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$58,600
Mid-Career Pay$73,000
% High Meaning91%
816Early Childhood Special EducationBachelor's$34,500$50,60091%

816Early Childhood Special Education
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$34,500
Mid-Career Pay$50,600
% High Meaning91%
782Music TherapyBachelor's$39,100$55,70090%

782Music Therapy
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$39,100
Mid-Career Pay$55,700
% High Meaning90%
301Radiation TherapyBachelor's$66,400$88,80090%

301Radiation Therapy
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$66,400
Mid-Career Pay$88,800
% High Meaning90%
228Physical TherapyBachelor's$56,600$93,20089%

228Physical Therapy
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$56,600
Mid-Career Pay$93,200
% High Meaning89%
304Occupational Therapy (OT)Bachelor's$62,500$88,50089%

304Occupational Therapy (OT)
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$62,500
Mid-Career Pay$88,500
% High Meaning89%

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$73,300
Mid-Career Pay$97,000
% High Meaning86%
531American Sign Language InterpretingBachelor's$39,800$73,80085%

531American Sign Language Interpreting
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$39,800
Mid-Career Pay$73,800
% High Meaning85%
608Medical Laboratory ScienceBachelor's$52,400$69,40085%

608Medical Laboratory Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$52,400
Mid-Career Pay$69,400
% High Meaning85%
85Physician Assistant StudiesBachelor's$91,100$109,60085%

85Physician Assistant Studies
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$91,100
Mid-Career Pay$109,600
% High Meaning85%
405Nursing ScienceBachelor's$63,200$80,50085%

405Nursing Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$63,200
Mid-Career Pay$80,500
% High Meaning85%
618Respiratory CareBachelor's$51,700$68,90084%

618Respiratory Care
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$51,700
Mid-Career Pay$68,900
% High Meaning84%

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$52,000
Mid-Career Pay$76,300
% High Meaning84%
464Bachelor of Science in NursingBachelor's$60,100$77,20083%

464Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$60,100
Mid-Career Pay$77,200
% High Meaning83%
442Diagnostic Medical SonographyBachelor's$61,300$78,10083%

442Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$61,300
Mid-Career Pay$78,100
% High Meaning83%

Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$60,900
Mid-Career Pay$79,600
% High Meaning83%
440Nuclear MedicineBachelor's$58,000$78,30083%

440Nuclear Medicine
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$58,000
Mid-Career Pay$78,300
% High Meaning83%
518Cardiopulmonary ScienceBachelor's$44,100$74,40083%

518Cardiopulmonary Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$44,100
Mid-Career Pay$74,400
% High Meaning83%
797Pastoral MinistryBachelor's$36,500$54,10083%

797Pastoral Ministry
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$36,500
Mid-Career Pay$54,100
% High Meaning83%
641Clinical Laboratory ScienceBachelor's$52,000$66,70083%

641Clinical Laboratory Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$52,000
Mid-Career Pay$66,700
% High Meaning83%
680Health Services ManagementBachelor's$38,100$64,10083%

680Health Services Management
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$38,100
Mid-Career Pay$64,100
% High Meaning83%
579Radiologic ScienceBachelor's$54,500$70,70082%

579Radiologic Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$54,500
Mid-Career Pay$70,700
% High Meaning82%
590Medical Laboratory TechnologyBachelor's$53,000$70,20082%

590Medical Laboratory Technology
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$53,000
Mid-Career Pay$70,200
% High Meaning82%
518Allied HealthBachelor's$43,700$74,40082%

518Allied Health
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$43,700
Mid-Career Pay$74,400
% High Meaning82%
744Mortuary ScienceBachelor's$40,500$60,00082%

744Mortuary Science
Degree TypeBachelor's
Early Career Pay$40,500
Mid-Career Pay$60,000
% High Meaning82%
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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