Which College Majors Earn the Most after Your Students receive their Degree

PayScale, a jobs website, recently published their list of the Highest Paying Degrees by Salary Potential after earning a degree. The list can be sorted by type of Degree (Bachelor’s, Associate’s, Graduate, etc) so this list should be helpful to any of your students whether they are only inclined to get a 2-year Associate’s Degree or get a 4-Year Bachelor’s.¬† It can also be sorted by Salary right out of College or Mid-Career.

Here are the top 10 for Bachelor’s Degree Graduates:

1. Petroleum Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $101,000
Mid-Career Median Pay: $168,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 71%

Despite advancements in new energy technology and worries about non-renewable resources, petroleum is still responsible for a huge portion of the energy that we rely on. And as a result, Petroleum Engineering is still the major with the highest earning potential on our list. Petroleum Engineering majors report earning $101,000 in the first five years of their career and a median mid-career salary of $168,000

2. Nuclear Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $68,200
Mid-Career Median Pay: $121,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 58%

Nuclear energy may be controversial, but it’s also lucrative. And as innovative companies continue to look for alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, it will likely become an even more valuable skillset. Workers who majored in Nuclear Engineering earn a median mid-career salary of $121,000.

3. Actuarial Mathematics

Early Career Median Pay: $58,800
Mid-Career Median Pay: $119,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 48%

The only non-engineering subject on the list, Actuarial Mathematics is the third highest-paying major on our list. Actual Mathematics is an advanced study of statistics. If you choose this as your major, you have a very high probability of earning a big paycheck – the typical salary of Actuarial Mathematics Majors is $119,000.

4. Chemical Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $69,500
Mid-Career Median Pay: $118,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 61%

Majoring in Chemical Engineering means doubling down on some pretty serious (not to mention in-demand) STEM skills. Chemical Engineering can lead to a variety of high-paying jobs, like Chemical Engineer, Plant Manager, Process Engineer and more. Workers who earn a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering report a median mid-career income of $118,000.

5. Electronics & Communications Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $65,000
Mid-Career Median Pay: $116,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 55%

In a global economy, building effective, instant communications systems is becoming more and more valuable every day, so it’s no surprise that Electronics and Communications Engineering is one of the highest-paying majors you can earn a bachelor’s degree in. Workers who studied Electronics and Communications Engineering report a median mid-career salary of $115,000.

6. Computer Science (CS) & Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $69,100
Mid-Career Median Pay: $115,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 43%

7. (tie) Systems Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $67,100
Mid-Career Median Pay: $114,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 60%

Majoring in Systems Engineering will give you the skills to build complex backend engineering systems, and that is something employers want more and more in an increasingly tech-based economy. As a result, they earn a median mid-career salary of $114,000.

7. (tie) Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)

Early Career Median Pay: $67,000
Mid-Career Median Pay: $114,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 53%

Electrical Engineering has a reputation for being one of the hardest subjects to earn a degree in. But if you do earn your bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, you’ll be rewarded handsomely – workers with this major report a median mid-career salary of $114,000.

9. Aeronautical Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $65,100
Mid-Career Median Pay: $113,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 61%

Next time you complain about how much you had to shell out for your latest plane ticket, think about the cost of employing Aeronautical Engineering majors to build your mode of transportation. The typical AE major earns $113,000 with 10 or more years of experience.

10. (tie) Computer Engineering (CE)

Early Career Median Pay: $68,400
Mid-Career Median Pay: $109,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 48%

The good news: Computer Engineering majors with 10 or more years of experience earn a whopping $109,000 (median mid-career salary). The bad news: that’s the lowest salary on our list of top bachelor’s degrees. Oh well, a $100k paycheck is still nothing to complain about.

10. (tie) Mining Engineering

Early Career Median Pay: $71,500
Mid-Career Median Pay: $109,000
Percent High Job Meaning: 79%

There’s gold in them hills — as well as a wide variety of other natural resources — but good luck making any money in mining without a degree in Mining Engineering. Alumni with a bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering earn a median salary of $71,500 in the first five years of their career (the second-highest on this list), and those with 10 or more years of experience report a median salary of $109,00. Surprisingly, these graduates also report the highest sense of job meaning on our list — 79 percent say that their jobs make the world a better place.

The complete survey/database can be accessed here: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/majors-that-pay-you-back/bachelors?page=22#fullText