The 50 Best High-Paying Majors

By | 2018-02-28T12:24:06+00:00 February 28th, 2018|

If you’re looking to build a name for yourself in the future, chances are you’ll likely choose a career that gives you a lot of opportunities. In today’s world it’s not just about job advancement anymore, it’s about doing what you love in a way that can make an impact to society – and of course, give you a lot of compensation in return. In today’s era with a lot of majors available for the taking, just what exactly is in it for you? Or more importantly, which of these are the best high-paying majors? If you’re just as stuck as our other readers, here’s the 50 best high-paying majors that might be up your alley.

If You’re Up For A Career In…

The good news is, the state of the job market in the United States is turning around and things are looking positive. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers indicate a whopping addition of 313,000 jobs last February 2018, signaling good economy and signs of modest wage growth. As such if there’s any chance you should take a degree for a high-paying job, it’s probably now.

Before you choose a major to take, always remember that a prosperous career can’t depend on the major alone. Given that this is your professional life at stake, it’s important to consider things such as potential income, job options, and career trajectory per particular major.


Here are the 50 best high-paying majors for you to get you started:

#1. Petroleum Engineering

This field is primarily concerned with the production of hydrocarbons in the form of natural gas or crude oil. Given the big involvement of energy in our lives, petroleum engineering as a field must constantly evolve and adapt to modern trends. Interestingly, PayScale numbers also put Petroleum Engineering on top of the list, with possible salaries as high as $175,500 mid-career.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $94,600

Is This For You? It’s recommended you take this field if you’re into applying various aspects of chemistry, geology, physics, and mathematics into your daily life. This is because petroleum engineers mostly dwell in the monitoring and design of technology that not only produce and locate gas and oil from the subsurface of the planet, but they also maintain and install the very equipment that makes the existence of petroleum possible for various industries.

Career Projections: Work that can be done with this degree may involve getting a job as a drilling engineer, production engineer, reservoir engineer, and petroleum engineer. Some also opt taking up graduate studies to open more advanced career paths that can cross over with other fields.


#2. Physician Assistant Studies

When you’re a Physician Assistant, this means you’re a state-licensed and nationally certified healthcare professional. You may be able to prescribe and practice medicine while coordinating with physicians and other healthcare providers. You may also learn to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative healthcare services.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $87,800

Is This For You? Similar to other medical-related fields, the PA major may mostly be divided into practicum and coursework. The latter involves studying various aspects of the medical field including microbiology, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, and biochemistry, while practicum involves applying these in the hospital setting. More specialized routes include home healthcare, geriatrics, disease prevention, and medical ethics.

Career Projections: Finishing a Physician Assistant Studies degree may open opportunities as a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nursing assistants, and registered nurse.


#3. Metallurgical Engineering

This field is mostly associated with the technology and science used to recycle, refine, and extract metals. As such, this involves the improvement, implementation, design, innovation, and study of processes that creates useful products from metals out of minerals.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $75,300

Is This For You? If you’re into maths, this is for you, though the kind of engineering the major teaches is focused on physical and extractive metallurgy and physical processing. As such you’ll learn how to extract and process ores and refine their components through classes in hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, modeling and control, and other aspects of the metallurgical process.

Career Projections: Career paths with this degree may include being a technical sales engineer, research scientist, product development scientist, metallurgist, materials engineer, and design engineer.


#4. Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture

Graduates of this field may work with submarines, ships, boats, and oil rigs. This is because the discipline is primarily concerned with the development and research of systems and machines that can thrive in aquatic environments.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $73,900

Is This For You? Studying this degree affords you with the opportunity to dwell in other specialty areas such as ship dynamics, naval architecture, wave mechanics, marine structure, fluid mechanics, and engineering analysis principles. In fact, the specialized nature of the course may also give you opportunities to work and study abroad to gain better experience for more versatile career options.

Career Projections: Jobs you can get with this degree can include being an engineering consultant, equipment manufacturer, ship builders, site managers, metal workers, and carbon fiber technicians.


#5. Computer Engineering

This major allows graduates to have specialized knowledge when it comes to factory automation, telecommunication systems, medical instrumentation, interactive multimedia, wireless communication, and automobiles. As such, they’re related with various fields as well.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $72,000

Is This For You? Computer enthusiasts will likely flourish with this degree. Given the coursework in this major will likely offer a computer system perspective of the engineering aspects of software and hardware. As such you will likely learn design and implementation techniques, analysis and tradeoffs of hardware-software dynamics, as well as general software and hardware studies.

Career Projections: Jobs related to this major may include exploring fields such as artificial intelligence, computer architecture, computer design, operating systems and networks, robotics, and software applications.


