Based on starting salary, what are the top 5 Bachelor's degrees?

The typical student considering entering a college or university has hundreds of majors to consider. When faced with the decision of choosing a degree to pursue, there are several aspects that factor into it for the student. Primarily, the student must be interested in their areas of study and the schools they choose to attend. One of the things that can cause interest in a field is the lucrative salary associated with the degree. Here are the top five Bachelor's degrees according to their average starting salaries.

1. Petroleum Engineering - A number of factors make the petroleum engineering degree the highest paying Bachelor's degree. One of the most important reasons is the increased price of oil in recent years, thus driving up the demand for engineers that can find more of the resource. Petroleum engineers typically work for oil companies and brainstorm new methods for extracting oil or processing it. The average starting salary for a petroleum engineering degree is $93,000 and the median mid-career salary is $157,000.

2. Chemical Engineering - Commodity prices for many chemicals are increasing and these rising prices generate greater profits for chemical companies. These profits are passed down to their employees in the form of larger salaries. Chemical engineers typically work with chemical companies designing machinery to process and manufacture chemicals. They may also work with companies that use chemicals such as food, energy, and paper corporations. The average starting salary for a chemical engineering degree is $64,800 and the median mid-career salary is $108,000.

3. Nuclear Engineering - Rising energy prices and the possibility of exhausting resources, particularly those of coal and oil, are causing a new focus on alternative energy. Nuclear engineers may find employment within nuclear reactors maintaining and re-engineering them to meet the needs of an energy-consuming population. They can also work on large machines that use nuclear power such as submarines, or develop new uses for nuclear energy. A nuclear engineering degree commands an average starting salary of $63,900 and a median mid-career salary of $104,000.

4. Computer Engineering - Computer engineering degrees teach students the fundamental principles behind all elements of information technology. They are made aware of the processes which govern the hardware and software of computers. Computer engineers can work either on the hardware or software side, typically for the companies which produce these devices. They program new applications for both systems. The average starting salary is $61,200 and the median mid-career salary is $99,500.

5. Electrical Engineering - An electrical engineering degree is very marketable due to the constant demand for electricity from the American population and the presence of myriad devices that utilize electricity. Electrical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing electrical equipment. They may work on creating things like electric motors, radar systems, generators, and transmission systems. Their work environment can vary quite widely depending on their specializations in the field. The average starting salary is $60,800 and the median mid-career salary is $104,000.

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