The 10 most (and least) lucrative degrees

Best paying fields are those dominated by white men

engineering students

There are major differences in the potential earning power of different majors, according to a new study from The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.  Among the 171 bachelor degrees studied, median pay ranged from a high of $120,000 for graduates with petroleum engineering degrees to a low of $29,000 for those who hold counselling psychology degrees.

The study also revealed wide gaps in earnings based on gender and race. The most lucrative majors are those dominated by white men, while the least lucrative are those dominated by African Americans and women. What’s worse, even when they do have the same degree, women and minorities tend to make less than white Americans and men. For example, African-Americans with finance degrees earn an average of $47,000 per year, Hispanics and Asians averaged $56,000 and Caucasians earned $70,000.

Here are the top 10 majors with the highest median earnings:

  1. Petroleum Engineer ($120,000)
  2. Pharmacy/pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration ($105,000)
  3. Mathematics and Computer Sciences ($98,000)
  4. Aerospace Engineering ($87,000)
  5. Chemical Engineering ($86,000)
  6. Electrical Engineering ($85,000)
  7. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering ($82,000)
  8. Mechanical Engineering ($80,000)
  9. Metallurgical Engineering ($80,000)
  10. Mining and Mineral Engineering ($80,000)

Here are the 10 majors with the lowest median earnings:

  1. Counseling/Psychology ($29,000)
  2. Early Childhood Education ($36,000)
  3. Theology and Religious Vocations ($38,000)
  4. Human Services and Community Organizations ($38,000)
  5. Social Work ($39,000)
  6. Drama and Theater Arts ($40,000)
  7. Studio Arts ($40,000)
  8. Communication Disorders Sciences and Services ($40,000)
  9. Visual and Performing Arts ($40,000)
  10. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs ($40,000)

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