#6. Mining Engineering

This field applies both technology and science to create efficient methods of extracting valuable resources and minerals from the planet. As such this discipline is associated with other fields such as metallurgy, surveying, geotechnical engineering, mineral processing, and geology.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $71,300

Is This For You? Students who want to tap into the lucrative industry of mining may be interested to learn on how to close, operate, design, and plan mines. In fact, coursework in this degree may include studying things such as the strength of materials excavated, hydraulics, electrical circuits, and thermodynamics, among others. Industries you can enter after graduation may include quarry mining, and become involved with construction aggregates.

Career Projections: Mining Engineering degrees can help someone get work as a mudlogger, quarry manager, environmental consultant, drilling engineer, and mining engineer.


#7. Chemical Engineering

Considered as one of the broadest disciplines under the banner of engineering, chemical engineers are involved with other disciplines such as biology and chemistry because their field is mostly involved in the creation of products that are designed to improve and sustain life.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $70,300

Is This For You? If you’re into chemistry and its practical applications, then you may be a likely fit for this course. Interestingly enough, while you may learn how to design and create economical, sustainable and safe equipment for big biological and chemical manufacturing plants, the industry isn’t limited to lab work alone. Education, consultancy, government, and industry work are just some career options for you.

Career Projections: Jobs you can get with this degree may include quality manager, production manager, mining engineer, materials engineer, manufacturing engineer, energy manager, and analytical chemist.


#8. Nuclear Engineering

This degree is perhaps the most integrated discipline when it comes to engineering. This is because this field is mostly involved in other fields of study such as materials science, physics, thermodynamics, and electronics as well. Nuclear engineers are involved in the measurement, interaction, and production of nuclear processes.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $69,000

Is This For You? Taking up this course will likely give you a foundational knowledge on the entire design phase of systems that stress the security, energy, health, and social impacts of nuclear-based systems. Electronics, thermal-fluid engineering, and computer methods are also concepts to explore while studying this degree. Given the integrated nature of this course, you’ll most likely be involved with other engineering fields to ensure nuclear systems are working efficiently.

Career Projections: Work you can get in the field of Nuclear Engineering may include jobs such as being a plating operator, sales support clerk, divisional controller, and being involved in industries such as utilities, rail, power generation, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, materials and metals, marine, electronics, defense, construction, automotive, and aerospace.


#9. Electrical Engineering

This field draws upon the disciplines of physical technology, information systems, software systems, and hardware systems. It applies these into concepts of state of the art smart algorithms, signal processing, devices and electronics which can be used in different fields.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $68,600

Is This For You? Aside from the fundamentals of engineering, Electrical Engineering offers students the opportunity to study engineering from the perspective of communication, science, mathematics, and even the liberal arts. If you’re interested to see how engineering can affect vital societal infrastructures such as integrated circuits, electronics, systems and networks, signal processing, and communication, then this field is a recommendation.

Career Projections: Work you can get with this major can include being a network engineer, IT consultant, electronics engineer, electrical engineer, design engineer, control and instrumentation engineer, broadcast engineer, and aerospace engineer.


#10. Materials Science

Graduates of this degree are knowledgeable when it comes to the synthesis and processing of materials and turning them into engineering products. As such, fields such as biology, chemistry, and physics are both applied and beneficiaries of this interdisciplinary degree.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $66,300

Is This For You? Materials Science will afford students with the opportunity to innovate and create products that can involve the lives of many, which includes mobile devices, prostheses, computers, and even vehicles. As such, programs and coursework involved with this degree help explore the scientific principles that unite materials performance, properties, structure, and processing altogether.

Career Projections: A career in Materials Science can involve getting work as a technical sales engineer, research scientist, product development scientist, metallurgist, materials engineer, and design engineer.


#11. Computer Software Engineering

This applies techniques and principles of mathematical analysis, engineering, and computer science to evaluate, test, develop, and design systems that allow computers to function properly.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $66,300

Is This For You? This degree isn’t limited to programming alone, as this course gives you a comprehensive and well-rounded understanding of just how software construction, project leadership, computing skills, and engineering principles blend on the impact of your programs to society as a whole. This is also a good field of choice if you want to explore various industries post-graduation and still have opportunities open for advanced education.

Career Projections: Jobs with this major can include becoming a web developer, programmer, application developer, mobile technologist, software developer, systems programmer, and software engineer.


#12. Systems Engineering

This degree is primarily concerned with the analysis, modeling, and design of technological systems that combine energy, material, hardware, software, machines, and personnel. This means they’re often involved in industries such as manufacturing, transportation, health care and communication.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $65,700

Is This For You? If you’re interested with tinkering on systems and making them work better, this degree is for you. Coursework in this major involves studying methodologies and viewpoints on modeling and analysis tools, and how they affect system integration in general. As such, you may expect to learn more about the application of economics, accounting, psychology, computing, statistics, and calculus on creating methods and designs for systems from inventory management to computer simulation.

