Average Bachelor Degree Salary for Different Fields

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

When choosing a degree program, it's normal to examine your passion, but it's also important to consider the average starting salary. Some occupations offer a higher salary for graduates, so exploring which careers provide more lucrative opportunities can help you decide which degree program to pursue. Managing your salary expectations is an excellent way to make long-term career plans. In this article, we discuss average bachelor degree salary by industry, explore degree majors with the highest pay, learn the factors that influence salary average, and discuss advantages of going to university.

The average bachelor degree salary for different fields

The following list categorizes recent graduate average bachelor degree salary by industry:

Computer science

Almost every type of organization relies on software and other technology. Candidates concentrating on computer science fields continue to enjoy a plethora of career options. Students with these degrees typically make high earnings in their first job out of university, from developers to network analyzers. The national average salary for roles in this field that require bachelor's degrees is $63,000 per year. Here are some examples of computer science jobs and their salaries at different levels:

  • Entry level: computer technician — average starting salary: $31,077 per year

  • Mid level: computer support specialist — average starting salary: $61,473 per year

  • Senior level: Senior computer scientist — Average starting salary: $119,896 per year

Business

Business graduates have several opportunities to work in virtually any industry. The average national salary for careers in this field is $67,000 per year. Professionals who gain experience over time or choose to pursue a master's degree can expect higher salaries. Here are some examples of careers and their salaries at different levels for people with a bachelor of business administration degree:

  • Entry level: business development representative — average starting salary: $56,621 per year

  • Mid level: business analyst — average starting salary: $70,064 per year

  • Senior level: senior account manager — average starting salary: $72,883 per year

Technology

Technology majors, such as those working in management information systems, have an average salary of about $70,000 per year. Advanced degrees are an asset in this field, but not a requirement for career development. Popular examples of technology jobs and their salaries at different levels are:

  • Entry level: IT support — average starting salary: $49,298 per year

  • Mid level: IT project manager — average starting salary: $75,743 per year

  • Senior level: senior IT analyst — average starting salary: $81,629 per year

Finance

Graduates with a finance degree can expect a wide range of well-paying opportunities to suit their career goals. The national average salary for finance graduates is around $82,000 per year. Additional certifications, like a chartered professional accountant (CPA) or certified financial planner (CFP) can also provide more career advancement opportunities, but require more study and experience. Examples of finance jobs and their salaries at different levels include:

  • Entry level: senior accountant — average starting salary: $65,719 per year

  • Mid level: finance officer — average starting salary: $69,738 per year

  • Senior level: finance director — average starting salary: $109,380 per year

Related: 12 Jobs You Can Get With a Degree in Finance

Engineering

Engineering covers a wide range of subjects, from aerospace to electrical, and it's a high-paying career in any field of specialization. Starting wages vary by field of study, with software, civil, and chemical engineering professions paying the most. The average national salary for graduates with an engineering degree is $94,000 per year. Here are some examples of engineering jobs and their salaries at different levels:

  • Entry level: associate engineer — average starting salary: $55,068 per year

  • Mid level: IT security engineer — average starting salary: $62,819 per year

  • Senior level: senior engineering manager — average starting salary: $163,119 per year

Health care

Health care majors make a median salary of $133,000 per year. Salary levels for health majors vary based on competence level, with some becoming assistants and others becoming full physicians. The salary increases as you progress in your career. Examples of health care jobs and their salaries at different levels include:

  • Entry level: health care administrator — average starting salary: $60,683 per year

  • Mid level: medical specialist — average starting salary: $90,895 per year

  • Senior level: psychiatrist — average starting salary: $254,956 per year

Related: Jobs You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

Marketing

People with a bachelor's degree can expect an average salary of about $68,000 per year. Additional certifications and experience provide more career advancement opportunities in this field. Here are some examples of marketing jobs and their salaries at different levels:

  • Entry level: marketing communications coordinator — average starting salary: $49,370 per year

  • Mid level: Salesforce administrator — average starting salary: $69,789 per year

  • Senior level:senior brand manager — average starting salary: $87,458 per year

Mathematics and science

This vast field of study can lead to a variety of options after university. A degree in scientific and mathematical fields like physics or data science, provide many possibilities for high-paying entry-level employment. While your studies can apply to lab research, you may also work in technology and use statistics to help firms get the most out of their data. Examples of science and mathematics jobs and their salaries at different levels include:

  • Entry level: scientific technician — Average starting salary: $61,054 per year

  • Mid level: biologist — Average starting salary: $76,206 per year

  • Senior level: senior research scientist — average starting salary: $97,826 per year

Factors that affect average salary

The following are some elements that impact your overall earning potential:

Location

Highly populated urban areas are typically industrial centres with more opportunities and higher paying roles. Jobs in rural areas can sometimes pay well if they require relocation, like roles in the mining or oil and gas industry. Depending on your field, you may want to consider which location can offer the best earning opportunities.

Education

A person's education also influences the differences in national average pay levels. People with a high school education earn less on average than university graduates because the degree qualifies you for more specialized roles than a high school diploma. People with advanced degrees, such as master's or doctorate degrees, earn even more and can often secure higher positions in their career.

Related: 17 Rewarding Bachelor's Degree Jobs (With Duties and Salary)

Age

Age is another factor that can determine your salary. People between the ages of 16 and 64 often enjoy progressive improvements in income as their work and life experience increases over time. Typically, as you gain life experience, the skills you gain can lead to more networking opportunities, specialized knowledge, and confidence.

Advantages of a bachelor's degree

Aside from a higher salary, getting a university degree might provide you with added benefits, such as:

Career opportunities

A bachelor's degree may improve access to career possibilities. University graduates not only earn more while employed, but they also have more employment opportunities than non-graduates. A significant number of occupations require a university education. Earning a university degree might increase your chances of acquiring a job over a candidate without a university education.

Career path selection

A bachelor's degree can help you choose a professional path. Most degrees either present a clear career path or provide you with a skill set that you may use for a variety of careers. University graduates often can specialize and become prolific in a certain field of interest.

Related: “I Don't Know What Career I Want”: How to Find the Best Job for You

Financial stability

It has the potential to bring long-term economic stability. University graduates are more likely to have consistent economic stability throughout their lives because of higher average salaries and lower unemployment rates. With a bachelor's degree, you have a greater chance of finding another job and having adequate financial reserves from past earnings to maintain yourself between jobs if necessary.

Career growth

It has the potential to lead to high-level of professional progression. Although many highly regarded jobs require a master's or doctorate degree, getting a bachelor's degree early in life can allow you to pursue those higher degrees later if you choose. This may lead to growth in your career and the foundational knowledge provides more opportunities for professional development.

Professional satisfaction

A bachelor's degree leads to greater job satisfaction. With more opportunities and higher salaries, university graduates are typically more content in their roles. When studying for your undergraduate degree, you can choose from a variety of specializations that suit your interests and skill set, which can help you find a more fulfilling job. You are also more likely to receive employment benefits, such as pensions and health insurance, than those in roles that don't require a degree.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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