2013 Ranked College Majors By Salary Potential

By David S. Chang

Majors That Pay You Back

Your choice of major can have a big impact on your post-graduation earnings and income. See PayScale’s list of college majors by salary potential.
Top 10 Majors by Salary Potential

Methodology

Annual pay for bachelor’s graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have two years of experience; mid-career graduates have 15 years. See full methodology.

 
Majors by Salary Potential – Full List
1
Petroleum Engineering
$98,000
$163,000
2
Aerospace Engineering
$62,500
$118,000
3
Actuarial Mathematics
$56,100
$112,000
4
Chemical Engineering
$67,500
$111,000
5
Nuclear Engineering
$66,800
$107,000
6
Electrical Engineering (EE)
$63,400
$106,000
7
Computer Engineering (CE)
$62,700
$105,000
8
Applied Mathematics
$50,800
$102,000
9
Computer Science (CS)
$58,400
$100,000
10
Statistics
$49,300
$99,500
11
Physics
$51,200
$99,100
12
Mechanical Engineering (ME)
$60,100
$98,400
13
Biomedical Engineering (BME)
$54,900
$98,200
14
Government
$42,000
$95,600
15
Economics
$48,500
$94,900
16
International Relations
$40,600
$93,000
17
Materials Science & Engineering
$60,100
$91,900
18
Industrial Engineering (IE)
$59,900
$91,200
19
Software Engineering
$59,100
$90,700
20
Environmental Engineering
$47,900
$89,700
21
Geology
$45,000
$89,400
22
Civil Engineering (CE)
$53,800
$88,800
23
Management Information Systems (MIS)
$51,600
$88,600
24
Biochemistry (BCH)
$43,200
$88,500
25
Chemistry
$44,700
$87,500
26
Electrical Engineering Technology (EET)
$58,400
$86,900
27
Information Systems (IS)
$50,900
$86,700
28
Construction Management
$49,500
$86,100
29
Mathematics
$48,500
$85,800
30
Finance
$47,700
$85,400
31
Molecular Biology
$40,100
$84,900
32
Computer Information Systems (CIS)
$49,000
$84,800
33
Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET)
$52,900
$83,400
34
Biotechnology
$41,400
$82,800
35
Information Technology (IT)
$48,900
$81,700
36
Industrial Technology (IT)
$49,700
$81,300
37
Food Science
$44,000
$81,100
38
Civil Engineering Technology (CET)
$49,500
$80,500
39
Industrial Design (ID)
$43,600
$80,300
40
Urban Planning
$39,000
$79,900
41
Advertising
$37,800
$77,100
42 – tie
Film Production
$37,500
$76,700
42 – tie
Supply Chain Management
$50,500
$76,700
44 – tie
Marketing Management
$40,700
$76,600
44 – tie
Telecommunications
$41,600
$76,600
44 – tie
International Business
$42,500
$76,600
47
Global & International Studies
$40,200
$76,500
48
Microbiology
$39,700
$76,200
49
Occupational Health and Safety
$49,600
$76,000
50
Classics
$35,300
$75,900
51
Architecture
$41,900
$75,200
52
Linguistics
$38,300
$74,900
53
Political Science (PolySci)
$40,300
$74,700
54
Accounting
$44,300
$74,500
55
Marketing & Communications
$39,100
$73,900
56
Environmental Science
$39,800
$73,600
57
American Studies
$40,900
$72,800
58
Philosophy
$38,300
$72,600
59
Biology
$39,100
$72,200
60
Literature
$39,200
$72,000
61 – tie
History
$39,000
$70,200
61 – tie
Nursing
$54,100
$70,200
63
Business
$41,400
$70,000
64
Zoology
$36,500
$69,700
65
Agriculture
$38,000
$69,300
66
Health Sciences
$39,000
$68,700
67
German
$41,300
$68,500
68
Communications
$38,900
$68,400
69
Geography
$39,800
$67,400
70
Landscape Architecture
$40,600
$66,300
71
Spanish
$35,900
$65,900
72
Hotel Management
$40,400
$65,800
73 – tie
English
$38,100
$65,500
73 – tie
Forestry
$42,000
$65,500
75
French
$39,500
$65,100
76
Public Relations (PR)
$36,500
$65,000
77
Multimedia and Web Design
$40,500
$64,900
78
Journalism
$36,800
$64,700
79 – tie
Speech Communication
$38,700
$64,400
79 – tie
Radio & Television
$35,900
$64,400
81
Fashion Design
$36,300
$63,900
82
Liberal Arts
$35,300
$62,500
83
Hospitality & Tourism
$36,400
$62,300
84
Anthropology
$36,000
$61,400
85
Human Resources (HR)
$39,200
$61,200
86 – tie
Medical Technology
$49,600
$60,200
86 – tie
Psychology
$35,200
$60,200
88
Humanities
$35,600
$60,100
89
Public Administration
$41,500
$59,700
90
Drama
$39,300
$58,900
91
Visual Communication
$36,700
$58,700
92 – tie
Religious Studies
$34,900
$58,400
92 – tie
Organizational Management (OM)
$40,700
$58,400
94
Broadcasting
$31,800
$58,300
95
Fashion Merchandising
$37,600
$58,100
96
Nutrition
$40,600
$57,900
97
Health Care Administration
$39,600
$57,800
98
Sports Management
$35,300
$57,600
99
Interior Design
$35,300
$57,500
100 – tie
Art
$34,400
$56,700
100 – tie
Criminal Justice
$35,200
$56,700
100 – tie
Sociology
$36,000
$56,700
103
Social Science
$37,600
$56,300
104
Kinesiology
$34,100
$56,000
105 – tie
Photography
$35,700
$55,600
105 – tie
Theater
$33,200
$55,600
107
Graphic Design
$35,500
$55,500
108
Recreation & Leisure Studies
$34,900
$55,300
109
Horticulture
$36,800
$55,100
110
Education
$37,200
$55,000
111
Exercise Science
$31,300
$54,400
112
Dietetics
$44,100
$54,300
113
Art History
$36,400
$54,000
114
Physical Education
$33,400
$53,900
115
Fine Arts
$31,800
$53,700
116
Animal Science
$33,300
$53,200
117
Paralegal/Law
$36,500
$52,100
118
Public Health (PH)
$35,000
$51,300
119
Music
$34,600
$51,100
120 – tie
Biblical Studies
$32,500
$51,000
120 – tie
Interdisciplinary Studies (IS)
$37,500
$51,000
122
Theology
$32,400
$50,700
123
Sports Medicine
$35,700
$50,300
124
Athletic Training
$34,400
$49,800
125
Culinary Arts
$31,000
$49,700
126
Special Education
$33,900
$48,900
127
Human Development
$33,100
$47,800
128
Elementary Education
$31,400
$46,000
129
Social Work (SW)
$33,100
$45,300
130
Child and Family Studies
$29,300
$37,700
Methodology

This chart is based upon PayScale Salary Survey data for full-time employees in the United States who possess a bachelor’s degree and no higher degrees and have majored in the subjects listed above. These results may not represent all graduates with these degrees. More than 1,000 colleges and universities across the U.S. were included. As a result, median salary figures may be skewed toward large state universities, since these schools have the largest attendance. Salary is the sum of compensation from base salary, bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, and overtime, if applicable. Salary does not include equity (stock) compensation.
Source for definitions: Dictionary.com

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David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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