20 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees 2020

This article will list the 20 highest paying bachelor degrees with the highest average salaries. Getting the right degree is one of the most important steps in getting a high-paying job. And while many of the careers that draw the highest salaries require a graduate degree, a bachelor’s degree is all that is needed for some others, like the ones in this ranking of the best degrees to get for the money in 2020. This article lists the bachelor degree majors that earn the highest salaries. Many of the majors on our list are in the field of Engineering and almost all are Bachelor of Science degrees, not Bachelor of Arts.

Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees Methodology

Our best bachelor degrees for the money list is compiled according to a calculation of Average Career Salary. This number is an average of the salaries most graduates get immediately after graduation and the salaries that most graduates get mid-way through their careers. Note that these numbers are all based on average salaries. Any given major could lead to a wide variety of career paths. Some earn substantially more than this Average Career Salary, while some earn less.

The 20 highest paying bachelor’s degrees are:
1. Petroleum Engineering, B.S.
2. Mining Engineering, B.S.
3. Operations Research, B.A.
4. Pharmaceutical Sciences, B.S.
5. Electrical and Computer Engineering, B.S.
6. Applied Economics and Management, B.S.
7. Electrical and Power Engineering, B.S.
8. Business Analysis, B.S.
9. Aeronautical Engineering, B.S.
10. Actuarial Science and Mathematics, B.S.
11. Electronics and Communications Engineering, B.S.
12. Computer Engineering, B.S.
13. Computer Sciences and Mathematics, B.S.
14. Chemical Engineering, B.S.
15. Industrial and Systems Engineering, B.S.
16. Nuclear Engineering, B.S.
17. Systems Engineering, B.S.
18. Physics and Mathematics, B.S.
19. Biomedical Engineering, B.S.
20. Applied Mathematics, B.S.

Ranking the Best Degrees to Get for the Money

20. Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics

Earning a B.S. in Applied Mathematics teaches students to take the abstract ideas from math and calculus and use them to solve problems in engineering, computer science, and design. Coursework obviously includes a high degree of concentration on advanced math. Students also typically choose one application focus (engineering, computer science, etc) that they also take classes in. This is a prime example of a major that can lead to an extremely wide range of possible careers. Many of the different engineering fields, computer science, and finance are all common careers for applied mathematicians to end up in.

Average Career Salary: $83,050

19. Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Students who earn a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering usually follow one of two tracks. In one track, students learn about the creation and development of medical technology. This could include imaging equipment, prosthesis, or many other kinds of medical technology. For the other track, students focus on biomechanics and how engineering principles can be applied to human physiology. The specific track chosen will have a strong effect on the student’s recommended courses, but both tracks require advanced classes in chemistry, biology and mathematics are are some of the highest paying bachelor’s degrees that can be earned.

After graduation, students will be qualified for careers in biomedical engineering, clincal engineering and medical imaging, among other possibilities.

Average Career Salary: $83,350

18. Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics

A B.S. in Physics and Mathematics is an interdisciplinary degree, combining the abstract nature of mathematics with practical physics lab classes. Students will be required to take high-level math classes, as well as a variety of sciences and computer science.

After earning this degree, students will be qualified for a variety of careers, including Aerospace Engineer and Natural Sciences manager.

Average Career Salary: $83,600

17. Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering

A B.S. in Systems engineering trains students to design and analyze systems to accomplish complex tasks. These could include transportation and health systems, computer networks or product assembly processes. Systems Engineers identify and solve problems within the systems they work with.
This major is on the list of highest paying bachelor’s degrees due to the wide range of fields where the degree is needed.

Average Career Salary: $84,367

16. Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Because of the wide range of applications of nuclear technology in the modern world, a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering is among the most integrated engineering majors. A student with this major must learn to understand nuclear processes and how engineering and design principles can allow them to be used. This could include biomedical, energy and other uses. Students majoring in nuclear engineering have courseloads focused on advanced math and science classes. Other classes, like nuclear science and technology, radiation safety, and nuclear materials, are specifically created for this major.

