20 of the Highest-Paying Bachelor’s Degree Jobs

Jennifer Herrity

Updated October 28, 2022

Published February 4, 2020

Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.

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A bachelor’s degree can open the doors to a variety of jobs that pay well. Further, as you develop experience in your career and continue to learn, such as through certifications, you can significantly improve your earning potential.

In this article, we list 20 high-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree, including their primary duties and job outlook for each between 2021 and 2031, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

20 high-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree can prepare you for a variety of industries. The following jobs require a bachelor's degree and pay more than $70,000 per year:

1. Project manager

National average salary: $77,327 per year

Primary duties: Project managers design, budget and implement projects in a variety of industries. They make sure deadlines are met, projects stay within budget and that team members are motivated. You’ll find project managers in almost every sector, and they are usually very knowledgeable in their industry.

Job outlook: Although the BLS does not track specific job outlook data for project managers, openings for project management specialists and related positions are expected to grow 7% over the decade, with 70,400 total new openings.

Read more: Learn About Being a Project Manager

2. Nuclear engineer

National average salary: $80,686 per year

Primary duties: Nuclear engineers research, design, operate and monitor nuclear equipment. They work in power plants, laboratories, offices and testing sites. They might work with medical equipment, nuclear power, research tools and emergency management equipment. Due to their wide need, nuclear engineers are found in a range of industries.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to decline 11% over the decade for nuclear engineers, though BLS still projects 700 job openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nuclear Engineer

3. Petroleum engineer

National average salary: $81,048 per year

Primary duties: Petroleum engineers determine the best way to remove oil and natural gas from the earth. They gather and analyze data to find the safest and most cost-effective ways to drill, and design both the machines and systems used to extract petroleum. Petroleum engineers often work for oil companies, government agencies and oversight committees.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 8% over the decade for petroleum engineers, or about 1,700 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Petroleum Engineer

4. Chemical engineer

National average salary: $81,153 per year

Primary duties: Chemical engineers design, test and use systems and equipment for refining and combining raw materials to create important products. They often work with food and drugs but can work with any variety of chemicals. Chemical engineers are usually employed by laboratories, government agencies, food manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 14% over the decade for chemical engineers, or about 2,000 openings on average per year.

Read more: ​​Learn About Being a Chemical Engineer

5. Construction superintendent

National average salary: $82,183 per year

Primary duties: Construction superintendents oversee construction sites. They are responsible for scheduling, safety compliance and supervising all tasks. Construction superintendents usually work for private construction firms.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 8% over the decade for construction managers, or about 41,500 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Construction Superintendent

6. Architect

National average salary: $83,350 per year

Primary duties: Architects design buildings. They determine their clients' needs, then draft, design and oversee the building of their project. They might work on residential, commercial, industrial or government buildings.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 3% over the decade for architects, or about 9,100 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being an Architect

7. Aerospace engineer

National average salary: $84,453 per year

Primary duties: Aerospace engineers design, build and test spacecraft, aircraft, missiles and national defense systems. They use advanced physics and aerodynamics to solve complex engineering problems and often work with the federal government, engineering firms and research facilities.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 6% over the decade for aerospace engineers, or about 4,000 openings on average per year.

Read more: ​​​​Learn About Being an Aerospace Engineer

8. Statistician

National average salary: $84,663 per year

Primary duties: Statisticians gather, analyze and present numerical data to find trends and make predictions. They are useful in many industries and departments, including finance, human resources and marketing.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 31% over the decade for statisticians and mathematicians, or about 4,100 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Statistician

9. Sales engineer

National average salary: $86,002 per year

Primary duties: Sales engineers sell technology solutions to companies that include upgrading systems, managing installed equipment and assisting in troubleshooting products. They must understand how their products work and how to meet user requirements. Sales engineers work closely with systems engineers and sales teams to meet their customers' needs and develop new products.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 6% over the decade for sales engineers, or about 6,900 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Sales Engineer

10. Compensation manager

National average salary: $86,662 per year

Primary duties: Compensation managers are in charge of developing and updating a company's payroll and pay structure. They must understand how to competitively pay and promote employees to recruit and retain workers. Compensation is important in every company and industry, so you’ll find compensation managers most everywhere.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 2% over the decade for compensation and benefits managers, or about 1,200 openings on average per year.