Career Projections: Careers and jobs with this degree include being an electronic systems engineer, software systems engineer, environmental systems engineer, industrial systems engineer, and petroleum systems engineer.


#13. Aerospace Engineering

This field allows you to help develop, innovate, and maintain aircraft systems for civilian, commercial, and military purposes.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $65,300

Is This For You? If you want to go to space without astronaut training, this is the best path for you. This major allows you to manufacture, inspect, test, and design missiles, satellite, spacecraft, and aircraft. You’ll also get opportunities to develop and innovate new technologies to be used in spacecraft, defense systems, and aviation.

Career Projections: This major can help you get a job as a mission or payload specialist, aerospace technician, drafter, inspector and compliance officer, military aerospace engineer, data processing manager, aircraft designer, and mechanical engineer.


#14. Industrial Engineering

This degree allows you to be able to manage, analyze, and design human-integrate systems such as service systems, supply chain networks, and manufacturing systems that can be integrated in numerous business and industries.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $64,400

Is This For You? Another lucrative engineering field, Industrial Engineering is for you if you want to have a lifelong career in engineering management, research, and practice. This is because coursework in this degree may involve getting a foundational understanding of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and how they all work in relation to facilities design, engineering cost analysis, operations research, and production system design. As such, your skills as a system integrator, coordinator, designer, and innovator will be developed here.

Career Projections: This degree can help you get a career as a quality control engineer, sales engineer, or even a project manager.


#15. Plastic Engineering

Those who studied this degree are heavily involved with the manufacturing, development, designing, and processing of plastic products. As such they’re also heavily linked with plastic machinery and plastic materials.      

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $64,100

Is This For You? If you’re looking into having a career that will likely get you involved with things outside lab work, then this is for you. This is because you’ll be involved with designing and innovating engineering concepts related to experimental design, process simulation, and failure analysis of plastics. Coursework in this degree will include how to apply concepts in mechanical engineering and plastic materials science in a wide array of industries.

Career Projections: Plastic engineers are very helpful in various industries, and you can also become a production engineer, quality control engineer, or even taken in as someone in research and development, marketing, production, and quality departments.


#16. Mechanical Engineering

Graduates of this major affords them the opportunity to apply the versatile concepts of the degree to a wide variety of fields, such as materials, controls, construction, and design specifications.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $62,900

Is This For You? Mechanical Engineering is included in one of the most versatile of Engineering degrees, and as such if you want to study something that allows you to expand in different areas in your career, this ought to be for you. This is because aside from applying basic theory to laboratory experiences, you’ll get to know dynamic controls and systems, experimentation and design, materials, manufacturing, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics. This allows you to get opportunities not just in the lab and academe, but also opportunities with research organizations, consulting, government, and industry sections.

Career Projections: Jobs associated with this major may include being a water engineer, technical sales engineer, production manager, patent attorney, mining engineer, corporate investment banker, mechanical engineer, and contracting civil engineer.


#17. Manufacturing Engineering

This degree involves the production and development of various consumer and industrial goods for a variety of industries. Concepts to learn include the supervision, planning, analysis, and designing of manufacturing equipment and methods.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $61,900

Is This For You? If you’ve ever been curious about the goings-on of making sure the manufacturing, supervision, planning, and analysis of products are well-polished, then this degree should be your fancy. You won’t only learn theories and concepts, but also use computer software in conducting time studies, cost estimates, and solving problems in manufacturing by forming designs and systems to continuously innovate the workplace.

Career Projections: A Manufacturing Engineering major can help you become an information systems manager, engineering manager, engineering technician, operations research analyst, business consultant, and industrial engineer.


#18. Bioengineering

This degree allows graduates to apply concepts and methods to solve problems related to various life sciences. As such it may allow you to manufacture, design, and analyze inanimate processes, structures, and tools for health and scientific purposes.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $61,600

Is This For You? A degree in Bioengineering offers opportunities both in industry and in the academe. This is because coursework in this degree will most likely expose you to an extensive knowledge base of physiology, biochemistry, and biology coupled with advanced engineering and mathematical concepts that allow you to create various forms of biotechnology. As such, you can not only study and research about advancing the biology of the human body, but even design implants using nonliving and living materials.

Career Projections: A degree in Bioengineering can get you a job in fields such as rehabilitation engineering, orthopedic bioengineering, medical imaging, clinical engineering, cellular, tissue, and genetic engineering, biomechanics, biomaterials, and bioinstrumentation.


#19. Engineering Management

This specialized field concerns the practical application of management to the engineering field. As such this degree affords graduates the opportunity to combine the problem-solving tricks of engineering with the administrative suave of management in various engineering-driven industries.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $61,500

Is This For You? If you want to learn about Engineering with a unique “flair,” then perhaps this major is for you. Its extensive exposure not just to technical expertise but also management and business acumen will allow graduates to pursue not just engineering roles in industries but also be prepared to play key roles in advancing the industry from a practical, theoretical, and managerial perspective as well.

