Degrees and Majors that Make the Most Money

Before we get into the majors that make the most money, it’s crucial to understand that the major isn’t always what leads to greater compensation. Instead, it is the career path that your student takes after graduation.

Even positions with similar titles might pay vastly different amounts. Salaries are influenced by the nature of the job, the type of organization, and even the actual location.

For example, while doctors are traditionally known for having large pay packages, what a person may earn as a specialist in a cutting-edge practice will be different than what a more general physician working in a free clinic may earn.

Furthermore, while several majors may qualify a person for a high-paying career, the number of changes in certain areas may be restricted. Securing certain positions can be difficult, and many people with the necessary qualifications may not end up in those positions.

Furthermore, certain high-paying positions necessitate additional degrees. A Master’s or Doctorate degree is sometimes required to unlock a field’s full earning potential. 

That means devoting more time – and potentially money – to education before even being considered for those positions. Obtaining one of these highest-paying degrees may seem like time well spent for some, but not everyone would agree.

Finally, the importance of individual performance cannot be overstated. Even if a person has a superb, in-demand degree in one of the high-paying college majors, how they perform their responsibilities in each job they take affects their entire career arc. Top performers may be able to go further than those who simply meet expectations due to their effort and talents.

However, certain majors have a higher potential for high-paying employment than others. If income is a major concern for your student, obtaining a degree in one of these fields may boost their chances of obtaining the compensation they need. However, it is never a guarantee.



As previously said, no major guarantees a big pay. However, when it comes to potential, some stand out more than others.

Furthermore, obtaining a degree in certain topics may give your student greater employment security. COVID-19, for example, had a significant impact on some businesses while flourishing in others.

Some of those that saw an increase may be directly tied to pandemic-related conditions, while others may be due to the continued need for specific products or services at all times. While the latter may appear to be the greatest degrees to acquire in 2021, giving stability that may otherwise be difficult to achieve, it doesn’t mean other options aren’t attainable.

This list is intended to provide a little bit of both perspectives. Career length can have an impact on long-term earnings potential, making it an important factor to consider. However, the major does as well.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the high-paying majors – including typical earnings for degree holders – that promise long-term growth and stability.


The majority of pupils are unsurprised by the prospect of a career in technology. The terrain is unexpectedly extensive, encompassing a wide range of niches that appear to be becoming increasingly important on a societal level on a daily basis.

Students who major in information technology or a field related to computing usually have a solid basis for a successful career. Here are some of the high-paying degrees in this area, along with their average yearly incomes, that have outstanding long-term prospects:

  • Information Technology – $67,407 
  • Cybersecurity – $70,623 
  • Software Engineering – $81,971 
  • Computer Science – $85,957
  • System Engineering – $89,230 
  • Computer Networking – $75,429


Healthcare and medicine are other vast sectors that is well-known for its high demand and high pay. As the population ages, the demand for specialists in these fields grows, making some of these degrees desirable college majors from a financial and stability standpoint.

Students can position themselves for steady, rewarding professions by majoring in a healthcare-related field. Just keep in mind that some vocations necessitate higher degrees, while others necessitate medical school. 

Here is a list of majors in this area, along with their average salaries:

  • Nursing – $85,769 
  • Medicine – $201,290 
  • Biomedical Engineering – $74,770
  • Physical therapy costs $71,318; 
  • Pharmacology costs $72,362
  • Dentistry costs $120,000.
  • Health Informatics – $73,064 
  • Healthcare Administration – $61,416


Regardless of what else is going on in the world, the business scene is always competitive. As a result, individuals with proven marketing, advertising, and public relations skills will continue to find employment, which is why these degrees are among the highest-paying in the country.

The following is a list of majors that apply to various sectors, as well as the typical wages for degree holders:

  • Marketing – $65,735 
  • Advertising – $56,824 
  • Public relations – $54,221 
  • Communications – $60,789 


When it comes to profitable STEM occupations, one of the top alternatives in engineering. Many of the jobs that these degrees lead to paying well. Furthermore, there is significant room for expansion.

