Research the Best Paying Careers

Read the most comprehensive guide to the Highest Paying Degrees. We've pulled together salary research from governmental sources, colleges and universities to find the highest paying degrees.

You can review the top online degrees segmented by area of study, such as Business, Nursing, or Engineering, or review the different degree levels, or compare the combined list of the highest paid degrees.

The Top 10 Highest Paid Careers

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 700 different occupations with salary and other data in hundreds of different industries. And likely, there are many more occupations that what the BLS has recorded. With the proliferation of web-based and technology-based jobs, there are growing occupations with different job responsibilities, and not all are accounted for. There are many different jobs, and many opportunities.

School Degrees Program Areas Admissions
Utica University Bachelor, Master, Doctorate 50+ Programs: Business, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Nursing, Social Work Website
University of West Alabama Bachelor, Master 70+ programs in Teaching Education, MBA, Psychology, Cybersecurity, Sports, Business and more. Website
Methodist University Bachelor, Master 20+ Programs: Business, Accounting, Computer Tech, Social Work, Psychology, Health Administration, More Website
University of West Florida Bachelor, Master 20+ Programs in healthcare, nursing, teaching, social work, STEM / Computer Science, Cybersecurity, and more. Website
Campbellsville University Associate, Bachelor, Master 80+ Programs: Business, Social Work, Nursing, Teaching, IT, Computer Science, More Website
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Which Career Should You Choose?

This page shows the highest paying occupations and note which degree is associated with each occupation. We want to make it simple - if you know you want to work in, say, nursing, but want to review salary figures to help guide you in your direction, we offer one page - the top paying nursing careers. You can see the highest paying degrees in nursing, what skills are required for each job, which degrees are the most likely for each job, and our description of what to look for in that career.

Industry Specific Career Guides

In this guide, we have built numerous career profiles for many industries. All are very different. In an industry like Teaching, many students go through high school and college and know they want to be a teacher. The reasons for becoming a teacher are subjective, but typically teachers enjoy helping students learn and communicating different learning experiences to help students, among others. Rarely is the actual salary a heavy motivator in becoming a teacher. However, many teachers want to earn as much as possible in their field. So if you know you want to be a teacher, you can see which teaching fields tend to pay more. This guide helps record the highest paying teaching degrees - something no other site on the web does!

We only used teaching as an example - we focus on many different industries and will continue to add filtered areas as we grow the website.

Highest Paying Degrees

1. Chief Executives

$175,110 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are some of the top executives across the country. At the top tier of management, CEOs have huge responsibilities and manage large teams of employees. If this is a field you are considering for career, you have made an excellent choice. With a nice blend of business, ethics, and finance, this field is great for motivated professionals.

Undergraduate Degree

Obtaining an undergraduate degree in business, finance, or other business-related topic is the first step towards this career path. Many companies only have 1-2 CEOs on staff, so the job pool is smaller than most business-oriented professions. Starting from the beginning, students should work hard to stand apart from others within their degree path.

Graduate Degree

Whether it is a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree, students should choose a graduate degree program that best fits their situation. Having the best degree can give graduates an advantage when seeking career opportunities in the field of business.


Most CEOs do not start out at this high of a tier. In order to get to the top of the executive chain, employees must show initiative, hard-work, and the willingness to adapt as the business changes. During graduate programs, students are given the opportunity to take part in internships, which can open doors for some businesses, but others must begin their work experience from a blank slate. Working hard and committing to excellence is a great way to build the road to chief executive status.

2. Nurse Anesthesiologist

$157,140 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

If you are interested in the field of nursing but want something that provides more respect and more stability in the field, than nurse anesthetics is a great field to pursue. Just like anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetics professionals administer anesthesia to patients throughout the surgical process and can be found in hospitals and clinics across the country.

Undergraduate Degree in Nursing

The first in this career path is obtaining a Bachelor’s in Nursing. This will allow for licensure in nursing, which is a requirement to being accepted into a master’s program.


After obtaining the undergraduate degree, graduates should apply for licensure in their respective states. Licensure requirements vary from state to state, so you should check with your state for specific requirements prior to starting your undergraduate program.

Experience in Critical Care Nursing

Most, but not all, Master’s programs in Nurse Anesthesia require nurses to have specific experience in critical care. This is likely to familiarize nurses with the busy hospital environment prior to educating them on anesthesia as a whole.

Master’s Degree in Nurse Anesthesia

The Master’s Degree in Nurse Anesthesia program can last anywhere from 2-3 years and includes strenuous course work and training in general anesthesia. Students in this program will test their skills in a clinical setting under the supervision of licensed physicians in their field.

