choosing-a-major-based-on-outcomes

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Outcomes: Choosing a Major

Though there’s more to a job than a paycheck, your major often dictates your income.

Most academic fields have at least one major with relatively higher earnings.

Academic Fields:

Advertising and Communications
Business, Management, and Finance
Education
Fine Arts
Healthcare
Humanities
Math, Engineering, and Computer Science
Natural Sciences
Other
Social Sciences

Top Earners From Every Category:

Entry Level:
[major/average starting salary]
Marketing and Marketing Research: $31,440
Operations and Logistics: $41,920
Math and Science Teacher Education: $32,488
Film, Video, and Photographic Arts: $16,362
Nursing: $41,920
Art History and Criticism: $21,271
Electrical Engineering: $49,791
Physics: $31,440
Construction Services: $34,338
Political Science and Government: $21,461

Don’t fret if you don’t top the list, not all earnings follow a linear progression.

Mid Career (your 21st year of work):
[major/average mid career salary]
Marketing and Marketing Research: $65,059
Economics: $83,417 (newcomer)
Physical and Health Education Training: $51,729 (newcomer)
Film, Video, and Photographic Arts: $61,436
Nursing: $63,509
Philosophy and religious studies: $56,717 (newcomer)
Computer Engineering: $102,535 (newcomer)
Physics: $89,157
Construction Services: $87,609
Criminology and Criminal Justice: $61,335 (newcomer)

Late Career (your 36th year of work ):
[major/average late career salary]
Marketing and Marketing Research: $62,486
Operations and Logistics: $82,668
Social Science or History Teacher Education: $50,519 (newcomer)
Film, Video, and Photographic Arts: $54,217
Nursing: $67,053
Mass Media: $52,765 (newcomer)
Aerospace Engineering: $120,134 (newcomer)
Biochemistry and molecular biology: $82,726
General Agriculture: $52,376 (newcomer)
Political Science and Government: $60,101

In general peak income for engineering is the highest while educators and artists make the least.

Top 10 Majors by Peak Earnings:

Physics
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Construction Services
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Computer Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Energy and Extraction Engineering
Aerospace Engineering

Bottom 10 Majors by Peak Earnings:

Early Childhood Education
Family and Consumer Sciences
Social Work
Elementary Education
Art and Music Education
Fine and Studio Arts
Language and Drama Education
Music
Special Needs Education
General Education

Most Americans switch careers at least once. The most important thing is just to have a degree.

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Outcomes: Choosing a Major