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Nov 18 / Carmen Gamlin

Technical Degrees Lead List of Top-Paid Majors for Class of 2013 Grads

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals September 18, 2013

Technical majors-especially those in engineering-head the list of top-paid majors for the Class of 2013, according to NACE’s September 2013 Salary Survey.

Seven engineering majors are among the 10 highest-paid at the bachelor’s-degree level. (See Figure 1.)

At an average starting salary of $96,200, petroleum engineering is far and away the highest-paid major for members of the Class of 2013.

Other engineering majors among the top 10 are computer engineering, ($70,300, second), chemical engineering ($66,900, third), aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ($63,900, fifth), mechanical engineering ($63,900, fifth), electrical/electronics and communications engineering ($62,500, seventh), and engineering technology ($60,900, eighth).

Computer science majors earn starting salaries that average $64,100, the fourth highest-paid among bachelor’s-degree graduates in 2013. Other non-engineering majors whose average starting salaries were among the highest were management information systems/business ($60,300, ninth) and logistics/materials management ($59,500, 10th).

An executive summary of the September 2013 Salary Survey report is available at

NACE’s final report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the January 2014 issue of Salary Survey.

Figure 1: Top-Paid Majors for Class of 2013 Bachelor’s Degree Graduates*

Major Average Starting Salary
Petroleum Engineering $96,200
Computer Engineering $70,300
Chemical Engineering $66,900
Computer Science $64,100
Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering $63,900
Mechanical Engineering $63,900
Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering $62,500
Engineering Technology $60,900
Management Information Systems/Business $60,300
Logistics/Materials Management $59,500
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