Career Projections: Jobs associated with this degree include being an industrial management engineer, construction management engineer, cost systems analyst, senior lead analyst, and engineering project manager.


#20. Packaging Science

This degree is heavily involved in the manufacturing process, and graduates of this major can tackle product placement and design conceptualization for companies and industries.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $61,400

Is This For You? Packaging Science is said to be a very technical major, and as such those who want to learn about the industry-specific parts of logistics and industrial design, materials science, marketing, and industrial engineering will most likely be exposed to various practical situations as well. As such, their potential skill set won’t just include technical acumen on the coursework in general, but also extensive knowledge on aspects of packaging such as development, purchasing, sales, and structural design.

Career Projections: Finishing this degree allows you to have jobs such as becoming a packaging scientist, and being involved with private research projects (package development, packaging machinery, food processing), contract package testing (distribution testing, shelf life evaluation, material testing) and graphic design.


#21. Architectural Engineering

Graduates of this degree affords them the opportunity to implement the principles of engineering towards building design. These include implementation of proper cooling, heating, electrical, lighting, and structural processes.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $61,200

Is This For You? Unlike an Architecture degree, an Architectural Engineering degree will focus on applying Engineering concepts to designs, and as such will allow you to work not just in the industry, but also in global and national economies, as well as organizations with leanings towards environmental sustainability. As such, if you have an investment in creating schools, hospitals, homes, and high-rises with a focus on energy efficiency and sophisticated design, then this is for you.

Career Projections: Jobs with this degree may include becoming a production designer, planning and development surveyor, landscape architect, historic buildings officer, higher education lecturer, construction manager, commercial surveyor, building surveyor.  


#22. Agricultural Engineering

Those who studied this degree allows them to combine concepts in chemical, electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering in order to foster the development of better agricultural principles.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $61,200

Is This For You? A fancy for environmental and economic sustainability attracts students to take on Agricultural Engineering. This is because their interest in environmental activities and issues can be actively tackled through the application of various Engineering principles. Gaining a fundamental understanding of how engineering, mathematical, and natural sciences blend together to make sustainable agricultural concepts can be an attractive prospect especially for those with a leaning towards environmental protection.  

Career Projections: With this degree, you may get a job as an agricultural manager, environmental engineer, civil engineer, conservation scientist, architectural manager, agricultural and food scientist, and food science technician.


#23. Structural Engineering

This degree allows graduates to apply their understanding of the rigidity, strength, and stability of both nonbuilding and building structures. This allows them to create designs with strong structural integrity.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,800

Is This For You? Structural Engineering is in itself a very dynamic and in-depth course, as aside from making sure concepts on structural integrity are tackled, coursework also involves exploring the application of communication and critical thinking skills towards engineering statics, structural steel design, engineering hydraulics, structure analysis, material strength, mechanics of materials, and even general chemistry. Those who want to gain a fundamental understanding and application of how structures work may want to take this course.

Career Projections: Jobs you can get with a Structural Engineering degree may include being a structural engineer, building surveyor, commodity broker, communications engineer, credit analyst, environmental consultant, marine engineer, or even a waste management officer.


#24. Health Informatics

This degree allows individuals to learn about the usage, retrieval, storage, and acquisition of healthcare information in order to push towards better health care reform. As such, this field combines the study of healthcare, communications, and information technology to reap these benefits.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,500

Is This For You? Those with an investment towards healthcare reform may find themselves interested with this course. This is because not only will they receive information technology training, but this will be supplemented with managerial expertise and healthcare studies to provide a good combination of healthcare, communications, and technology to push for better patient care. Those who want to be exposed to continuously-evolving technologies in healthcare may want to pursue this course.

Career Projections: Careers with this degree may include getting a job as a clinical informatics manager, clinical analyst, clinical informatics specialist, health informatics specialist, and informatics nurse.


#25. Construction Engineering Management

This major allows individuals to use scientific and technical knowledge in order to optimize and better manage construction and infrastructure projects. Graduates of this degree are heavily involved with construction firms, engineers, and architects.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,500

Is This For You? Those who want to get a good understanding of how Engineering concepts are applied to the Construction industry may find themselves interested in this course. This can also be an attractive option to those who want to be actively involved and potentially even oversee various projects such as railroads and highway construction, building construction, and even sewage and drainage design.

Career Projections: Jobs with this degree may include being a sustainability consultant, site engineer, quantity supervisor, construction manager, building surveyor, building services engineer, and building control surveyor.