Read more: ​​How To Become a Compensation and Benefits Manager

11. Finance manager

National average salary: $90,289 per year

Primary duties: Finance managers analyze financial markets, advise on investments, submit financial reports and manage the financial health of their organization. Financial managers are needed in almost every industry.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 17% over the decade for financial managers, or about 71,300 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Finance Manager

12. Database administrator

National average salary: $91,037 per year

Primary duties: Database administrators design, structure and update information databases so users can easily access the entries they need. Database administrators are also responsible for database security, and needed across several industries.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 9% over the decade for database administrators, or about 11,500 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Database Administrator

13. Materials engineer

National average salary: $91,095 per year

Primary duties: Materials engineers work with a wide range of substances, such as metals, plastics and ceramics, to test and design materials to meet the needs of new products. They consider material costs, how quickly materials degrade and how to improve material quality. Materials engineers work in a variety of industries, firms and government agencies.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 6% over the decade for materials engineers, or about 1,700 openings on average per year.

Read more: How To Become a Materials Engineer

14. Information security analyst

National average salary: $92,774 per year

Primary duties: Information security analysts search for weaknesses in computer networks, investigate security breaches and install and monitor security software. They are often consulted about software and systems upgrades and must stay up-to-date on computer viruses and malware. Information security is important to many industries and government agencies.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 35% over the decade for information security analysts, or about 19,500 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being an Information Security Analyst

15. Software engineer

National average salary: $94,062 per year

Primary duties: Software engineers design, build and test computer operating system software and application software. They are well-trained in programming languages and design principles and create customized programs for their clients. Software engineers are in high demand in many industries and government agencies.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 25% over the decade for software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers, or about 162,900 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being a Software Engineer

16. Economist

National average salary: $94,278 per year

Primary duties: Economists analyze historical trends and product costs to solve problems and anticipate economic changes. They must have excellent data analysis skills and written and verbal communication skills. Economists work in many industries and often write articles.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 6% over the decade for economists, or about 1,400 openings on average per year.

Read more: How To Become an Economist in 5 Steps

17. Electronics engineer

National average salary: $95,038 per year

Primary duties: Electronics engineers design, test and produce electronic equipment. This equipment can range from analog systems to microprocessors. Electronics engineers work in many different industries and often work in laboratories, manufacturing facilities and government agencies.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 3% over the decade for electrical and electronics engineers, or about 20,100 openings on average per year.

Related: ​​Computer Engineering vs. Electronic Engineering: Key Differences

18. Hardware engineer

National average salary: $97,042 per year

Primary duties: Hardware engineers design, build, test and manufacture physical components of technology. They understand how software and hardware interact and follow market trends to build appealing technologies. Hardware engineers work in research environments and with tech or computer companies, manufacturers and government agencies.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 5% over the decade for computer hardware engineers, or about 5,300 openings on average per year.

Read more: ​​How To Become a Computer Hardware Engineer

19. Actuary

National average salary: $111,755 per year

Primary duties: Actuaries use high levels of math, statistics and computer science to determine financial risks and find ways to manage such risks. They analyze data and trends to determine cost/benefit analyses and often work in insurance agencies or for the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 21% over the decade for actuaries, or about 2,400 openings on average per year.

Read more: Learn About Being an Actuary

20. Network architect

National average salary: $125,658 per year

Primary duties: Network architects design network infrastructures that balance their companies' long-term technology goals with their financial needs. They are very experienced in computer science and understand how to translate business needs and goals into technological tools and systems. Network architects work in nearly every industry and government agency.

Job outlook: Job openings are expected to grow 4% over the decade for computer network architects, or about 11,800 openings on average per year.

Related: 30 Six-Figure Jobs You Can Pursue With a Bachelor's Degree

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