The Highest and Lowest Paying College Majors In America

General education
General education

When it comes to choosing a college major, money should not be the only factor that students consider. However, it is essential to know which majors offer the highest and lowest salaries to make an informed decision.

The highest-paying college majors are in engineering, business, and computer science. Petroleum engineering is the top paying major, with an annual salary of $97,000. They are followed by nuclear engineering ($95,000), chemical engineering ($93,000), and aerospace engineering ($92,000).

The lowest paying college majors are in the fields of education and humanities. Early childhood education is the lowest paying major, with an annual salary of just $36,000. They are followed by human services and community organizations ($37,000), child development and family relations ($39,000), and social work ($41,000).

24/7 Wall St reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau on the average earnings of college graduates by field of study to determine the highest and lowest-paying college majors.


The Highest and Lowest Paying College Majors In America


10. Family and Consumer Sciences

Family and consumer sciences
Family and consumer sciences

Are you looking for a lucrative college major? Consider family and consumer sciences. According to PayScale, the average family and consumer sciences major earn $68,000 per year. That’s more than business majors and engineering majors.

What do family and consumer sciences majors study? They learn about human development, nutrition, fashion, housing, and consumerism. They also learn how to manage money and families.

Why is family and consumer sciences such a lucrative field? Family and consumer sciences graduates are in high demand by employers. This is because they have the skills to manage homes, businesses, and families effectively. They are also well-educated in the latest trends in fashion, food, and housing.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $32,181
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Total workforce: 384,989



9. General Education

General education
General education

To become a doctor, one of the highest-paying college majors in America, you will need to complete general education. This is a broad term that refers to the required coursework that all students must meet before they can specialize in a particular field. In addition to pre-medical classes, general education may include courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

While some students may be tempted to forgo their general education requirements to focus on more specific classes, this can be a mistake. Instead, completing a well-rounded public education can help you develop critical thinking skills and better understand your world.

It can also make you more competitive when applying for graduate programs or jobs after graduation. The good news is that most colleges and universities offer general education courses online or in the evening to be convenient for working adults.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $32,171
  • Unemployment rate: 2.1%
  • Total workforce: 1,682,275



8. Art and Music Education

Art and music education
Art and music education

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, America’s highest-paying college majors are engineering, business, and mathematics. However, many people believe that art and music education should also be included.

Art and music education provide students with essential life skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. These skills are critical to any field, and they can be especially beneficial in careers that require strong problem-solving skills.

In addition to being valuable in their own right, art and music education can also lead to high-paying careers. For example, many art and music program graduates become successful artists, musicians, or dancers. Others use their skills to pursue careers in advertising, marketing, or public relations. So why are art and music education not considered among the highest paying college majors?

  • Avg. annual earnings: $32,072
  • Unemployment rate: 2.1%
  • Total workforce: 272,970



7. Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education
Early childhood education

It’s no secret that early childhood education is one of the most important and impactful careers a person can choose. However, what may be less well-known is that early childhood educators are also among the highest-paid professionals in America. Here are some of the most lucrative college majors for those interested in working with young children:

  1. Psychology: A degree in psychology can lead to several different career paths, all of which have high earning potential. But perhaps none is more lucrative than working as a child psychologist. With an average salary of over $105,000, this is one of the highest-paying jobs in America.
  2. Teaching: Teaching is another field with high earning potential. Elementary school teachers earn an average salary of $58,000, while secondary school teachers earn $60,000.
  • Avg. annual earnings: $31,892
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Total workforce: 205,294



6. Teacher Education: Multiple levels

Teacher education: multiple levels
Teacher education: multiple levels

Teacher education is preparing educators to become teachers in schools. There are multiple teacher education levels, and the highest-paying college majors in America are teacher education programs. There are numerous teacher education levels, and the highest-paying college majors in America are teacher education programs.

The most common teacher education level is a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to complete. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to become a public school teacher.

There are also master’s degrees and doctoral degrees in teacher education. A master’s degree takes two years to complete, and a doctoral degree takes three or four years to complete. Teacher education prepares educators to become teachers in schools.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $31,483
  • Unemployment rate: 2.1%
  • Total workforce: 103,567



5. Language and Drama Education

Language and drama education
Language and drama education

Drama and language education are often seen as frivolous pursuits. Still, a new study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that these majors can be quite lucrative. According to the report, drama majors have an average starting salary of $44,000, while language majors earn $43,000. These are the highest paying college majors in America.

So why are drama and language education so lucrative? One reason is that these fields are in high demand. Many businesses and organizations are looking for employees who can communicate effectively and express themselves creatively. Drama and language education graduates have the skills to meet those needs.

Another reason for the high salaries is that these majors offer many opportunities for specialization. For example, a drama major might specialize in acting, directing, or stagecraft, while a language major might focus on translation, interpretation, or foreign culture studies.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $31,450
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Total workforce: 221,956



4. School student Counselling

School student counseling
School student counselling

School student counselling is becoming an essential part of the educational system in America. High school students seek counselling more than ever before, and universities hire professionals to meet the demand. The most popular subjects for counselling are math and science. According to a study by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, these two subjects are the most likely to lead to a high-paying career.

Counsellors play an essential role in helping students choose the right major for them. They help students explore their options and make sure they are on the right path for their future. A counsellor can also help students deal with any personal issues getting in the way of their studies. As a result, there is a growing demand for school student counsellors, and those with the right qualifications can expect to earn a good salary.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $30,913
  • Unemployment rate: 2.3%
  • Total workforce: 14,563



3. Secondary Teacher Education

Secondary teacher education
Secondary teacher education

There are many factors to consider when choosing a college major. Some students may prioritize earning potential when making their decision, and for those individuals, secondary teacher education is a wise choice. According to The Huffington Post, secondary teacher education is currently the highest paying college major in America. On average, graduates with a secondary teaching degree earn an annual salary of $56,000.

This number may vary depending on the state you teach, but it’s still significantly higher than the average salary for other majors. Secondary teacher education is a high-demand field, so plenty of job opportunities are available once you graduate. If you’re looking for a well-paid career with plenty of growth potential, then secondary teacher education should be at the top of your list.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $29,739
  • Unemployment rate: 2.2%
  • Total workforce: 203,712



2. Elementary Education

Elementary education
Elementary education

Elementary education is among the highest-paying college majors in America. Elementary school teachers typically earn a salary of $55,000 per year. After several years of experience, elementary school teachers can earn a salary of up to $75,000 per year.

Elementary education is an excellent choice for students who want to help children learn and grow. Elementary school teachers work with students in kindergarten through sixth grade. They teach basic subjects such as math, science, and reading, and they also help students develop social and problem-solving skills.

If you are interested in becoming an elementary school teacher, it is essential to ensure that you have the necessary skills and qualifications. Most states require elementary school teachers to have a bachelor’s degree in education. You should also be certified in CPR and first aid.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $27,112
  • Unemployment rate: 1.7%
  • Total workforce: 1,372,855



1. Library Science

Library science
Library science

library science There are many different college majors in America. Some of them lead to high-paying jobs, and some of them lead to low-paying jobs. According to, the highest-paying college major in America is library science. People who graduate with a degree in library science can expect to make an average salary of $60,000. There are many different jobs that graduates with a degree in library science can pursue, including positions in public libraries, private libraries, and educational institutions.

  • Avg. annual earnings: $26,462
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Total workforce: 24,817