#26. Engineering Physics

Despite being a broad field, graduates of this degree can apply their knowledge of engineering and physics to fields such as mechanical, materials, electronic, electrical, nuclear, and computer engineering to tackle and optimize engineering solutions or even create new ones for the benefit of society.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,400

Is This For You? If you’re interested in applying both Physics and Engineering concepts on a real world capacity, then this degree will be your fancy. Aside from providing a firm foundation on both areas, your coursework may involve helping you develop skills to tackle complex problems in various areas of disciplines often concerning fields related to the two aforementioned disciplines. Concepts such as energy systems, electromechanical systems, nanotechnology, quantum photonics and optics, and solid state devices are just some wonders waiting for you to explore.

Career Projections: If you finish your Engineering Physics degree, you may use it to get jobs such as a laser engineer, lab technician, IT consultant, design engineer, data analyst, applications engineer, and accelerator operator.


#27. Operations Management, Information Systems

A career in this degree allows individuals to use their knowledge of information technology systems, business fundamentals, and operations  management to manage, improve, and design business processes.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,100

Is This For You? Pursuing this degree will allow you to explore a wide variety of business management concepts, such as organizational behavior, system security, operational design, and quantitative analysis that is mixed with practical applications of quality assurance systems, production processes, and using database software. As such you will most likely end up improving, designing, and assessing business processes across various industries.

Career Projections: Careers involving this degree can help you become a purchasing manager, warehouse supervisor, operations manager, senior consultant, and even a general manager.


#28. Statistics

A statistician is equipped with the fundamental skills and knowledge that can help them tackle problems on statistical computing, data analysis, mathematical statistics, and probability. This can lead to careers in business, banking, and even government.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,000

Is This For You? Those with a vested interest in concepts such as analytics, data science, and big data can find a degree in statistics particularly helpful when it comes to helping industry leaders and professionals gain a better understanding on these concepts. Your skills may be needed to ensure things such as performance data, political surveys, actuarial risks, transaction data, identification patterns, and investment data (among others) are properly assessed and analyzed.

Career Projections: A Statistics degree can get you careers and jobs as a business analyst, research assistant, data analyst, business analyst, software engineer, and student assistant.


#29. Economics and Mathematics

This program affords graduates with the opportunity to use their foundational knowledge in mathematics and economics to tackle problems in international business, banks, and the overall global market.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $60,000

Is This For You? Those who want to pursue a major that is needed across multiple fields can rely on Economics and Mathematics. This degree may end up equipping you with the kind of skills needed for a career in actuarial science or even operations research. Your foundational knowledge on these concepts can help you enter the business field where there is high demand in skills, and your knowledge on these concepts can help make it easier for you to adapt in a growing global economy.

Career Projections: A career with this degree can involve being a corporate advisor, management accountant, forensic accountant, tax accountant, and auditor.


#30. Fire Protection Engineering

This degree lets graduates use science and technology to research on better fire protection methods and analyze the cause of fires and fire-related disasters. As such, fire protection engineers can help develop technologies against explosions and fire, as well as other related dangers.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $58,800

Is This For You? A degree in Fire Protection Engineering is not common, and as such can be quite the lucrative major for you if you want to enter a job market with high demand for hazard protection. Your knowledge on various safety procedures can help protect property and life against various fire-related hazards, and this will have you work closely with architects and other professionals with tasks such as building inspection, maintenance and installation of systems, and even work with agencies in their forensic investigations and lab research.

Career Projections: Being a fire protection engineer can be useful as it’s something needed by a myriad of industries, including forensic investigations, entertainment, universities and colleges, research and testing, insurance, hospitals and healthcare, government, fire equipment and systems manufacturing, fire departments, and consulting engineering firms.


#31. Business and Information Technology

This degree helps graduates learn more about areas such as information systems management, networks and security, management and leadership, and business concepts in order to help hold non-profits and for-profits, as well as small and large businesses together.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $58,700

Is This For You? Those with a Business and Information Technology degree have huge responsibilities on their shoulders, as this allows them to have a skill-set that is needed in an in-demand industry. If you get a degree in this major, you have the potential to dramatically increase the potential opportunities of organizations and companies to profit and earn from their various endeavors, all thanks to your understanding of how information technology concepts are best applied to businesses.

Career Projections: Jobs with this degree may include being a systems analyst, IT technical support officer, IT consultant, information systems manager, database administrator, data scientist, data analyst, and application analyst.


#32. Physics

Taking this degree may give a graduate a fundamental and foundational understanding of physics research, and as such can be tapped by various industries to perform research and analysis of various concepts through lab experiments. Quantum physics, biomechanics, and astrophysics are just some fields where this degree can be applied.    

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $58,000

Is This For You? A vested interest in Physics and how it can be applied to the natural world will make this course anyone’s dream come true. Aside from gaining an theoretical and foundational understanding of physical concepts, your knowledge can be applied to fields such as telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, instrumentation, engineering, energy, education, defense, and aerospace. This makes Physics quite a lucrative field to enter given its various advancement options.