Students who graduate with a B.S. in nuclear engineering are qualified for careers as nuclear engineers, architectural and engineering managers, and many other engineering related jobs. This is another fascinating program among highest paying bachelor degrees.

Average Career Salary: $84,500

15. Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Students who major in Industrial Engineering study methods of making complex processes more efficient and less wasteful. Like other engineering degrees, a B.S. in industrial engineering starts with a focus on math and science courses. Students in this major also typically need engineering economics, systems theory, finance and other specialized courses.

After graduation, students will be qualified for careers in industrial and other branches of engineering.

Average Career Salary: $85,900

14. Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

A B.S. in Chemical Engineering trains students in the processes of developing new materials with useful properties for a wide range of applications. These applications could be in medical, industrial, energy producing or many other areas. Chemical engineering programs typically include advanced courses in mathematics and chemistry along with hands on laboratory experience.

Graduating with a B.S. in chemical engineering qualifies students for a career as a chemical engineer, product development scientist, materials engineer and many others.

Average Career Salary: $86,367

13. Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences and Mathematics

A B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics is a multidisciplinary degree that combines the abstract nature of mathematics with the natural practical application of computer science. Computer programming is built on mathematics, but increasingly mathematical theories are developed using computers. High level math courses and computer programming courses dominate the course load for students with this major, which is one of the highest paying bachelor’s degrees in this ranking.

Students who graduate with this degree are well qualified for jobs in many different fields. Many go into actuarial fields, computer programming and research.

Average Career Salary: $87,250

12. Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Earning a B.S. in Computer Engineering prepares students to design computer hardware. This may include applications ranging from traditional PCs to everyday appliances to military vehicles. Students will need to understand the principles of computer software, but the focus of the major is designing the components that enable software to run. Courses for this major typically include high level math, physics, computer programming and computer engineering.

This engineering major prepares students for high-paying jobs as computer engineers. This includes a wide variety of possibilities, including aerospace, medical, finance and many other fields.

Average Career Salary: $91,300

11. Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering

Although Communications Engineering is often considered a specialization of Electronics Engineering, it is possible to find it as a full or multidisciplinary major at some schools. Students in this major are trained to analyze and design communication systems. This is likely to include a strong base of computer networking and internet protocol courses in addition to the high level math courses needed for an electronics engineering degree.

Completing a degree in Electronics and Communications engineering qualifies graduates to be communications engineers.

Average Career Salary: $91,500

10. Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science and Mathematics

As you would expect, a B.S. in Actuarial Science prepares students to be actuaries. Actuaries are professionals who apply mathematical knowledge to determine risk. Actuarial science majors have a class schedule that focuses on mathematics, statistics, finance and economics.

The majority of actuaries work for insurance companies or within the field of finance where they help their companies determine the amount of financial risk included in various decisions, which makes this one of the highest paying bachelor degrees on our list. If you like numbers, this is one of the best paying bachelor degrees today.

Average Career Salary: $94,550

9. Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering

Another high-paying engineering major is a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering. Students with this major, one of the highest paying bachelor’s degrees, prepare to design and build new aircraft. Specializations are often available for different types of aircraft or for specific systems such as propulsion, navigation or defense. Students can expect to take advanced courses in physical sciences (aerodynamics, thermodynamics, materials science), engineering and mathematics.

After graduation, students will be qualified for many aviation-related careers including aeronautical engineer, aircraft designer, pilot and flight operations manager.

Average Career Salary: $95,175

8. Bachelor of Science in Business Analysis

A B.S. in Business Analysis train to be business analysts. A business analyst consults with businesses and advises them on their profits, their efficiency and other elements of their business. There are relatively few colleges that offer this major; students who plan to become business analysts often major in business administration, economics or management.

