highest paying jobs with a college degree

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on what are the three highest paying jobs for someone with a college degree, highest paying jobs with a 4 year college degree. Read on to learn more. We at collegelearners .com have all the information that you need about what jobs pay the most without a degree. Read on to learn more.

highest paying jobs with a college degree

19 Highest Paying Bachelor Degree Jobs

Earning a bachelor's degree

A bachelor’s degree is a classic next step after completing high school. Yes, you can pursue an associate’s degree which has numerous advantages, but many people, employers included,  prefer the four-year bachelor’s degree.  These credentials can take the form of virtually any discipline from liberal arts to hard sciences. With a bachelor’s degree, potential earnings can be higher, there is a better chance to enjoy many stable, growing careers, and bachelor degree graduates can keep moving forward academically into master’s or doctorate programs.

Average Salaries for People with a Bachelor’s Degree

How much will you earn if you have a bachelor’s degree? Does a bachelor’s degree really make a difference, and, if seeking an education, why not just get an associate’s degree, which is often cheaper and faster? 

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll make a large leap in your overall earnings, statistically speaking. Not only that, you’ll also have a much lower chance of being unemployed. The following numbers come from unemployment and earnings statistics for 2020 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Higher Earnings

According to the BLS, people with a high school diploma make a median weekly income of $781. Assuming you are paid for 52 weeks a year, this would equal a total of $40,612. Now, what if you have an associate’s degree? In this case, the median weekly income is $938, a strong boost of over $150 a week. This means you would have an annual salary of $48,776. Certainly not a bad salary, but with a bachelor’s degree you are likely to do better.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, your earnings can make a significant leap. The BLS says the median salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $1,305, well over $350 more than the median for associate’s and $524 more than someone with only a high school diploma. Annually, a holder of a bachelor’s degree stands to earn $67,860 a year. That’s over $19,000 more than someone with an associate’s degree and $27,248 than the potential earnings of someone with only a high school diploma.

Better Chances of Employment

Sometimes the mere fact that you are employable, regardless of earnings, is just as important as salary. In this case, bachelor degree jobs bring a higher level of stability and employability to your career, at least from a statistical perspective. For the sake of consistency, this article will cite a 2018 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, then the 2020 statistics, in which the numbers had been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The BLS says that for December 2018 the unemployment rate for all people over the age of 25 was 3.1%, while people with high school degrees and no college had a 5.8% unemployment rate. If you had an associate’s degree, the numbers improved, dropping the unemployment rate to 3.3%.  The unemployment rate for people with a bachelor’s degree was at 2.2%.

The 2020 BLS reports that the unemployment rate for all people over the age of 25 reached 7.1%, while people with high school degrees and no college had a 20.7% unemployment rate. If you have an associate’s degree, the numbers improve, dropping the unemployment rate to the average, 7.1%.

However, if you had a bachelor’s degree in 2020, your unemployment rate was down to 5.5%. Clearly the chances of being employed are far better if you have, at the very least, a bachelor’s. Especially during a recession, a Pandemic, any kind of economic event you can think of.

19 Highest Paying Bachelor Degree Jobs

Highest Paying Jobs for College Graduates
1. Systems Manager
Salary: $151,150
Job Growth: 10%

Also known as IT managers and IT project managers, these professionals earn a median income of over 150,000 a year, making it the highest-paying bachelor degree job on our list. While you only need a bachelor’s degree for this career, you will need a few years of related work experience.

2. Engineering Manager
Salary: $149,530
Job Growth: 3%

These are the professionals who oversee engineering projects, with tasks that include hiring staff, developing plans, and coordinating work. Once again, because this is a management position you will need related work experience to move into this position, usually at least five years of experience to land one of these jobs.

3. Marketing Manager
Salary: $141,490
Job Growth: 6%

With so many avenues for advertising products and services, effective marketing managers are needed to develop strategies and garner attention for manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses. The best marketing managers are well paid, and a bachelor’s degree, as well as work experience in the career, is usually required for this bachelor degree job.

4. Natural Science Manager
Salary: $137,940
Job Growth: 5%

A natural science manager needs to supervise and direct the activities of various scientists, which can include chemists, physicists, or biologists, depending on the position. This career only requires a bachelor’s degree, usually in the applicable scientific discipline, although many will find that advanced management and business degrees are also useful. At least five years of professional experience is also required to land one of these bachelor’s degree jobs.

5. Petroleum Engineer
Salary: $137,330
Job Growth: 3%

While some believe oil and natural gas are on their way out, making room for other energy sources, there is still a hearty demand for this resource. Engineers in this field are as important as ever. With a higher focus on safety and responsible practices, the need for engineers to create and use extracting equipment, as well as develop innovative new methods remains strong.

6. Financial Manager
Salary: $134,180
Job Growth: 15%

Large organizations need someone to plan, coordinate, and organize their finances, and they turn to financial managers to oversee these efforts. Most financial managers will have a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, although some companies will require a master’s degree as well. At over $130,000 a year for median income, financial education is one of the highest paid bachelor degrees.

7. Sales Manager
Salary: $132,290
Job Growth: 4%

Sales teams are often the most important unit for a company’s success, and good sales managers are needed to hire, train, and oversee an effective group. These professionals are well paid, with median salaries over $130,000.  A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum required education, although on-the-job experience is often required as well.

8. Airline Pilot
Salary: $130,440
Job Growth: 5%

While some pilots only need a high school diploma or equivalent, in addition to pilot training, airline pilots will need a bachelor’s degree. There will also be advanced certificates to land this job, including the Air Transport Pilot certificate, which is issued by the FAA. Airline pilots can have bachelor’s degrees in “any subject” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

9. Human Resources Manager
Salary: $121,220
Job Growth: 6%

An HR manager is the professional who coordinates and administers company compensation and benefits packages. They generally need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or management, and at least five years of experience is usually required for these positions.

