25 Top-Paying Careers For College Grads

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Top-Paying Careers For College Grads

It is a well-known fact that college graduates usually have higher salaries than school graduates.

The question is that what is the difference?

Below, we’ve created a list of 25 careers that can provide you with a six-figure salary right after completing your bachelor’s degree training.

It’s not a surprise that most careers from our list are from the STEM category.

Speaking of financial security, engineering careers can be considered as the most fruitful but scientific and tech careers are also well-paid.

To be able to succeed in these careers, you need to have excellent researching, management, and leadership skills as well as great technical, mathematical, and engineering knowledge.

Most of the careers in this list require undergraduate training to enter an entry-level job however there are some that require a graduate or even postgraduate training.

Petroleum Engineering

Career Options, Enrty-Level, Petroleum Engineer

Average Salary: $102 300 to $176 300

Petroleum engineers are responsible for the creation of methods and tools that can be used for oil and gas extraction.

These specialists work with numerous scientists and researches to get info about reservoirs.

After it, they can decide on plans, drilling equipment, and other operations required for minerals extraction.

Usually, petroleum engineers work on such issues as:

  • various aspects of wells building;
  • safety and efficiency of various drilling procedures;
  • production of wells and their monitoring;
  • the volume of gas and oil that can be extracted from a reservoir.

Just keep in mind that this career involves lots of traveling to various drilling sites.

Actuarial Mathematics

Career Options, Entry-Level, Actuarial Mathematics

Average Salary: $60 800 to $119 600

An actuary is a specialist that uses statistics, math, and financial analysis skills to reveal possible risks of various financial decisions.

Usually, these specialists are hired by life and insurance agencies as well as other types of companies.

To be able to perform their duties properly, actuaries need to work with a whole bunch of other specialists such as accountants and analytics.

In such a way, they can determine and take into consideration both companies’ policies and premiums.

Also, these specialists can work for individual clients and business executives in order to help the, increase their income while reducing losses.

As an actuary, you need to have a certain set of skills including such points as data analysis, information compilation, proposal development, and teamwork.

Featured Degree Program: Purdue University Global’s BA in Risk Management

Nuclear Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Nuclear Engineering

Average Salary: $67 000 to $118 000

A nuclear engineer can be considered as one of the most fruitful out-of-college careers.

These specialists work in the nuclear energy sphere and hold researches, develop instruments, processes, and systems that are not only beneficial but also safe.

Also, nuclear engineers are required in such spheres as the medical field where they design treatments and devices for cancer treatment, or in some industrial fields where they work on the development of nuclear power plants’ technologies, safety protocols and measures, and various systems.

You should know that, in most cases, these specialists work in offices.

Chemical Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Chemical Engineering

Average Salary: $69 600 to $116 700

Chemical engineers have a bunch of valuable skills that allow them to find employment in various spheres.

Using their knowledge in chemistry, physics, biology, and math, they research numerous issues and find appropriate solutions.

They can work in such spheres as medicine, food, clothing, and fuel productions.

Their main responsibility is to find ways to improve production processes in order to make them safer and more efficient.

Also, they may be obliged to test and oversee various methods used in various facilities.

As a chemical engineer, you can work in an office, a lab and on-site at different plants and refineries.

Electronics and Communications Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Electronics and Communications Engineering

Average Salary: $64 100 to $113 200

Electronics and communication engineers are required in a whole bunch of industries and facilities.

They may creat automobile and aircraft controls, radio and satellite communication, medical instruments, mobile devices, or GPS devices.

Depending on the sphere they work in, electronics and/or communications engineers design and develop new technologies as well as improve existing ones.

They should be able to analyze customers’ needs, design and evaluate both individual parts and whole systems, as well as develop maintenance procedures, test various devices and systems.

Electronics and communication engineers mainly work in offices but sometimes they need to visit on-site locations.

Computer Science Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Computer Science Engineering

Average Salary: $66 700 to $112 600

Computer hardware and software engineers both can be considered as computer science engineers.

Both these careers are very fruitful but require different sets of skills and knowledge.

Speaking of hardware engineers, they mainly work with the design and development of computer components and equipment.

At the same time, software engineers develop programs and applications that control the work of these components.

Both these specialists need to research customers’ needs, make tests, analyze results, and make required improvements and upgrades.

Very often, hardware and software engineers work together and collaborate with other types of computer programmers.

Learn more about what can you do with a computer science degree here.

Aerospace Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Aerospace Engineering

Average Salary:$64 700 to $107 900

Aerospace engineering combines a whole bunch of technologies such as commercial and military aircraft, satellites, and missiles.

All these spheres are highly-specialized so usually, these specialists choose a certain specialty like aeronautical or astronautical engineering.

They are responsible for the coordination, design, testing, and manufacturing of various technologies and products.

Also, they need to make sure that their products meet various standards, goals and customers’ needs.

Moreover, they perform inspections in case of various malfunctions in order to find ways to resolve them.

Speaking of aerospace engineers, they also may work in such industries as robotics, instrumentation and communication, fluid flow, or structural design.

Electrical Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Electrical Engineering

Average Salary: $65 900 to $107 900

Electrical engineers are specialists that work with electricity itself.

