College Majors That Make the Most Money

college majors that make the most money

What College Majors Make the Most Money?

College majors that lead to high-paying careers often involve specialized skills, advanced education, and strong demand in the job market. While earning potential can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and industry, here are some college majors that are commonly associated with high salaries:

  1. Engineering:
    • Petroleum Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Computer Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
  2. Computer Science and Information Technology:
    • Computer Science
    • Software Engineering
    • Information Technology
    • Data Science
    • Cybersecurity
  3. Business and Management:
    • Finance
    • Accounting
    • Management Information Systems (MIS)
    • Economics
    • Marketing
    • Actuarial Science
  4. Healthcare:
    • Physician Assistant Studies
    • Nursing (especially Nurse Anesthetist or Nurse Practitioner)
    • Pharmacy
    • Dentistry
    • Optometry
    • Physical Therapy
  5. Mathematics and Statistics:
    • Actuarial Science
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Statistics
  6. Physical Sciences:
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Geology
  7. Construction Management:
    • Construction Management
    • Civil Engineering Technology
  8. Information Systems and Technology Management:
    • Information Systems Management
    • Technology Management
  9. Architecture:
    • Architecture
    • Landscape Architecture
  10. Agricultural Engineering and Food Science:
    • Agricultural Engineering
    • Food Science and Technology

These majors often lead to lucrative careers in industries such as engineering, technology, finance, healthcare, and management. However, it's important to consider factors beyond salary when choosing a major, such as your interests, values, and long-term career goals. Additionally, gaining relevant experience through internships, co-op programs, and extracurricular activities can enhance your earning potential and job prospects regardless of your chosen major.


The earning potential associated with different college majors can vary widely depending on factors such as industry demand, job market trends, geographic location, level of education, and individual experience. While there is no guarantee that choosing a specific major will lead to high earnings, certain fields tend to offer higher average salaries than others. Here are some college majors that are often associated with higher earning potential:

  1. Engineering: Engineering majors, such as Petroleum Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering, often command high salaries due to their technical expertise and demand in industries like energy, technology, and manufacturing.
  2. Computer Science: Computer Science majors are in high demand in the technology sector, with roles such as software developer, data scientist, and cybersecurity analyst offering competitive salaries.
  3. Business Administration and Management: Majors in fields like Finance, Accounting, Marketing, and Management can lead to lucrative careers in finance, consulting, corporate leadership, and entrepreneurship.
  4. Healthcare and Medicine: Majors such as Nursing, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant Studies, and Biomedical Engineering are associated with high-paying careers in healthcare, particularly as demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow.
  5. Information Technology: Majors in Information Technology, Information Systems, and Computer Information Systems can lead to well-paying roles in areas such as IT management, network administration, and database administration.
  6. Economics and Finance: Majors in Economics, Finance, and Actuarial Science can lead to lucrative careers in banking, investment management, insurance, and financial analysis.
  7. Mathematics and Statistics: Majors in Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science can lead to high-paying roles in fields such as data analysis, risk management, and quantitative finance.
  8. Petroleum Geology and Mining Engineering: Majors in Petroleum Geology and Mining Engineering can lead to lucrative careers in the energy and natural resources sectors.

It's important to note that while these majors are often associated with higher earning potential, individual salaries can vary based on factors such as job experience, geographic location, industry specialization, and negotiation skills. Additionally, pursuing a major solely for its potential to generate income may not lead to long-term satisfaction if it does not align with your interests, values, and career goals. It's essential to choose a major that both interests you and offers opportunities for professional growth and fulfillment.

What college majors make the most money?  What college majors are worth it?  While money is just one factor in a satisfying career, it is an important consideration.  When considering money as a factor in major and degree choice, it is helpful to take the following into account:

What is the career outlook, both short and long term?

What impact could technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other factors have on the job market in long term?

What are the advancement opportunities?

What is the salary as a new hire, mid-career, and earning potential over a lifetime?

What are the earning potentials for Bachelors degree only vs. Masters or Doctoral graduate degrees?  Some undergraduate majors in pre-professional, or pre-graduate degree programs have lower earning potential on their own, though they lead to high income jobs after graduate school.

Where you go to college can sometimes make you more or less money, even with the same major or degree.  Check out the College Scorecard to compare earning potential by degree and school.

Here are some resources to research these issues...

Occupational Outlook Handbook provides salary


US Census

The College Scorecard is a free tool that lets you compare earning potential by degree and school.