10. Computer Hardware Engineer
Salary: $119,560
Job Growth: 2%

While many professionals dedicate their careers to creating and refining software, somebody actually has to create the devices and equipment that make computing possible. Computer hardware engineers literally engineer computer components, and while they have a median salary over $119,000, only a bachelor’s degree is needed (for most positions) and no job experience or on-the-job training is required.

11. Aerospace Engineer
Salary: $118,610
Job Growth: 3%

Aerospace technology is constantly changing to be more efficient, effective, and safe. Aerospace engineers are responsible for developing new innovations in this field. They work on aircraft, spacecraft, and even missile systems, making them important for national defense as well as business and exploration. They only need a bachelor’s degree in mechanics, aerodynamics, or a related field, and no experience nor training is needed for these bachelor degree jobs.

12. Computer Network Architect
Salary: $116,780
Job Growth: 5%

Building and designing data communication networks, these highly trained professionals help keep businesses and organizations internally connected, and also help with the organization and utilization of data. Most people holding this type of position have a degree in a tech-related field, including computer science, information systems, or network engineering. No on-the-job training is required, but some industry experience is.

13. Nuclear Engineer
Salary: $116,140
Job Growth: -13%

At -13% growth, the career of nuclear engineers is not keeping pace with the overall job market, with a projected 14,300 jobs for nuclear engineers by 2029. A bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering or a related field is needed, which calls for an intelligent mind that can handle advanced mathematical and scientific principles.  The BLS suggests taking the path of nuclear medicine could be a more lucrative and sustainable career path.

14. Training & Development Manager
Salary: $115,640
Job Growth: 7%

The training of employees at large companies and organizations can be such a major task that they often hire someone completely dedicated to this responsibility. Basically, their job is to enhance the knowledge and skills of employees, which should result in a stronger, more productive organization. No training is required, but experience will be needed to be a training manager

15. Actuary
Salary: $111,030
Job Growth: 18%

If you are good with numbers, specifically percentages, odds, and statistics, you may enjoy a career as an actuary. These professionals help businesses make decisions by analyzing the potential risk and benefit of any decision. No previous experience is required, but “long-term” training will be needed for these jobs that require a bachelor’s degree.

16. Software Developer
Salary: $110,140
Job Growth: 22%

Behind every computer program and application, there is at least one software developer. Some developers create applications that allow users to perform a direct task, while others work on the systems that run computers. The pay for this career is excellent, and one of the most attractive aspects is that you can enter into these jobs without work experience or training beyond a bachelor’s degree.

17. Chemical Engineer
Salary: $108,540
Job Growth: 4%

From drugs to fuels to foods, chemistry is everywhere, and in a world of efficiency and regulation, the need for chemical engineers is crucial. Working in offices and labs, chemical engineers solve problems that address manufacturing, usually with the purpose of enhancing large-scale production in a safe manner. This career requires a science-related bachelor’s degree but no training or previous experience.

18. Corporate Executive
Salary: $107,680
Job Growth: 4%

Executives have an important role in many companies, and while years of on-the-job experience is required to work up to the ranks of CEOs and company presidents, the formal education needed is surprisingly short, as many top executives only need a bachelor’s degree. Business and administration are common degrees for these high-ranking professionals, and some may have MBAs or other advanced degrees.

19. Medical Health Services Manager
Salary: $104,280
Job Growth: 32%

These professionals may also be referred to as health administrators or executives, and manage health facilities in office duties, healthcare delivery, finances, records, etc.  Medical health service managers must keep up with current laws, policies, and regulations, making this a dynamic, fast-paced career.  With so much responsibility and time on-call, medical health services management is one of the highest paying careers you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree.

Highest Paying Jobs With a Bachelor’s Degree

30 Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degree Jobs for the Future - Voice Online

Your major can have an even bigger impact on future earnings than choice of school. Find out which majors pay you back, and which make it hard to pay back student loans.

RankMajorDegree TypeEarly Career PayMid-Career Pay% High Meaning
1Petroleum EngineeringBachelors$93,200$187,30067%
2Operations Research & Industrial EngineeringBachelors$84,800$170,40028%
3Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS)Bachelors$108,500$159,30046%
4Interaction DesignBachelors$68,300$155,80055%
5Public AccountingBachelors$59,800$147,70047%
6Operations ResearchBachelors$83,500$147,40054%
7Applied Economics and ManagementBachelors$66,100$146,40067%
8Business Computing (BC)Bachelors$73,000$143,600
9Actuarial MathematicsBachelors$64,300$143,40051%
10Electrical Power EngineeringBachelors$76,100$142,60068%
11Information & Computer ScienceBachelors$58,600$140,90062%
12Aeronautics & AstronauticsBachelors$77,600$139,60056%
13Systems EngineeringBachelors$77,700$139,20053%
14EconometricsBachelors$64,200$139,00035%
15PharmacyBachelors$68,600$138,70078%
16Aerospace StudiesBachelors$55,800$136,600
17Building ScienceBachelors$53,800$135,90053%
17Chemical EngineeringBachelors$76,900$135,90055%
19Cognitive ScienceBachelors$68,700$135,20042%
20Actuarial ScienceBachelors$67,700$134,40043%
21Political EconomyBachelors$65,100$133,50029%
22Computer Systems EngineeringBachelors$79,000$133,20051%
23Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)Bachelors$78,100$131,60049%
24Computer Science (CS) & EngineeringBachelors$79,400$131,30044%
24Marine EngineeringBachelors$79,900$131,30060%

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