College majors with the highest starting salaries

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College students pick their major for any number of reasons — interest in a particular field of study, ability to get a job post-graduation, amount of education or training needed and more. Another factor students often consider is how much they might earn once they enter the workforce. While it’s hard to imagine that any student would actively seek a low-paying major, some students may weigh salary more heavily than others when deciding on a degree.

According to the most recent salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for a Class of 2012 graduate is $44,442. To break it down further, here’s a list of the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees within common academic disciplines. Also included is the percent change in starting salaries from the Class of 2011 to the Class of 2012, along with examples of occupations that graduates within each major might pursue.

Highest-paying academic major: Economics (business/managerial)
Median starting salary: $54,800
Percent increase from 2011: 5.6
Example occupations: Financial manager, accountant/auditor, management analyst

Highest-paying academic major: Advertising
Median starting salary: $44,700
Percent increase from 2011: 2.5
Example occupations: Author, public-relations specialist, advertising or promotions manager

Computer sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Computer science
Median starting salary: $58,300
Percent increase from 2011: 4.3
Example occupations: Postsecondary teacher, computer programmer, computer support specialist

Highest-paying academic major: Special education
Median starting salary: $42,200
Percent increase from 2011: 2.2
Example occupations: Special education teacher, elementary or middle-school teacher

Highest-paying academic major: Computer engineering
Median starting salary: $67,800
Percent increase from 2011: 0.6
Example occupation: Computer software engineer

Health sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Nursing
Median starting salary: $48,400
Percent increase from 2011: 0.6
Example occupation: Registered nurse

Humanities and social sciences
Highest-paying academic major: Political science/government
Median starting salary: $38,400
Percent increase from 2011: 1.3
Example occupations: Social worker, paralegal or legal assistant, labor-relations specialist

Highest-paying academic major: Construction science/management
Median starting salary: $54,700
Percent increase from 2011: 1.9
Example occupations: Construction manager, civil engineer

*All data/information from the NACE April 2012 Salary Survey. Only certain starting salaries were available at the time the survey was conducted, so not all majors were factored into the starting salary comparisons.

  1. What ever happened to the med sciences?? For some reason (I am a meterologist at the NWS) she likes bio sci stuff. I am sure Neurology/Phsyconeuology or Pharmacy would come in higher starting pay than what is listed here. I just hope she makes at UK!!!! Go Wildcats…..@

  2. Annually, Registered nurses make an average of 60,000. Engineering majors typically hold the highest starting salaries (petroleum, chemical, electrical and mechanical). Dental hygentist, though not on the list, make about 58,000 for full-time; however, most job offers are typically only part-time. Now, many IT jobs are now being outsourced. Math and science majors generally earn higher-paying positions, especially in the field of health. Jobs now mainly concentrate of the technical abilities, networking skills and personality of the individual, not the major they have (ie: commision-based jobs such as food industry workers, pharmaceutical sales, selling cars, etc). This article lacks factual research. By merely using popular search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc) and websites (;; etc), an individual would find a better representation of starting salaries than the examples listed on this survery. *Presented by: An Anonymous 2011 Graduate with a Communications degree*

    • Engineers can’t find jobs!!!  They never say this when it comes to these lists.  All the jobs go to foreigners with H1B visas.  Ever since the H1B  visa program started more and more U.S. engineers are left unemployed. @ngraham530

    •  @ngraham530
       I agree with most of your post. However I have to disagree with the IT statement. While it’s true a number of IT positions were being outsourced, that has mostly come to a halt. It is certainly easier for larger companies to outsource a helpdesk. Almost anyone can pickup a phone and take basic info. However, many in-house positions cannot be outsourced. Also, many businesses that do decide to outsource are typically using U.S. based contractor companies which means the jobs are still filed by Americans. All you have to do is check any job search engine such as or careerbuilder. Let’s also not forget about all levels of government. Most of them wouldn’t feel comfortable with anyone except in-house IT personnel.

  3. I find this list to be pretty lacking. I’m a student in a chemical engineering program. I have seen many of these lists showing the breakdown for the starting salaries of many majors. It is understandable if the author did not want to have their list reflect bias towards only one type of career path but this list doesn’t show the actual highest paying majors. I know because the actual list is dominated by Engineering degrees. When you name the article ‘HIGHEST salaries,’ you’d think they would include those majors that actually have the highest starting salaries…. Honestly.. advertising? political science? Those can’t shake a stick at what engineers stand to make walking out of college. 

    • You’re forgetting that most engineers can’t find jobs because  employers are hiring foreigners with H1B visas.  Engineering and science are the worst degrees to get in the U.S. @freakyfunk17

      •  @midtra52 Your argument really has a poor basis. Try a different perspective, maybe if companies are so desperate to get qualified employees in this field that they are hiring foreigners, that this is just a sign of how high the demand is for science and engineering jobs in the United States. If you do the research, you’ll see the statistics back my argument.

        • It’s not about demand it’s about pay.  Why pay a U.S . engineer $50,000 when you can pay an Indian less than $10,000?  The statistics don’t back your argument at all.  I live in the real world and was losing jobs to indians and ended up unemployed for years until I hired my own indians on H1B visas and put other Americans out of work. @Fennlt

    •  @freakyfunk17 .. You are so right. My son majored in Chemical Engineering and before graduating with a Bachelors , He already had 3 job offers.Now doing an internship to start with one of the biggest Oil giants starting salary @ $98,000.00 in OKC.. Engineering is IT. So this Author needs to Google or read up on some more RELIABLE info..

    •  @freakyfunk17 Chemical engineering student here as well! I’ll admit we’re biased, but it is true. Here are some interesting figures from my school: to say, engineers definitely have some of the best, if not the best, starting salaries out of college overall. However, as you well know, it’s not easy in the least. Need I mention Transport Phenomena? blegh

  4. With 53%of college grads under 25 unemployed or underemployed  this article is inappropriate.  Let us talk about the real problems.  If you are trying to find a RN job in MA, good luck.  Hospitals are being closed, and new grads are working in nursing homes for low pay,  or unemployed. Also note, jobs are being posted with less than 32 hours, so companies do not have to pay healthcare benefits.

    •  @Neo4266
       I agree with you that this article is inappropriate. I also think it’s irresponsible and EXTREMELY misleading. They list Social Work as an example of a higher paid degree program (listed under Humanities and Social Science). I am a social worker with 13 years of experience and I can tell you, my annual salary (if I worked full time) would only be $3,000 more than the starting salary listed on there, and that’s with 13 years of work under my belt. I definitely didn’t become a social worker because of the stellar living I would be receiving, but more for job satisfaction. My first job after I graduated was making $9 an hour. I now work 2 part time jobs at $20 an hour with no benefits and $17.50 with no benefits (I receive benefits through my husband’s employer.  if I chose to have benefits, my wage would be $14.30 an hour plus the cost of benefits instead of the $17.50). If I was a prospective student and read this article, I would be jumping in front of traffic to become a social worker for that kind of pay….just doesn’t happen.

  5. You got the Health Professions all wrong. Both Pharmacy and Physical Therapy are doctoral degrees, but you don’t need a 4 year degree to get into those programs.  Pharmacists start out at twice the salary you have listed for nurses and physical therapists are not fare behind.  That mistake makes me doubt your other figures.

    •  @MRSRPH Physical Therapists are not Doctoral degrees as I am currently in a PT program and wouldn’t have gone in that direction if  a Doctorate was the requirement.

    •  @MRSRPH that is a MEDIAN  (average) salary, it could be different in YOUR area, but in Iowa for example an RN starts out between $19/23  per hour which comes to about $47k per year

    •  @MRSRPH
       Actually you do need a 4 yrs undergrad degree to get into these programs. You can not just walk into a school of pharmacy or PT, medical, law etc. with an associates degree and say I want to go to a school of pharmacy, etc. in order to get a doctoral degree which these are, you have to have a bachelors degree. The ungrad program is usually a pre-pharm, pre physical therapy program, pre-med, pre dentistry. Then you apply to these programs. You can’t just hop over this degree to a doctorates degree. There isn’t one pharmacy or physical therapy program that would accept you without a 4 yr degree. If it is such a program I would be very weary of going into it.  The one thing you do have correct is that We PT do start out with double a nurses salary, which we should, but I believe this article is pertaining to 4 yr degree programs and not 6-7 yr degrees.

  6. I have a small business in which I work with high school students and their families in the college selection and application process.  Previously, I spent many years in academic advising, working with students who were undecided about a major – (They began college as a declared major, completed 1, 2 or 3 semesters and realized that it wasn’t right.  I worked with a large number of business majors who declared business because someone (concerned and well-intentioned) said, “If you don’t major in business, you’ll never get a job.”  Often these students had a 2.5ish GPA and hated their business classes.  I have spent the subsequent years advising students to major in something they love and make sure that they have skills that employers seek.  My fear is that, after reading this article, parents will again (continue to) push their students to major in business, in order to have a better income, whether there is an aptitude, a passion or even an interest in the field.

    •  @collegeplanner Where is your business located? I have 3 kids in college and would love to find out more about your business.

      •  @LaDonnaAkersBeckmeyer   I’m in the Shenandoah Valley.  My website is

    •  @collegeplanner
       Great comment. Right on the money! Students shouldn’t major in the field others want them to, but rather something they know they’ll enjoy and be successful at.

    •  @collegeplanner
       That is absolutely right.  I work in education and I tell my students that they are much better off with a whole degree in Art than 1/2 a degree in business.  I know because I have half of a political science degree from when I thought I wanted to be an attorney.  I had a miserable almost 20 year career in the legal industry before I returned to school to get an English degree.  At 40 I got my degree and now I have to turn down jobs.  I was offered a job as a first year teacher that many veteran teachers were applying for.  I am also 9 hours away from a second degree in Spanish.  So yes, major in something you love and you will find a way to earn a living in the industry but most importantly you will be happy

    •  @collegeplanner Well, I’d say that the problem with majoring in something that you love is that, oftentimes, there are no real careers with that major unless you pursue more education. I also think that many colleges aren’t making these realities known to people. For example, I majored in Psychology. I loved Psychology, and for the longest time I thought I was going to go for my doctorate (because really, academia was the only thing the Psych department pushed). When I decided that wasn’t right for me, I graduated with a diploma, but no real job options. Now, I’m in school psychology, which I love and has career-value, but I had to stumble upon it as an option.At least this list gives people other options besides business. There’s engineering, computer science, Special Education, and other options. And really, college is all about finding what you love. If a student is in a major just because they’ve been told to do it and they don’t love it….really, who’s fault is that? They are adults and in college. They should be able to make decisions for themselves at that point.  

    •  @collegeplanner Are you able to contact me right away about my daughter, we are trying to get her into a good college….help!
      Valinda Box

      •  @BOXval  @collegeplanner Posting your phone number on the internet?  PLEASE tell me she takes after her father…

      •  @BOXval
         depending on what she would like to study, you should research some local colleges and branchout from there, google would list all colleges with whith the paticular field closests ones first.

    •  @collegeplanner I have hired many new college graduates in my career and I would advise undergraduates not to major in business.  I would rather hire someone with a math, science, engineering or computer degree before someone with a business major.  Business knowledge can wait until graduate school or learned on the job.  Critical thinking skills are more important.   I always question someone who decides to take business as a major as an undergraduate.  The first thing that I think is that this guy or gal is not smart enough to stick with the harder subjects.  Taking business as an undergraduate and then getting the MBA is also a waste since everything you learn as an undergraduate will be covered as an MBA student.

    •  @collegeplanner 18 year old adults need to realize that they need to pick a major that will teach them an employable skill.  Following a passion is great, up to the point where their passion has no job prospects.  With the amount of debt many students have to incur, they have to think to the future and not just about what makes them happy on a day to day basis.  long term thinking.  that’s why a general liberal arts degree is money down the toilet.  if you can marry something you like, with an employable skill (and getting a business degree will do that bc you will learn the skills to be an entrpreneur), you can then follow your passion and make money.  i will be pushing my kids to have a business degree, unless they decide that another major with jobs (architecture, medicine, engineering) is what they want to do.  no art majors in my house.  and this is coming from someone who is creative for a living.

