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
550Physical AnthropologyBachelor's$47,400$72,40041%

550Physical Anthropology
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$47,400
Mid-Career Pay$72,400
% High Meaning41%
550Apparel MerchandisingBachelor's$44,600$72,40030%

550Apparel Merchandising
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$44,600
Mid-Career Pay$72,400
% High Meaning30%
553Administrative ManagementBachelor's$50,800$72,20051%

553Administrative Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$50,800
Mid-Career Pay$72,200
% High Meaning51%
553German Language & LiteratureBachelor's$44,500$72,20052%

553German Language & Literature
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$44,500
Mid-Career Pay$72,200
% High Meaning52%
553Integrated Marketing CommunicationsBachelor's$44,000$72,20033%

553Integrated Marketing Communications
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$44,000
Mid-Career Pay$72,200
% High Meaning33%
556Agricultural CommunicationBachelor's$42,100$72,10055%

556Agricultural Communication
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$42,100
Mid-Career Pay$72,100
% High Meaning55%
556Spanish LanguageBachelor's$43,500$72,10053%

556Spanish Language
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,500
Mid-Career Pay$72,100
% High Meaning53%
558Forestry ManagementBachelor's$43,100$71,90069%

558Forestry Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,100
Mid-Career Pay$71,900
% High Meaning69%
5593D AnimationBachelor's$46,000$71,70039%

5593D Animation
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$46,000
Mid-Career Pay$71,700
% High Meaning39%
559Earth ScienceBachelor's$46,400$71,70048%

559Earth Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$46,400
Mid-Career Pay$71,700
% High Meaning48%
559Hotel & Restaurant TourismBachelor's$41,800$71,70046%

559Hotel & Restaurant Tourism
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$41,800
Mid-Career Pay$71,700
% High Meaning46%
562Agricultural Teacher EducationBachelor's$47,800$71,60051%

562Agricultural Teacher Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$47,800
Mid-Career Pay$71,600
% High Meaning51%
563Adult Education & TrainingBachelor's$45,900$71,50079%

563Adult Education & Training
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$45,900
Mid-Career Pay$71,500
% High Meaning79%
564Natural Resource ManagementBachelor's$42,400$71,40065%

564Natural Resource Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$42,400
Mid-Career Pay$71,400
% High Meaning65%
565Exercise PhysiologyBachelor's$41,300$71,30078%

565Exercise Physiology
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$41,300
Mid-Career Pay$71,300
% High Meaning78%
565ToxicologyBachelor's$46,100$71,300N/A

565Toxicology
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$46,100
Mid-Career Pay$71,300
% High MeaningN/A
567Criminal Justice AdministrationBachelor's$43,000$71,20057%

567Criminal Justice Administration
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,000
Mid-Career Pay$71,200
% High Meaning57%
567FashionBachelor's$45,200$71,20039%

567Fashion
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$45,200
Mid-Career Pay$71,200
% High Meaning39%
567HumanitiesBachelor's$43,100$71,20048%

567Humanities
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,100
Mid-Career Pay$71,200
% High Meaning48%
567Law & SocietyBachelor's$43,400$71,20047%

567Law & Society
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,400
Mid-Career Pay$71,200
% High Meaning47%
571Health Care ManagementBachelor's$43,900$71,10071%

571Health Care Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,900
Mid-Career Pay$71,100
% High Meaning71%
571Modern LanguagesBachelor's$47,500$71,10050%

571Modern Languages
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$47,500
Mid-Career Pay$71,100
% High Meaning50%
571MultimediaBachelor's$41,500$71,10038%

571Multimedia
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$41,500
Mid-Career Pay$71,100
% High Meaning38%
574MerchandisingBachelor's$48,600$71,00031%

574Merchandising
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$48,600
Mid-Career Pay$71,000
% High Meaning31%
574Organizational ManagementBachelor's$46,500$71,00056%

574Organizational Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$46,500
Mid-Career Pay$71,000
% High Meaning56%
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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