Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degree Jobs (2024)

Most college students want a high-paying job that gives them emotional and professional satisfaction after college. Enrolling in one of the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees gives you the potential for high earnings and provides a pathway for master’s or doctorate programs. This article shares everything you need to know about the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the labor market outcomes for recent college graduates show that engineering majors are among the highest-paying majors. Across all industries, there are many jobs that require a bachelor’s degree. Learn more about bachelor’s degree jobs and the highest-paying majors to qualify for them below.

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What Is a Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree obtained at a college or university, leading to qualifications such as a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Medicine. Students complete a range of core subjects related to their major and elective courses to gain a well-rounded education.

Students who take a full-time course load can graduate within three or four years. This is why a bachelor’s degree is often referred to as a four-year degree. However, some bachelor’s degrees, like medical courses, can take longer. There is a wide range of jobs with a high median salary that make a bachelor’s degree worth it, like construction engineering manager and financial analyst.

Is a Major a Bachelor’s Degree?

No, a major is not a bachelor’s degree. A major is an area of study you concentrate on while pursuing your degree. It is usually paired with your degree to give future employers an idea of what you studied and your level of knowledge in a particular field.

For example, if you majored in biology, your four-year degree will be a Bachelor of Science in Biology when you graduate. People who want to become civil engineers would get a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Not all bachelor’s degree jobs will have specific majors that correspond.

What Are the Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degrees?

The highest-paying bachelor’s degrees are in engineering, technology, and business. Examples of these jobs include petroleum engineering, industrial engineering, computer science, and actuarial mathematics. These degrees can give you on-the-job training and help you learn analytical skills to help you succeed in the field.

The 10 Highest-Paying Majors: At a Glance

Many of the highest-paying majors center around engineering, economics, biochemistry, computer science, and information technology. The table below explains the majors, average early-career annual salary, and top jobs for college grads with its source from PayScale.

Major Average Early-Career Salary Top Jobs for College Grads
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) $108,500 Electrical engineer, senior systems engineer, project engineer
Petroleum Engineering $93,200 Chemical engineer, nuclear engineer, drilling engineer
Operations Research $83,500 Operation research analyst, market research analyst, management analyst
Marine Engineering $79,900 Marine engineer, port engineer, mechanical engineer
Computer Systems Engineering $79,000 Principal systems engineer, information technology manager, senior systems engineer
Systems Engineering $77,700 System engineer, project manager, software developer
Aeronautics and Astronautics $77,600 Astronautical engineer, aeronautical engineer, aerospace engineer
Chemical Engineering $76,900 Energy engineer, chemical plant operator, manufacturing engineer
Pharmacy $68,600 Pharmacist, pharmacy technician, nuclear pharmacist
Interaction Design $68,300 Web developer, interaction designer, UX designer

The 10 Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degrees: A Detailed Look

In the section below, we’ll give a detailed look at the 10 highest-paying bachelor’s degrees. We’ll also explore the academic majors, the average early-career salaries, and the average mid-career salaries of these majors. With one of these majors, you can start a lucrative career in a high-paying industry.

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS)

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $108,500
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $159,300

Electrical engineering involves developing and supervising electrical equipment manufacturing, such as electric motors, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also build maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment.

Petroleum Engineering

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $93,200
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $187,300

Petroleum engineering has to do with designing and developing methods for extracting oil and gas from below the Earth’s surface. Also, the engineers find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells and evaluate the production of wells through surveys and analysis.

Operations Research

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $83,500
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $147,400

Operations research is the analytical method of solving problems and making decisions that help manage organizations. In this field, problems are divided into basic elements and solved in definite steps by calculative analysis. They can work in fields such as business, logistics, and healthcare and in the private sector or for government agencies.

Marine Engineering

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $79,900
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $131,300

Marine engineering comprises developing, designing, operating, and maintaining boats, ships, submarines, and other marine vessels. It also includes energy plants, piping, automation, and control systems for marine vehicles of any kind, as well as coastal and offshore structures. People in this major can become marine engineers, hardware engineers, or protection engineers.

Computer Systems Engineering

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $79,000
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $133,200

Computer systems engineering involves developing and evaluating software and personal computers by incorporating engineering, computer science, and math analysis. Apart from computer technology, computer engineers are expected to fully understand how that technology applies on a broader scale to suit both personal and professional requirements.

Systems Engineering

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $77,700
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $139,200

Systems engineering is an aspect of engineering that involves designing, integrating, and managing complex systems such as electrical, mechanical, or chemical systems. It goes beyond the physical makeup of the design and looks into understanding and improving it.

Aeronautics and Astronautics

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $77,600
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $139,600

Aeronautics is aircraft development, testing, and production for military or civilian markets. It also involves the design, development, analysis, and production of rockets, spacecraft, and international systems. These two concepts center around astronautical engineering and aeronautical engineering. A graduate of this major can find work as an aerospace engineer or in the airline industry.

Chemical Engineering

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $76,900
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $135,900

Chemical engineering deals with the production and manufacturing of products through chemical processes. It translates processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the commercial production of products and then works to maintain and improve those processes.


