college of engineering

Forbes Names Highest, Lowest Paying College Majors

college of engineering
GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM
Various professions in the field of engineering were reported by Forbes as the highest paying college majors, earning between $87,000 and $136,000 annually.

Engineering majors may have little to fear in their choice of career.

Researchers analyzed nearly 140 college majors in a recent study, revealing the top 10 highest and lowest paying college majors, respectively.

Researchers from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workplace published the data examining 2009-2013 information compiled by the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau. They calculated median yearly wages earned by college graduates between the ages of 25 and 59.

Nine categories of engineering topped the highest paying majors, earning well over $87,000 annually.

These included geological, computer, mechanical, aerospace, electrical, chemical, mineral and metallurgical engineering.

Petroleum engineering was the highest paying college major as found by Georgetown, earning an annual $136,000 for workers ages 25-59.

Ballab Siwakoti, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, said the annual wages of mechanical engineers did not factor into his decision to choose his vocation.

“It depends on what kind of passion you have and what kind of things you enjoy,” he said.

Pharmaceutical sciences and administration was second, also earning $136,000.

Georgetown determined the lowest paying college major to be early childhood education, a profession that pays out an annual $39,000.

Human services, studio arts, social work, teacher education, the arts and religious vocations earned between $41,000 and $43,000 yearly.

Emily Cavett, a sophomore animal science major, said she can understand why these majors are low paying, but added they are just as vital as high paying professions.

“The early childhood educators are educating children,” she said. “(They) have a very important role and sometimes they’re overlooked, I think.”

Heather Stanton, Memorial Union Gallery graduate assistant, said the highest and lowest paying college majors all serve different purposes.

“It seems like you would expect (engineering to be highest paying),” Stanton said. “(But) we can express ourselves in our art, but some people may not see it as important as engineering.”

She added that studio, visual and performing arts should not be looked past, no matter what they’re paid.

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