Top 10 Highest Paying College Majors

Brittney Barrett  |

College degrees are exorbitant, but they don’t always have the payoff that some people expect. For those undergraduates who want to go to college but also not without the assurance that they will be able to repay their student loans, there are some options. Unfortunately for those without advanced mathematics skills, engineering majors and computer sciences are the top paying post-graduate possibilities out there.


  1. 1. Petroleum Engineering- If Saudi Arabia can teach us anything, it’s that oil pays, really well. The same is the case in the U.S. apparently since a Petroleum engineer is the top paying major with an Average starting salary of $97,000 according to

    2. Chemical Engineering-It’s no surprise that chemical engineering, notoriously one of the most rigorous college majors out there is the second highest paying. With a median starting salary of $64,500 and a mid-career media salary of $109,000, sometimes it pays to work hard.

    3. Electrical Engineering-With a $61,300 median starting salary and a $103,000 mid-career median salary, being an electrical engineer, or someone who designs new and improved electronics, could lead to a potentially bright future.

    4. Materials Science & Engineering-Interested in exploring nanostructered inorganic materials? No? Well you might be after learning about the $60,400 media starting pay and the $103,000 mid-career media salary.

    5. Aerospace Engineering-Becoming an aerospace engineer may be the most lucrative way to fulfill a childhood career dream with its $60,700 median starting point and a $102,000 mid career estimate. Last we checked, the music industry was dead and being a rockstar didn’t pay what it used to, so this, while not exactly an astronaut is not a bad plan B if you can handle the coursework.

    6. Computer Engineering-For those with the patience and demeanor for computer engineering, the payoff is considerable. With a starting salary of $61,800 and $108,000 at mid-career, computer engineers should be able to repay those loans no sweat.

    7. Physics-For those looking to rake in the big bucks from their bachelors but not terribly interested in becoming an engineer, Physics is the next best bet. A $49,800 starting salary is a bit of a pay cut but it has the potential to move into six-figure territory by mid-career. Media salaries are $101,000.

    8. Applied Mathematics-Want to make a lot of money when you graduate? You better have aced math in high school. Applied mathematics can be leveraged into a job in several fields but many choose to enter into consulting or finance. The starting salary is $52,600 with a mid career median of $98,600.

    9. Computer Science- The study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation may not appeal to everyone, but the pay check will. Computer Science majors make $56,600 a media salary upon graduation and $97,900 around the middle of their time in the field.

    10. Nuclear Engineering-Thought we had exhausted all the types of engineering already? Think again, Nuclear Engineering comes in at number 10 with a $65,100 media starting salary, higher than all the other options, but a lower mid-career salary of $97,800.

All data from

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DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:

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