High Paying Jobs You Can Get with a College Degree

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High Paying Jobs You Can Get with a College Degree

It is no secret that higher education, specifically a bachelor’s degree, in the United States, comes at quite a price. These days, with the cost of tuition increases, it’s never been more important to choose a lucrative career. The students who decide wisely are rewarded with a reasonable amount of salary while others are obliged to pay off student loans for many years. So, what are the careers worth the debt?

From accountant to doctors, we are counting the highest paying jobs for a college degree.

Financial Planner

What’s the average salary that a graduate from a finance major can expect at first glance? It does not appear that the degree in finance is the ticket to a career with stellar pay. The average salary with a bachelor’s degree in finance takes in $60,000 a year. However, a few years in the industry creates a big difference.

The median annual compensation of a financial planner is $88,890, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it one of the highest paying careers in finance. What’s more is that employment within the field is expected to increase fifteen percent until 2026, far outpacing most fields. After working in the industry for more than a decade, finance experts can expect to make well over $100,000.

The careers which a finance degree could prepare you for include bond brokering, financial analysis, corporate finance, financial planning, investment baking, venture capitalism, underwriting, and portfolio management.


These engineers are responsible for applying the principles of mathematics and science to create and innovate things used in daily life. Civil engineers design infrastructures such as roads, buildings, homes, tunnels, bridges, airports, and sewer and water systems.

When designing these systems and structures, civil engineers must consider several factors such as the expected lifespan of the finished product, the cost of materials, and government regulations for safety since we all rely on the infrastructure provided by civil engineers.

Their salary is remarkably high. The average pay of a civil engineer was $83,540 annually, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest-paid is only about ten percent of civil engineers where they receive less than $53,470. On the other hand, the highest-paid earned more than $130,880 per year. Given these figures, you can have a 50% chance of getting between $65,330 to $170,140 a year. Those are still good odds of earning significantly more than $50,000 every year.

A mechanical engineer has almost the same workload as a civil engineer with some minor differences. Mechanical engineers design machines, engines, tools, and thermal systems for consumers and several industries. Many also build several infrastructures. They design and test them for effectiveness or durability. The most common tasks for a mechanical engineer would require using a computer and specialized software. The average gross annual salary for mechanical engineers is $65,900. Half of all mechanical engineers are in less than the median and half earn more salary, ranging from $61,250 to $71,429.

The top 10% of mechanical engineers earned about $76,462. The bottom ten percent only earned $57,015. However, after five or more years of experience, engineers would start making $105,000 a year.


Quite a misnomer here but the term ‘scientist’ is an umbrella of all types of professions that entails an excellent educational background in science, which is later applied in research and experiments.

After an intensive bachelor’s degree in biology and other relevant courses, you can work then work as a molecular biologist. They design and perform experiments on cells and molecules to gain insight into how these components operate and communicate. They may then present their findings to colleagues in the form of academic publications or reports.

Many molecular biologists also instruct students at universities. Molecular biologists often perform experiments related to DNA sequencing, cloning RNA functioning, and other cellular behavior.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, biophysicists and biochemists earned an average annual salary of $89,470 and an average wage of $43 per hour. Half of biochemists and biophysicists reported salaries ranging between $55,360 to $112,200 a year.

The highest-paid 10% of biochemists and biophysicists working in the United States reported high average salaries of $145,350 or more per year. You can probably say that these are the best careers in science.


If you’ve been to the pharmacy lately, you may have found yourself wondering how much pharmacists make. Being a pharmacist, at least that the retail level, involves a lot of standing long shifts in dealing with customers which might not be for everyone. On the plus side, salaries in the field are $123,670 on average. Though it requires intensive schooling, life as a pharmacist can be pretty rewarding.


Mathematical careers outside of academia rarely carry this simple title of a mathematician. The idea of a career in mathematics has evolved and diversified. It is often coupled with a specialty or area of research and interest. Mathematics also plays a major role in the foundation of industrial organizations and helps companies perform better in today’s data-driven marketplace. The broad groundwork of mathematical skills you obtain from this major will be useful for a variety of careers. In addition to math classes, students will take statistics, computer science, and physics. Though these classes are difficult, they result in an average salary of $101,000 a year.

Medical Professionals

Pre-medical studies are not major but a series of undergraduate courses in science and mathematics recommended for students who would want to pursue medical school after earning their bachelor’s degree. These courses prepare students to enter medical school and ready them for careers as doctors or surgeons, assuming these students continue their path to becoming a doctor.

They can make well over $400,000 with an average salary of $227,000. If they work elsewhere in the health care industry, they can still stand to make $150,000 a year. Among all the medical careers, being an anesthesiologist stands as top among the highest paying jobs in the medical field with an average annual salary of $270,000.

Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers are tasked to research and develop the instruments, processes, and systems used to derive benefits from radiation and nuclear energy. Many of these engineers find medical and industrial uses for radioactive materials. An example is equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment. Many others specialize in the development of nuclear power, sources for ships, or spacecraft.

This requires many years of studying hard sciences and physics. One false move could be fatal when working with unstable isotopes, so these scientists are rewarded handsomely. The median salary is $120,220 annually.


In a zoology career, there is high risk and high reward, whether you’re employed by a research facility, a zoo, or an animal conservation group. Being able to know the ins and outs of animal behavior, zoologists are also known as wildlife biologists. They study animals to understand better their origin, behavior, diseases, and how their lives progress

Many zoologists choose to specialize in one particular animal group such as mammals or birds. However, others prefer to work at a zoo, diving into the animal kingdom like it’s a competitive sport. Very few colleges offer zoology programs, making their grads very valuable. This means the average salary is over $100, 000.


They study the financial costs of risk and other instances of uncertainty. They use statistics, mathematics, and financial theory to assess the risk of possible events. They also help businesses and clients create policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries work is essential to the insurance industry.

Actuaries are well compensated. Experienced fellows have the potential to earn from $150,250 annually, and many actuaries even make more than that. With this, it is safe to say that it is one of the highest paying careers in business. College classes for an actuary involved many advanced finance and statistics classes, but many other majors do not compensate very well.

Of course, there is more to life than money, but if a high paying job is your goal, you should consider having a bachelor’s degree that is a pre-requisite to these. Some may take longer than usual. Others would go through the most challenging courses, but that’s how the highest paying jobs for college degree works. Nonetheless, those mentioned are definitely careers worth the price.

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