  • Average Early-Career Salary: $68,600
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $138,700

Pharmacy is medical science linked with chemistry and involves the discovery, production, disposal, and effective use of medications and drugs. The field includes synthesizing chemical compounds of medicinal value and analyzing medicinal agents. If you want to work in the healthcare sector, this major is a good choice.

Interaction Design

  • Average Early-Career Salary: $68,300
  • Average Mid-Career Salary: $155,800

Interaction design constitutes designing interactive products and services. A designer focuses on the product’s development and how users interact with it. Professionals in this role consider users’ needs and limitations, which then empowers the designers to customize the output to suit precise demands.

Highest-Paying Jobs That Require a Bachelor’s Degree

Job Average Salary Best Bachelor’s Degree Program
Petroleum Engineer $130,850 Bachelor of Science in Petroleum or Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineer $120,380 Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering
Chemical Engineer $105,550 Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Electrical Engineer $100,420 Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Biomedical Engineer $97,410 Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering or Biomedical Engineering

Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degree Jobs: More Info

Petroleum Engineer

  • Average Salary: $130,850
  • Job Outlook: 8%
  • Best Bachelor’s Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Petroleum or Mechanical Engineering

A petroleum engineer is involved with oil and gas field evaluation, development, and production stages. They aim to drill for hydrocarbons in the most efficient way and resolve any operational issues. They are also responsible for using new drilling tools and techniques and utilizing underperforming or older wells.

Nuclear Engineer

  • Average Salary: $120,380
  • Job Outlook: -8%
  • Best Bachelor’s Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear engineers research and deal with processes that include releasing, controlling, and utilizing nuclear energy. They also produce and use radiation and radioactive materials for applications in research, industry, medicine, and national security. These engineers work in the industrial and medical sectors.

Chemical Engineer

  • Average Salary: $105,550
  • Job Outlook: 9%
  • Best Bachelor’s Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers rely on aspects of science such as chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve issues that involve the production of chemicals, drugs, food, and other products. They usually work in the lab to translate processes developed into beneficial applications for the commercial production of products.

Electrical Engineer

  • Average Salary: $100,420
  • Job Outlook: 7%
  • Best Bachelor’s Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, or related engineering field

An electrical engineer uses the concepts of electronics and electromagnetism to develop and design electrical equipment and systems, solve problems, and test equipment. They work on different projects such as designing household appliances, electrical telecommunication systems, and electrical power stations.

Biomedical Engineer

  • Average Salary: $97,410
  • Job Outlook: 6%
  • Best Bachelor’s Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, related engineering field

A biomedical engineer uses technology to develop new equipment and devices to improve human health. They analyze and design solutions to issues in biology and medicine to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care. For example, they could design software to run medical equipment to test new drug therapies.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree is worth it. Students who plan to accelerate their careers or find a new career can use a bachelor’s degree as a steppingstone. In addition, holders of a four-year degree are more likely to remain in the job market compared to those with just a high school diploma.

Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degree Jobs (1)

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People with a bachelor’s degree can become financial managers, civil engineers, human resources managers, and more. A degree can teach you the interpersonal skills and communication skills you need to succeed in your field of choice. There are also lots of online degrees available so you can get your bachelor’s degree from anywhere.

Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degrees FAQ

Can I have two bachelor’s degrees?

Yes, you can have two bachelor’s degrees. If you are applying for a job unrelated to your first degree, getting a second bachelor’s degree can increase your chance of acceptance. In addition, taking another college degree is a more affordable and faster way to advance your career.

Can a bachelor’s degree be revoked?

Yes, bachelor’s degrees can be revoked, but on rare occasions. Usually, if a university or college discovers that a former student committed major, willful misconduct such as plagiarism, falsifying data, or other academic fraud to earn that degree, it can be revoked. If you are sure, you didn’t do any of these, rest assured the school won’t revoke your four-year degree.

Do bachelor’s degrees expire?

No, bachelor’s degrees do not expire. It remains an academic credential for life as long as you pass the requirements to get that degree. However, it can go stale or irrelevant over time as experience becomes more important. In addition, some employers may require you to upskill and get a graduate degree.

Is having one bachelor’s degree in my field of study enough?

No, having one bachelor’s degree in your field of study is not enough. This is because in our technologically-driven society, completing your undergraduate course is just the first step up your career ladder. If you wish to advance in your career, a master’s degree or doctorate degree may be necessary.

Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degree Jobs (2024)


What career makes the most money with a bachelor's degree? ›

Industries like technology, finance, engineering, and healthcare often provide the highest-paying opportunities for graduates with bachelor's degrees. Tech-related roles such as software engineers or data analysts are known for competitive salaries due to high demand.