Graduating with this degree qualifies students to be business analysts or work in other areas of business. Business analysts seldom work for and consult one single company. Instead, they are often employed and travel to different locations to consult with companies that hire them.

Average Career Salary: $95,200

7. Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Power Engineering

Power engineering exists mostly as a specialization available within some B.S. in Electrical Engineering programs. Students with this major study the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power. This could be in a system as large as an entire city or as small a single machine. Like any electrical engineering program students with this major will most likely be built on advanced math, chemistry and physics classes.

Average Career Salary: $97,525

6. Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics

A B.S. in Applied Economics is a form of an undergraduate business degree. Students learn principles of economics and how to apply them in real-world situations. While the field of economics actually covers a lot more than finance, this major tends to focus on applying economic principles in business situations. Common requirements for this major include microeconomics, macroeconomics, labor economics and finance.

Completing a bachelor’s degree in applied economics will prepare students for a variety of careers like economist and financial analyst. If you are a finance wiz, this is one of your best options among best paying bachelor degrees today.

Average Career Salary: $99,450

5. Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Like a degree in computer engineering (number 12 on this list), a multidisciplinary B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) prepares students to design computer hardware. The addition of electrical engineering allows these students to understand every stage of the design process. Students will need to understand the design of components that enable computer software to run. In addition they need to understand the small and large electrical systems that allow the hardware to run. Courses for this major typically include high level math, physics and electrical engineering.

This interdisciplinary engineering major, one of the highest paying bachelor’s degrees that can be earned, prepares students for high-paying jobs as electrical or computer engineers. This includes a wide variety of possibilities, including aerospace, medical, finance and many other fields. This is one of the top five best degrees to get for the money.

Average Career Salary: $103,050

4. Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences

While a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences is not enough to become a Pharmacist ( a Doctor of Pharmacy degree is required for that), it is sufficient for a number of other high paying careers. Students in this major learn about the research, creation and testing of pharmaceuticals. The major is science intensive, usually focusing on biology and chemistry with additional courses in areas like drug manufacturing, anatomy, microbiology and toxicology.

Completion of this bachelor’s degree prepares students for careers like biomedical researcher and pharmaceutical scientist.

Average Career Salary: $106,050

3. Bachelor of Arts in Operations Research

A B.A. in Operations Research trains students to use mathematics and computers to assess processes in a variety of fields. This training could be applied in the area of engineering or in the area of business. Because of the broad range of application, courses for this major also usually have a wide variety. They are likely to include economics, statistics, computer programming and high level math courses.

This major prepares students for a career as an operations research analyst or industrial engineer. Opportunities for operations research analysts are expected to show a high increase. Operation Research gets the number three spot among our best paying bachelor degrees.

Average Career Salary: $107,500

2. Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering

Our number two spot among best degrees to get for the money goes to mining engineering. Students who earn a B.S. in Mining Engineering learn to develop systems, technologies and techniques to extract minerals from the ground. Courses for a Mining Engineering degree typically include extensive study in geology, physics and ecology.

After graduation, a student with a degree in mining engineering will be qualified to work as a mining engineer. This job often includes a combination of working in an office and working in the locations where the mining is done–some nice variety for one of the highest paying bachelor degrees today.

Average Career Salary: $120,100

1. Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering

A B.S. in Petroleum Engineering is at the top of our list of Bachelor’s degrees that earn the highest salaries. Students in Petroleum Engineering programs learn how to find and extract oil and natural gas. Their major may also include the development of new technologies and techniques to accomplish this goal. Petroleum Engineering students need to take classes well design and analysis alongside geology, fluid mechanics and other branches of physics.

Students who graduate with this degree are qualified for a career as a petroleum engineer. This job has the potential to include a lot of travel so the engineer can visit places around the world with natural energy resources. Petroleum engineering comes in at number one among highest paying bachelor degrees.

Average Career Salary: $126,940

GCD Staff
January 2020

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This concludes our ranking of the best bachelor degrees for the money in 2020.