School Level Program Admissions
Utica University Bachelor, Master, Doctorate 50+ Programs: Business, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Nursing, Social Work Website
Concordia University - Saint Paul Associate, Bachelor, Master 30+ Programs: Business, Healthcare, HR, SPorts, Psychology, Cybersecurity, Nursing Website
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3. Petroleum Engineer

$129,990 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

The oil giants across the world are in constant need of knowledgeable petroleum engineers to assist with various functions in this profession. The need for oil is at desperate levels across the world, making this a very important field to be a part of. From the development of oil processing facilities to the storage and treatment of products, there are various topics in petroleum engineering that are vital to its operation. There are many different job titles that can be obtained as a petroleum engineer and out experts have listed a few of the most popular below.

Drilling Engineer

Drilling for oil is not as simple as it may seem. As the highest earning degree on this list, drilling engineering is a field that calls upon the most knowledgeable and self-driven individuals in engineering. Drilling engineers work with geological professionals and company spokespersons to develop effective and cost-conscious methods of drilling and storing oil. These engineers may also play a large role in the construction of these projects as well as supervising employees during and throughout the process. This line of work typically requires a lot of time away from home and in remote locations. If you are interested in this field, it is important to consider the constraints of a position such as this one in relationship to personal or family responsibilities.

Production Engineer

The actual equipment used for drilling oil is designed and constructed by production engineers. These professionals work hard to ensure that the equipment used is reliable and effective for the purpose it is created for.

Reservoir Engineer

The actual acquisition and storage of the materials in the oil drilling process is controlled by reservoir engineers. Planning and design is completed by these professionals using computer systems and estimation software.

School Level Program Admissions
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4. Aerospace Engineer

$107,830 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

In a time period that relies heavily on space travel and new intergalactic discoveries, aerospace engineers are highly sought after. A career in this field means more than just designing and implementing new aerodynamic tools and pieces that contribute to better air travel, but also more effective tools in space exploration and innovative correspondence methods. In order to become a part of this field, you must have the desire to go beyond what is already known and create new ideas in aerospace technologies. This is a field that can change what we know about our world over time. We have listed a few of the popular projects that are popular among aerospace engineers below.

Design and Planning of Spacecrafts

As an aerospace engineer, professionals in this field will assist a team with the invention and creation of spacecrafts that are capable of successful space travel. Extensive knowledge of physics and calculus is needed to properly calculate the resistance and durability of various materials in a space environment.

Build Satellites

Satellites provide numerous advantages to everyone across the country. In order for this to be possible, aerospace engineers must be available to design and create these satellites. Since there are multiple satellites for different purposes, professionals in this field must have a diverse understanding of digital communication and radio technology.

Remote Technologies

From satellite phones to locator devices, engineers in this specialty work hard to provide convenient services to those in remote locations. Up until recent years, it was impossible to locate or speak to someone in a location with no telephone or digital service. These professionals have opened doors in technology and continue to fascinate with their innovations.

School Level Program Admissions
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5. Human Resource Manager

$104,400 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

Busy businesses and entities in the country can have thousands of employees at a given time. In order to maintain the inflow of new employees as well as current employees, human resource professionals are employed by businesses to manage and coordinate various factors in the employee environment. Our experts have listed a few of the job responsibilities in this profession below.

Recruitment and Training of New Employees

Chances are, if you have started a new job, you have met a human resources professional. This person is responsible for interviewing, hiring, and preparing a new employee for work within the company. He or she may be responsible for gathering personal information and preferences for tax withholding, direct deposit, and benefits. Training for new employees is also set up and performed by the human resource department.

Employee Maintenance

Human resource professionals are responsible for assisting employees with work-related and personal issues. Sexual harassment, uncomfortable work environments, and other disputes are usually reported to this department.

Company/Employee Integration

Human resource specialists are responsible for closing the gap between big-business and its employees. These professionals can act as a mediator between the two, which provides comfort for employees and a since of unification for companies in various settings.

6. Nuclear Engineer

$102,950 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

Radioactive materials are typically something that people try to avoid. However, there have been many industrial and health-related uses for these materials discovered over the years that contribute well to society. Nuclear engineers work hard to plan and develop safe and effective methods of handling these materials so that they can be used in a populated setting. We have provided you with a list of popular fields for nuclear engineers below.

Nuclear Power Plants
Design and implement construction plans, monitor systems for environmental hazards, create plans for nuclear reactors, cores, and related control mechanisms.