  7. hah what a joke this article is. Remember, when you are choosing a degree to earn you won’t be able to trick the life, but you’ll trick yourself instead. The harder it’s to earn a particular degree, the more money you’ll get on start. So forget about all this communication and bull shit degrees. Engineering, Medicine are the ones paid well.

  8. In what world do starting teachers make $42,000?!  Special ed teachers don’t make all that much more than regular classroom teachers – I have friends who teach in public schools, have a masters and 5+ years in and don’t make $40K yet.  You also neglect to mention that teachers have a ceiling – after 40 years on the job, w/a masters, they might top out at $70K – so even if they start w/an ok salary, it doesn’t go very far. 

    • Wrong.  I am a New York City teacher, tenured.  I earn high 5 figures and I can accumulate my sick time and vacation time for the duration of my tenure and retire with a HUGE lump sum of non-used time, in addition to a great pension.  It is not uncommon for a New York City teacher to retire with a 7 figure net worth as a result of what I’ve just told you. 

      •  @notsosimpleNY is the exception not the rule. Most states have done away with tenure or are headed that way, and most of us will see no where near that 7 figure retirement that you will earn. In many states, our pensions are in jepoardy even though the contributions come out of our paychecks. I don’t want anyone reading this to misunderstand and think all teachers get what you get in NY.

    •  @bookaday Agreed!  I have been teaching for 23 years as a special education teacher.  This year I just hit $50,000.  I am on the same salary scale as every other teacher in my school district.

  9. ngrahama530 – DId you not read the article? It states STARTING SALARIES not average. Of course the average for a nurse is around 60k, but starting? No. I should know. I was getting a political science degree, recession hit, switched career path to nursing for a safer net, became an RN making in the 30k range, and while I’m a part-time trauma nurse, I’m back at getting a degree in political science.Read the bottom of the article: “Only certain starting salaries were available at the time the survey was conducted, so not all majors were factored into the starting salary comparisons.”Nuclear engineer or pharmacists numbers were probably not available. LIke a comment stated about Pharmacist. I don’t know if that counts, because you don’t actually get a “degree.” Two years in college and then 4 years for a PharmD. Engineering degrees do pay higher, they had to choose ONE for the field, and for starting pay. I have a friend who is an electrical engineer making 90k a year and a brother making 60k a year in computer engineering now. BUT, when my friend started he was making 45k while my brother in the low 50k range. Some engineers pay more the longer you are on the field, has a better growth, but not a better STARTING PAY.I do wish they had a couple more degree fields, though. The list is kind of pointless overall, but it is a good way to know what you are getting into.collegeplanner – Thank you for the post. I have known so many parents push their kids into college, and their kids don’t really know so their parents urge them for business, thinking it’s a safe bet. Or the kids just shrug their shoulders and pick whatever will get them a job the quickest out of college. I know 5 people who have have Business degrees and only one of them did anything relevant to their degree by starting a small business. It took him 8 years to open the business and when he was finally making more than 50k a year recession hit. One of them minored in History and went back for a Master’s and became a 6th grade History teacher.I recommend everyone to go for something they would enjoy doing and are highly interested in.
    I also recommend adding a MINOR, if you are going for like a general business degree add econmics or accounting. Education, add english or history. Computer Science, add math. People think they are worthless, but it looks good for employers. Btw, you don’t even need a degree or one in business, to get a MBA.

  10. Ha! My “blue collar” husband makes more than everyone on this list. He has a degree from a Technical college, but it’s not even necessary in his field.

      •  @deckaberle  @KristenSSmith Almost the best post, how the hell do you know what everyone on this list makes to know he definitely makes more?

  11. I’d like to know how good the source of information for that survey is. I know people with a few years of post-college experience who live in expensive regions of the country who are looking at jobs that don’t even pay what those starting salaries offer.

  12. My son greaduated last June from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Mechanical Engineering… so far this year he has earned $225K working for one of the Oil Comapanies.
    During peak months in Canada oil sands he was taking home $30K+./month. Hard work, and long hours but he’s saving most of the $$ because there is nowhere to spend it…

  13. My son just graduated last June with a Mechanical Engineering degree, went to work in the oil sands of Canada and will make $225K his first year. Long hours, tough weather, but he has nowhere to spend the money so he’s saving a ton… Many of the oil companies are crying for qualified engineers.

    •  @mrmott1 No they’re not.  I know plenty of engineers that have applied and they are turned down and foreigners are hired instead.  Why hire an American engineer and pay him $50,000 when you can hire an Indian citizen and pay him $10,000?

      •  @midtra52  @mrmott1 I believe the operative term was “qualified”.  Getting a 2.7 GPA is not “qualified”.

      •  @midtra52
         Well, my son started planning for his exit 2 years prior. He interned for 2 summers at low wages summers in Houston in the oil refinery, he wore a fireproof suit in 95 degree heat while his friends partied. He went to the engineering job fairs while his friends slept in… He had 5 job offers and he choose an oil testing firm. 4 months of paid training but in Oklahoma again 100 degrees + Then in October he went from 90 degrees to below 32 in Canada. He was so far north the bogs were already frozen so they could drive into the oil sands. While in Canada he earned $30K/month x 5 months with full room and board. He had to work 12 weeks staright no days off but he did get the whole month of April as paid vacation. He’s now in Bakersfield, CA (and it’s 95+) but he’ll be back in Canada in October earning $30K+/month. Go to the web sites of Haliburton, Conoco Exxon Mobile Shell and on and on… all crying for newbie engineers… point… go where the jobs are and don’t be afraid of hard dirty work… unless you want to get an English degree and get paid $15K to work in a library…. (and there’s nothing wrong with working in a library-just low wages) My son has his sights set on Wharton so he can run an Oil Company… show him the money!!

  14. This is complete nonsense.  I’m warning kids not to go into engineering or computer science because you will be NOT get a job.  Employers are hiring foreigners on H1B visas that never went to school in the U.S. and don’t have citizenship here.  If you’re a U.S. citizen then do not get a science or engineering degree, get a degree that requires you speak english, like business or communications, those are fields where indians can’t replace you.

    •  @midtra52 Hmm, I dunno.  Which public college has the highest post-graduation employment rate and average starting salary in the US?  Oh, that’d be the Colorado School of Mines, an engineering school.

      • They all quote phony employment rates.  My sister graduated with an interior design degree and she’s a waitress, her schools claims to have a 99% employment rate even though only one person she graduated with got a job in interior design.  I have a masters in electrical engineering and have been unable to find engineering work for four years.  I started my own businesses in IT and I just do the same as everyone else, hire  Indians and pay them next to nothing. @fernandopoo

        •  @midtra52 Knowing a number of people from Mines, I guess I would say the difference between them and an “interior design school” is that Mines doesn’t have to “quote phony employment rates”…

        •  @fernandopoo You’re nuts if you think everyone graduating in mining engineering is getting a job in mining.  When is the last time you’ve been to a mine?  There aren’t many mines in the U.S. anymore.  The number of grads are far far higher than the number of jobs available unless you’re willing to leave the country and go work at the mines in Africa.

    •  @midtra52 You are absolutely correct.  Unless you have a dream or drive to design and sell something, studying these trades/careers and looking for work is nearly useless.  If you are going to do computer work, it has to be for a company and in an area where you have to on occasions, physically need to access the equipment.  You can’t call for that kind of help, but, that’s not to say that can’t just outsource that locally, as it’s cheaper.

  15. This seems heinously flawed.  Computer engineer the top “engineer”?  Ever heard of petroleum and chemical engineering?  Computer engineer is, IIRC, about 5th or 6th in salary.  It makes me wonder if there is a hidden agenda in this post;  anti-oil or something else?

  16. I love this type of useless report. And someone makes a median starting salary of $44,700 creating this type of balderdash.

  17. It took me 5 YEARS to earn $60000 as a Computer Support Specialist. I had to start part time, then $30000 per year and work my way up. This list is NOT ACCURATE!

  18. What this article misses is long-term earning.  For example, by mid-career Philosophy Majors are out-earning Business Majors by about 10K per year.  Collegeplanner has it right.  Business majors tend not to work very hard, as an extensive literature shows, and don’t learn very much.  As a result, they tend not to advance in their careers by comparison with less “trendy” majors.

    • @dinthecenter tell that to all the philosophy majors that are looking for jobs right now. way too many unproductive hours rolling hippie lettuce on the lawn, cloud gazing, and pondering whether or not we “matter,” quoting ancient texts, or the debating the meaning of “everything.” unless of course they are planning on being a history teacher or philosophy prof (to propigate this wretched cycle) they should study something productive.

  19. There are other careers with less competition that pay a lot more. I’m a field engineer for a nuclear medicine company making over 80K. I’m salary, but am paid overtime, so my year end take home is averaging over 120K. This same field is available in DOD work also. P.S. This is with only military training and follow on training by the companies I work for.

  20. While college students today will likely have an easier time finding a job upon graduation than those in the past few years have, I think it’s important to note that a general business degree will not land you in the positions listed. To be an accountant or auditor you need an accounting degree and a financial manager will need an accounting or finance degree. I have seen Business Admin students graduate with a 3.9 GPA and struggle to find work because they lack any specific skills. I agree with the post below about majoring in something you are passionate about. If you’re interest is in business, get an accounting degree. You’ll be able to do anything you could have done with the business degree but so much more. It will help you understand the inner workings of a business and put you on a much faster track to management. I am so glad I switched to Accounting. I have always been very financially comfortable throughout my 20s and believe I could easily find a job anywhere in the country. If not accounting, at least consider finance or economics. 

    •  @CPAHealthCare I disagree with the “college students of today” finding jobs easily.  From an economics viewpoint, it’s not possible.  US population is growing exponentially, leaving a smaller amount of work but more people wanting the job. 100 people will have the same degree, 2 will get hired. Not to mention, you need to consider all the layoffs and down sizing that’s occurring at all areas of the US

  21. Now what is going here?  Their talking about a tuition finance bubble popping that will rival that of the real estate bubble that did.  Might that be because the majority of those being financed are taking the easier softer way liberal arts degrees that have no value whats so ever?  I think so.

    •  @RanchoDelValkayrie That would be correct, but I would change the no value comment to a “nearly no value”.  As I know someone who managed to get a job with that degree, yet, 10 others that work at starbucks because they couldn’t.

  22. Its kind of funny how some people write about engineering jobs but there is a computer software engineer listed for an engineering example. That position should be listed for computer science category. I’m going to school to be a CNC tech. and how about listing that for engineering of even a mechanical or industrial engineer.
    Only think i seen listed were computer and buisness jobs. Do we really need more ads when were on the web.
    No wonder why NASA got shut down the rest of the world is catching up because theres too many people focused on buisness and computer science. Like we need more wall street, How can we build a better shuttle when the when there isnt anymore great minds left. They are all retired. How about getting people into jobs that build this country ones that require hard work and NO DESK.

    •  @contact420 unfortunately, all the richest companies of the world have whored out all those jobs to every other country in the world to line the ceo’s with 45,000,000 dollar bonuses while the office workers get layer off and the offshore countries get paid 1 dollar a day.  Yes, it sucks.

  23. I graduated 2 years ago from a Big Ten school with a Bachelor’s in Economics, currently live in Chicago and am not making the 54K this article claims is the average starting salary.  Sure I could be if the banking industry were in better shape, but they’re not hiring.  JP Morgan just lost $3 Billion a few weeks ago.  My skill sets include: won’t lose $3B on a risky trade. 

