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30 best paying college majors: 2014

As college degrees become almost mandatory for landing a decent job, find out which majors give the best chance to start a high-paying career

Data reveals who gets the big paydays.
Data reveals who gets the big paydays.

With college graduation season upon us, it’s again time to take a look at which majors garner the most pay.

For all of the jobs in the Top 30, starting pay was up over last year. Engineering and science occupations continued their stranglehold on the top third of the rankings. For the record, still coming in dead last is Child and Family Studies with a starting salary of $30,300 and a mid-career salary (15 years in) of $37,200.

In 2012, our sister site ThinkAdvisor looked at which degrees were paying the most. This year, as they did in 2013, they drilled down into specific majors using data from Payscale lists 129 majors on its site.

The rankings below are based on data collected from 1,000 universities and include graduates with bachelor’s degrees only. The universities surveyed include 88% of U.S. schools with an enrollment of more than 5,000.

Take a look at the 30 Best Paying College Majors for 2014:

Server room

30. Mathematics

Starting Salary: $49,400

Mid-Career Salary: $88,800 (22nd, tie)

29. Information Technology

Starting Salary: $49,900

Mid-Career Salary: $84,100 (30th, tie)

Occupational health and safety

28. Economics

Starting Salary: $50,100

Mid-Career Salary: $96,700 (15th)

27. Occupational Health and Safety

Starting Salary: $50,500

Mid-Career Salary: $80,300 (40th)

Computer information systems

26 (tie). Computer Information Systems

Starting Salary: $50,800

Mid-Career Salary: $87,400 (25th)

26 (tie). Industrial Technology

Salary: $50,800

Mid-Career Salary: $81,500 (37th)

Construction management

24. Construction Management

Starting Salary: $51,500

Mid-Career Salary: $88,800 (22nd, tie)

23. Information Systems

Starting Salary: $51,900

Mid-Career Salary: $87,200 (26th)


22. Statistics

Starting Salary: $52,500

Mid-Career Salary: $98,900 (13th)

21 (tie). Applied Mathematics

Starting Salary: $52,800

Mid-Career Salary: $96,200 (16th)


21 (tie). Supply Chain Management

Starting Salary: $52,800

Mid-Career Salary: $83,700 (34th , tie)

19. Physics

Starting Salary: $53,100

Mid-Career Salary: $101,100 (9th)

Mechanical engineering

18. Management Information Systems

Starting Salary: $53,800

Mid-Career Salary: $92,200 (18th)

17. Mechanical Engineering Technology

Starting Salary: $54,100

Mid-Career Salary: $84,000 (32nd, tie)


16. Civil Engineering

Starting Salary: $54,300

Mid-Career Salary: $91,100 (20th)

15. Nursing

Starting Salary: $55,400

Mid-Career Salary: $71,100 (57th)

Electrical engineering

14. Electrical  Engineering Technology

Starting Salary: $57,900

Mid-Career Salary: $87,600 (24th)

13. Actuarial Mathematics

Starting Salary: $58,700

Mid-Career Salary: $120,000 (2th)

Biomedical engineering

12. Biomedical Engineering

Starting Salary: $59,000

Mid-Career Salary: $91,700 (19th)

11. Computer Science

Starting Salary: $59,800

Mid-Career Salary: $102,000 (8th)

Mechanical engineering

10. Software Engineering

Starting Salary: $60,500

Mid-Career Salary: $99,300 (12th)

9. Mechanical Engineering

Starting Salary: $60,900

Mid-Career Salary: $99,700 (10th)

Industrial engineering

8. Industrial Engineering

Starting Salary: $61,100

Mid-Career Salary: $94,400 (17th)

7. Materials Science & Engineering

Starting Salary: $62,700

Mid-Career Salary: $99,500 (11th)

Aerospace engineering

6. Aerospace Engineering

Starting Salary: $62,800

Mid-Career Salary: $109,000 (5th)

5. Electrical Engineering

Starting Salary: $64,300

Mid-Career Salary: $106,000 (6th, tie)

Nuclear engineering

4. Computer Engineering

Starting Salary: $65,300

Mid-Career Salary: $106,000 (6th, tie)

3. Nuclear Engineering

Starting Salary: $67,600

Mid-Career Salary: $117,000 (3rd)

Petroleum engineering

2. Chemical Engineering

Starting Salary: $68,200

Mid-Career Salary: $115,000 (4th)

1. Petroleum Engineering

Starting Salary: $103,000

Mid-Career Salary: $160,000 (1st)


See also:

30 worst paying college majors: 2014

15 cheapest colleges with best job value

14 best paying jobs for college business majors: 2014

30 worst paying college majors for 2013

30 best paying college majors for 2013


Originally published on ThinkAdvisor. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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