Which College Degrees Pay the Most? 2013 Rankings

Technical majors head the list of highest-paid majors for the college Class of 2013, according to a new report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

In particular, NACE’s April 2013 Salary Survey—the first look at starting salaries for the Class of 2013—found that seven engineering majors are among the 10 top-paid for the college Class of 2013. (See Figure 1.)

“Engineering majors are consistently among the highest paid because the demand for them is so great,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

By far, petroleum engineering majors received the top starting salaries with an average of $93,500, nearly $22,000 more than the second highest-paid major, computer engineering at $71,700.

Other engineering majors among the top-paid are chemical engineering ($67,600), aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ($64,400), mechanical engineering ($64,000), electrical/electronics and communications engineering ($63,400), and engineering technology ($62,200).

The top-paid non-engineering majors are computer science, with an average starting salary of $64,800, followed by management information systems/business ($63,100) and finance ($57,400).

An executive summary of the April 2013 Salary Survey report is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-survey-data/.

NACE’s next report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the September 2013 issue of Salary Survey.