  24. Dear collegeplanner;
    You are so right on. If someone doesn’t have an aptitude and/or passion for their career they will most likely not be successful in it, or even if they manage to they will be spending a majority of their life doing something they don’t enjoy. When someone enjoys and does have the aptitude and passion they will most likely find a way to make a decent living in it and be able to live a happier life. You are one of those people. I can tell you belong doing what you are doing and I hope you convince the majority you work with about this topic. I have a 19 year old daughter that has a gift, aptitude, passion for entertainment (primarily acting but some modeling as well) and others have convinced her there is no future in it and to be a business major. She is bright but does not have the aptitude nor the passion for that area so consequently ended up dropping out of her community college 1 1/2 years through. One semester before she was to graduate from the community college and transfer to Long Beach University. For the past 5 months I have been trying to convince her to get back in school majoring in her passion. I may have finally convinced her. Thankfully she may have lost only 1 semester, but please let others learn that just because the economist say a particular job earns well or has the most promising positions doesn’t mean everyone will be successful in that.

  25. I am involved in health care as well as a Healthcare Informatician or Clinical Analyst and have found that many people in my field make around $75,000 and up to $100,000

  26. Medical Technicians and Technologists are a commodity in this country. One of the best vocations holding a promising future is in Laboratory or Diagnostics. Wether it be in a hospital setting, research, a special area of expertise such as Microbiology, or growing Genetics field the diversity in settings offers a starting salary of at least $47,840.00 annually for a 4 yr. graduate. Starting salary for a 2 yr. grad is $41,600.00. I am a 2 yr. Technician with 17 yrs. experience in a hospital setting. My annual income has been for the last 3 yrs. between $55,000.00 and $60,000.00. The average starting pay hourly for a Technologist is $25.00. The possibilities are many and include different avenues for different folks. Maybe you’d like to work at Sea World and test blood on dolphins? Maybe you’d like to study bio-terrorism and work for the government in a research lab, maybe you’d like to get into Genetic testing or help in the Genome project. We are all scientists. We are all contributing to humanity. These fields are in need of new grads with fresh ideas and computer knowledge. Most of us are baby boomers and will be retiring.  

  27. Pharmacists get paid much much higher than nurses.  My husband came out of school making six figures.  I think your health sciences category is wrong.

    •  @elizabeth_b72
       Once again, as it has been pointed out several times in previous comments, this list is for “highest-paying bachelor’s degrees”.  Pharmacists today are required to have a post-graduate degree.

    • Ummm – since always! You don’t have to be rich, but being poor sucks.  I’d trade job happiness for a fat paycheck so I can live a nice lifestyle and support my kids and occasionally take a vacation or buy something nice.

  28. Many professions can be successfully performed by anyone of normal intellegence when educatated by most colleges but engineering in particular requires natural instincts as well, which sadely causes many to fail. Parents should keep this in mind when encouraging a child to enter this profession because of the high pay.

  29. What I like is the pic of the smiling young lady in front of the server farm in Information Technology.  If someone would like to pass on the secret of what it takes to get your foot in the door of an IT employer, I sure would love to know.  I haven’t found it yet.  I have been trained, have a degree and two major industry certifications, roughly 10 years overall expereience, both as an employee and on my own, have been on plenty of interviews,  and presently have been unemployed now for nearly 4 years.  I have to agree with Neo4266 below, lets get into the root of the matter, the real problems, and cut out all of this facade crap.

    •  @wc_0602 IT has been hit just as the engineering and science fields have by all the H1B visa recepients from India and China that come over here to work at 1/3 the cost.  The government started this program then wonders why we’re all unemployed.

    •  @wc_0602 First thing I would suggest you do is move to silicon valley california. With your degree/experience you will get a job. If you can’t do that you should find someone that will bring you on as an intern. You are already unemployed so it wont affect your financial situation. You probably think working as an unpaid intern would be beneath you since you have a lot of experience. The reason you should do that is because as soon as the interviewer sees that you’ve been out of work for 4 years they will pass on you. You want to show that you’ve been doing something progressive to keep your skills sharp. hope this helps…

    •  @wc_0602
       This is not just for wc_0602, but everyone who cares to read.
      I am an Enlisted Soldier on the Active Army with 25 years in the IT field. As a 50 year old male as a Sergeant Major, E-9, like many of you, I was a college graduate with jobs starting at $20 – 35K back in the day as a vocational education school teacher. Not happy with my situation, I have developed a saying, if you don’t like your situation, you must find a legitmate way to change it. Well, I decided to join the Army at age 26, Married, with a one year old son. The best decision I ever made in my entire life. Yes, I knew the risk of put my life on the line, but most in importantly, I was defending the freedom and the Constitution of the United States of America. With that said, I have gained and earned the respect and given the ability to teach,coach, lead, manage and mentor young men and women who made the same choice I did. As an IT professional, I have not only earned my masters degree, I have been given the ultimate opportunity to earn all sorts of certification, attend formal training with the growing changes that has made me well rounded person and more marketable than I could have ever imagine. And to top that all off, I can go to and search for jobs with a higher salary cap that has been mentioned in this Blog. However, here’s the secret, Do any of you have a Secret or better yet a TOP Secret clearance? That’s the key for all IT folks who want to increase that salary and earn what you are really worth. The cost an employer must pay for a clearance can be $10K – $20 K, which is apart of your salary. Try your search into GOV jobs. We have plenty of Department of the Army Civilians (DAC) who have never served in the military. Also look up the General Schedule (GS) pay scale vs. Wage Grade (WG) for Of course, once I post my resume in the system and employers see my clearance, in this case, a TOP Secret clearance, they jump without hesitation. Not to mention the discipline and work ethics most veterans bring to the tanle. 
      So, I commend you in advance for all the supporter of our military. The scrafice pays Hugh dividends in the end. Also search you’ll be surprised what jobs are available if you have all the right stuff to apply. As a veteran, there is also a website a called Hero 2 Hire,
      Therefore, for all recent graduates, I encourage you to seek out your nearest recuriter and see how your talents can best serve our military ranks. No one said you have to spend 20 years in uniform. but I gurantee you’ll gain a different perspective on life in general. Some of you my be Military brats, but never embraced the life for yourself.
      Lastly, in the Army, you can receive a 100% Tuitition Assistance towards a Masters Degree or Bachelors Degree if you have finished while seriving by taking on line classes. This also incluses the 9/11 GI Bill which is 36 months of tuition paid entitlments. Research it all.
      Last secret, there a plenty of GOV jobs overseas. I leave Germany (Kaiserslautern – a.k.a. K-town) for good after spending a spand of 8 years overall.  My DACs earn between $70K - $80K excluding the tax free LQA Living Quarters Allowance, which which could amount to another $40K -$52K Tax free. You can travel for little to nothing. I am headed to Munich for 3-days and will spend only a $138.00 for my hotel and meals.  “October Fest” is Germany’s Signature past time. Happy Hunting.
      Just to let you know, With all my entitlements at my current rank/grade I earn close to $109K after 25 years of service.  However, you must pay your dues! 

    •  @wc_0602
       I don’t understand how having all of those credentials prevents you from getting in the door. Which certs do you have? Are you shooting for a position too high? Or felt that you were just plainly rejected? I started out working as a contractor for $9/hr. Currently I am standing next to the smiling young lady managing the server farm. I also had a little help with a previous job with recommendations from a friend. So i guess, what also matters is who you know. If those 10 years of experience were indicative of how successful/good you were in your field, i’m sure you would have no issues reaching out to those contacts and getting an immediate offer or interview at least! Goodluck!

  30. Well I retired at 40  and got inot realestate when I was 34, I take in (84K net) clean a year and have all kinds of tax shields.

    •  @THE MARINE
       I have a college room mate who founded his own RE firm, and nnow is in prison for 12 years for running a pyramid scheme, i doubt your data, but you sound like your rifght behind him.

      •  @eaaron46 I love the reply, I joined the Marines when I was 19 as an enlisted guy. Saved my money my entire career in. I got married after serving 14 years. I invested into real-estate 1 year after we got married. I purchase a property once a year now in cash between 110k-140k. My yearly income increases after expenses on a property at a minimum $9,120 a year. I am making so much money that in the near future, I will have to purchase 2 properties a year or get into something more lucrative. The tax shield I am talking about are wonderful and all legal. The tax system is set up for thse that create the flow of money in the economy not those that suck off of it as in bottom feeders or loser fish. I for example live in CA and have property in NY. Just to fly or drive to check on that property is a tax write off. I can do this with gas, food and many other goodies. I once was on the phone live with the IRS on a talk radio show in San Diego. I asked them if I were to purchase a condo in January and furnish it and then rent it out for 6 months could I write it off? They said “yes”. They got really upset and ended the show with my question; “well after the 6 months lease when the renters moved out, could I move in and still write everything off that I put into it while they were living there? See this is what the IRS will not tell you. I would be more than happy to share my stories with the public. education is the key no matter where you get it. 

        •  @THE MARINE
           Dear Marine,
          That sounds very good could I do the same thing?how can I do what your doing and be succesful.

  31. You don’t need college to get smart or gain wisdom. Education is the key to sucess. You can get that at the library for free. You do need drive and discipline. I have no degree but yet I am a millionaire.

    •  @THE MARINE
       You are correct, you do not need college to get smart or gain wisdom. You do need it to get decent paying first job. I think its great you were able to make a respecable living without college but you are an exception to the rule. As an accounting manager, I would not hire a young person with out a business degree under any circumstances what-so-ever. Learning on your own is wonderful but I need to know new hires are used to having their work evaluated and can handle criticism. You don’t get that from reading a book. You shouldn’t say things online that discourage young people from pursuing an education. It’s something that can only help them in the long run.

      •  @bee43072  @THE MARINE bee43072 is right. you may have made it based on your life experiences but today, i assure you, if a young man or woman applied for a job in say business or teaching or major occupations, the employer would throw out the application/ resume as soon as they saw that, that person did not have a college degree.

      •  @bee43072 I only meant that education does not have to come from college. It can come in all forms from all different places. I have spread sheets, and power point presentations that I use to account for all my money. It is a shame that a lot of kids go through the motion of getting a degree with the intention that they are going to make big money. If you can not apply what you have been taught in college in the civilian sector, you will get canned. I realize that you want paper proof to hire on however, I think a person that started with nothing and has worked him or herself into a millionaire status; well, “the proof is in the pudding”. You rate an opinion and that is fine however, I’m 46, been retired over 6 years now an life is good. I NEVER WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Is this not why many chase a higher education?     

        •  @THE MARINE  @bee43072 Actually, THE MARINE, many people today in THIS economy need a degree to get a job, regardless of not worrying about money…I applaud you on your success when the housing market was good and how well you advanced because you knew what you were doing, but what happened to you does not apply to all of us…We all do not have the skills to go from nothing to millionaire. In THIS day and age and also in the future, things most likely wont get any better, and unfortunately that means students and our nations youth will have to spend the money to go to college in order to get a job…who knows? maybe one day you wont, but until then college is the most prominent way to insure you at least have a chance of making it in the future.

    •  @THE MARINE
      You are the exception to the rule, I to am a millionaire and never went to college. . Not everyone is fortunate as you or I to have done it on our own. But it is important to go to school to be able to compete in the real world. Not only that college builds relationships where you can meet like minded people.  Facebook, Dell were all formed in a dorm room. I newver went to school but have often wondered what course I would of taken if I did.

      •  @rsinger61 Don’t get me wrong I have college course and over 70 credits in various field but no degree. I went to college after I became a millionaire on paper. The only reason I would want a degree now is to have the check in the box because I will not be employed again. There is no need for it. Life is only once and that is something we all can not purchase especially our youth. 

    •  @THE MARINE
       a millionaire who doesn’t know how to spell SUCCESS… imagine that.  maybe you should read another book or two, buddy.


