10 College Majors that Could Lead to High Paying Careers

If you have a lot of interests, and want to factor cash flow into deciding your major, check out this article. It outlines some of the best majors for getting into high-paying, dynamic positions.

highest paying college majors

Careers With Cash

Let's face it; money makes the world go round. While in college you're urged to choose a major that speaks to you. On the other hand, a little voice in your head nags that you need to study something that can lead to a money-making job. Read on to discover majors can lead to a fulfilling career and keep you passionate (salaries are based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014).

1. Biology

Here's a shocker, this major can lead to pre-med and becoming a doctor! Not shocked? Well, biology teaches you the essentials of anatomy and disease, so it shouldn't be a surprise. Doctors vary in their specializations just as much as their salaries. Want to know the top docs? Surgeons earned a mean salary of $240,440, anesthesiologists made an average salary of $246,320 and gynecologists earned $214,750.

2. Aeronautical Engineering

If you love to travel and see the world, consider studying aeronautical engineering. This major is sometimes paired with avionics, but either of them can lead to a career as an airline pilot or flight engineer. Most airlines require pilots to have at least a 2-year degree and some flight experience (simulations are often part of your studies). The best part is that along with travelling, you can earn a good salary. Airline pilots and flight engineers earned a mean wage of $131,760.

3. Veterinary Science

You can study animal and veterinary science at the bachelor's and doctorate level. The bachelor's degree is the pre-requisite to entering a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program. If you love animals, want to advocate for their rights, heal them and help with population control, then this is a program that can feed your passion while earning you good money. Veterinarians reported earning a mean salary of $98,230.

4. Marketing

Always plan for your future, and in some cases that means planning to be the boss. Managers always make more money than their employees, so you'll want to aim for that goal (even if you don't like the idea of being in charge, there is almost always someone above you). In a marketing position you'll work with advertising to promote your business, provide customer satisfaction, track trends and develop plans to maximize profits. Marketing managers averaged a mean salary of $137,400.

5. Computer Science

Technology is constantly developing so it's no surprise that many high-paying jobs are related to computers. This major can prepare you to work in many computer fields, whether developing internal structures, creating software or running databases. Higher paying jobs require higher degrees, so be prepared to study hard. Computer and information systems managers made an average of $136,280, while software developers made $99,530.

6. Astronomy

When we're young we look at the stars and wonder what it'd be like to live on Mars. With a degree in astronomy you can help the people at NASA understand what they'll encounter during space exploration. You'll help the world understand atmospheric pressure, study space samples and consult with aerospace engineers. Your eyes will always be on the sky as you study stars, the sun, planets, comets and the atmosphere. It pays well too: in 2014, astronomers pulled in average earnings of $107,140.

7. Political Science

Political science majors are strong-minded, critical and logical. If you want to go into or critique politics, this is the career for you. You'll study public opinion, decision making and the operations of political systems and governments. And with a mean salary of $104,000, a political scientist position seems like a career that'll put your governmental passion to work.

8. Psychiatry

The mind is a powerful thing. In fact, it can create physical reactions in our bodies without cause. For instance, some women (a few men have even reported this condition as well) begin to show signs that they are pregnant (expanded abdomen, change in hormones) when they aren't. This is called pseudocyesis, nicknamed phantom pregnancy. Sound interesting? You must earn a medical degree and complete a residency. After schooling, you'll work with patients who have mental disorders, help improve their behaviors and prescribe medicine. The in-depth schooling can lead to an average psychiatrist salary of $182,700.

9. Law

Law is considered one of the prestigious majors in college. When someone says they are pre-med or entering law school, there is a moment of awe from others. Though it requires many years of schooling, you can choose to specialize in any area of law that you wish. Choose something that you're passionate about, such as medical law, copyrights, probate, real estate and criminal law. If you want to be part of the army, look into the JAG program where you'll serve as a lawyer for the armed forces. The mean salary for a lawyer was $133,470 in 2014.

10. Math

Whether you believe math is incredibly interesting or extremely boring, the jobs that a math major lead to are diverse. For instance, an actuary assesses data and probability of events. These are commonly used in financial decisions and insurance policies. You'll prepare the likelihood of negative and positive outcomes based on trends, numbers and characterizations. Other positions that a math major can become include mathematician, financial manager and financial advisor. They also pay well - actuaries averaged a salary of $110,090, while mathematicians earned $104,350.

Now that you know what major you want to enter, see what skills can improve your career marketability.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »