How does my major translate into financial success?

While in general, any college major can lead you anywhere in life, there are undoubtedly certain majors that line up with more lucrative careers than the rest. Financial stability is just one ingredient to a full life. There are many other considerations to take into account when deciding your major. But at the end of the day, prospective pay is important. Here we’ll discuss how your major translates into financial success, and discuss the high paying careers ranking.

The High Paying Careers Ranking

One line of profession hands down pays more than the rest: Medicine. 

According to US News and World Report’s high paying careers ranking, the top 10 Best Paying Jobs of 2020 are all in medical fields:

  1. Anesthesiologist
  2. Surgeon
  3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  4. Obstetrician and Gynecologist
  5. Orthodontist
  6. Psychiatrist
  7. Physician
  8. Prosthodontist
  9. Pediatrician
  10. Dentist
high paying careers ranking medicine

These jobs have median salaries between $208k and $150k dollars—which, it’s safe to say, are hugely substantial. Don’t worry if you are an undergraduate who is totally uninterested in the pre-med track! The next ten options on the list offer a more diverse array of options:

  1. Nurse Anesthetist
  2. Petroleum Engineer
  3. IT Manager
  4. Podiatrist
  5. Marketing Manager
  6. Financial Manager
  7. Pilot
  8. Lawyer
  9. Sales Manager
  10. Business Operations Manager

These jobs in this high paying careers ranking range from $170k to $100k dollars a year—less than the first batch, but still enough to live comfortably nearly anywhere in the world. One thing to consider is the amount of time—both in terms of education and work experience—you would have to accrue before you can go on to one of these high-paying jobs. For example, the medical professions all have higher eventual salaries. However, they also require many more years of education, which could also mean many more years of medical debt. Medical schools are becoming increasingly full-funded, but are still not there yet. Not to dissuade you from your dream of being a doctor—quite the contrary, as taking a career in the health professions is one of the noblest things a person can do. It’s just something to think about in the overall equation.

The Benefits of Earning Degrees and Experience

In general, the more degrees you have, the more money you make. You can work in business and make a substantial salary, but if you go back to school to earn an MBA, you’ll be entitled to a higher pay in most sects of the industry. Careers on the second half of the list don’t require as much advanced education (save for lawyers, of course!), but they will require more time in terms of work experience. To reach a managerial position, you will likely first have to fill a number of smaller roles—such as assistant, coordinator, and support roles. The amount of time it takes to reach a managerial position can vary vastly. In general, it tends to happen quicker if you stay at the same company, especially if it is a company that has a reputation for promoting internally. Once you reach a managerial position and spend some time there—a good rule for any position is to stay on at least a year—you’ll have acquired experience that can be applied to similar positions at a wide range of other businesses. 

highest paying careers ranking

If you’re majoring in something that is not on this list and are starting to hyperventilate as you prioritize a high-paying salary, don’t panic! Careers in Marketing, Business Operations, and Sales Managers often target a diverse array of contenders. So, job applicants really can come from any major! This is also true of many jobs not on the high paying careers ranking). It’s also important to note that this is just a list of the jobs that tend to have the highest paying salaries—it’s possible to establish a healthy career for yourself in any field. You have the power to carve your own path. The only force operating against you is time, so get to it!

About the Author

Cassidy A.

Cassidy A.

Cassidy A. is an experienced English tutor at Gooroo, a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers Math, English, SAT, Coding, Spanish tutoring, and more.