  32. This list is a joke.  Are you going to try and tell us that nurses earn more than the medical people that aren’t even on your list, like: doctors, dentists, and pharmacists?

    •  @pawnye thats additional schooling (spending more money at college, more money in your pocket from your job), this list is for basic college (2-4 years)…you shouldn’t judge an article you know nothing about..

    •  @pawnye You are so correct!  I’ve been a pharmacist for 30 years this June and started out in1982 at $12.50 an hour. I just got another raise to almost $56.00 an hour. I work part time in a supermarket pharmacy in a small town. I’m very fortunate and a lot of hard work got me to this point.

      •  @lef0521  @pawnye Again, to that i would say..THIS LIST IS FOR THE MINIMUM 2-4 YEARS OF COLLEGE… don’t judge something you have absolutely no idea about

    •  @pawnye read the article before you make ignorant comments….this lists those with a bachelor’s degree only. the medical people you named have a much higher degree. 

    •  @pawnye If you were paying attention this article is about undergrad degrees meaning just bachelors not graduate.

  33. To: russm83 this list is more of todays numbers for higher cooperations like IBM and Microsoft, and any major companies with 100+ employees that need full time IT staff, I attend a small college/ trade school  and has a reputation for a 90% job rate not only in repairing computers but also programming.

  34. I am a New York City teacher, tenured.  I earn high 5 figures.  I can accumulate my non-used sick time and vacation for duration of my career for a lump sum payout when I retire, plus a great pension.  It is not uncommon that a New York City teacher retires with a 7 figure net worth as a result of what I’ve just told you.

    •  @notsosimple
       Well most public school teachers in most states do not get anywhere near the 7 figure net worth when they retire. I agree with a previous poster who mentioned looking at the earning possiblities. Most teachers go into it because they want to help children and make a difference, not money. You may get 40,000+ right out of college, but the rate of pay climbs very slowly unless you go into administration and out of the classroom.

    •  @notsosimple
       Well most teachers in most states do not get anywhere near a 7 figure net worth retirement. Most go into teaching because they want to help children or make a difference, not money. I agree with a previous poster who said to pay attention to the earning potential. A teacher may earn 40,000+ right out of college, but the rate of increase is very slow. In many states, it takes many, many years to earn more then 50,000k. At the rate many politicians are attacking retirement pensions, that may be gone soon as well.

    THE MARINE5 pts
    Well I retired at 40  and got inot realestate when I was 34, I take in (84K net) clean a year and have all kinds of tax shield.
    Rancho Replies:
    Yikes and a canidate for being thrown in The Current Presidents “your just too sucessful for my taste” goolog.

  36. Why is it that people that claim to be millionaires or who don’t need a college education can’t get though five lines of comments without a myriad of typos and poor grammar?

    •  @The Swami Probably because this is just a quick post and they are too busy making money to care about if people believe they are well off or not. Or, perhaps it’s because they are bored making a lot of money that this is just a quick distraction for them so they don’t care about double checking the type since it won’t affect there pay.

  37. This is going to sound harsh and insensitive, but please stay with me and give this different way of thinking a chance. Many American born students today, in high schools and colleges across this country, are getting poor advice from their advisors and teachers. Sound bite based encouragement like: “follow your heart” or “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” or “you can always pay your student loan money back later” or “college is a once in a lifetime opportunity, enjoy every moment,” are not always words of wisdom. In my opinion, this type of mentoring is at the root of our countries current unemployment problem (for recent college graduates).

    Consider the following scenario; a student goes to a $45k a year liberal arts college with no declared major or concrete thought of what she will study. She spends 3 semesters acclimating, taking general courses, and trying to decide what program she will apply for. By this time she should be more than a third of the way done with her 4 year degree and yet she has not even declared a major (or possibly switches majors or transfers schools). Furthermore, she still doesn’t feel passionate about any one academic focus, nor has she developed a work ethic that would have come from taking specific pre-professional courses. Otherwise she would have started towards the path of her major and her eventual career. Instead she followed the coddling insight from the advisors I mentioned above and my opinion is that she has a very high probability graduating in 5 years (instead of 4) with a mountain of debt and a resume that gets her no closer to a legitimate career in her field of study than her high school education would have.

    Conversely, consider a different student. He graduates from high school, but did not necessarily excel academically. His collegiate aspirations a less lofty and more realistic, he is going to spend 2 years in a technical college devoting his time towards his chosen craft, in this case welding. He works hard and gets recruited while still in college, because the welding department at his college has a well respected reputation of producing quality workers. Did he have the same career potential as the previous scenario? Did his choices make him more employable?

    America is in crisis mode. Our unemployment is too high, but our skills are too low. We need to quit coddling our children, stop preparing them for a life where mediocrity is rewarded, because it’s not viable for us as a country. Which student from the above is going to be rebuilding this country? The one with a mountain of debt, an unemployable non-professional degree, and an expectation of a great job, just because of the diploma? Or the one with real skills that can be immediately utilized with manageable debt?
    You will help to decide the fate of those that you mentor, so please consider your words carefully.

    The wisest advice I was ever given sounded something like this, “You can play for four or you can play for forty.” As someone who took 18 or 19 credits a semester (the maximum amount allowed without paying additional tuition) I graduated with a Major in Accounting with a concentration in Finance as well as a second major in Economics and additionally a minor in Business Management (Did I mention that I was a 2 sport NCAA athlete? How about that for “the college experience?”). By the fall semester of my Senior year I had recruiters knocking on my door with employment opportunities. I feel EXTREMELY fortunate to have evaded the employment crisis this country is facing, but I also worked my a$$ off in college to get where I am today. In the end though, I did not pull out this soap box to come across as the self pretentious jerk many of you are reading me as, but to lend the perspective of someone who’s not so far removed from this situation in this economy to real insight. The fact is that the jobs are out there, but only if you are employable. And a résumé from an under-developed (work ethic and skill), student with a generic major, and so-so grades is unemployable in today’s American Economy.

    •  @deckaberle I was a terrible student in high school and I hated to even show up.  After I graduated, only because my mother asked me to, I started working for a local construction company while going to a 2 year trade school in the evening to help become an auto mechanic.  2 years later I was making almost 90k a year turning a wrench.  I was out of debt from the trade school and earning 90k in 2 years.  With that being said, making 90k as an auto mechanic isn’t an easy thing to do.  But I had some damn good teachers there.  If they saw you going the extra mile to learn and get better they would go the extra mile to teach you more.  None of these teachers had any type of tenure to speak of and could be canned at the drop of a hat.  They were also the only teachers that I ever had that seemed to give a crap about their students or how well they did in the school.  From what I saw in 2 year technical schools you a group of people, for the most part, who have a common goal.  To learn a trade.  I do not know anyone who has spent the time to learn a trade that is out of a job or has any type of trouble finding a job.

      •  @christyler12  @deckaberle The two of you obviously speak from experience.  I busted my ass off 1 year for an electronics trade that immediately moved to china when I was out.  So much for doing what you love. Three years later,  poked around at a community college that I never got my AA or AS in, BUT….There was an IT technical trade being taught there that I decided to poke into due to my abnormal ability to learn technology.  I had heard people got paid well in IT as long as they kept up with their study’s.  I got plucked out of school, 10 yrs later, I make college grads and certificate holders look like amateurs.  Why? because I didn’t follow the beyond stupid social models that turn everyone into cattle ready for slaughter and decided to trust my intuition.  I didn’t go out to eat, waste money on vanity’s like cars and clothes or phones. I used what little scrap of change that I had to buy equipment in order to crystalize the knowledge I was learning to make myself that much more valuable. I simply carved out my own path and got out of the sheep line. Over and over I have heard that the majority of the richest and most innovative men never finished school.  I will leave it at Einstein,Jobs, and Gates. Unfortunately, I do believe in Karma and reincarnation so personally speaking, for some of you, it’s going to be bad period! 

        •  @techietard  @deckaberle Something else I would like to add.  I am by no means a millionaire.  I do not have all the latest and greatest things in life.  Nor do I have the whole world figured out.  But I did figure something out at an extremely young age.  I know what makes me happy.  Being a mechanic gives me the chance to look at what I have diagnosed, fixed, and sent down the road.  To be able to see a completed product that is working correctly makes me happy in knowing that it was done by ME.  I take great pleasure in knowing that when my friends have a problem with their vehicle they ask me for help.  I am by no means trying to persuade people from doing something that they love.  What I do want you to be aware of is what you are going up against and what you’re getting into once you are out of college.  Maybe you want to be a marine biologist.  But be sure to know that your competition is like when applying for jobs.  Because in this field there aren’t a lot of openings out there in the enter level that pay very much if they are paid at all.  I know of this particular field because of a very dear friend of mine has been dealing with this issue ever since she got out of college back in the early 2000′s.  But she doesn’t let it get her down.  She knew ahead of time that it is a very hard field to get into and she has prepared accordingly.  But for me, I can’t afford to retire.  Hell, I am only 31.  I am not going to retire for another 30 years hopefully.

      •  @christyler12   great post. my dad is a mechanic. he worked for a University as manager of the motor pool. It was great job for him and it had wonderful benefits.  Mechanics have a special place in my heart!

    •  @deckaberle Amen brother, amen.  I worked my ass off in College too and did it quickly.  A lot of the younger generation today just want a handout… but when your Presidency is teaching you that, what else can we expect?

    •  @deckaberle You nailed an important point. I listened too much to my “do what you love” spewing high school guidance counselor and ended up with a B.S. in Animal Science. I loved every minute of college and got good grades, but a job? Ha! I’ve been suffering in a job I hate for years, but have recently been accepted to grad school to pursue a degree that will actually get me somewhere.

    •  @deckaberle Nice post…I actually dropped out of high school after 2 years and I am now working on a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. I’m at the top of my class and well ahead of my peers with regard to hands-on skills and understanding of the course material. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to drop out of school, but it certainly doesn’t mean the end of the world.

    •  @deckaberle  Nice post…I actually dropped out of high school after 2 years and I am now working on a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. I’m at the top of my class and well ahead of my peers with regard to hands-on skills and understanding of the course material. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to drop out of school, but it certainly doesn’t mean the end of the world.

    •  @deckaberle
       I couldn’t have said it better myself. I literally just switched my major from something I love to do now to something I have a high interest in that I can learn to love and is employable right out of college because I do not want a mountain of debt. Secondly, I don’t want to go into a profession that is hot at the moment only to go back to school later in life once the craze is over. Thanks for this post man. You rock!

    • @deckaberle I received this link in an email from my mom because I am starting college in the fall. Its 11:27 pm so I am not in the greatest frame of mind, but I feel at any time of day I would have been offended by your two hypotheticals simply because you assigned them genders. Really? The girl has to piss her education away. I bust my a$$ all the do dah day. I don’t have to tell you all of the honors programs I am a part of or the scholarships I have been awarded. They were given to me based on merit and not gender. If I were
      Mr. T, I’d call you a fool……”fool!”

    •  @deckaberle
       About 12 years ago my employer in Niagara Falls, NY was trying to hire experienced welders. Every single person that they interviewed for the job walked out after they were told the pay was $ 8.00 an hour. My employer had to train one of our air conditioning mechanics as a welder. In air conditioning he was paid $ 9.75 an hour. I do not think that they lowered his pay for the welder job. A machinist here made only  $ 10.00 an hour. This person had already completed their 4 year apprenticeship.

  38. I earned a BS in Chemistry and started my first job at 32k. One year later I was promoted to 43k and now 6 months later another company is offering me 60k. This is in a small South Carolina town, where in a city such as Atlanta or Charlotte it would pay around 80k for the same job. I expect to be well over 100k within the next 5 years, and that is a modest goal considering I have doubled my salary in 18months. The point is, I started out looking to find a 4 year degree that would get me in a better financial situation fast (I was a a 30-something year old single mom), so rather than figuring what pays the most from the start, I started with what I love which is science, and I researched what major climbs the pay scale fastest without having to get a graduate degree. So far it is working out very nicely. I love what I do, and I make really good money. You may choose a major that can get you a high salary right out of school, but how much is that salary going to go up in the next few years?

