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Highest Paying Graduate Degrees

UL Grad School -- 04/11/2016

When it comes to salaries, the golden rule is to never talk about them— but we think differently. Find out which graduate degree can help you get the most out of your career and get the largest salary around!

Highest paying graduate degrees

Highest Paying Industries

Engineering

Business

Sciences

Arts

Median Salary:
$136,500

Median Salary:
$113,200

Median Salary:
$111,100
Median Salary:
$80,000

Median salary based on mid-career salaries

Highest Paying Careers By Industry

While each industry has its share of high paying careers, here's a list of the top 5 in each respective industry based on early and mid-career salaries, as well as job satisfaction.

Engineering

The Engineering industry claims not only the highest median salary, but also the number one highest paying individual career for those with a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering coming out on top. Below are the top 5 highest paying careers in Engineering.

Petroleum Engineer (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $96,500
Mid Career Pay: $173,000

Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $102,000
Mid Career Pay: $142,000

Computer Engineering (CE) (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $111,000
Mid Career Pay: $139,000

Chemical Engineering (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $92,300
Mid Career Pay: $138,00

Biomedical Engineering (BME) (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $86,800
Mid Career Pay: $137,000

Business

Business comes in as the second highest paying industry with regards to median salary for graduate degrees, and an MBA in Strategy ranks 5th overall for the highest paying individual career, after Electrical and Computer Engineering. Below are the top 5 highest paying careers in Business.

Strategy (MBA)
Early Career Pay: $93,100
Mid Career Pay: $148,000

General & Strategic Management (MBA)
Early Career Pay: $84,000
Mid Career Pay: $144,000

Finance & Real Estate (MBA)
Early Career Pay: $78,900
Mid Career Pay: $143,000

Economics (MBA)
Early Career Pay: $71,900
Mid Career Pay: $136,000

Finance & Economics (MBA)
Early Career Pay: $68,100
Mid Career Pay: $134,000

Sciences

Although it ranks number 3 in median salary, the Science industry claims the second spot for highest paying individual career for those who have earned a Master’s in Nurse Anesthesia. Below are the the top 5 highest paying careers in Science.

Nurse Anesthesia (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $139,000
Mid Career Pay: $159,000

Organic Chemistry (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $79,000
Mid Career Pay: $133,000

Pharmacology (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $70,200
Mid Career Pay: $131,000

Physics (PhD)
Early Career Pay: $88,100
Mid Career Pay: $130,000

Computer Science (PhD)*
Early Career Pay: $112,200
Mid Career Pay: $129,000

Arts

Although it comes in at the bottom regarding median salary, the Arts industry isn’t made up of starving artists. A Master’s in Industrial Design is the highest paying graduate degree in this industry. Below are the top 5 highest paying careers in Liberal and Fine Arts.

Industrial Design (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $52,500
Mid Career Pay: $96,800

Design (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $62,700
Mid Career Pay: $93,300

Advertising (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $45,600
Mid Career Pay: $89,400

Instructional Design & Technology (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $59,400
Mid Career Pay: $85,300

Mass Communication (Master’s)
Early Career Pay: $44,500
Mid Career Pay: $79,100