Sometimes you get exactly what it says on the tin, and that’s the case here, as the Payscale website has come up with an infographic pinpointing the ten best college majors when it comes to a lucrative career.
The salaries listed are for full-time, bachelor’s degree holders with no other degree and 10+ years of experience. For more details, visit Payscale’s 2012-3 College Salary Report, and view the infographic.
1. Petroleum Engineering ($163,000)
Sample Job: Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.
2. Aerospace Engineer ($118,000)
Sample Job: Aerospace engineers are employed in industries whose workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. Aerospace engineers are employed primarily in analysis and design, manufacturing, industries that perform research and development, and the federal government.
3. Acturial Mathematics ($112,000)
Sample Job: Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.
4. Chemical Engineering ($111,000)
Sample Job: Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, and physics to solve problems. These problems involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale safe and sustainable manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating byproducts, and supervise production.
5. Nuclear Engineering ($107,000)
Sample Job: Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to get benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials—for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.
6. Electrical Engineering ($106,000)
Sample Job: Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems—from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPS).
7. Computer Engineering ($105,000)
Sample Job: Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer equipment such as chips, circuit boards, or routers. By solving complex problems in computer hardware, these engineers create rapid advances in computer technology.
8. Applied Mathematics ($102,000)
Sample Job: Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.
9. Computer Science ($100,000)
Sample Job: Computer and information research scientists invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other uses.
10. Statistics ($99,500)
Sample Job: Operations research analysts use advanced methods of analysis to help organizations solve problems and make better decisions.