  39. This is so not accurate.  It says nursing at $48,00 is the highest in healthcare.  Really?  Pharmacists make over $100,000 right after college.  Physical therapists and physican’s assistants make a lot too.

    •  @healthcarenerd I think they might only be looking at careers you can get right after completing your Bachelor’s degree? Pharmacists and Physical Therapists are now required to earn Doctorate degrees.

    •  @healthcarenerd Those are all post-grad degrees. Nursing is an under-grad degree. However, I would be curious to know what MRI techs or scrub techs are starting at these days. Might be more now.

    •  @healthcarenerd 
      physical therapist have at least a Master’s degree and most programs are now Doctorate  programs.  Nurses graduate with B.S.

  40.   Pharmacists start out between 65K and 75K. This was ten years ago.  My son is one and his salary has doubled over the last 10 years. He’s a plain  old pharmacist – no PHD -  and works for one of the two top pharmacies.  I guess it could be different now  (this economy), but neither he nor any of the other pharmacists he knows have been affected by the economy.

    •  @tosh I’m a pharmacist, a Doctorate in pharmacy… Yes we have been effected by the economy. Average salary is now $110,000/yr.  There are about 40 pharmacists apply per 1 open position currently.

    •  @tosh No, the economy hasn’t hurt the profession much at all. I graduated two years ago and started out at $121k in an area that has a surplus of pharmacists and one of the lowest costs of living in the country.  I’m not so sure this list is very helpful.

    •  @tosh Yes, but now you have to have a PharmD to be a Pharmacist. Ten or so years ago, you could earn a B.S. in Pharmacy. Not anymore, unfortunately.

    •  @tosh I believe this list is for 4 year bachelor degree, not post-graduate degrees such as a pharmacist’s.

  41. What about 2-year career school Instructors, where do we fall under and what should we be making? I can tell you for my education I have I should be making more being an Instructor at a 2-year career school.

  42. Nothing new here, this has been true for decades.  But, they are difficult majors, and most HS grads want something easy since they graduated at the 9 grade level.

  43. You guys forgot to put Arts and Entertainment on here.  Why?  What about Graphic Designers and Digital Artists and Illustrators, some of which might have aided in front-end design for this site?  I’m amazed at how these fields still seem to get blind-sided in these lists, when everything from cars to shoes, t-shirts, book covers, websites, films, cartoons, the list goes on uses this group of professionals.  These are not easy jobs.  They require just as much skill and training as the ones listed above. 

    •  @bigpippin
       What about Graphics Designers.  There clearly un-appreciated and that’s the way the “cookie crumbles”  I think we all know its not just about skill but how those professionals value themselves.  Seems like the arts and entertainment are a dime a dozen and so many are willing to work for pennies.  That’s why they never make the list. 

    • @bigpippin Notice the title of the article, “Highest starting salaries”. The two degrees you mentioned don’t even come close to making it on this list.

      •  @Robert Warren  @bigpippin 
        @ Robert Warren: do you even know anyone in those fields? I do. My brother is a graphic designer/art director in Manhattan and he kills atleast 60,000 a year. You need to be good at what you do in any field and you’ll make money, simple as that. Look at Peter de’Seve he did the illustrations for Finding Nemo and Ice Age are you going to tell me he’s not bringing in the bank?!

      •  Actually you dont know what the fuck youre talking about rubert.  Yes that was spelled correctly for yours intended.  Ive got recreational land in India for sale to prove that.  Feelings hurt talentless hack. Sounds like rubert couldnt draw or paint a straight line to save his worthless life.

      •  @Robert Warren  @bigpippin the average salary of an actor is $40,000 from last I looked.  My husband is a musician and makes more doing that than when he worked in the health industry, of which exceeded the amounts listed above.  I guess I don’t understand why theses fields aren’t mentioned.  The average salary of a graphic designer is $37,000 last I looked which is comparable to the Humanities and social sciences section listed above.  How accurate these statistics are anyway and do they include freelancers?

    • @bigpippin Notice the title of the article, “Highest starting salaries”. The two degrees you mentioned don’t even come close to making it on this list.

    •  @bigpippin
       this article is only talking about the average starting-out pay for these majors. I guarantee that the majority of art majors do not start out making 50k.

      •  @jubileeblaisdell There are several jobs posted on here that don’t meet that mark but seem to be the average for each field.  I was merely pointing out that a particular job niche had been excluded.  

    • I actually happen to know several graphic designers who are making around $30 to $40,000 starting out.  I’m a senior right now and will be receiving a BFA in Digital Art – 4.0 last semester thank you “bigpippinisstupid”, and have done plenty of research in my field.  I guess it just depends on where you are, how good and how determined one is.  I haven’t even graduated yet and I’m already making money freelancing.  I think it’s def. comparable to the Humanities and social sciences section.  I will add that freelancing probably doesn’t show up on the job market and I’m probably fortunate in that I have more than just graphics skills.  The reason I thought the field should have showed up was b/c they seem to show the highest salaries in each field not just the highest salaries.  I appreciate the responses that come from people who have respect for others.

  44. This information is coming from a highly unreliable source such as Careerbuilder.  If your looking for more reliable data, you should pull data from multiple sources such as, CB Salary,, Once you compile the data, look at the data for any outliers and determine averages.  Here are some items to consider: Industry (Energy Industry will make more than the Hospitality Industry, Company size (bigger companies will pay more than smaller ones), and geographic region (New York pays higher rates than New Orleans).

  45. How about CRNA.  How would you like make a $100 to $110 dollars an hour?  That is the going rate from the start!

    •  @gbmartin True, but it also requires a minimum of 7 years of education (current requirement is a Master’s degree), soon to be 8 1/2, as it transitions to a doctorate program.  This is not an entry level position, thank God, because the responsibility that goes with it is considerable.  
      AND, to make that kind of money, you are probably doing it on a 1099, not a W-2, which means you are paying all the taxes, including malpractice, health insurance, all those taxes that you normally see taken out by your employer before you get your paycheck on a W-2…..  It is very unlikely that those dollar amounts are representative of W-2s.  
      AND, with Obamacare coming, those figures are likely to drop.  :-(

    •  @gbmartin better yet, how would you like to earn that money like me sitting on your butt not even going to work?

      •  @lilhojian Master’s is the minimum training these days.  Many programs are now becoming a doctorate.  The doctoral program will be the standard somewhere around 2015.  For those who are bragging about the big salaries that come with this field, there’s also big education and big responsibility that go with it.  :-)      
        Love my job….  but it’s not easy.

  46. these are jobs. if you have a job mentality and plan to work for some one else yo you will never become wealthy. fact.

  47. Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, White Countries for Everybody Annihilation by Assimilation   Every white country on earth is supposed to become multicultural and multiracial. EVERY white country is expected to end its own race and end its own culture. No one asks that of ANY non-white country.   The Netherlands is more crowded than Japan, Belgium is more crowded than Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve the RACE problem by bringing in millions of third-worlders and assimilating and intermarrying with them.   Everybody says the final solution to the RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to bring in the third world and assimilate with them.   Immigration, tolerance, and especially assimilation are being used against the white race.   All this immigration and intermarriage is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries.   Anti-white is called anti-racist, but it leads to the disappearance of one race and only one race, the white race. The real aim of anti-racism is to wipe out the white race or make it a minority anywhere it exists.   It is genocide.

      •  @ksmommy Africa isnt trying to make itself nonblack via a policy of mass non-black immigration and assimilation Asia isnt trying to make itself non-Asian via a policy of mass non-Asian immigration and assimilation But EVERY white country has the policy of mass non-white immigration and assimilation, yet no white country ever voted to become a non-white country Anti-whites want all white countries to be blended, brown countries: white genocide via mass non-white immigration and assimilation.

    •  @GeorgeWells Whether your facts are correct or not, your means for communicating your messge suck.  Stick to the topic, and stop race-baiting.

        •  @GeorgeWells In this case, I fully support Genocide.  You should, too, as it means not only the end of the White race, but of the Darkies and Yellowies and Reds, leaving only a mashup of Brownies.  Don’t forget; in your model it’s not only the whites who go away.
          And, if you represent them (I’m one; you don’t represent me), then I have no problem with their extinction.

      •  @AnthonyOkafor 
        Paranoid?  Tell me, You have 1. Massive immigration, 2. To white countries only 3. Border laws suspended Coupled with: 4. Forced immigration 5. Racial preference to non-whites 6. Coerced tolerance 7. Socially engineered assimilation/genetic blending What is the end result of diversity? Genocide, white genocide.

    •  @GeorgeWells Get a life and maybe you’ll stop bi***ing about stupid a** stuff. Find something to do that’s worthwhile – help an old lady across the street, pick up trash along the highway, brush your teeth. Anything besides posting asinine statements full of hate. Don’t be so scared – you’ll be alright – even if you do end up a minority! It’s OK.

      •  @kimenm  I bet you are recommending things to do that you yourself have never done.
        How is it hate? That is your opinion. You are only saying that because I am white and actually speaking up against the violence and genocide against my race.

    •  @GeorgeWells I’m not really sure how the disappearance pertains to this article, but I do see how whites are now faced with a type of racism that your ancestor’s would never have experienced.  I think every race faces racism from every other race.  African’s do hate on whites and asians, I’ve personally faced this from African American’s.  Then again Asians that came from their country in the last 20-30 years does hold a some amount of racism against both African American’s and white’s.  I would personally say it’s a large amount because I’ve listened to my grandparents and parents talk about this.  The best way to get rid of racism is if everyone was educated to see personality rather than the color of the skin and the stereotypes it follow’s.  Unfortunately, every one believes their race is superior.  I guess the reason now for the hatred on whites would be because it seems like every “minority” race has faced prejudice from the white race.  It sort of an unified belief from the other races that to be truly unified the white race should be taught a lesson.  It’s not the right method, but it doesn’t seem like every one is willing to change their belief’s suddenly 

      •  @balki1011  @GeorgeWells
         The only true “white countries” would be in Europe no where else. not the United States

        •  @OTA  @balki1011 
          Where did you learn that? Ever question the basic teachings of the govt propaganda factories?
          So, white genocide is okay period or just in non-white countries?
          Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white.

      •  @balki1011   I would say you have basically thought up a justification for the present ongoing genocide of the white race.
        Can’t justify it by the past.  The present generation is not guilty of the deeds of ancestors (the story about white guilt is really overstated and a distortion because all have transgressed against all but only whites are being blamed).
        In white countries only: Is massive immigration not happening? Is integration not forced? Is tolerance not forced? Is assimilation not happening? Increasingly higher rate? Is not the end result the extinction of the white race? How is this not white genocide?

        •  @GeorgeWells  @balki1011 I think that you were born in the wrong era, I get the feeling that you would be more at home in Germany in the 1930′s.  You wanna know why people from other continents such as Asia and Africa are moving to places like the United States?? The same reason European’s came here in a massive migration, to escape and find a better life.  Europeans came here with their gifts of pox blanket’s for the Native American’s and told them to get used to it.  But now that it’s not the white race doing the migrating, all of a sudden it’s genocide.  As an Asian American, I would say that my parents left a country that was in turmoil from corrupt government officials, and poor chances to raise female children.  I’m assuming that you were born and brought up in America, where you never had to suffer from the lack of basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter.  You’ve truly lived a sheltered life to have time to ponder on the “genocide” of whites.  I wouldn’t call this a genocide because I don’t see white people getting round up and killed.  From my perspective, I see people of all colors and backgrounds meeting and becoming friends.  If white’s fall in love and have children with people of other race then it isn’t the other race’s fault for the disappearance of the white race.  It takes two to make a baby.  
          It is well known that every African American has some white ancestry in their background, but now every white person with have Asian or African ancestry in their background.  It’s a change that I have seen welcomed by my white friends, because they truly don’t care seeing race.  They know that while they may be physically different, but inside we are all the same. 

