If you’re going to college to earn a bachelor’s degree, good for you! According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans with bachelor’s degrees make nearly $24,000 more per year than Americans who only have their high school diploma.
Of course, not all bachelor’s degrees are created equal. Some bachelor’s degree jobs can provide six-figure salaries, while others pay peanuts in comparison. And while money certainly isn’t everything in life, it’s definitely an important thing to factor into your choice of a degree. To help you make a sound investment, we’ve rounded up the highest-paying careers that you can get with a bachelor’s degree.
Weighing your degree options? Check out our blog – What Is a Bachelor’s Degree? – to learn more.
The Best Paying Jobs You Can Get with a Bachelor’s Degree
Ready to make the big bucks? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the best-paying bachelor’s degree jobs that don’t require graduate school.
- Computer and Information Systems (IT) Manager ($146,360) – Well-paying? Check. Fast-growing? Double check! Employment for computer and IT managers is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2028, making this a super-hot career to consider. Computer and IT managers are responsible for the overall planning and leading of computer-related activities to achieve business goals. To climb your way to a managerial position, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or information technology. Don’t forget to work on your soft skills!
- Architectural and Engineering Managers ($144,830) – Managers in STEM fields can make some serious bank, and architectural and engineering managers are no exception. In this job, you’ll be responsible for coordinating, planning, and directing activities related to the development of new products, processes, and designs. You’ll also use your architectural and engineering knowledge to ensure that no technical problems arise before the completion of a project.
- Petroleum Engineer ($137,720) – It’s no secret that working in the oil and gas industry can equate to some pretty large dollar signs. Petroleum engineers play a critical role in supporting the country’s energy needs by helping locate and extract oil and gas from deposits far below the Earth’s surface. Although the job is lucrative, keep in mind that it’s also growing slower than average (3 percent through 2028). Instead of studying petroleum engineering specifically, you may want to consider earning your degree in civil, mechanical, or chemical engineering and getting a relevant internship to broaden your career options.
- Advertising Manager ($135,900) – Got a knack for selling things to people? If you’re creative, persuasive, and have good leadership skills, a job as an advertising manager could be your calling. Advertising managers create advertising plans that help generate interest in a product or a service. They also lead their advertising team and work together to figure out the best way to deliver their advertisements to their targeted demographic.
- Flight Engineer ($121,430) – If you love flying, have keen analytical skills, and can make decisions quickly, a career as a flight engineer might be of interest to you. Flight engineers are responsible for monitoring the instruments that are used on commercial airplanes during the flight, allowing the pilots to focus on flying. This is technically a bachelor’s degree job, but with a small caveat: You also need obtain your commercial pilot’s license and continue your training to maintain your license. Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Consider becoming an air traffic controller instead.
- Chief Executive ($104,690) – Want to be large and in charge? If you’re a natural-born leader, think about becoming a chief executive. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to run a company and make corporate decisions. In fact, many CEOs don’t have any college degree, let alone a master’s degree (like the Zuck, for instance). That being said, getting a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) would likely be a huge help in climbing your way to the top.
- Art Director ($94,220) – If you love art and constantly obsess over visual images in magazines, an art director may be your calling. Art directors often hold a bachelor’s degree in art or design. Although they’re commonly self-employed, they also work for public relations firms, newspapers, magazines, and other sectors that need design services. As an art director, you may manage graphic designers, develop a client’s artistic style, coordinate creative departments, and determine how to best represent a concept through visual media.
Not sure if a bachelor’s degree is right for you? Check out these associate of arts degree jobs to explore your career options.
Consider the Entire Package
Money is nice and all, but when it comes to choosing a career path, don’t forget to take some factors into consideration. Things such as job stability, job outlook, and even your personality type can make or break your career success. Be sure to give your career a test drive through job shadowing and internship opportunities. After all, this will potentially be your career for the next 40-50 years — you want to enjoy it!