%
Rank:383Major:Aviation Maintenance TechnologyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,800Mid-Career Pay:$82,300% High Meaning:58%
Rank:383Major:Film StudiesDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$42,500Mid-Career Pay:$82,300% High Meaning:40%
Rank:383Major:Magazine JournalismDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$44,500Mid-Career Pay:$82,300% High Meaning:26%
Rank:386Major:Web & Digital Media DevelopmentDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$48,400Mid-Career Pay:$82,200% High Meaning:34%
Rank:387Major:Digital Media DesignDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$45,200Mid-Career Pay:$82,000% High Meaning:36%
Rank:387Major:English LiteratureDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$45,400Mid-Career Pay:$82,000% High Meaning:45%
Rank:387Major:History & PoliticsDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$47,200Mid-Career Pay:$82,000% High Meaning:49%
Rank:387Major:Human BiologyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$48,400Mid-Career Pay:$82,000% High Meaning:68%
Rank:391Major:Business Management & Human Resources Management (HRM)Degree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$44,700Mid-Career Pay:$81,900% High Meaning:58%
Rank:391Major:Architectural TechnologyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$44,700Mid-Career Pay:$81,900% High Meaning:56%
Rank:391Major:DesignDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,400Mid-Career Pay:$81,900% High Meaning:41%
Rank:391Major:Philosophy & ReligionDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$41,800Mid-Career Pay:$81,900% High Meaning:55%
Rank:391Major:PhysiologyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$46,900Mid-Career Pay:$81,900% High Meaning:62%
Rank:396Major:Business AdministrationDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,700Mid-Career Pay:$81,700% High Meaning:50%
Rank:396Major:French StudiesDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,500Mid-Career Pay:$81,700% High Meaning:53%
Rank:396Major:Land SurveyingDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$48,700Mid-Career Pay:$81,700% High Meaning:56%
Rank:399Major:ManagementDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,000Mid-Career Pay:$81,600% High Meaning:48%
Rank:400Major:Geographic Information Systems (GIS)Degree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$47,100Mid-Career Pay:$81,500% High Meaning:53%

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College Student

A bachelor’s degree is a great investment in your future, and one of the most common degrees earned by college students. Some degrees pay you back, but others don’t do much to increase your earning potential. Your course of study influences your earning potential, so in order to plan your financial future, use PayScale’s College Salary Report to rank how different majors for bachelor’s degrees compare based on alumni salaries.

Top Bachelor Degrees

In keeping with current trends, the College Salary Report shows that the best bachelor degrees are mostly STEM-focused, meaning they are focused on science, technology, engineering or math. STEM degrees continue to be some of the highest paying degrees on the College Salary Report year after year. The top three highest-paying college majors are

Petroleum EngineerMid Career Salary: $176,900

A focus in this type of engineering will show you how to oversee production methods for retrieving oil and natural gas from the earth. Common employers of petroleum engineers include Chevron Corporation, British Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, and more. Petroleum engineering is a male-dominated field, with women representing only 11 percent.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – Mid-Career Salary: $142,200

This degree prepares students to design and build software and hardware and software for a number of applications and devices.

Applied Economics and ManagementMid-Career Salary: $140,000

A degree in Applied Economics and Management enables students to gain an understanding of how economic principles are applied in the real world. Coursework would include classes in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

In today’s job market, having a bachelor’s degree is nearly a necessity to land a rewarding, well-paying job with any possibility for advancement; a bachelor’s degree is almost essential for entry into most professional careers. In certain lines of work, like teaching and engineering, you cannot enter the field without holding at least a bachelor’s degree.