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:767Major:Music TherapyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$48,500Mid-Career Pay:$63,500% High Meaning:95%
Rank:108Major:MedicineDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$88,700Mid-Career Pay:$124,700% High Meaning:94%
Rank:568Major:Cardiopulmonary ScienceDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$56,500Mid-Career Pay:$83,200% High Meaning:92%
Rank:304Major:Radiation TherapyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$76,100Mid-Career Pay:$102,600% High Meaning:91%
Rank:232Major:Physical TherapyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$54,900Mid-Career Pay:$109,300% High Meaning:88%
Rank:621Major:Applied Behavior AnalysisDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$43,400Mid-Career Pay:$80,000% High Meaning:88%
Rank:464Major:American Sign Language InterpretingDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$49,400Mid-Career Pay:$89,900% High Meaning:87%
Rank:716Major:Health Services ManagementDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$47,400Mid-Career Pay:$71,000% High Meaning:87%
Rank:300Major:Occupational Therapy (OT)Degree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$60,700Mid-Career Pay:$103,200% High Meaning:87%
Rank:446Major:Diagnostic Medical SonographyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$71,700Mid-Career Pay:$91,800% High Meaning:86%
Rank:535Major:CytotechnologyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$66,800Mid-Career Pay:$85,600% High Meaning:86%
Rank:602Major:Medical Laboratory ScienceDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$62,700Mid-Career Pay:$81,000% High Meaning:86%
Rank:597Major:Respiratory CareDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$61,800Mid-Career Pay:$81,500% High Meaning:85%
Rank:457Major:Bachelor of Science in NursingDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$72,000Mid-Career Pay:$90,700% High Meaning:85%
Rank:782Major:Christian EducationDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$45,300Mid-Career Pay:$60,300% High Meaning:84%
Rank:789Major:Recreational TherapyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$44,900Mid-Career Pay:$57,200% High Meaning:84%
Rank:625Major:Art TherapyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$46,100Mid-Career Pay:$79,000% High Meaning:84%
Rank:387Major:Nursing ScienceDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$75,600Mid-Career Pay:$95,200% High Meaning:84%
Rank:56Major:Physician Assistant StudiesDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$109,600Mid-Career Pay:$136,500% High Meaning:83%
Rank:617Major:RadiographyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$62,400Mid-Career Pay:$80,300% High Meaning:83%
Rank:619Major:Respiratory TherapyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$61,800Mid-Career Pay:$80,200% High Meaning:83%
Rank:777Major:Therapeutic RecreationDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$44,900Mid-Career Pay:$61,500% High Meaning:83%
Rank:570Major:Medical Laboratory TechnologyDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$64,300Mid-Career Pay:$83,000% High Meaning:83%
Rank:409Major:NursingDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$73,100Mid-Career Pay:$93,900% High Meaning:82%
Rank:523Major:Human NutritionDegree Type:BachelorsEarly Career Pay:$55,100Mid-Career Pay:$86,400% High Meaning:82%

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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.