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Here are the 10 highest-paying college majors

Posted: 3:58 PM, May 07, 2015
Updated: 2015-05-07 15:58:22-04

Here’s a shocker: Nine out of the 10 highest-paying college majors are in engineering fields.

The top-paying degree is petroleum engineering, according to a new report from The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The report, which used 2013 Census data, found that workers who graduated with this degree made a median annual salary of $136,000 each year.

The second-highest — pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical administration — is the only major among the top 10 that doesn’t have anything to do with engineering. Those graduates earned $113,000 annually.

The report analyzed annual wages for 137 college majors. It found that after a year, the salary difference between the highest- and lowest-paying major is $97,000. Over the course of a lifetime, it’s a difference of $3.4 million.

While engineering majors are the highest paid, business management and administration is the most common major, making up 8% of all college-educated workers. Business majors, combined with science, technology, engineering and math majors — the so-called STEM fields — account for 46% of all college graduates.

And these days, you find fewer people majoring in something your grandfather would say won’t get you a job. The report said that four out of five college graduates majored in a career-focused field.