Career Projections: Aside from being an educator or pursuing a career in the academe, this degree may also help you become a laser engineer, lab technician, IT consultant, design engineer, data analyst, applications engineer, and accelerator operator.


#33. Industrial and Labor Relations

This degree allows specialists to participate in the development of various industries, as they’ll learn the skills to be able to handle roles in unions, human resources, management and training, as well as benefit management.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $57,800

Is This For You? Your foundational knowledge on conflict resolution, collective bargaining, labor training, and human resources management may allow you to become a valuable asset when it comes to the assessment and improvement of workplace concerns. Not only do you have the option to enter into graduate studies on various specializations, but your experience can be useful in almost all fields.

Career Projections: Jobs with this degree may include training and development specialists/managers, social and human service assistants, public relations specialists, human resources specialists and managers, and job analysis specialists.


#34. Civil Engineering

Concepts learned in this degree can be applied in the management, building, designing, and planning of structures such as bridges, buildings, tunnels, airports, sewage systems, and roads that aim to address the needs of today’s growing population.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $57,700

Is This For You? Taking a degree in Civil Engineering allows you to obtain quite a broad background on the physical sciences and mathematics and how they are applied to various societal needs such as community planning, urban redevelopment, pollution, energy needs, traffic congestion, deteriorating infrastructure, and natural hazard prevention. Not only that, but this degree also affords you the opportunity to pursue specializations such as structural engineering and mechanics, environmental hydraulics, and even hydrology.

Career Projections: Civil Engineering degrees can help you become a water engineer, structural engineer, site engineer, nuclear engineer, design engineer, contracting civil engineer, consulting civil engineer, building control supervisor.


#35. Applied Mathematics

A career under this major allows you to be able to use practical applications of mathematics in fields such as organic chemistry, epidemiology, and biology through data analytics, marketing, business management science, and research.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $57,600

Is This For You? Those with a particular love for maths will appreciate applying their passion to fields such as dynamical modeling, operations research, and statistical analysis. Knowledge in this major can also help ensure you’ll have the written and oral communication skills needed in the presentation, evaluation, and construction of solutions to various mathematical problems in various sectors.

Career Projections: Jobs may include being a research scientist, investment analyst, data analyst, data scientist, chartered certified accountant, actuary, and actuarial analyst.


#36. Real Estate Finance

This field tackles the analysis of the feasibility of real estate investments on a financial level. You’ll be able to use concepts such as valuation fundamentals, market participants, and determinants of real estate returns for your clients.  

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $57,500

Is This For You? Having a degree in Real Estate Finance will make you capable of doing things such as lease analysis, financial calculations, underwriting methods, valuation, and identifying finance structures for various industries. Your foundational knowledge on property management topics, computer science, statistics, mathematics, finance, and economics can help you enter various fields as well.

Career Projections: Jobs with this degree may include being a hedge fund manager, investment advisor,  financial analyst, equity analyst, credit analyst, and a financial planner.


#37. Public Accounting

This degree allows you to pursue an accounting career targeting businesses, nonprofits, individuals and governments through services such as auditing, review, and preparation of financial statements such as tax work.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $57,500

Is This For You? Public Accounting is quite an extensive field, and as such foundational knowledge in this regard can be obtained through this degree. Majoring in Public Accounting will likely give you skills such as understanding international financial reporting standards, accounting and information systems, financial accounting, auditing, cost accounting, managerial accounting, and how all of these are applied in various industries.

Career Projections: Careers you could take with this degree including getting a job as accountants and auditors, tax examiners, tax collectors, revenue agents, auditors, accounting clerks, bookkeepers, and management analysts.


#38. Industrial Distribution

This major tackles using supply chain management, communications, data processing, engineering technology, science, and mathematics in order to make sure technological products are distributed and wholesale properly. You may work directly for petrochemical corporations, large construction contractors, and electronics systems manufacturers.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $57,400

Is This For You? If you want a degree that allows you to integrate basic engineering acumen into business-oriented systems through communication and leadership skills, then perhaps Industrial Distribution can help you achieve these goals. Coursework in this degree allows you to have the skills needed to foster relationships with craftsmen, scientists, engineers, managers, and even executives when it comes to establishing efficient construction, plant maintenance, and manufacturing operations.

Career Projections: A degree in Industrial Distribution can get you jobs such as a market development manager, material planner, plant manager, sales engineer, facilities director, or even a product marketing manager.  


#39. Actuarial Science

A career in this field exposes you to subjects involving applying statistical and mathematical methods in order to efficiently assess risk in finance, insurance, and other related professions and industries. You will tackle concepts in economics, finance, statistics, probability theory, and mathematics.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $56,400

Is This For You? Getting a degree in Actuarial Science allows you to receive the technical acumen needed to help professionals, companies, and businesses assess risk and solve various problems in terms of finances. Coursework, albeit rigorous and intense, may allow you to receive proper training needed to help evaluate risks in various industries. Much of what you’ll study may include the application of computer skills, business intelligence, and mathematical expertise to help solve modern financial problems.

