Which Master's Degrees Yield the Highest Starting Salaries?

If you are looking to advance your career and earning potential, you might decide to earn a master's degree. Continue reading for information about some high-paying entry-level careers that may be available to those who have obtained such advanced education.

Highest-Paying Master's Degrees: An Overview

Many of the high-paying careers that require master's degrees are in healthcare, science and business. Lucrative careers in these areas include physicians' assistants, engineers and management professionals, based on info from a list of master's degrees that lead to jobs that aren't only high-paying but also have promising futures, as reported in May 2010 by Forbes.com.

Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies

A master's degree in physician assistant studies can prepare you to work directly with doctors, surgeons and other healthcare professionals. In this type of degree program, you'll learn to assist doctors with taking medical histories and determining which medications to give patients. Coursework will deal with primary care medicine, pharmacology and emergency medicine. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2012, physicians assistants who have the requisite master's degrees earned median annual salaries of $90,930.

Master's Degree in Petroleum Engineering

According to 2008 information from the BLS, petroleum engineering was the highest-paying engineering discipline in the nation. The BLS also noted that, as of 2012, these professionals earned median annual salaries of $130,280. Master's degrees in this field may be awarded as either Master of Science or Master of Engineering degrees; some degrees may be more focused on research, while others could prepare you for practical application. In 2014, Payscale.com noted that most entry-level petroleum engineers earned between $59,516 and $131,529.

Master of Business Administration in Management Consulting

Management consulting was listed on U.S. News & World Report's' list of high-paying graduate-degree careers in 2011. Payscale.com reported in 2014 that the majority of entry-level management consultants earned $49,393-$110,841. Median entry-level salaries for these professionals in 2014 were $72,230, as indicated by Payscale.com. MBA programs that carry concentrations in management consulting train you to advise all types of businesses as to strategies for tackling a wide variety of management issues. Courses in this type of program often address accounting, management control and market research.

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