        •  @balki1011 Whites came here and produced. There was no welfare system them. Low wages many indentured or enslaved. The mass of immigrants come here to take and lower wages for the poorer portion of the society.
          America is full. More people steals the american Dream from all. Its unsustainable also.
          The massive forcing of non-whites into all white countries is part of a global anti-white, pro-white genocide program.
          Africa isnt trying to make itself nonblack via a policy of mass non-black immigration and assimilation Asia isnt trying to make itself non-Asian via a policy of mass non-Asian immigration and assimilation But EVERY white country has the policy of mass non-white immigration and assimilation, yet no white country ever voted to become a non-white country Anti-whites want all white countries to be blended, brown countries: white genocide via mass non-white immigration and assimilation.

      •   @zachfoster In white countries only: Is massive immigration not happening? Is integration not forced? Is tolerance not forced? Is assimilation not happening? Increasingly higher rate? Is not the end result the extinction of the white race? How is this not white genocide?

      •  @dkane702 1984 society where war is peace, weakness is strength, love is hate, EVIL things are hidden behind noble sounding, noble sounding created concepts.  Look closely. You have 1. Massive immigration, 2. To white countries only 3. Border laws suspended Coupled with: 4. Forced immigration 5. Racial preference to non-whites 6. Coerced tolerance 7. Socially engineered assimilation/genetic blending What is the end result of diversity? Genocide, white genocide.

  48. wow, I have been a Cert. Nursing Assit. for 20 years and I still only make 10.00 and hour that is the going rate in Florida, Hello, maybe it depends on where you reside

    •  @cnat
       And that certificate as a nursing assistant took you 4 yrs.  We’re talking bachelors degrees here, not 6-12mos training.

    •  @cnat a certified nursing assistant and a registered nurse are not the same thing.  an RN requires more school and has way more responsibilities then a CNA does.  If you have been a CNA for 20 years you should know that.  

    •  @cnat You do understand that there is a difference between being a CNA and being a Registered Nurse, correct?  My daughter just received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, and is an RN.  She worked as a CNA during summers at a nursing home with barely any training.  They are VERY different jobs and therefore are paid accordingly.

    •  @cnat
       My wife started as an LPN in 2000 and made up to $67K annually. She applied for the LPN to RN tranisiton (1yr program) at Hillsborough Community College (Tampa), now earns $75K – 80K. Trust me, I file the taxes.

    •  @cnatI’m sorry, but a CNA is NOT a nurse! It says REGISTERED NURSE, you know for people that have a BSN or ADN (at least!). Please do not get CNA’s mixed up with RN’s.

    •  @cnat
       It def depends on where you work.  In Nashville, TN, I made $10 an hour as a CNA in 1994!!!  The average here now pays $13 to START, right out of school.  Also, your money goes farther in Tennessee than it does in Florida, which I why I live here, rather than in Miami, where I was born and raised. 

    •  @cnat It says a starting registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree makes that, not a CNA. You don’t need a degree to be a certified nursing assistant. Doesn’t matter where you reside, you’re not the kind of nurse they are talking about. 

    •  @cnat
       I believe the list is talking about a Registered Nurse, they have an actual degree, whereas a CNA does not. The CNA’s here in TN do not make much more than you do, so you’d have to go back to school to earn more money. :)

    •  @cnat NO It depends upon the degree. I just moved from Gainesville, one of the lowest paying in Fla and a RN with a bachelors can make this at Shands or North Florida

    •  @cnat
       Nursing assitant doesn’t make a lot, you have to become certified nurse or higher to make a lot of money.

    •  @cnat
       CNA is not the same as RN they go to school for at least 4 years some six so they make alot more than 10 dollars an hour 

    •  @cnat  you are a nurse assistant, not a nurse with a 4 year degree. 10.oo an hour is the going rate in Nebraska as well. Nurses with a 4 year degree start at around 22.00 per hour.

    • @cnat Your a CNA look up what an RN makes in the state of Fl. I think you’d be surprised, some start at $68k. Maybe you should go back to school.

  49. It says advertising is the the highest degree in communications, with the average communication major starting at $44k.  I need to know where these  people work.  I work in advertising with an ad degree and myself nor non of my friends make even close to that.

    •  @lbhallonquist is an ad degree an associates degree? the salary listed is for those with a bachelor’s degree. that may be the difference in the pay.

      •  @temdil
         No i have a bachelor’s degree from a well respected department of public relations and advertising.

    •  @lbhallonquist Maybe you would do better if you learned how to write a grammatical sentence or at least used spell check. Advertising majors!

      •  @Bonapartist
        Oh yes, you must be all high and mighty. Like you have never made grammatical mistakes or spelling errors.  I was typing that comment fast.  Its not like I was sending it to a client or something.

    • After a 40 year in advertising with several major agencies,Ican tell you once you’ve paid your dues  as an (asst Acct exec, asst art director, jr copywriter)
      The sky is the limit! It took me 6 years after college to make the senior ranks,
      but once there EVERYONE else who had a business major was envoius of my compensation. $160,000(1980 dollars) as director of strategic plannning.
      No corparation pays comparable to what an ad agency pays. As only the best and brightest ad majors are the ones hired by ad agencies.Today, make it to a senior level (Sr V.P or above ) with a major ad agency and yoour lokking at a minimun of $200,000 per year. THERE IS NO WHERE IN MARKETING OR ADVETISING THAT PAYS BETTER< NOR ATTRACTS MORE TALENTED PEOPLE.((Which is why the supply FAR exceed s the demand for AD AGY PEOPLE!!!!

  50. Seen a lot of comments about why they didn’t list doctors, dentists, pharmacists, etc. as the highest paid health profession. The article does say that “here’s a list of the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees”. There may be higher paying jobs in the Health Sciences category, but they require more than a B.S. 

  51. I would like to know where the article found its information.  In the education field, it is claimed that Special Education is the highest paid.  In the many school districts i have been involved with, all teachers are on the same salary schedule regardless of what they teach.

    •  @SpEdTeacher Life is so lonely .I am a rich and single man at present .I need a woman who can love me back .I also uploaded my hot photos on Wealthybar.C om under the name of jeff1098..It’s the largest and best club for seeking CEOs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, beauty queens, fitness models, and Hollywood celebrities.Please Check it out!I’m serious.

    •  @SpEdTeacher
       I had a special education teacher who got paid around $64,000 a year. She told me that the more schooling that you got the higher pay you get and she has a masters. But thats what I know.

      •  @ajmr14 Depends on your state. Indiana just changed the law that if you didn’t start your master’s by last summer, they won’t give an increase for the extra education – ever. Dumbest thing I ever heard! In other words, a teacher with a BS & a teacher with a MS will be on the same pay scale; however, they will both still be required to complete 6 credit hrs every 5 yrs to keep their license. I think they are also now going to base pay raises on teacher evals. What if the principal evaluating just doesn’t like the teacher, no matter how good they are? Absolutely crazy!!

    •  @SpEdTeacher
       Most school districts pays their teacher on the same scale but if you are a Special Ed, Math. and Science major they usually start you on a higher scale than the rest.

  52. “Work hard while you are young”, “invest your monies smartly”. “Time” is what we are all in a race with. “you can not buy back your youth”. “Prepare for the future before the future prepares for you”. “Education comes in all forms”. Besides education, you must possess enthusiasm, drive, desire, motivation ect. 

  53. I feel like a really important field was missing, and that’s agriculture. People would be hungry and naked without it and I feel like it is forgotten most of the time. That’s just me throwing in my two cents though.

    • I think a lot of people forget that there’s more to agriculture than farming. You need research in order to produce seed, production lines to distribute seed, agronomists to study fields, sales representatives to sell seed…the list can go on and on.

  54. Let’s take a guy like George Lynch from the band Dokken. This guy can’t even read sheet music but use to teach at G. I. T. his music. The guy plays better than some who have went to music school for years. The “proof is in the pudding”. Education can come from anywhere. In this case he is famous and won solo of the year from the song, “In my dreams” in the past. Though he has no musical cert to back him up, I would be more than happy to hire him at my firm to play music. 

  55. cnat.
    I’m sorry, but a CNA is NOT a nurse! It says REGISTERED NURSE, you know for people that have a BSN or ADN (at least!). CNA’s are not Registered Nurses!

    •  @Lex_RN
       Yes CNA,s are Registered Nurses with Advanced Practice Degree in nursing and hold Special Certification by State Boards of Nursing. I think the artical pertains to new graduate nurses not advance practice nurses.
      D. Harrison, BSN, MSN, RN  

  56. Are there going to be jobs in these fields when you graduate, or 20 years down the road?? My youngest brother has a software engineering degree (“career of the future, you’ll NEVER be out of a job” the tv ads shouted in 1990) and hasn’t had a job in that field since the dot-com bubble burst!!!

  57. Where are they getting these statistics.  I have a computer science degree and a business degree and I’m only making $49,000 after 10 years!

    •  @dane8000 Do you have any certifications? Do you do any volunteer work? How are you business/social networking skills? My aim is not to see negative; but to help.
      Consider these things that might help:
      1. Update/more (quantity) certifications
      2. Volunteer for a charity/local community organization using these same skills
      3. Start a blog or website that helps others in the field…..or……..
      4. Start a blog or website that is industry specific (egs. insurance, telecommunications, music, video, oil….so many to choose from) and become a master at what is happening in that industry and how your knowledge of computers can help them [read: Networking with the Affluent, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley]
      There are many ways to continually develop — and this is the key to more income.

  58. This list is completely inaccurate. I’ve been a pharmacist 15 years, made $60,000 right out of college and am now making close to $100,000/year. While it’s true that pharmacists graduating today are getting their PharmD, it is definitely NOT a requirement. A PharmD is a plus when you are going into pharmacy research but is not needed for what most of us do (retail pharmacy). 

  59. I know a lot of people with Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s that can’t do a thing with them. These degrees are a few that are highly competitive. If you can beat out everyone else with the degree you have, you have a chance. Yeah you can make money, but it means nothing when 100 people are going for the same job.

  60. This article is horrible. It’s very vexing in comprehending how college is becoming an institution of monetary cast system development rather  than a medium in the expansion of academic and psychological awareness. Maybe that’s why my college peers are so boring and unoriginal.

    •  @nrshinywater
       You go to college to learn a skill to make a living.  What’s wrong with the college right now are they putting a lot unnecessary classes that adds to college expenses.  There is a time to be original and all awareness in the world you desire and called hobby…. 

  61. For all you people hating on nurses and questioning why graduate professions such as physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists and pharmacists were not included in the survey, you failed to read the end of the article where it clearly states that not all majors were taken into account.  With that being stated, if you still want to continue comparing nursing wages to other graduate degrees, try comparing a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist salary to all the above mentioned.  You will fall on your butts when you learn CRNA’s starting salary!!!  Way beyond the above mentioned degrees.  So for all of you here boasting that pharmacists make way more than nurses, try comparing a CRNA salary to a pharmacist salary.  You must also learn that RN salaries vary greatly depending on many factors, with ranging hourly rates of $23 to $55.  Yes you guessed correctly, I have a Doctor of Nursing practice and also a CRNA degree.  A true Doctoral degree… Bachelors, Masters, and Doctors degree.  A total of 9 years of educations with much clinical experience.  Yes, i also make more than many physicians!!  So all you boasting, shut up!

  62. Wow, so my starting salery in Petrolum Engineering @ 96k didn’t even make the list huh… And my friend in Civil engineering started also @ about 65k. I guess that they didn’t ask Colorado School of Mines Grads.

    •  @student1002
       This is a survey and survey is basically what is the most available in the market.  Your position is not that common and you can’t find that position in all market.