Career Projections: Jobs in this field can include being an actuary, insurance underwriter, or risk analyst. You can also get careers as a statistician, manager, financier, or an educator.


#40. Computer and Information Science

This degree relies heavily on learning how to use technology to help make life easier for those who depend on them. As such job opportunities related to this course include software management and development, as well as other computer-related ventures that may rely on your skills in programming.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $56,200

Is This For You? If you have a penchant and investment in terms of technology and want to learn how it can be applied to everyday life, then this is for you. This is because not only will it help foster multitasking, team-building, creativity, and critical thinking skills, but it also ensures students are prepared to apply their technical acumen with computers in fields such as business, graphics, robotics, software, and even programming.

Career Projections: Taking this major can allow you to become a multimedia programmer, IT consultant, information systems manager, game developer, database administrator, data analyst, applications developer, and application analyst.


#41. Finance and Investments

A career in this field affords you the opportunity to apply concepts such as assets and liabilities, risk and uncertainty, as well as returns of investment into various business opportunities and potentially even oversee their growth.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $55,200

Is This For You? If you’re interested in studying how finances and investments work for a wide variety of clients and industries, then this major is for you. This is because Finance and Investments, being quite the expansive field, allows you to explore not just industries but also finance-related fields such as merchandising and marketing.

Career Projections: This degree allows you to have a job as a personal financial advisor, financial manager, financial analyst, or a securities, commodities and financial service sales agent, among others.


#42. International Business and Finance

Majoring in this degree allows you to study and understand how concepts such as worldwide stock exchanges, diplomacy, and global currencies interact. You may be afforded the opportunity to pursue careers in large corporations and financial institutions.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $54,600

Is This For You? If international employment with a dash of business acumen is your fancy, then this degree may be the one to take. This is because graduates of this degree are often equipped with the skills to handle concepts such as strategic planning, people management, organizational leadership, and management principles that are involved with marketing, information technology, finance, and even accounting.

Career Projections: This degree opens opportunities for jobs such as import/export coordinator, trade specialist, foreign service officer, consultant, product manager, stock broker and financial analyst.


#43. Geophysics

Taking up this degree allows you to learn, analyze, and explore the active processes that affect the planet. Using physical and mathematical concepts, you’ll get to apply your knowledge into learning more about the Earth as a planet, such as things about its internal composition and structure, the dynamics of plate tectonics, among others.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $54,100

Is This For You? If you want to learn more about scientific fundamentals and how they’re applied to new fields, then perhaps Geophysics is right for you. Aside from getting to learn technical acumen when it comes to scientific concepts, you’ll get the opportunity to learn how the Earth works on a physical level, including interior dynamics, crustal motions, magnetic fields, and gravity. As such, you can gain technical knowledge on things such as GPS, geodesy, remote sensing, potential fields, electromagnetics, and even seismology.

Career Projections: Having this degree can allow you to become a wellsite geologist, mudlogger, hydrogeologist, geoscientist, field seismologist, geochemist, and engineering geologist.


#44. Cognitive Sciences

This degree strives to study human intelligence and behavior, and as such students will be provided opportunities to illustrate information processing mechanisms and how they can affect the personality of others. Areas of study include the study of human behavior, information analysis, and neurological processes.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $54,000

Is This For You? Those who want to have a major in an interdisciplinary field may want to invest in Cognitive Science, as concepts in linguistics, computer science, and technology are applied to things such as computer simulations in order to learn about how cognition works. As such, this field not only helps students prepare for advanced graduate studies, but also allows them to pursue fields such as cognitive anthropology, philosophy, cognitive psychology, instructional psychology, artificial intelligence, and educational technology.

Career Projections: Prospective careers with this degree include one in telecommunications, medical analysis, data representation and retrieval, intelligence analysis, human factors engineering, computer-human interaction, artificial intelligence, education, marketing, technical writer, and even consultancy.


#45. Environmental Health and Safety

Taking this degree will afford students the opportunity to learn the skills needed to protect both the public and the workforce from hazards, damage, illnesses, and injury. This interdisciplinary program explores things such as industrial hygiene concepts, occupational safety strategies, and environmental health.  

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $51,900

Is This For You? Those invested in learning about how environmental health works on a practical level can pursue this degree. Its wide range of coursework allows graduates to pursue other fields such as transportation, communication, private utilities, construction, law enforcement, public safety, insurance, healthcare, production, and manufacturing. This is thanks to coursework that may involve hazardous waste management, loss control, climate change, workers’ compensation, and pollution control.

Career Projections: Careers with this degree include being an environmental health and safety specialist, corporate health and safety director, food safety inspector, health and safety engineer, and even a government inspector.


