Top Ten Highest Paying Careers for Bachelor Degree Holders

Airplane in clouds with text: highest paying careers for bachelor degree holdersA college degree is more important than ever before, especially to reach the highest paying careers. It’s a key element to earning a higher paycheck, landing a dream job, or finding opportunities. While it’s possible to be successful without one, of course, it’s much, much easier to accomplish when you have a degree.

People with bachelor’s degrees can unlock amazing career opportunities. Using College Raptor’s new Career Center, we wanted to check out the highest paying careers that bachelor degree holders can pursue!

10. Natural Sciences Managers

Job Summary: Natural Science Managers is somewhat of an umbrella term, used to describe someone who is planning, directing, or coordinating, activities in natural science fields. Some examples include: Environmental Program Manager, Laboratory Manager, R&D Director, and more.

Median Annual Salary: $123,860

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: While the specific degree might depend on which natural science you plan to pursue, here are a few recommended majors: Natural Sciences, Biology, Neuroscience, Biophysics, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry.

Necessary Skills: Natural Sciences Managers need clear communication skills, both written and oral, to perform well at their jobs. They also must have good reading comprehension, and be thoroughly familiar with scientific principals and methods. Another great skill to have is critical thinking and problem solving.

9. Sales Managers

Job Summary: Sales Managers plan and coordinate the distribution or movement of products to customers or services. They also analyze sales data, can oversee sales representatives, and establish quotas or training programs.

Median Annual Salary: $124,440

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: Interested in becoming a Sales Manager? These majors can help: Commerce, Business Administration & Management, and Retailing Management, among others.

Necessary Skills: Sales Managers tend to be people-persons, and are therefore great at communication. They’re great listeners, speakers, and are socially adept. Many are also have problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.

8. Air Traffic Controllers

Job Summary: Air Traffic Controllers are responsible for coordinating and also monitoring air traffic to ensure safety in the skies.

Median Annual Salary: $124,540

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: You could have a bachelor’s degree in Air Traffic Control, Aviation, Air Transportation or related majors to qualify for this role.

Necessary Skills: Air Traffic Controllers must be familiar with established protocols and must follow all procedures closely. They must have quick problem-solving, analytical, and also communication skills to safely guide flights.

7. Financial Managers

Job Summary: Financial Managers coordinate and oversee all financial activities of a company’s department, office, or branch. They scrutinize financial records and monitor cash flow and make recommendations to improve budgeting and planning. They also approve expenditures.

Median Annual Salary: $127,990

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: A bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance, General Finance, or Accounting and Business/Management, are some ways to get started in this profession.

Necessary Skills: Knowledge of financial markets, as well as economic and accounting principles and practices is a must in this role. Financial managers must also be familiar with analyzing and reporting all types of financial data.

6. Marketing Managers

Job Function: Marketing Managers develop effective marketing policies and pricing strategies. They have a dual goal – to maximize the company’s profits while also ensuring customer satisfaction. As part of their job, marketing managers monitor trends, analyze data, oversee product development, and identify potential customers.

Median Annual Salary: $134,290

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: Any of these bachelor’s degrees in any field related to marketing and merchandising will prepare you for a role as a Marketing Manager. This includes General Marketing/Marketing Management, Consumer Merchandising/Retail Management, International Marketing or Marketing Research.

Necessary Skills: Marketing Managers have mastered the principles of promoting and selling products or services. They develop effective marketing strategies and sales techniques, and organize product demonstrations. Product knowledge and communication skills are also essential in this role.

5. Petroleum Engineers

Job Function: Petroleum Engineers analyze geographic data and surveys. Based on their analysis, they devise methods to improve the efficiency of oil and gas extraction and production at that site. They prepare detailed plans, oversee the drilling operations, and also offer expert technical advice.

Median Annual Salary: $137,170

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: A bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering or Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering can qualify you for this role.

Necessary Skills: Petroleum engineers have a vast knowledge of geology, land surveys, and engineering science and technology. The practical application of engineering science and technology is crucial in this field.

4. Airline Pilots / Flight Engineers

Job Function: Airline Pilots/Flight Engineers transport passengers and cargo on scheduled air carrier routes. They take full responsibility for the safety of the aircraft from take-off to landing.

Median Annual Salary: $140,340

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: You will need to complete an Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew or Flight Instructor bachelor’s degree to work in these fields.

Necessary Skills: Airline Pilots / Flight Engineers are aviation professionals with expert knowledge in all aspects of this field.

3. Architectural and Engineering Managers

Job Function: Architectural and engineering managers manage a wide range of construction activities, specifically related to architecture and engineering. They determine project feasibility, confirm project specifications, and also coordinate all activities on site.

Median Annual Salary: $140,760

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: To be employed in this role you should have a bachelor’s degree in any one of these fields – Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology, Architectural Engineering, or Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering.

Necessary Skills: Architectural and Engineering Managers are experts in the practical application of engineering science and technology. They have in-depth knowledge of design principles, tools, and techniques involved in creating precision technical plans, blueprints, and also 3-D models.

2. Computer and Information Systems Managers

Job Function: Computer and Information Systems Managers are skilled in computer programming, information systems, electronic data processing, and systems analysis. They are responsible for analyzing data, developing computer or information systems, and also directing operational decisions and activities.

Median Annual Salary: $142,530

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: There are several bachelor’s degrees that prepare you for a career as a Computer and Information Systems Manager. You could complete a bachelor’s degree in General Computer and Information Sciences, Information Technology, Computer Science, or Information Science/Studies.

Necessary Skills: Computer and Information Systems Managers must have in-depth knowledge of computer hardware and software, electronic equipment, processors, chips, and circuit boards. The practical application of engineering science and technology is also crucial in this role.

1. Chief Sustainability Officers

Job Function: Chief Sustainability Officers are responsible for identifying and addressing environmental concerns within organizations. Based on their findings, they develop, implement, and also oversee customized corporate sustainability strategies. It’s one of the highest paying careers for bachelor degree holders!

Median Annual Salary: $189,600

Recommended Bachelor’s Degrees: A Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, Finance, Management Science, or International Business/Trade/Commerce will help you qualify for a career as a chief sustainability officer.

Necessary Skills: To succeed in this career, you must have knowledge of materials, tools, and also techniques involved in the construction industry. You must also be familiar with relevant production methods, resource allocation, and strategic planning.

The highest paying careers for bachelor degree holders is certainly an impressive list! Although it’s important to keep in mind that for many of these careers, you’ll have a higher likelihood of getting into them with a higher degree—like a master’s or a doctoral. Additionally, while the entry-level position may only require a bachelor’s, some promotions might need a master’s. 

Interested in any of these careers? Visit their pages at our Career Center to see which colleges are the best suited for those dream jobs. 

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

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