10 high-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree
Higher education can mean a higher salary. With a bachelor’s degree, you could get a six-figure job in one of these fields.
College tuition might cost a pretty penny, but data shows that the payoff can definitely be worth it when it comes to finding a job. While the average yearly salary for workers with bachelor’s degrees is $60,112, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest-paid bachelor degree jobs can earn you as much as six-figures.
With a bachelor’s degree, the BLS says you’ll have your pick of about 174 different career paths that are projected to grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026—much faster than the average 7% growth rate for all occupations. Perhaps that’s why the unemployment rate for workers with bachelor’s degrees is at a low 2.7%, compared to those with less education.
Want to make sure your bachelor’s degree gets you the most bang for your buck? Using BLS data, Monster identified the top 10 highest-paid bachelor degree jobs. Running the gamut from engineering and tech jobs to HR, advertising, and marketing management positions, these jobs allow you to really make some serious dough.
Your salary will depend on a few things: level of experience, specialty, and location of employment. For example, a construction engineering manager salary in Rochester, New York, is 13% higher than the national median; a brand manager salary in Lincoln, Nebraska, is 2% lower than the national median; and a chemical engineer salary in Seattle is 4% lower than the national median.
Add that college education on your resume, and take a look at the full list below.
Computer and information systems managers
What you’d do: Often referred to as IT managers or IT project managers, computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. Their main duties include installing, maintaining, and upgrading computer hardware and software and ensuring the security of an organizations’ network.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in computer or information science is sufficient, but a graduate degree can help when you’re vying for that management position.
What you’d make: $146,360 per year
Architectural and engineering managers
What you’d do: Architectural and engineering managers lead research and development projects to produce new products, processes, or designs.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree will get your foot in the door, but you’ll need considerable work experience in order to become a manager.
What you’d make: $144,830 per year
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers
What you’d do: To generate interest in products, services, or even entire organizations, managers in these fields create marketing plans, plan promotional and advertising campaigns, evaluate website layouts, and initiate and analyze market research studies.
What you’d need: Most managers hold a bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, business, communications, or journalism. While in school, completing an internship can help in the post-grad search. After graduation, most find jobs as sales representatives, buyers or purchasing agents, or public relations specialists before moving into a management position.
What you’d make: $135,900 per year
Compensation and benefits managers
What you’d do: If you're looking into the highest-paid bachelor degree jobs, we assume you like getting a nice paycheck. (Who doesn't?) Compensation and benefits managers are the people who make it happen. Their duties include developing an organizations’ pay and benefits structure, researching competitive wage rates, ensuring that pay and benefits comply with federal and state regulations, preparing program budgets, and distributing pay and benefits information to employees.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in either human resources, business administration, business management, or finance will get your foot in the door, but to become a manager, you’ll need at least five years of experience. Although not legally required to do the job, obtaining a certification can help make you more attractive to employers.
What you’d make: $122,270 per year
Airline and commercial pilots
What you’d do: As an airline or commercial pilot, you would fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft.
What you’d need: Most airline pilots begin their careers as commercial pilots to gain experience, and a high school diploma or equivalent plus a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is all that’s required to get started. But to become an airline pilot, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and the FAA-issued Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. If you really want your career to take flight, check out this sample cover letter for a pilot before applying to jobs.
What you’d make: $121,430 per year
Computer hardware engineers
What you’d do: As a computer hardware engineer, your job responsibilities include researching, designing, developing, and testing computer systems and components, such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.
What you’d need: While a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering is most common, a degree in electrical engineering or computer science is generally acceptable, as well.
What you’d make: $117,220 per year
What you’d do: Aerospace engineers spend their days designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles as well as creating and testing prototypes to make sure that they function properly.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering is required to get a job. Before applying, check out these sample resumes for entry-level aerospace engineers and midlevel aerospace engineers.
What you’d make: $116,500 per year
Computer network architects
What you’d do: Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, such as local area networks, wide area networks, and Intranets.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field is standard.
What you’d make: $112,690 per year
What you’d do: By applying the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math, chemical engineers solve problems and design processes and equipment that involve things like chemicals, fuel, drugs, and food.
What you’d need: In addition to a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, you’ll also want to complete an internship or engineering co-op. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure your resume has all the right elements—check out this sample resume for a chemical engineer.
What you’d make: $108,770 per year
What you’d do: An essential component to the insurance industry, it’s an actuary’s job to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of risk. They do this by analyzing the financial costs of risk and uncertainty, using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess potential risk.
What you’d need: Typically, actuaries hold a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, actuarial science, statistics, or some other analytical field. You’ll also need to pass a series of certification exams.
What you’d make: $108,350 per year
Give this the old college try
The highest-paid bachelor degree jobs will certainly put your education to work. Ready to take the first step? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five different versions of your resume—each tailored to the different types of jobs that interest you. Thousands of employers search Monster every day, looking for qualified workers just like you. Additionally, you can sign up for job alerts to be sent directly to your inbox. You worked hard earning your degree. It's payback time.