Students should consider these top 15 highest paying fields

College Majors Handbook with Real Career Paths and Payoffs, Third EditionST. PAUL, Minn. —A college degree can make quite a difference in students’ future salaries, especially if they choose a high-paying field.

“A college degree provides a strong earnings advantage to those willing to make the sacrifices needed to earn it,” say the authors of College Majors Handbook with Real Career Paths and Payoffs. “The average employed young person with a bachelor’s degree earned 81 percent more per year in 2011 than his or her counterpart with a high school diploma. The earnings premium of individuals with a college degree persists over their working lifetime.”

Authors Neeta P. Fogg, Ph.D., Paul E. Harrington, Ed.D., Thomas F. Harrington, Ph.D., and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., list the top 15 median annual earnings of full-time employed college graduates with bachelor’s degrees:

  1. Medical preparatory programs: $100,000
  2. Computer systems engineering: $85,000
  3. Pharmacy: $84,000
  4. Chemical engineering: $80,000
  5. Electrical and electronics engineering: $75,000
  6. Mechanical engineering: $75,000
  7. Aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering: $74,000
  8. Computer science: $73,400
  9. Industrial engineering: $73,000
  10. Physics and astronomy: $72,200
  11. Civil engineering: $70,000
  12. Electrical and electronics engineering technology: $65,000
  13. Economics: $63,300
  14. Financial management: $63,000
  15. Mechanical engineering technology: $63,000

Additional information can be found in College Majors Handbook with Real Career Paths and Payoffs. The book was published in July of 2012 and is available at major bookstores, and 

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