25 college majors with the highest starting salaries

Salary potential shouldn’t be the sole thing that attracts you to a major in college — things like passion, interest, and aptitude should
also be considered. But it’s still nice to know which degrees pay off the fastest. (And we can’t blame you for being drawn to those.)

PayScale, the creator of the world’s largest compensation database, recently looked at the early and mid-career pay for over a million college grads — including professionals who graduated with a bachelor’s from 963 colleges and universities.

For its College Salary Report, which was compiled using data from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey, PayScale sorted the results by school, degree, and college major.

Here are the 25 majors with the highest starting salaries:

25. Engineering

Median early career pay: $62,600

Median mid-career pay: $107,000

24. Biomedical engineering

Median early career pay: $62,700

Median mid-career pay: $104,000

23. Engineering management

Median early career pay: $62,800

Median mid-career pay: $98,400

22. Aeronautical engineering

Median early career pay: $63,000

Median mid-career pay: $113,000

20. (tie) Mechanical engineering

Median early career pay: $63,500

Median mid-career pay: $103,100

20. (tie) Computer science and mathematics

Median early career pay: $63,500

Median mid-career pay: $111,000

18. (tie) Industrial engineering

Median early career pay: $63,800

Median mid-career pay: $104,000

18. (tie) Industrial and systems engineering

Median early career pay: $63,800

Median mid-career pay: $108,000

17. Electrical and electronics engineering

Median early career pay: $64,000

Median mid-career pay: $108,000

16. Software engineering

Median early career pay: $64,700

Median mid-career pay: $98,100

15. Computer science

Median early career pay: $65,300

Median mid-career pay: $107,000

13. (tie) Dental hygiene

Median early career pay: $65,400

Median mid-career pay: $74,900

13. (tie) Aerospace engineering

Median early career pay: $65,400

Median mid-career pay: $106,000

12. Materials science and engineering

Median early career pay: $65,800

Median mid-career pay: $108,000

11. Systems engineering

Median early career pay: $66,400

Median mid-career pay: $121,000

10. Electrical engineering

Median early career pay: $67,000

Median mid-career pay: $110,000

9. Electronics and communications engineering

Median early career pay: $68,000

Median mid-career pay: $115,000

8. Electrical and computer engineering

Median early career pay: $68,100

Median mid-career pay: $114,000

7. Nuclear engineering

Median early career pay: $68,500

Median mid-career pay: $116,000

6. Computer engineering

Median early career pay: $69,600

Median mid-career pay: $113,000

5. Chemical engineering

Median early career pay: $69,800

Median mid-career pay: $119,000

4. Mining engineering

Median early career pay: $70,200

Median mid-career pay: $107,000

3. Computer science and engineering

Median early career pay: $71,200

Median mid-career pay: $116,000

2. Physician assistant studies

Median early career pay: $85,200

Median mid-career pay: $103,000

1. Petroleum engineering

Median early career pay: $96,700

Median mid-career pay: $172,000

See the full College Salary Report here.

Find out how your salary stacks up on PayScale.

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