Medical Diagnostic Equipment
Planning and development of radiology equipment and materials.

Food Production
Helps design food irradiation products and programs for bacteria and disease-free crops.

Nuclear Weaponry
Planning and creation of nuclear weapons on both a small and large scale.

School Level Program Admissions
Methodist University Bachelor, Master 20+ Programs: Business, Accounting, Computer Tech, Social Work, Psychology, Health Administration, More Website
Georgetown University Graduate Business Analytics, Finance, Sports, Technology Website
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7. Chemical Engineer

$97,360 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

Chemical engineers have a hand in just about everything we use every day. As a professional in this field, the possibilities are endless when considering potential specialties or markets that you decide to be a part of. Chemical elements are the very foundation of our existence. Those that have learned to use elements in a way that promotes more efficient energy usage and more mainstream uses such a clothing and food are an asset to our society as it continues to change in the face of technology. Some of the more popular fields in chemical engineering are listed below for you to browse.

  • Creation of food processing materials, fertilizers, and crop management supplements
  • Develop methods for mass production of pharmaceuticals
  • Designing methods for more efficient use of energy and chemical resources
  • Develop methods for pollution reduction on land and in water
  • Create synthetics that are used in plastics and clothing
School Level Program Admissions
Methodist University Bachelor, Master 20+ Programs: Business, Accounting, Computer Tech, Social Work, Psychology, Health Administration, More Website
Georgetown University Graduate Business Analytics, Finance, Sports, Technology Website
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8. Electric and Computer Engineer

$95,230 on average per year (BLS; 2015).

With the reach of technology in recent years, electric and computer engineers are constantly working to find new and innovative ways for our devices to function. If you are interested in the computers and have knowledge in math and science, this may be a great field for you. There are multiple facets of this industry that contribute to better societal advancement. Depending on your interests, some subfield may be more intriguing than others. Take a look at the list below for more specific details on this field and what it involves.

  • Solve problems related to computer hardware and software
  • Design new and innovative computer software that can reach new levels of artificial intelligence
  • Create computer hardware that is small, but precise and energy efficient
  • Provide new vehicle motor enhancements, lighting, and radar equipment
  • Work in healthcare designing and developing innovative health operational system technologies
School Level Program Admissions
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9. Computer Science Specialist

$79,530 – $111,730 per year (BLS; 2015).

Over the last 2 decades, computers have grown to the most widely used devices next to cell phones. These devices come in all sizes and capacities and provide unlimited services to their users. Computer science majors earn top tier salaries due to the services that they provide in both software development and IT support. Computer science specialists can have a wide variety of job responsibilities ranging from general maintenance to entire builds of technological systems. In order to give you a good idea of what computer science professionals may do on a daily basis, our experts have constructed a list of popular job responsibilities below for you to check out. However, keep in mind that the range of responsibilities for this degree program can go well beyond this list.

  • Write software to help complete tasks easier
  • Consult with companies on relevant uses of technology for their business purpose
  • Help in the development of useful internet security systems and monitoring
  • Play a part in the development of video games and multimedia programming
  • Provide support to companies in need of information technology support
School Level Program Admissions
Methodist University Bachelor, Master 20+ Programs: Business, Accounting, Computer Tech, Social Work, Psychology, Health Administration, More Website
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10. Business Professional

$46,840 – $89,160 per year (BLS; 2015).

Business is a field that includes a plethora of different subfields. If you take a walk down the street, you may see a handful of small business, large businesses, or even chain retailers. All of these entities have a place in the field of business. For professionals, the business field has many different markets that are available for prospective employees.

Depending on what you want to do with your degree in business, you may find one path to be more suiting than another. Financial careers are available for those with focus in accounting, management opportunities are out there for management specialists, and even sales positions are open and needing filled. Take a look at our list of popular business career choices below, which include a variety of different job titles. As you can see, there are a wide range of positions that includes very different responsibilities. If you choose to pursue a career in the business field, you can find careers that are within your interests, without having to accept positions that are not up to par with your expectations.

  • Top Executives
  • Business Managers
  • Payroll Directors
  • Store Owners
  • Accounting Managers
  • Business Marketing Specialists
  • Sales Manager

Search Online Colleges by State

There are over 2,500 colleges with online degrees in our database. Many students find that there are universities that offer their programs online, but are in their vicinity. The majority of students studying online actually chose a college that is close to them, or at least within their region. Simply click on the state of your choice to view all of the online colleges in your state.