Here is a list of engineering and construction-related majors and typical incomes that are currently available:

  • Petroleum Engineering – $110,000
  • Electronics Engineering – $81,965 
  • Nuclear Engineering – $84,072
  • Mechanical Engineering – $80,617
  • Aerospace Engineering – $82,816
  • Civil Engineering – $70,895 
  • Industrial Engineering – $78,764
  • Architectural Engineering – $73,479
  • Construction Management – $72,543


Because money isn’t going away, a job in finance or accounting offers a reasonable amount of employment security as well as significant salary potential. Large organizations, small firms, and individuals all want financial aid on a regular basis, therefore there is always a level of demand.

Here’s a rundown of various finance and accounting majors, along with average income data:

  • Accounting – $64,352 
  • Finance – $72,148 
  • Actuarial Sciences – $67,277 


While the most obvious high-paying career in this field is that of a lawyer, it is far from the only one. Economists, for example, can make a good living and theoretically belong to this category as well.

Whether your student wants to be a lawyer or work in government, the following majors can help them get there:

  • Political science – $68,292 
  • Criminal Justice – $64,329
  • Government – $57,162 
  • Economics is the best-paid major, with a salary of $74,693.


While not all degrees in the hard sciences lead to high-paying jobs, some do. It is feasible to turn a hard sciences degree into a high-paying career by focusing on the right topic.

Here are some examples of hard sciences majors in high demand today:

  • Physics – $87,163 
  • Chemistry – $74,841
  • Food Science – $64,423 
  • Science of Materials – $78,052


It requires a lot of know-how to keep a business, government agency, or any other institution going. That is why the administration and management-related disciplines are so profitable; they provide students with that vital knowledge.

If your kid is interested in operating any form of group, the following majors may help them get there:

  • Business Administration – $64,092 
  • Public Administration – $65,878 
  • Management Information Systems – $80,642


Consumer and Family Sciences

  • Early Career Earnings: $40,500
  • Earnings: $45,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $64,900

Dramatic and theatrical arts

  • Early Career Earnings: $41,500
  • Earnings: $45,000 on average
  • Pay in mid-career: $78,600

Elementary Education Salary

  • Earnings: $43,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $51,600

Religious Vocations and Theology

  • Early Career Earnings: $38,100
  • Earnings: $43,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $54,700

Performing and Visual Arts

  • Early Career Earnings: $42,900
  • Earnings: $42,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $67,800

Teacher Education

  • Earnings: $42,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $61,000

Social Worker Salary

  • Earnings: $42,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $51,600

Studio Arts

  • Earnings: $42,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $65,300

Human Services and Community Organizations

  • Earnings: $41,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $52,100

Early Childhood Education

  • Early Career Earnings: $34,100
  • Earnings: $39,000 on average
  • Mid-Career Earnings: $43,300


While opting for a major that pays well is a good idea, allowing pay to determine what your student studies may not be the best choice. They should ideally choose a vocation that they will find interesting and engaging in the long run. 

After all, they may be in the field for 40 years or more, so it should be entertaining or at the very least intriguing.

In most cases, students should strike a balance between pay and passion. Encourage your pupil to consider what they enjoy doing and then use it as a guideline. 

They can investigate work opportunities in their selected niche, allowing them to identify a career path with strong earning potential that they will also enjoy.

In the end, a career is a decade-long aspect of their lives. While money is a significant consideration, it is not the only one.

Sign up for our free college scholarship webinar if you and your student want to learn more about where to locate local scholarships as well as national honours!


Final Thoughts on High-Paying Majors

As stated at the outset, there are numerous aspects that influence what degree to pursue in college. It’s also worth mentioning that the figures above are subject to change.

Computer science was not on most people’s radars when applying to college two decades ago, but it is now one of the most popular majors across all schools.

Current events, such as the pandemic, are bound to have an impact on which majors are most popular in the future and should be considered.

No one can guarantee that they will earn the median wage in any major. There will be people who make less money and those who make more money.

Part of what differentiates people in terms of compensation is less about the degree they studied and more about their work ethic, networking skills, and devotion to career progression.

Maintaining these important characteristics can help you excel in any industry.

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