10 Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees

One of the most common questions we get asked at The Best Degrees is “What are the highest paying bachelor’s degrees?” To help answer that question, we did some research and came up with the following list of ten degrees that can get you started on a high salary career path.

1. Petroleum Engineering is among the top highest bachelor degrees. With a petroleum engineering degree, students have the potential to earn $119,140 yearly. Petroleum engineering degrees are offered in just a handful of colleges within the United States and Europe. Training to become a “hydrocarbon harvester” includes a background in petroleum geology, earth science, mathematics, economics, geophysics, and well engineering. Additional training in drilling, reservoir simulation, and artificial lift systems give petroleum engineers a well rounded degree in one of the fastest growing fields of employment. As the earth’s resources of crude and natural gas deplete, petroleum engineers face the difficult challenge of tapping into subsurface energy sources and the potential for tremendous layoffs.

2. Computer And Information Systems Managers earn $112,210 yearly landing in the third highest paying bachelors degrees. Computer and information systems managers. Computer and information systems managers perform various professional duties while overseeing a staff of programmers, software engineers, systems analysts, and computer support specialists. Computer and information systems managers install and upgrade hardware and software, monitor, upkeep, and maintain security, implement computer networks, design programs and systems, and develop Internet and intranet sites. Some employers prefer prospective employees with masters degrees, though many choose candidates with a broad knowledge of the latest technology. An educational background in computer science, computer programming, computer engineering, mathematics, information science, statistics, accounting, management, or management information systems assures success within this field.

3. Aircraft Pilot and Flight Engineering is the highest paying bachelor’s program with a future earnings potential of $111,680 yearly. A degree with a background in aeronautical engineering, English, mathematics, and physics as well as meeting in flight training requirements, will render potential candidates the preferred choice of employers. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers are highly trained individuals who fly planes and helicopters in commercial or private aircraft. Some pilots transport passengers or cargo, others dust crops, test aircraft, seed for reforestation, direct fire-fighting efforts, track criminals, as well as rescue or evacuate the injured. Large aircraft usually have a flight engineer assisting pilots and copilots with company, air traffic control, cabin-crew communications as well as monitoring instruments and making in flight repairs.

4. Computer Hardware Engineering is among the highest paying bachelor degrees. Computer hardware engineers have the potential to earn $97, 570 yearly. Computer hardware engineers invest in a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, mathematics, or information systems while monitoring technological advances are guaranteed success in their field. Computer hardware engineers manage all aspects of computer cystems including computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, keyboards, routers, printers, and other hardware. Computer hardware engineers create, test, manage and upgrade computer systems and networks.

5. Nuclear Engineering is among the top highest paying bachelor degrees with an earnings potential of $97,080 yearly. Nuclear engineers study nuclear fusion, medical, and other applications of radiation, radiation safety, medical or ionizing applications, heat/thermodynamics transport, nuclear fuel or other technology including waste disposal, nuclear proliferation, and the effects of radioactivity on the environment. Nuclear engineers research and apply principles of nuclear physics, including the breakdown of atomic nuclei and the maintenance of nuclear fission systems and components. Nuclear engineers research and maintain nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants, and/or nuclear weapons. Nuclear engineers also apply nuclear physics in relation to problems with the release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy as well as nuclear waste disposal.

6. Actuarial Science/Actuary is among the highest paying bachelor degree program with an earnings potential of $95,980 yearly. A bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics, statistics, or economics with a strong background in general business opens the doors to a successful career as an actuary after completing internship requirements. Before gaining full professional status, an individual with a degree must pass and complete a series of examinations which generally last 4 to 8 years. Actuaries act as the risk calculators of the insurance industry. Actuaries assess risks such as death, sickness, injury, disability, loss of property or other events. Actuaries then create policies to minimize costs associated with these risks.

7. Aerospace Engineering is among the top highest paying bachelor degrees. Aerospace engineers can earn a salary of $92,520 yearly. A bachelor’s degree in natural science or mathematics combined with aerospace specialties, including electrical and electronics engineering, mechanical engineering or physical life and sciences, engineering technology, and application of engineering principles related to the field of specialization qualify candidates for a multitude of engineering jobs. Engineering programs concentrate on application of engineering principles which prepare students for practical design and production or more specific theoretical or scientific employment after receiving certification. Aerospace engineers study, design, test, and supervise the manufacturing of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Aerospace engineers research, design, and improve new or existing aviation technologies, defense systems, or space exploration devices. Some aerospace engineers specialize in structural design, guidance, navigation and control, instrumentation, communication, or production methods or specific aerospace products. Aerospace engineers can research or develop commercial aircraft, military fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, missles, rockets and continue education in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or guidance and control systems. The primary responsibility of all aerospace engineers is to link scientific studies and discoveries with commercial applications to meet societal and consumer demand through economical application of science and mathematical principles.

8. Chemical Engineering is among the top highest paying bachelor’s degree. Potential chemical engineers have the opportunity to earn a salary of $84,680 yearly after successfully earning their degree. A concentration in chemical engineering with a solid background in chemistry, mathematics, natural science, mechanical and electrical engineering, and physics, as well as proper certification, ensures success as a chemical engineer. Chemical engineers design equipment and processes for large scale chemical manufacturing or plan and test manufacturing methods for products and by-products apply principles of chemistry to solve problems involving production or use of chemicals or other products. Chemical engineers also focus on how manufactured chemicals affect enviroments, workers, and consumers. Chemical engineers also concentrate on creating or solving problems with energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper. Chemical engineers work beyond laboratories and often work in healthcare, biotechnology, and business services. Some chemical engineers specialize in oxidation or polymerization or particular fields, like nanomaterials, or developing specific products.

9. Electrical / Electronics Engineering is among the top highest paying bachelor’s degree. Potential electronics engineers have an earning potential of $86,370 yearly. A bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics, principles and theories of electronics, physical life and sciences, engineering technology, and completing certification requirements qualifies candidates for a future as an electronics engineer. Electronics engineers who work beyond the field of computers to apply electricity to control systems or signal processing. Electronics engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electronic equipment. Electronic engineers are responsible for all of the gadgets from portable music players to GPS systems, with a focus on communications, signal processing, broadcasting, or a specialty within an industry (as in control systems or aviation electronics.)

10. Materials Engineering are among the highest paying bachelor degrees. Materials engineers can earn a yearly salary of $81,820. An educational background in engineering with concentrations in mathematics, science, chemistry, physics, computer science, or other principled areas as well as meeting certification requirements, are a necessity for materials engineers. Materials engineers develop new uses for known materials. Materials engineers spend their working hours studying materials, developing machinery and processes to manufacture materials, while assuring design and performance specifications. Materials engineers create a wide range of products through the development, processing and testing of materials. Materials engineers use composite materials and/or specialize in a particular material (like graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers or organic materials) Materials engineers use metals, ceramics, plastics, semi-conductors, or composites to meet mechanical, electrical or chemical requirements for a product or to create a new material.

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