The Highest Paying College Majors of 2017

Choosing the right major can have a big impact on your future. Students should determine what interests them to help guide them in the right direction but knowing which majors have the highest earning potential, certainly can help when making such a big life decision.

The Highest Paying College Majors Starting Salaries

To help individuals decide with which major could be the right choice, compensation website PayScale, surveyed employees in the early to mid-career range to determine which degrees pay off. The College Salary Report, includes data from over a million college grads and almost 1,000 different schools.

Through the research, PayScale determined that engineer-focused degrees are again recognized as the majors with the highest starting salaries. “We’ve seen this same trend every year since we first launched the College Salary Report in 2008,” says Lydia Frank, PayScale’s editorial director. With 21 degrees, out of the top 25, being engineer-focused, this field is very lucrative. “But even if engineering is your field of choice, ensuring you receive a well-rounded education is important to future career success.”

Below are the top 25 highest paying college majors for new grads starting out. For more information, head over to PayScale’s College Salary Report.

1. Petroleum engineering
Median early career pay: $96,700
Median mid-career pay: $172,000

2. Physician assistant studies
Median early career pay: $85,200
Median mid-career pay: $103,000

3. Computer science and engineering
Median early career pay: $71,200
Median mid-career pay: $116,000

4. Mining engineering
Median early career pay: $70,200
Median mid-career pay: $107,000

5. Chemical engineering
Median early career pay: $69,800
Median mid-career pay: $119,000

6. Computer engineering
Median early career pay: $69,600
Median mid-career pay: $113,000

7. Nuclear engineering
Median early career pay: $68,500
Median mid-career pay: $116,000

8. Electrical and computer engineering
Median early career pay: $68,100
Median mid-career pay: $114,000

9. Electronics and communications engineering
Median early career pay: $68,000
Median mid-career pay: $115,000

10. Electrical engineering
Median early career pay: $67,000
Median mid-career pay: $110,000

11. Systems engineering
Median early career pay: $66,400
Median mid-career pay: $121,000

12. Materials science and engineering
Median early career pay: $65,800
Median mid-career pay: $108,000

13. Aerospace engineering
Median early career pay: $65,400
Median mid-career pay: $106,000

14. Dental hygiene
Median early career pay: $65,400
Median mid-career pay: $74,900

15. Computer science
Median early career pay: $65,300
Median mid-career pay: $107,000

16. Software engineering
Median early career pay: $64,700
Median mid-career pay: $98,100

17. Electrical and electronics engineering
Median early career pay: $64,000
Median mid-career pay: $108,000

18. Industrial and systems engineering
Median early career pay: $63,800
Median mid-career pay: $108,000

19. Industrial engineering
Median early career pay: $63,800
Median mid-career pay: $104,000

20. Computer science and mathematics
Median early career pay: $63,500
Median mid-career pay: $111,000

21. Mechanical engineering
Median early career pay: $63,500
Median mid-career pay: $103,100

22. Aeronautical engineering
Median early career pay: $63,000
Median mid-career pay: $113,000

23. Engineering management
Median early career pay: $62,800
Median mid-career pay: $98,400

24. Biomedical engineering
Median early career pay: $62,700
Median mid-career pay: $104,000

25. Engineering
Median early career pay: $62,600
Median mid-career pay: $107,000

 

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