They decide on the best ways of electricity production to satisfy customers’ needs and how it can be distributed in the most effective way.

Electrical engineers can work with such technologies as motors, power generation equipment, and even radars or navigation.

You should know that you need some additional safety training as they work in dangerous conditions and need to deal with deadly amounts of electricity.

Usually, most of their working time, electrical engineers spend on sites.

Materials Science and Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Materials Science and Engineering

Average Salary: $64 000 to $109 100

Materials scientists and engineers study and analyze the atomic level of various materials and decide on the way of their usage in production.

They research the properties and structures of metals, plastics, composites, and other materials.

After completing the required researches, they decide on materials that work better for certain products and meet some mechanical, chemical, and electrical requirements.

They can work with one certain type of material or specialize in several different materials.

The list of their daily tasks includes teamwork, planning, researches, and experiments,  as well as making reports and data entry.


Career Options, Entry-level, Physics

Average Salary: $57 200 to $105 100

Physicists are specialists who study connections between time, space, energy, and matter.

Considering the fact that physicists have various specializations they can choose the area of work they like, such as:

  •  astrophysics that studies the physics of the universe;
  • atomic, molecular, or optical physics that focus on atoms, molecules, electrons, and light;
  • particle and nuclear physics that study atomic and subatomic particles;
  • materials physics that study matter and related phenomena;
  • medical physics that focuses on medical technologies and treatments.

Holding various researches and tests, physicists aim to understand the world better.

They can work on various plants and productions to resolve their needs, on the government to hold researches, and in academia to educate others.


Career Options, Entry-Level, Statistics

Average Salary: $54 900 to $103 100

Statisticians use various mathematical principles in order to collect, analyze, and present different types of numerical data.

These specialists are required in both the public and private sectors.

They work in education, healthcare, government, research and development spheres.

Statisticians usually design experiments and surveys, process and analyze data, make conclusions and present results in the most logical way.

The received data is used for various issues such as making business decisions and improving policies.

In most cases, these specialists work in offices collaborating with other specialists such as engineers, scientists and so on.

Mechanical Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Mechanical Engineering

Average Salary: $62 100 to $101 600

Mechanical engineers work in one of the broadest fields of engineering science.

These specialists creat various mechanisms and technologies such as new batteries, elevators, and internal combustion engines.

Also, they use their knowledge and skills in mechanics, machines, and thermal devices in order to reveal and solve various problems.

They may work as research engineers, robotics engineers, and thermal systems engineers.

These specialists mainly work in offices but sometimes they may be obliged to work at on-site locations.

Also, they constantly work on teams with other specialists so they can complete various important tasks using computers and specific equipment.

Software Engineering

Career Options, Entry-level, Software Engineering

Average Salary: $61 700 to $99 800

Software engineering isn’t the same as software development.

While software developers are responsible for software creation, engineers are responsible for the whole life-cycle of software.

They make researches, study requirements for various software, design, and test different programs.

Software engineers use a scientific approach to develop software and need to have skills in engineering, programming, analysis, and problem-solving.

These specialists are responsible for both computer systems and applications.

However, in some cases, companies may use “software developers” and “software engineers” terms as synonyms.

Recommended: American InterContinental University’s BS in Information Technology: Software Analysis and Development

Business and Information Technologies

Career Options, Entry-level, Business and Information Technologies

Average Salary: $56 900 to $99 100

Business and information technologies are of the highest paying career options for those out of college.

They perform various duties such as computer support, tech assistance, computer systems optimization, and other related tasks.

They provide support for various organizations helping them deal with different operations.

These specialists may work in offices while some traveling may be required.

They have knowledge and skills that combine both business and IT aspects.

Moreover, this sphere is one of the highest paying and there are incredible growth prospects.

Recommended: Colorado State University-Global Campus’s BS in Information Technology


Career Options, Entry-Level, Economics

Average Salary: $51 400 to $97 700

Economists work in various facilities including federal, state, local governmental organizations, research companies, and so on.

These specialists use their skills to perform quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

Also, economists study the productions and distribution of goods, resources, and services.

They use info from various spheres as well as historical trends to creat forecasts of economic events and upcoming market trends.

In some cases, economists may specialize in certain issues areas such as products’ cost, employment level, energy, exchange rates, taxes, and inflation.

The list of typical economist’s responsibilities includes data gathering, analyses, solution developing, advising, and others.

Industrial Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Industrial Engineering

Average Salary: $61 900 to $97 200

Industrial engineers are responsible for the improvement of productivity and efficiency of an organization.

They support various businesses in order to help them improve some procedures and plan various processes.

In order to cut down the organization’s wastefulness, they need to analyze the integration of equipment, workers, resources, and info.

Working as an industrial engineer, you need to know how to balance all these aspects and review production schedules, specifications, as well as different control systems in order to find a perfect solution.

These specialists work in a whole variety of industries such as healthcare, business, manufacturing, and so on.

Industrial engineers have some absolutely valuable skills so they are required in various spheres.

