It’s an established fact that a university degree can get you into the premium careers category. However, it’s also true that not all degrees can provide you access to the same level of remuneration. And if we’re looking at it from a purely financial angle, then one should always be on the lookout for top paying careers with bachelor’s degree.
The best paying careers with a bachelor’s degree
If you’re looking for a career that will pay you well, there are plenty of options. But if you’re looking for the best paying jobs, you’ll have to dig a little deeper into the data.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 highest-paying careers with the largest starting salaries based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages database.
We ranked each occupation by median annual salary, which is the midpoint in an occupation’s wage distribution. We then looked at the number of people employed in each occupation to determine its prevalence (the number of people employed in an occupation as a percentage of all workers in that industry).
Here are our top ten highest-paying careers with bachelor’s degrees:
Top paying careers with bachelor’s degree
Earning an online bachelor’s degree can be a great way to qualify for high-paying jobs. Online degree programs offer many of the same courses and requirements as on-campus programs, but with additional flexibility in scheduling and coursework. As students balance school with family, work, and other obligations, the convenience of studying on their own time is invaluable.
Software Developers, Applications – Average salary: $102,160
If you’re interested in becoming a software developer, then you’re in for a bright future. Software developers are among the most highly compensated professionals in the United States, with an average annual salary of $102,160.
A software developer is responsible for writing code that allows users to interact with programs and systems by providing them with an interface that can be used by non-technical users. This role requires both technical skills (coding) and interpersonal skills because developers must work closely with other team members as well as clients or customers who will use their finished product.
Software developers should be comfortable using computer languages like C++ or Java; however, it’s not necessary for all software developers to know how to write code from scratch—some companies allow their employees to specialize in different aspects of programming such as testing or debugging existing programs rather than creating them from scratch themselves.
Software Developers, Systems Software – Average salary: $105,570
Software Developers, Systems Software
Average salary: $105,570
Entry-level software developers with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field can expect to earn about $78,000 per year. Software developer salaries vary greatly by industry and location—the average annual salary for systems software developers who work in IT services is $100K; their counterparts working in finance receive closer to $110K annually on average.
Computer and Information Research Scientists – Average salary: $118,370
This is a very broad category that includes computer and information research scientists, as well as computer and information systems managers. In fact, it also includes computer and information scientists, research; computer systems analysts; and computer and information research analysts.
Now that you’re in the right mindset of what kind of degree you need to get one of these jobs, here are some common fields of study among those people who hold degrees in this field:
Actuaries – Average salary: $114,850
An actuarial is a professional who uses mathematical and statistical methods to estimate the financial costs of risk, such as illness, accidents or natural disasters. Actuaries work in insurance companies, banks and other industries that deal with risk management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for actuaries will grow 29 percent by 2026.
Because they are in high demand, actuaries are often paid well above the median income for all workers: As of May 2017, their average salary was $114,850 according to PayScale’s College Salary Report. To become an actuary you need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or statistics (or an associate’s degree plus additional coursework). You also need three exams: The first is offered through the Society of Actuaries while the second is administered by state societies within six months after completion; these exams cover general principles like financial mathematics and probability theory; finally there’s an exam specific to your specialty area such as health care or real estate valuation
Petroleum Engineers – Average salary: $132,280
Petroleum engineers are in high demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that employment growth is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2016 and 2026. Petroleum engineers are responsible for the extraction of oil and gas from the earth. They are involved in exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas. It takes a special type of person who can work under extreme conditions such as those found on an offshore rig or deep underground. The average salary for a petroleum engineer is $132,280 per year
Chemical Engineers – Average salary: $108,770
Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food and many other products. They design manufacturing plants and equipment for large-scale production of various chemical products.
Chemical engineers can specialize in one of three areas: process engineering, polymer science, or biochemical engineering. Process engineers develop new processes for manufacturing chemicals using air separation technology; polymer scientists find ways to improve existing polymers through physical processes; biochemical engineers develop processes and create bioprocesses for industrial use such as fermentation or enzyme modification
Nuclear Engineers – Average salary: $113,360
Nuclear engineers are in charge of all nuclear power plants. They work with engineers and scientists in the design, operation and maintenance of the complex systems that keep these plants running smoothly.
They also focus on improving energy production efficiency, developing new technologies for commercial use, conducting research at national laboratories and helping to set up safety standards.
Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers – Average salary: $142,530
Airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers are among the highest paid careers with a bachelor’s degree. The average annual salary for these professionals is $70,170 and the average hourly wage is $15.04. Professionals who work as airline pilots or copilots typically earn more than those who work as flight engineers.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians – Average salary: $72,630
- Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
- Average salary: $72,630
- In demand
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians work in the aerospace industry. They are highly skilled, requiring a bachelor’s degree for entry level positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2016-2026.*
Electronics Engineers (Except Computer) – Average salary: $101,250
What do you get when you cross a computer science major with an electrical engineer? The best jobs in the country. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic components, devices, and systems for commercial, industrial, and scientific applications.
With so much demand for their work, it’s no wonder that electronics engineers are one of the highest-paid bachelor’s degree holders of all time. This career also offers plenty of job security—electronics engineers have been ranked seventh on Forbes’ list of America’s 100 Best College Majors For Getting Jobs Right Out Of School.
Most electronics engineers work in research and development (R&D). They may be part of a team that works on projects such as improving automotive braking systems or developing new biomedical devices like artificial hearts or pacemakers. Electronics engineers often work with other engineers who specialize in different aspects of R&D; for example: mechanical engineers might help to design new circuit boards while biomedical engineers might develop new surgical tools that use electromagnetic waves instead of scalpels to perform certain medical procedures (known collectively as “laser surgery”).
Some graduates will go on to become professors at colleges or universities where they can teach others about their field; others will pursue careers as consultants advising businesses or government agencies how best utilize technology within their organizations.
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians – Average salary: $68,220
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians are engineers who specialize in electrical and electronic technologies. This career path is often a good choice for those with a strong interest in engineering but no bachelor’s degree. You can get started by earning an associate’s degree in Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technology and then pursuing work as an electrical engineering technician, which requires only one additional year of on-the-job training. A similar option exists for those interested in working as an electronics engineering technician: two years of technical school followed by another two years working under the supervision of someone who has already achieved professional status will be enough to land you your first job as an electronics engineering technician.
These fields typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
One of the most important things to remember when thinking about pursuing a career in business is that it’s not always necessary to have a bachelor’s degree. In fact, there are many careers where one could earn quite a bit of money with only an associate’s degree or even no college degree at all.
However, if you do want to pursue a career in business and have already completed your associate’s degree program, then the next logical step would be to earn your bachelor’s degree. This can help provide you with a strong foundation for how businesses operate and how they relate to each other on an operational level as well as from an academic standpoint (which may come in handy later on down the road).
In addition, having both experiences under your belt will make it easier for potential employers within this field as they’ll know that they’re hiring someone who knows what they’re doing while also being able to learn new things quickly thanks largely due their previous experience working within this industry.(Note: While some jobs require advanced degrees such as master’s or Phd programs)
As you can see, a bachelor’s degree opens doors to many well-paying careers in the United States. If you want to earn more than $80,000 per year and are willing to study hard during college, your future is bright.