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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Rank 
Major 
Degree Type
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni w/degrees in this subject; 0-5 years work experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni w/degrees in this subject; 10+ years work experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
26Petroleum GeologyBachelor's$60,100$122,900N/A

26Petroleum Geology
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$60,100
Mid-Career Pay$122,900
% High MeaningN/A
27Nuclear EngineeringBachelor's$72,400$122,20063%

27Nuclear Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$72,400
Mid-Career Pay$122,200
% High Meaning63%
28Computer Science (CS) & EngineeringBachelor's$72,300$122,10043%

28Computer Science (CS) & Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$72,300
Mid-Career Pay$122,100
% High Meaning43%
29Quantitative EconomicsBachelor's$61,600$120,50043%

29Quantitative Economics
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$61,600
Mid-Career Pay$120,500
% High Meaning43%
30Naval Architecture & Marine EngineeringBachelor's$69,200$120,30053%

30Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$69,200
Mid-Career Pay$120,300
% High Meaning53%
31Computer Engineering (CE)Bachelor's$72,900$120,00046%

31Computer Engineering (CE)
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$72,900
Mid-Career Pay$120,000
% High Meaning46%
32Cognitive ScienceBachelor's$58,900$119,90043%

32Cognitive Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$58,900
Mid-Career Pay$119,900
% High Meaning43%
32Electrical Engineering (EE)Bachelor's$70,600$119,90054%

32Electrical Engineering (EE)
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$70,600
Mid-Career Pay$119,900
% High Meaning54%
34Control EngineeringBachelor's$67,400$119,80067%

34Control Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$67,400
Mid-Career Pay$119,800
% High Meaning67%
35Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)Bachelor's$72,500$119,50049%

35Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$72,500
Mid-Career Pay$119,500
% High Meaning49%
36Foreign AffairsBachelor's$49,900$119,10044%

36Foreign Affairs
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$49,900
Mid-Career Pay$119,100
% High Meaning44%
36Instrumentation & Control EngineeringBachelor's$68,100$119,100N/A

36Instrumentation & Control Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$68,100
Mid-Career Pay$119,100
% High MeaningN/A
38Jazz StudiesBachelor's$46,300$119,00060%

38Jazz Studies
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$46,300
Mid-Career Pay$119,000
% High Meaning60%
39Computational & Applied MathematicsBachelor's$66,600$118,70040%

39Computational & Applied Mathematics
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$66,600
Mid-Career Pay$118,700
% High Meaning40%
40Aerospace EngineeringBachelor's$69,900$118,50058%

40Aerospace Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$69,900
Mid-Career Pay$118,500
% High Meaning58%
40Pharmaceutical Sciences (PS)Bachelor's$50,200$118,50072%

40Pharmaceutical Sciences (PS)
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$50,200
Mid-Career Pay$118,500
% High Meaning72%
42Ocean Engineering (OE)Bachelor's$66,300$118,40056%

42Ocean Engineering (OE)
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$66,300
Mid-Career Pay$118,400
% High Meaning56%
43Naval ArchitectureBachelor's$69,000$118,200N/A

43Naval Architecture
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$69,000
Mid-Career Pay$118,200
% High MeaningN/A
44Welding EngineeringBachelor's$76,300$118,00042%

44Welding Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$76,300
Mid-Career Pay$118,000
% High Meaning42%
45Information & Computer ScienceBachelor's$74,900$117,90058%

45Information & Computer Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$74,900
Mid-Career Pay$117,900
% High Meaning58%
46BioscienceBachelor's$47,900$117,800N/A

46Bioscience
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$47,900
Mid-Career Pay$117,800
% High MeaningN/A
47Industrial & Systems EngineeringBachelor's$68,500$117,30048%

47Industrial & Systems Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$68,500
Mid-Career Pay$117,300
% High Meaning48%
47Mechanical & Aeronautical EngineeringBachelor's$66,300$117,30060%

47Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$66,300
Mid-Career Pay$117,300
% High Meaning60%
49Electronics & Communications EngineeringBachelor's$63,500$116,90051%

49Electronics & Communications Engineering
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$63,500
Mid-Career Pay$116,900
% High Meaning51%
49Operations & Information Systems ManagementBachelor's$61,800$116,90033%

49Operations & Information Systems Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$61,800
Mid-Career Pay$116,900
% High Meaning33%
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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.


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Its clear that professions like petroleum engineering has a short live as the world is focusing on renewable energy and sustainable way of live