#46. Sales and Business Marketing

Taking up this degree unlocks skills in business that explores the kinds of strategies and methods that can help create public interest in valuable commodities, organizations, services, and goods. This degree involves a lot of economic trends, customer reviews, and sales data analysis.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $50,900

Is This For You? Obtaining a degree with this major can help prepare you for presentational and organizational roles in the field of marketing and business. This is thanks to coursework involving concepts normally explored in business, journalism, media, communications, and mass communications. You will gain a foundational understanding of how persuasion, sales force development, account management, sales management, finances, sales techniques, and Internet-based marketing work for businesses in various industries.

Career Projections: A degree in Sales and Business Marketing can get you started with careers such as being an advertising sales agent, insurance sales agent, loan officer, purchasing manager, real estate broker, sales engineer, and even a sales representative.  


#47. Political Science

Students taking up Political Science and Government will be able to learn more about the policies, processes, and political structures surrounding the government. As such, this degree affords opportunities to unlock careers that use philosophical, historical, and quantitative approaches to the study of government and international relations.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $49,400

Is This For You? Majoring in Political Science and/or Government allows you to have a foundational understanding of how concepts such as nation building, political corruption, democratization, ethnic conflict, and political economy can work. As such, you may explore not just various industries, but also pursue work for non-profits, government agencies, and even freelancing for various causes and rights groups. Your understanding with concepts like political ideologies and theories may also prove valuable in other industries.

Career Projections: Political Science majors don’t always have to pursue a law degree, as they can also have careers as a political consultant, marketing research analyst, social media manager, public relations specialist, legislative assistant, and even a policy analyst.


#48. Japanese Language

A major in Japanese Language allows practical usage of the language when it comes to transcultural, translingual, interpersonal, and analytical situations and specializations. Those interested in studying in Japan, which in itself offers a lot of degrees for further specialization, may want to take Japanese Language in order to properly get themselves integrated within Japanese culture and society.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $46,200

Is This For You? Those with a profound interest in Japanese culture and language may be particularly invested in a Japanese Language degree, especially since it can open opportunities for a career in Japan. As such, students who pursue this major may get a foundational understanding not just of the language itself, but also on literature, interpretations, and translations of various texts from a linguistic, social, cultural, and historical point of view.

Career Projections: Taking this degree allows you to immerse yourself in various facets not just of Japanese language, but culture as well. As such you can pursue advanced degrees in law and finance, translation work, or even a career in education.


#49. Genetics

Taking this allows you to study the Biology subfield tackling trait transmissions and organism changes. This allows you to study how genes are inactivated, activated, mutated, and inherited. Genetics often plays a big role in terms of aging, disease, and health, making it viable for those interested in the Health and Medicine field.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $43,000

Is This For You?  Science enthusiasts may have an interest in getting a Genetics degree, especially since its coursework involves getting a good understanding of calculus, biostatistics, physics, organic chemistry, and general chemistry, As such, Genetics majors are not only often involved in various industries, but also in scholarly research as well. Those who want to have options to work in industries and still pursue graduate studies may want to pursue this major.

Career Projections: A degree in Genetics can get you into various related fields in the realm of science and medicine, including careers as a science writer, scientific laboratory technician, physician associate, medical sales representative, healthcare scientist, and epidemiologist.


#50. East Asian Studies

Taking this degree allows you to get a heads-up should you be interested in taking up a more specialized career path to countries such as Korea, Japan, and China. As an interdisciplinary major, this degree opens opportunities for advanced careers to apply knowledge in politics, history, written language, and culture of the countries studied.

Estimated Average Salary (Yearly): $42,300

Is This For You? Those with a vested interest in tackling the various dimensions of East Asia may take this degree, especially since its coursework involves studying history, political developments, trade relations, and translations of cultures between nations in this region. Given its expansive scope, students also often specialize in areas such as sociology, political science, and history. As such, students who want to have a major that allows them to branch into different areas may want to invest in an East Asian Studies major.

Career Projections: Pursuing this degree opens a myriad of career options, including careers as an international marketing specialist or financial advisor for Asian markets, foreign consultant, foreign correspondent, and translator.


The Takeaway: A Matter Of Choice, Trajectory, Flexibility

If you may have noticed in the above, the degrees and majors themselves don’t lead into high pay, but rather the careers associated with them. As such, it’s important to remember that perhaps the way into the best high-paying majors isn’t always with the major in itself, but a myriad of factors such as the university you choose, your career trajectory, and how flexible the degree is when it comes to switching careers.

As such, it’s important to refer to this handy guide of 50 best high-paying majors to always put things to perspective as to just how practical some degrees are towards your interests, and what’s “in” when it comes to the job market. Remember, proper planning and proper execution go hand in hand when it comes to getting yourself in the career of your dreams.