The majors with the highest salaries—across different career fields

Students are more concerned than ever about how their choice of undergraduate major will affect their salary, but they don't always think about how different career paths can also influence their salary, writes Taylor Soper for GeekWire.

Soper analyzes salary data in a recent report by jobs site Indeed. To create the report, Indeed researchers analyzed more than 90 million resumes to identify the most popular majors, then identified common job titles associated with those majors. Finally, the researchers calculated average salary information for each role, based on Indeed's salary database.

Here are the job titles and salaries that Indeed listed for each major:


Chief Financial Officer, $126,579

Assistant controller, $85,636

Accountant, $53,227

Computer Science

Development operations engineer, $125,105

Software engineer, $101,798

Business intelligence developer, $95, 939


Engineering manager, $106,004

Electrical engineer, $82,695

Mechanical engineer, $78,169


Product manager, $101,922

Director of Marketing, $86,849

Marketing manager, $69,978


Director of Finance, $100,880

Trader, $95,632

Financial analyst, $65,473


Director of Nursing, $96,268

Nursing supervisor, $72,971

Registered nurse, $68,750

Fine arts

Creative director, $91,567

Art director, $67,993

Graphic designer, $42,787


Director of Operations, $87,950

Business analyst, $76,339

Recruiter, $51,171


Director of Marketing, $86,875

Writer/Editor, $54,986

English teacher, $43,514


Scientist, $84,978

Microbiologist, $61,480

Research associate, $48,733


Consultant, $79,504

School principal, $64,487

Teacher, $47,289

Communication studies

Director of Communications, $78,724

Producer, $58,229

Public relations manager, $50,537


Business development manager, $76,739

Social studies teacher, $55,595

Paralegal, $49,802


Human resources manager, $68,613

Behavioral therapist, $35,326

Counselor, $30,171

Of course, salary isn't everything. In a recent article for the Washington Post, Danielle Paquette pointed out that some low-earning fields, including counseling, social work, and education, have an advantage over the long term: they aren't likely to be replaced by automation any time soon.

Paquette reported that machines will never fully be able to replace preschool teachers—who make about $35,000 annually—because robots do not have genuine empathy or the ability to interpret a child's needs. Social workers and counselors also need high degrees of empathy to perform their jobs successfully (Soper, GeekWire, 8/10; Indeed report, accessed 8/15). 

Next in Today's Briefing

Transfer students lose 43% of credits, report finds

Next Briefing

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague