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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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

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,000
Mid-Career Pay$32,500
% High MeaningN/A
402Piano PerformanceBachelor's$38,100$36,200N/A

402Piano Performance
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$38,100
Mid-Career Pay$36,200
% High MeaningN/A
401Early Childhood Special EducationBachelor's$35,500$37,900N/A

401Early Childhood Special Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$35,500
Mid-Career Pay$37,900
% High MeaningN/A
400Early Childhood EducationBachelor's$33,400$40,50077%

400Early Childhood Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$33,400
Mid-Career Pay$40,500
% High Meaning77%
399Wildlife, Fish & Conservation BiologyBachelor's$37,200$43,90059%

399Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,200
Mid-Career Pay$43,900
% High Meaning59%
398Elementary TeachingBachelor's$38,500$44,000N/A

398Elementary Teaching
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$38,500
Mid-Career Pay$44,000
% High MeaningN/A
397Early Childhood & Elementary EducationBachelor's$36,400$45,40075%

397Early Childhood & Elementary Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$36,400
Mid-Career Pay$45,400
% High Meaning75%
395Middle School EducationBachelor's$38,000$48,20074%

395Middle School Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$38,000
Mid-Career Pay$48,200
% High Meaning74%
395Metals & JewelryBachelor's$34,900$48,200N/A

395Metals & Jewelry
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$34,900
Mid-Career Pay$48,200
% High MeaningN/A
394Voice & OperaBachelor's$31,300$48,40055%

394Voice & Opera
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$31,300
Mid-Career Pay$48,400
% High Meaning55%
393Musical TheatreBachelor's$41,800$49,30040%

393Musical Theatre
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$41,800
Mid-Career Pay$49,300
% High Meaning40%
392Elementary EducationBachelor's$37,400$50,00068%

392Elementary Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,400
Mid-Career Pay$50,000
% High Meaning68%

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$38,400
Mid-Career Pay$50,400
% High Meaning63%
390Applied ManagementBachelor's$42,500$51,200N/A

390Applied Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$42,500
Mid-Career Pay$51,200
% High MeaningN/A
389Music TheoryBachelor's$46,400$51,400N/A

389Music Theory
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$46,400
Mid-Career Pay$51,400
% High MeaningN/A
388History Teacher EducationBachelor's$44,100$51,90042%

388History Teacher Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$44,100
Mid-Career Pay$51,900
% High Meaning42%
387Office AdministrationBachelor's$35,800$52,10056%

387Office Administration
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$35,800
Mid-Career Pay$52,100
% High Meaning56%

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$40,900
Mid-Career Pay$53,000
% High Meaning58%
385Art Teacher EducationBachelor's$37,600$53,40061%

385Art Teacher Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,600
Mid-Career Pay$53,400
% High Meaning61%
383Vocal PerformanceBachelor's$39,200$53,70063%

383Vocal Performance
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$39,200
Mid-Career Pay$53,700
% High Meaning63%
383Special EducationBachelor's$37,900$53,70075%

383Special Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,900
Mid-Career Pay$53,700
% High Meaning75%
382Nonprofit ManagementBachelor's$37,900$53,80076%

382Nonprofit Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,900
Mid-Career Pay$53,800
% High Meaning76%
381Tourism & TravelBachelor's$37,700$54,70055%

381Tourism & Travel
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$37,700
Mid-Career Pay$54,700
% High Meaning55%
380Restaurant & Food Service ManagementBachelor's$42,800$55,20038%

380Restaurant & Food Service Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$42,800
Mid-Career Pay$55,200
% High Meaning38%

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$36,500
Mid-Career Pay$55,400
% High Meaning47%
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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 2018

This year’s 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 five highest-paying college majors for 2018 are

Petroleum Engineer – Mid Career Salary: $183,600

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.

Operations Research & Industrial Engineer – Mid-Career Salary: $166,300

This type of program shows you how to improve and manage engineering processes for a company. You’ll study how to find ways to better utilize resources like employees, machinery and other assets. Common employers for this type of career include Amazon, Comscore and the Aluminum Company of America.

Actuarial MathematicsMid-Career Salary: $158,100

For those who love math, studying actuarial mathematics allows you to use your math skills in the real world. This discipline shows you how to apply statistical and mathematical functions to assess risks in things like insurance and finance. Employers hiring for this type of role include Cigna, Metro United Way, The Hanover Insurance Company and more.

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