Choosing a major is a big decision that can affect your income for the rest of your life. Doing career research is key to such an important choice. Not only should you consider what you like to do as well as your skillset, things like starting salary and median salary are important as well. It’s important to consider that some careers may start at a lower salary yet have bigger salary growth over time. Take a look at our list of the 12 highest paying college majors—some may surprise you!
Starting salary: $70,000 – 95,000 depending on specialty
Median salary: $144,000 – 176,900 depending on specialty
With focus areas including electrical, mechanical, petroleum, chemical, civil, computer and aerospace, these majors pay well upon graduation and increase at a high rate as you gain experience over time.
Starting salary: $67,000
Median salary: $140,000
Encompassing both hardware and software know-how, careers range from design and development for tech companies like Google to creating systems for NASA.
Starting salary: $62,000
Median salary: $138,000
Mathematics can play into many careers, including actuarial, mathematician and operations analyst. Annual salary increases average more than many other careers as well.
Business Operations Research
Starting salary: $77,900
Median salary: $137,100
Jobs designed to increase business efficiency means graduates will be in high demand.
Starting salary: $57,600
Median salary: $136,200
How political and economic variables combine to influence public policy can lead to a variety of well-paying careers in and around public policy and financial planning.
Starting salary: $57,200
Median salary: $133,200
Business analysts use data to streamline processes and procedures to make the company more efficient. Big growth is expected inside IT and healthcare in the next few years.
Starting salary: $79,600
Median salary: $132,500
The need for pharmacists is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade, as the growing elderly population increases and creates more health care demand.
Starting salary: $56,400
Median salary: $130,800
Certified public accountants can find work in the areas of tax documentation, auditing and preparing financial statements, and consulting. Passing your state CPA exam is required.
Starting salary: $73,100
Median salary: $131,600
These careers focus on the design, manufacturing, and testing of everything that flies in the skies and beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Be aware salary growth may be slower than other majors.
Starting salary: $60,100
Median salary: $131,000
Economics majors working in econometrics, banking, investment, government, and academia can expect higher than average salary growth over the next ten years.
Starting salary: $61,000
Median salary: $115,000
Management careers include human resource management, production management, sales management, and training managers, to name just a few
If you are considering pursuing a career in one of these high paying majors, you can increase the ROI of your degree by taking some of your general education courses online. The lower your cost of college -- and the faster you earn your degree -- the quicker you can get into one of these higher paying careers that you want.
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