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The 10 Top-Paying Degrees and Majors You Can Choose

top paying degrees

Heading off to college is an exciting time for everyone. There are tons of new people to meet and things to learn. There’s just one thing that you have to do before you get started with this new adventure.

Choose your major. Have you given it any thought yet? With your school’s long list of majors, it can be hard to choose something out of the pool.

Whatever you choose, you want it to be high paying so you can pay back your loans when you’re done with school. Here are a few top-paying degrees out there for you to consider.

1. Petroleum Engineering 

As a petroleum engineer, you’ll be working on different ways to safely and efficiently extract the oil and natural gasses that are found underground. If you pursue this option the main courses you’ll take will be centered around geology, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and well drilling. 

Jobs in this field are in high demand so there are various places around the world where you’ll find work. Your basic salary when you get started in this field will be around $136,000 a year. 

2. Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Pharmaceutical Administration  

As you can see, there’s a lot of variety when you start down the path of pharmaceuticals. This job field involves testing and developing different types of drugs and medications. 

This means the main classes you’ll take will be biology, toxicology, and chemistry. The best part is that once you get your degree in one of these pharmaceutical areas, it will open you up to look at graduate work as a doctor if you wanted to. As far as pay goes after school, you’re looking at around $113,000 a year.    

3. Metallurgical Engineering

If you’ve got a passion for metalwork, this is going to be your degree program. You’ll learn about the different types of metals out there and how to extract and combine them to make products. 

You’ll also be taught how metals react to different environmental pressures and stress. You’ll make around $98,000 a year to apply all of this knowledge to various jobs once you’re out of school.  

4. Mining and Mineral Engineering

Degree programs in mining and mineral engineering will teach you how to create methods for finding and extracting different minerals such as diamonds, coal, and gold. You’ll learn how to do this while doing as little harm to the environment as possible. 

Since a lot of your work is going to be done on-site, your degree program will also teach you all about worker’s safety. The pay for this job once you’re done with classes is going to be about the same as it is for metallurgical engineering. Around $98,000 a year.  

5. Chemical Engineering

Almost everything we interact with every day is given to us through the hard work of chemical engineers. If you choose this degree, you’ll be taught how to develop methods for extracting chemical properties to make safe products. 

Once you graduate you’ll work in places like labs, chemical refineries, and industrial plants. They will pay you around $97,000 a year to work for them. 

6. Economics 

We’ve been naming off a lot of technical degrees and while they are some of the highest-paying fields of study, not everyone has a knack for them. If you’re better at analyzing data economics may be the best degree for you. 

If you go down this path you’ll be taught how to analyze consumer data and detect patterns in it. There are a variety of jobs you can get from a degree in economics such as banking, insurance, and real estate. You’ll make around $76,000 dollars a year depending on which career you choose.

7. Finance

Have you always been good with money? If so, then getting a degree in finance may be ideal for you. Like with economics, you’ll be doing a good deal of analyzing markets so you can tell businesses how to manage their money. 

With this degree, you’ll get to pursue a job in insurance underwriting, financial planning, financial analysis, and investment banking. Each of these areas will pay you around $70,000 a year. 

8. Accounting

Accounting is another great degree choice if you like working with money. You’ll keep track of business finances so your program will teach you how to calculate taxes, read a balance sheet, and create financial statements. 

Accounting is a bit of a unique program because you’ll get to pick a specialization. You’ll be choosing between tax accounting, auditing, and forensic accounting. You’ll earn around $70,000 a year depending on what you decide to do. 

9. Oceanography 

The ocean is an endless mystery that an oceanography degree will allow you to explore. During this degree program, you’ll study marine ecosystems and how humans have an effect on it. You’ll also learn about things such as tidal movements and water chemistry. 

Be prepared to take a lot of biology, chemistry, and geology classes. All the classes will be worth it because you’ll bring home around $70,000 dollars a year. 

10. Geology and Earth Science 

Geology and earth science are about much more than the study of rocks. If you decide to pursue this degree you’ll also get to learn about how the elements are impacting Earth and how our little blue planet got to be the way it is today. 

Places like government facilities, energy companies, and environmental consulting firms will pay you about $70,000 dollars a year for your knowledge. 

Top-Paying Degrees for You to Consider

One of the hardest parts of going to school is deciding what you want to major in. You want to pick a field of study that you love but also one that’s going to pay you well once you complete your program. Consider going after one of these top-paying degrees to have a fulfilling career that you can be proud of. 

Now that you’ve picked out your degree and classes, it’s time to buy your school books. Go here to rent your textbooks for much cheaper than they are in your college bookstore. 

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.