Applied Mathematics

Career Options, Entry-Level, Applied Mathematics

Average Salary: $54 300 to $96 500

Applied mathematics uses their knowledge in high-level mathematical theories and various fields’ models to resolve various issues in such spheres as engineering, business, computer science, and so on.

You should know that a job market for such specialists is relatively small however they can work as data analysts, data scientists, and quantitative analysts.

Also, they are required in such spheres as data mining, climatology, data privacy, and systems biology.

Despite their job title, these specialists perform various duties that include not only numbers.

Civil Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Civil Engineering

Average Salary: $55 100 to $93 400

Civil engineers have a significant impact on our daily life as they creat structures we use constantly.

They creat bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, water supply systems, buildings, and sewage treatment systems.

In fact, these specialists not only design but also help to build and maintain various structures and systems all over the world.

The list of civil engineer responsibilities includes land surveying, application submitting, various tests overseeing, and materials analysis.

They may work on supervisory and administrative positions.

Also, this job involves lots of traveling and on-site work in different locations.


Career Options, Entry-Level, Mathematics

Average Salary: $50 300 to $92 900

In most cases, mathematics is seen as an academic career however it is not always true.

To say the truth, these specialists may work in various spheres such as astronomy, medicine, climatology, robotics, government, and, it is hard to believe, animation.

Having excellent knowledge of mathematics, these specialists can find proper solutions for various tech issues.

Also, you’ll research and analyze as well as develop some new computational methods.

To be able to gain employment, you need at least have a mathematics bachelor’s degree however the higher your training level – the bigger your earning potential is.

Biomedical Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Biomedical Engineering

Average Salary: $59 600 to $92 200

As we’ve already mentioned, engineering careers are one of the most fruitful options for those out of college.

Biomedical engineering is a relatively fresh specialization in this sphere however it is not an exception and can for sure provide you with a good salary.

This career is interdisciplinary and it uses medical and engineering principles and knowledge in order to create technologies that are used in the medical sphere.

These specialists develop different equipment, software, computer systems, and devices, as well as artificial body parts and organs.

In fact, biomedical engineers are very important for the healthcare and medical sphere as they help both patients and medical workers.

Usually, they hold researches and preset results to other scientists, colleagues, executives, and the general public.

Architectural Engineering

Career Options, Entry-Level, Architectural Engineering

Average Salary: $57 000 to $90 400

While architects are responsible for buildings’ design, architectural engineers work with functionality and safety issues in order to make sure buildings are comfortable and safe.

Of course, these careers can cross somehow, for example, architects should understand some tech issues in order to know limits to their possibilities.

At the same time, architectural engineers should have really excellent mathematical and technical knowledge and skills.

These specialists use their skills to analyze designs and find the best ways to implement them including such points as support structures, mechanical systems, as well as electricity and lighting systems.

Just keep in mind that this career involves lots of traveling as you need to visit on-site locations for supervision.

Aviation Management

Career Options, Entry-Level, Aviation Management

Average Salary: $48 100 to $90 000

Usually, aviation managers work in airline companies and airports.

They usually deal with various administrative issues including employee relations, budget management, staff scheduling, and maintenance planning.

In fact, they aren’t only responsible for daily activities but also they make sure that everything operates according to the federal government guidelines of labor and safety.

To be able to perform their duties, aviation managers should be able to make fast decisions, deal with emergency situations.

This career can offer you some good income however you need to remember that it involves lots of challenging and hard responsibilities.

If you want to work in this sphere, you need to have excellent leadership, organizational, communication, and analytical skills.

Computer Information Systems Management

Career Options, ENtry-Level, Computer Information Systems Management

Average Salary: $52 400 to $89 900

Usually, these specialists work as IT managers and IT project managers.

The list of their responsibilities includes such options as planning, coordination, and direction of various computer-related activities within an organization.

Among some specific duties, there is network security ensuring, installation and maintenance planning, negotiations, project researching.

IT managers are required in various spheres including business, education, and healthcare.

In fact, they can find employment in any organization that uses computer systems.

To be able to become a successful IT manager, you need to have some important skills as they need to control and support various professionals such as system analysts, support specialists, and software developers.

Recommended: Saint Leo University’s Online BS in Computer Information Systems

Construction Management

Career Options, Entry-Level, Construction Management

Average Salary: $54 000 to $89 900

Constructions are also known as project managers that supervise various construction projects from the very beginning and till everything is finished.

They prepare cost estimates, budgets, and timetables.

Also, they may be responsible for the consulting of architects, engineers, and other specialists.

Moreover, exactly these specialists find and hire subcontractors that work on project creation.

It means that they need to spend lots of their working time at on-site locations and should stay in touch while going away.

Just keep in mind that you need to have excellent knowledge of construction issues, safety code, contract interpretation, legal regulations, and management.


Career Options, Entry-Level, Biotechnologies

Average Salary: $48 300 to $89 000

Biotechnologists work in various spheres but mainly it is healthcare and agriculture.

These specialists work with various living systems and organisms in order to modify them and create various important improvements.

Genetical modification, development of high-yield crops, and antibiotics creation are examples of biotechnologies.

These specialists hold various researches using private and governmental grants.

These specialists may perform some general duties or work on specific issues such as genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and so on.

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