  63. Hi Marine,
    I like your post…I can understand where you are coming from…I am a high school grad.I wemt to work for the airlines for over 20 years….I love it. I am closing on my Town Home soon and I am getting a fat check…What would be your advice on my next property….I am new at this……My Market is Charlotte NC.

  64. Well I’m a Human Services student and I will have an Associates Degree in June of 2013 will I be Employeeable.

    •  @MarkDavis
      Teacher’s salary depends on academic qualifiquations and if the teacher teaches in elementary shool, high school, community college or 4 year colleges. The salary also varies from state to state. At the beggining, the entrance salary is low anyywhere you go. Teachers only start making a decent salary,  after being in the system for a good  12-15 years w/at least 2 to 3 promotions in between. Teacher’s turnover rate is very high at the lower grades. Young teachers don’t stick around long enough discouraged in part w/the low salary and all the abuses they have to swallow from an ever increasing number of disfunctional students and parents.

      •  @someone2  @MarkDavis Teachers are usually paid the same whether they teach elem or high school, 1st grade or science.  There are no promotions, there is just a scale of wages, which usually goes up in tiny incriments, even w/a masters. In many school corps, special ed teachers are on the same pay scale. And while a NYC teacher w/a masters and 30 years experience might make in the 6 figure range, the majority of teachers will never see those numbers – most retire, after 35+ years and a masters and additional classes to keep their licenses current, making well less that 6 figures.  A friend teaches in the largest (and wealthiest) school corp in IN and says her corps’s salary scale ends in the $70s – hit it after 20 years plus a masters and your salary will remain mostly stagnant. 

      •  @someone2
         “Increasing number of disfunctional students and parents” That’s a bold statement.Teachers only work 182 days per year.In Mexifornia,the average teachers salary is $68k per year.After 30 years ,you can retire with 100% of salary and if you play your cards right that percentage can climb to 150% of your salary.Benenfits are excelllent.Free healthcare for life for you and your spouse.What do you have yo do in return? Not much with a 60% dropout rate in high school.5 out 100 high school graduates can read well enough to pass a college entrance exam.Besides once you are in,the union will guarantee you ,you can never be fired.It’s all good for the teacher,not so good for the students and parents.I wonder which group is the most difunctional?

    •  @MarkDavis
       I am a teacher with 23 years experience, a Masters degree and National Board Certification. I teach high school and have 150 students daily.  I am making 51,000.00 per year and have not seen a payraise and or COLA in the last five years. Remember that teachers do not receive paid vacations or any other benefits. Retirement benefits are also less than stellar. When one consider the hours most teachers put in usually between 10-14 hours per day plus weekends the above salary is less than satisfactory. Moreover, students and their parents feel that they are entiteld to a good grade regardless of the effort and lack thereof. When they do not receive the grade they want they are very quick to cause trouble for the teacher(s) or even to hire an attorney. Yet, when their child ultimately does not know anything it is of course the teacher’s fault. I only ask that before comments are made that it would be prudent to truly educate yourself on the subject matter.
      Kind regards,    

    •  @MarkDavis
      I am a teacher with 23 years’ experience, a Master’s degree and National Board Certification. I teach high school and have 150 students daily. My salary is 51,000.00 per year, and I have not seen a pay raise and or COLA in the last five years. Remember teachers do not receive paid vacations or any other benefits. Retirement benefits are also less than stellar. When one considers the hours most teachers put in, usually between 10-14 hours per day plus weekends and holidays, the above salary is less than satisfactory. Moreover, students and their parents feel that they are entitled to a good grade regardless of the effort or lack thereof. When students do not receive the grade they want, they are very quick to cause trouble for the teacher(s) and in some cases parents even hire an attorney. Yet, when their child ultimately does not know anything, it is of course the teacher’s fault. I only ask that before comments are made, that it would be prudent to truly educate yourself on the subject matter.
      Kind regards,

    •  @MarkDavis I teach chemistry and biology in a low-performing school.  Because of my school’s chronic low test scores, we have to do a tremendous amount of extra work – meetings, reports, extra programs during and after school, etc.  I’ve worked more than 100 hours/week this year, and when I break my salary down hourly, I make just over $8.00/hour, and that’s BEFORE taxes!  I teach because I love working with young people and changing lives, but it’s very difficult in a school where you get cussed out at least once/week, have nearly 1/3 of my students tardy to class, absent, or cutting everyday, and at least another 1/3 sleeping or refusing to do any work – EVERYDAY.  Try teaching ANYTHING in these conditions and see if test scores improve and see if you don’t get burned out in 6 months.  And I am paid the same as elementary teachers in my district and those that teach in the best schools but only work half the number of hours I do.  HOW IS THIS FAIR?  WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ULTIMATELY DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY, BUT WE ARE UNDERVALUED, UNDERAPPRECIATED, AND MOST DEFINITELY UNDERPAID.  I owe $26,000 in student loans from my masters, which is more than half my annual salary.  How many years do you think it will take me to pay that off?  And how in the world will I ever start saving for retirement?

  65. while computer science is one of the top highest paying major, once you graduated you’re gonna have to compete with millions of others to land a job at a big IT company. Think twice before taking this major.

    •  @coolrocks86 Computer Science is the top tier for most IT-related feilds. I think you need to realize that the CS degree alone is not enough anymore: you need to couple it with some ‘specific’ certifications and some volenteer work related to the certifications — I did that and when I graduated I was at work less than 48 hours later…..and that was in Summer, 2002!

    •  @coolrocks86 In 2012; there are way too many Computer Science majors that graduated for the degree alone to mean anything! A student in any IT-related major should also get at least 3 ‘technology-specific’ certifications. Couple these two with some volunteer experience in the same technology as the certifications and that student is going to do well.
      I did that (with 1 cert and 2 internships) and I graduated on Saturday…and reported for full-time work on Monday….back in late Summer, 2002!

  66. Who ever wrote this needs to be fired for doing such a poor job.  Highest paying in the engineering field is Petroleum Engineering.

    •  @king_salmon
       This is a survey from NACE.  Survey is basically are in general and the most common in the market.  Your position is very uncommon and I bet you if you do a survey you hardly find a Petroleum Engineer position.

      •  @dkane702  @king_salmon There are plenty of Petroleum Engineering jobs out there.  But if you are not in the field or haven’t done any research you aren’t going to know where to look to find them.

  67. The success of any individual depends on a combination of academic knowledge, character, self-confidence, work ethics and unwavering determination to succeed. Working hard alone won’t strike gold, otherwise “the mule” would be either the smartest animal and the king of the jungle.

  68. when i came out of culinary school 5 yrs ago my salary was 42k give it i had a few yrs expierence, now im making 53k, which is decent for me but i really do love my profession so thats worth alot more than money. 

  69. That’s nice see those colelge grads with those high starting salaries.  I think Ms Auerbach is leaving out a group workers that made everything happen for those college grads, like the matinance workers who keep their A/C on in their office to keep the cool,  the elavator mechanic to make sure they can get to office instead of walking up 50 flights of stairs, or how about the auto tech to make their car works properly.  The sad part is most of the “skill trades people” are in their late 50′s and mid 60s and ready to call quits. The sad part is no one wants to learn these trades

    •  @reddks
       This survey is for degree program, minimum Bachelors.  The job you mention are for graduates of trade school. 

    •  @reddks Many people don’t look into the trades or trade school because they haven’t really ever heard of anything positive about them and many people look down on them because their job is “dirty”or the work is too physically demanding for people.  Even more people think that skilled trades people are only out to rip them off.  What I mean is, Who really trusts a mechanic?  Unless you can work on cars yourself and understand how they work you really don’t know if you are getting ripped off.  And yes, usually when you are in an apprenticeship of a trade the the pay is low and discouraging.  But if you take the time to work your way up the ladder and finish your apprenticeship the pay is pretty good.

    •  @reddks
       You are correct with this comment. I am an auto technician with 42 years exp. If these young kids knew the money that can be made fixing todays automobiles they might opt for a trade school instead of college. A good knowlegdeable tech can clear $65,000.00 a year.

  70. I never understood why Americans think business degrees are the most steady route to go. If you’re looking for a stable and high-paying career, almost anything in medical field is basically where the money is at.

    •  @NigellEforMA
       In my opinion business degree is the most stable and have more opportunity to grow and possibly make more money.  You said medical field but if think about it, in a healthcare company how many medical major are needed compare to how many business major are needed. If you look at the highest paid people on the company again, how many medical major and business major is? Why do you think there’s a lot of medical major people are now taking an MBA?

      •  @dkane702  @NigellEforMA Are you serious?  Have someone show you their MBA the next time you need anesthesia.  lol    (Not trying to be mean, that was just funny logic to me)  

        • @lovinlife I’m not saying they using their MBA to treat their patient, they getting their MBA to learn how to run their business better. Most of these medical practitioners run their on practices. They can be a good healthcare provider but if they are lousy on business, they will not make it in business. Healthcare is a business. Some of them also take MBA to become administrator of the hospital and other healthcare companies.

      •  @dkane702 Sorry, business degrees are not good anymore. Many business jobs are going away, or being outsourced to other countries. Healthcare cannot be outsourced.

        •  @JanY
          You are talking about clerical jobs not position that needs business degree.  Business is more than that, what basically they outsource are position that can be done cheaper and not to be onsite. We still need business people to run the business onsite same as healthcare professional.  Are you aware that they also outsourcing healthcare position too? If you call those nurse, doctors, pharmacist phone hotline, those are now outsource overseas. Go to regular hospital and ask them how many people are healthcare workers and business workers onsite? You must be amazed especially with all the new healthcare regulations, there are more business related position created in the healthcare industry.

  71. Where are you guys getting these numbers from? All of these jobs start off in the $30ks after graduating from college. 

    •  @jp4
       The article said “Median starting pay,”  Maybe in your case is $30K but other people/location/company is $60K. If you take the median of those two, it’s $45K.

  72. Your son will work very hard in the oil industry and get paid very well! My son was in OKC for 4 months of training, the off to the oil sands where he earned $30K a month. Tell your son take every opportunity to advance even if it means tough working conditions and long hours. I think we’ll be burning oil for at least 3 more generations….

      •  @dkane702
         He’s on track for $225K for the first year
        He got paid $30K/month for the 6 months that he was in Northern Canada which is November – May

    •  @mrmott1
       I work in the oil industry as a manager and also recruit kids out of school.  Because of the liberal bias against our industry, the kids are staying away from Petroleum Engineering (ooh, a dirty word).  Therefore, I can tell you that we are not getting enough kids with a petroleum degree so we are left with internationl kids (go to any major campus and you’ll see the international students in programs that is desired by our industry).  And, the starting salary for a kid with decent grades (get ready…) is around 80K with a sign on around another 20K.  We are not an evil empire as so many pepole have been lead to believe.  We provide vital necessatiy for our country.  Sure, your kids will have to study harder, but the rewards are well worth their efforts and (as mrmott1 says) we will be around for many many years to come.
      Nobody grows up wanting to be a petroleum engineer (unlike a fireman or airline pilot).  But, the job is challenging enough to fall in love with. 

  73. Wow this is fucken madness and your all sitting there like idiots attacking each other trying to out degree one another when all in all it’s the corporate government of the united state that sold us all out and cheapen all our careers. wake up people don’t you see what up? While that one percent gets away with murder practically we sit here and blame our selves, then again were allowing the political crook to change our live and destroy our future   

  74. Surprise of surprises? Get your PHD in expectation of teaching of the college level with years of education with high grades and find that you have a 1 in 35 chance of getting a job. Why should universities pay profs when they can pay grad students very little to teach classes or hire an adjunct prof for $2500 per class (limited to 2 classes per semester) per semester? Try living off that? And we expect to have quality educators on the university level?

