What Are the Best Paying Entry-Level Careers for College Grads?

The average starting salary for students graduating in 2015 was $50,651, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Read on to find out which careers pay the most and how much you can make.

Best Paying Entry-Level Careers for College Grads

In this article, you will find out about some of the top paying careers for recent graduates, according to NACE.

Important Facts About These Fields

Petroleum Engineers Computer Engineers Chemical Engineers
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Creativity, analytical, problem-solving, and math skills Problem-solving, speaking, and critical-thinking skills Ingenuity, problem-solving, and math skills
Similar Occupations Geoscientist, materials engineer Computer programmer, software developer Biomedical engineer, nuclear engineer
Work Schedule Full-time, sometimes overtime and irregular hours when out at drilling sites Full-time, though overtime is common Full-time, sometimes with extra hours to troubleshoot problems

Petroleum Engineering

A petroleum engineer's job is to recover oil and gas from sites all over the world. After finding a site, he or she works with teams of specialists to determine its geological makeup, choose the best drilling methods and oversee the drilling process. A principal responsibility is designing appropriate, site-specific drilling equipment to maximize the amount of oil or gas recovered and limit associated costs. Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment for these workers to increase by 10%.

  • Average Salary: $147,520

Computer Engineering

Computer hardware engineers design and develop new computer systems and their components. These workers will face tough competition for work in the next decade, with only 3% growth predicted during the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS noted.

  • Average Salary: $110,650

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers work in the production of chemicals and biochemicals. A major component of their job is designing equipment to manufacture chemicals, test methods of manufacture, determine how to treat byproducts of chemical production and supervise the production process. Chemical engineers often find work in the food, energy, electronics, paper and clothing industries, according to the BLS. In addition to chemistry, a chemical engineer must have a basic understanding of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, math and physics to interface with these disciplines.

  • Average Salary: $103,590

Computer Science

Computer scientists focus their research on finding new uses for existing technology, and they also work to design and create new computer technologies. The tools these workers design could be used for robotics, programming or data mining. Most computer scientists earn a doctoral degree in the field. They could see employment grow by 11% from 2014 to 2024.

  • Average Salary: $113,190

Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering

Aeronautical engineers are tasked with creating and manufacturing aircraft while their colleagues in astronautical engineering work with spacecraft technology and components. Since these workers might be involved in projects contracted by government agencies, employers may require U.S. citizenship from applicants. Growth in this field was expected to decline 2% from 2014 to 2024.

  • Average Salary: $107,700

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:

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