Which bachelor's degree has the highest salary? ›

College majors that pay the most right after college
  • Computer engineering. $80,000.
  • Chemical engineering. $79,000.
  • Computer science. $78,000.
  • Aerospace engineering. $74,000.
  • Electrical engineering. $72,000.
  • Industrial engineering. $71,000.
  • Mechanical engineering. $70,000.
Mar 14, 2024

How can I make $100000 a year without a college degree? ›

9 jobs that pay $100K per year without a degree
  1. Information systems manager. ...
  2. Fire chief. ...
  3. Product manager. ...
  4. Senior engagement manager. ...
  5. Radiation therapist. ...
  6. Computer network architect. ...
  7. Senior real estate manager. ...
  8. Technical program manager.
Apr 18, 2024

What jobs pay 6 figures straight out of college? ›

As you start your job search, consider these six-figure jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree:
  • Financial manager. ...
  • Development director. ...
  • Aeronautical engineer. ...
  • Sales engineer. ...
  • Software engineer. ...
  • Architect. ...
  • Actuary. ...
  • Chief executive officer (CEO)
Apr 18, 2024

How to make 100k out of college? ›

Table of Contents
  1. Some bachelor's degree jobs offer a high return.
  2. Construction Managers.
  3. Medical and Health Services Managers.
  4. Art Directors.
  5. Actuaries.
  6. Computer Network Architects.
  7. Medical Dosimetrists.
  8. Human Resources Managers.
Feb 8, 2024

What is the most employable bachelors? ›

25 valuable majors for college students
  1. Biomedical engineering. ...
  2. Computer science. ...
  3. Marine engineering. ...
  4. Pharmaceutical sciences. ...
  5. Computer engineering. ...
  6. Electrical engineering. ...
  7. Finance. ...
  8. Software engineering.
Jun 7, 2023

What is the most useful bachelor degree? ›

A recent study published in the American Educational Research Journal found that engineering and computer science majors provide the highest returns in lifetime earnings, followed by business, health, and math and science majors.

What is the lowest paying bachelor degree? ›

College majors that pay the least right after college
  • Theology + Religion $38,000.
  • Leisure + Hospitality $39,700.
  • General Social Sciences $40,000.
  • History $40,000.
  • Miscellaneous Biological Science $40,000.
  • Fine Arts $40,000.
  • Treatment Therapy $40,000.
  • Nutrition Sciences $40,000.
Mar 24, 2024

How much is 100K a year hourly? ›

$100,000 a year is how much an hour? If you make $100,000 a year, your hourly salary would be $48.08.

What is the easiest degree to make money? ›

Top 15 Quick Degrees That Pay Well
  1. Business Administration. A bachelor of business administration is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees. ...
  2. Communications. ...
  3. Criminal Justice. ...
  4. English. ...
  5. Finance. ...
  6. Healthcare Administration. ...
  7. History. ...
  8. Human Resources.

How to make 200k a year without college? ›

3 jobs that can pay $200k a year
  1. Real estate associate.
  2. Voice-over artist.
  3. Business owner.
  4. Inspector.
  5. Makeup artist.
  6. Sales representative.
  7. Web developer.
  8. Truck driver.
Apr 18, 2024

What is the most profitable bachelor's degree? ›

What Are the Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees?
  1. Chemical Engineering. If you're interested in chemistry, chemical engineering could be the career for you. ...
  2. Computer Engineering. ...
  3. Aerospace Engineering. ...
  4. Electrical Engineering. ...
  5. Mechanical Engineering. ...
  6. Computer Science. ...
  7. Finance. ...
  8. Economics.
Jun 13, 2024

What is the least stressful job without a degree? ›

10 Low-Stress Jobs Without a Degree
  • Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks (71)
  • Insurance Appraisers (71)
  • Retail Salespersons (72)
  • Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks (73)
  • Photographers (74)
  • Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (75)
  • Telemarketers (75)
  • Poets, Lyricists, and Creative Writers (79)

What job pays the most with a college degree? ›

20 high-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree
  1. Project manager. ...
  2. Nuclear engineer. ...
  3. Petroleum engineer. ...
  4. Chemical engineer. ...
  5. Construction superintendent. ...
  6. Architect. ...
  7. Aerospace engineer. ...
  8. Statistician.
Apr 18, 2024

What 1 year degree makes the most money? ›

What Are the Highest-Paying Associate Degrees?
  • Aviation Maintenance.
  • Respiratory Therapy.
  • Radiologic and MRI Technology.
  • Electrical Engineering Technology.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistance.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology.
  • Industrial Engineering Technology.
  • Electro-Mechanical Technology.

Which degree will earn the most money? ›

Table of Contents
  • The top 11 degrees with the highest starting salaries in the UK.
  • Dentistry.
  • Medicine.
  • Veterinary Medicine.
  • Economics.
  • General Engineering.
  • Mathematics.
  • Physics & Astronomy.
4 days ago

Which BA course has the highest salary? ›

High Paying Jobs After BA Psychology
  • Social Psychologist.
  • Child Psychologist.
  • Career Counsellor.
  • Health Educator.
  • Psychiatric Assistant.
  • Developmental Psychologist.
  • Social Worker.
  • Clinical Psychologist.

What is the most valuable bachelors degree? ›

A recent study published in the American Educational Research Journal found that engineering and computer science majors provide the highest returns in lifetime earnings, followed by business, health, and math and science majors.

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