  75. I am a teacher with 23 years’ experience, a Master’s degree and National Board Certification. I teach high school and have 150 students daily. My salary is 51,000.00 per year, and I have not seen a pay raise and or COLA in the last five years. Remember teachers do not receive paid vacations or any other benefits. Retirement benefits are also less than stellar. When one considers the hours most teachers put in, usually between 10-14 hours per day plus weekends and holidays, the above salary is less than satisfactory. Moreover, students and their parents feel that they are entitled to a good grade regardless of the effort or lack thereof. When students do not receive the grade they want, they are very quick to cause trouble for the teacher(s) and in some cases parents even hire an attorney. Yet, when their child ultimately does not know anything, it is of course the teacher’s fault. I only ask that before comments are made, that it would be prudent to truly educate yourself on the subject matter.
    Kind regards,

  76. How about pre-med, then  Med school …these majors above wouldnt even show up in the petty cash account       

  77. Funny to hear people talking of the medical field– so many layoffs, consolidations, job meetings, takeovers. The best way to REALLY make money is to work for yourself at something you love. Absolutely. Dependent on no one but yourself. Once again, these flimsy reports such as the one on this page are really nothing more than a few pixels of info. 20 years ago a MAJOR report came out that those entering the job market as professors had it made due to retirements by profs and so many more people going to college. The report did not recognize that at that very moment colleges were switching to adjuncts, 90% timers and other such pools of people to save huge amounts of $$$$. Today, you have a Ph.D. and are full time employed with benefits, you are VERY fortunate. 

  78. Funny to hear people talking of the medical field– so many layoffs, consolidations, job meshings, takeovers. The best way to REALLY make money is to work for yourself at something you love. Absolutely. Dependent on no one but yourself. Once again, these flimsy reports such as the one on this page are really nothing more than a few pixels of info. 20 years ago a MAJOR report came out that those entering the job market as professors had it made due to retirements by profs and so many more people going to college. The report did not recognize that at that very moment colleges were switching to adjuncts, 90% timers and other such pools of people to save huge amounts of $$$$. Today, you have a Ph.D. and are full time employed with benefits, you are VERY fortunate. 

  79. look guys going to college sounds great but it is not for everybody,  if you really want to make it in the real world you are going to have to put in the time and effort in whatever you do, be it college or entering the work force with no higher education, for example myself,  I decided not to go to college and enter the work force head first. I started this job I have now in 2006 and when I started this job I see I earned more money then, than the highest paying job listed on this article, I earned more by at least 15k more, that was on my first year, of coarse I put in alot of overtime and not mention blood, sweat and a couple of tears when no one was looking, I guess what I am saying is you can make it with college or no college, all it takes is some good old fashion elbow grease something I feel this country has forgoten, now I make almost tripple of what I started and only work six months out of the year and to top it off I get to see the world on the companie’s dime I work for. God I love my life!! And thank you God for the oilfield!!! 

  80. Higher education is valuable depending on what job hold your interest. Success really depends on the desire to succeed, that takes hard work, yes a four letter word, enjoyment in the job, and education of some kind be it university, votech or on the job.

  81. Actually, I think that Business is overrated…granted its a good major, but EVERYONE in college is a business major…A good career move Criminal Justice…you can go along way with CJ…City Police, State Police, Federal, you can go to law school…and sadly but true…we will always have crime..thats a promising career

  82. hey people let’s cool the tangent on CNA’s and Registered Nurses. this started with Doc4u’s comment, CRNA’s make $23 to $55 per hr, which is correct. note:CRNA which is the acronym
    for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist,  which is a very different position and educational skill level of a CNA, Certified Nurse Assistant. Now having said that CNA’s work very hard for little money, which is very sad. I’ve worked in the Legal Profession where the para legals and secretaries do all the reasearch and work,have all the knowledge, but the Attorney gets all the cash and glory, same is true of the Medical Professtion, Nurses,and CNA’s really know and care for the patients (i’m a nurse) and doctors who can be good awful really get paid alot!. that’s why Doc4u spoke about advanced degrees in Nursing.Actually Doc4u is PHD Nurse..I love it. Personaly i’m a traveling nurse great money, not all the drama of working in a hospital (office politics) and the people you are helping are so glad you are there! and I a make btw $25 to $50
    per hour., two years of school an 15 years of expeience.One last thing 15 years ago I took home
    $1750 per week, I take home much more now.

    •  @thenurse Sorry, sweet pea, CRNA’s do not make $23-55 per hour.  RN’s probably.   Lower end if they work in a hospital, upper end if they travel.  ARNP nurses (Nurse Practicitioner’s) earn $55-80/hour….I know several ARNP’s  Doc4u is much closer to the CRNA salary.  Actually, CRNA’s generally are paid salary, not hourly.  He/She also probably has a DNP, which is the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, not a PhD, which is a Doctorate of Philosophy.  CRNA’s these days generally have a master’s degree in nursing or nurse anesthesia, depending on their program.  The new requirement will become a DNP effective 2015 (I may be wrong on the year, but I think that’s right).  Some anesthesia programs are currently offering it in their curriculum.  

  83. hey people let’s clarify some info on CNA’s and Registered Nurses. this started with Doc4u’s comment, CRNA’s make $23 to $55 per hr, which is correct. note:CRNA which is the acronym
    for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist,  which is a very different position and educational skill level of a CNA, Certified Nurse Assistant. Now having said that CNA’s work very hard for little money, which is very sad. I’ve worked in the Legal Profession where the para legals and secretaries do all the reasearch and work,have all the knowledge, but the Attorney gets all the cash and glory, same is true of the Medical Professtion, Nurses,and CNA’s really know and care for the patients (i’m a nurse) and doctors who can be good or awful, really get paid a lot!. that’s why Doc4u spoke about advanced degrees in Nursing. Actually Doc4u is PHD Nurse..I love it. DoctorNurse,Personaly i’m a traveling nurse great money, not all the drama of working in a hospital (office politics) And when I want time off, I just don’t schedule clients.I love to travel. I’m self employed so I make as much as I want, it depends on how much I want to work,and the people you are helping are so glad you are there! and I a make btw $25 to $50 per hour., two years of school an 15 years of expeience.One last thing 15 years ago I took home $1750 per week, I take home much more now.

  84. I was a Political Science major graduate, and found a job right out of college with the government. I might not be making the most money in the world, but I’m so happy with my career- the pay is merely a bonus. No matter what the salary, people should do what they love. They will be better at it- thus more sucessful in the long run. I’m glad to see Poli Sci getting on a list like this- while it might not be the way to get rich, it opens so many doors right out of college!

  85. Most universities these days, mainly hire professors from other countries. If you are trying to become a professor at an American college, and you were born in the USA, you need to consider that you may not have a very good chance of getting a professor job. That is sad, but its the truth.

  86. I forgot to mention the best part of my career choice,I am self employed,have my own business,so I work when I want, when I don’t want to work,when I want time off,I just don’t book any clients,no paper work trying to get some days off, or the possibilty of looseing my job because of days missed…i love it !I can make as little o as much money as I want. but when you are self employed you have to be disiplined. The buck stops with me.If I don’t work, I don’t eat and you have to be good at what you do. You have to sale yourself, your skills.and FYI I’m confortable.i love my work, I love my life.and there are so many different types of nurses!

  87. i just put a kid to work right out of a 2 year AA degree program making $60k a year. and it only cost him about $9K in tuition books and room and board.   

    Regarding “Construction science/management degrees”, I strongly advise students to avoid construction degrees or planning to get into residential construction. (Commercial construction is very different and is not the reason for my comments.)
    With over twenty years experience and unequaled production records in all forms of residential construction, I wish I had never set foot on a residential construction project.
    Employers are very unstable and go out of business more often than not which leaves a superintendent with a very choppy (incorrectly considered by h.r. departments as “unstable” employment history without considering whether the employer or the industry is unstable). The highly subjective evaluations by unskilled h.r. personnel repeatedly subject a person to a startup salary as a superintendent has to start at the bottom each time he is forced to start over by layoffs, slowdowns, or bankruptcies.
    In addition, the people who came to the U.S. twenty years ago to take “jobs nobody wants” are now in a position to take superintendent jobs in small companies or lower paying salaries with companies who do not have the managerial ability to distinguish in the level of performance between one superintendent versus another.
    It is customary to force a salaried superintendent to meet deadlines that can only be accomplished by working many hours of unpaid overtime which, in effect, lowers one’s hourly pay as well as yearly total.
    It is also customary to defraud superintendents by paying a low base pay with expectation of a high bonus only to deny the bonus for not finishing within budget while never having disclosed the budget and regardless of whether the budget was unrealistically low or left out crucial items.
    In addition, many companies improperly classify a superintendent as a contractor to avoid paying vehicle expenses, truck maintenance, and the employer’s portion of social security taxes.
    Many companies have no benefits whatsoever such as medical insurance or paid vacation. Even a few that do say they are too busy to permit a vacation for consecutive years until a superintendent has been laid off at which time all is forgotten.  
    I could go on with war stories accumulated over many years but will end by saying I would never recommend a career as a residential construction superintendent.

  89. Where did this gal get her data.  Last time I checked, Petroleum Engineers were still at the top of the list!  Chemical Engineers weren’t too far behind…

    •  @Hoolie
       The data they used are from NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers). Probably there’s not enough data for starting salaries for Petroleum Engineer and Chemical Engineer submitted to the Association and basically survey is the most common and more in general.  The article is about the starting pay for a new grad and sometimes employers report certain position as not as starting job position for newly grad.

  90. Gee.  I don’t see any of the courses like literature, art history, psychology, library science, various “victim-studies”, and the “underwater basket-weaving” types listed here.  Maybe not a good idea to go into debt in a field where you can’t make a living.

    •  @iamdiceman I have to disagree with that statement, though it’s a lovely sentiment.  I truly to love what I do (I’m a nurse anesthetist – CRNA), but let me tell you, it can be VERY hard work sometimes, and getting up at 5am five days a week is no walk in the park.  I’m exhausted some days, mentally and physically.  Some patients are really sick these days, some are gigantic (and yes, to the patients who are fat, you make it very hard on the health care workers taking care of you, I make no apologies for that statement).  With hospitals feeling the economic pinch, there is always pressure to hurry, hurry from case to case.  Every minute counts pennies.  
      I understand the thinking behind your remark…..if you love your career, it won’t seem like work.  I do love my career, and have no regrets about it at all, I LOVE it. But, all things considered, I would just as soon be lying in a hammock on a beach.  :-)

  91. Every recent college grad I know that majored in these fields do not have jobs. Especially business and education. No teaching jobs and too many business majors.

  92. @Rural Woman – every school district in IN has their own pay scale for teachers, so saying the entire state is no longer paying teachers for having a masters is just wrong. I live in IN and I know Indy public schools are talking about having a merit based raise system, but other school, such as Fisher, Carmel, Zionsville, etc. – all still have pay increases for masters and are not giving raises based student performance.  Most schools have a top of pay scale as 20 years and a masters plus 30. 

  93. I see “accountant” there as a major but not near the highest paid jobs—at least not starting out.  So, that was my major 30 yrs ago and it wasn’t real great pay then either, but jobs were easy to get.  Today, I make about $750,000 a year in salary.  And another $150k to $250k in dividends and capital gains annually  just investing the cash and stocks I’ve accumulated.  I started a business  a few yrs out of college and here I am.  Only 10 employees, but its decently profitable.  I didn’t pick a major I loved.  I never “loved” accounting, but I’ve never hated it either.  I picked it because I grew up poor and didn’t want a go nowhere major.  For those of you who went the route I did, take comfort knowing you can change your status in life and your major doesn’t always have a lot to do with that.  With the path I took, accounting, business, sales would all have been good majors.  So, am I happy in life now?  Yes.  Money isn’t a worry anymore.  That’s a big stress reliever.  Now, I only work because I want to, not because I have to.  Big difference.

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