US study shows that people who majored in engineering had the highest earnings of any bachelor’s degree field

Oct. 10, 2012 2:27 p.m

  • Washington, D.C. — The field of bachelor’s degree makes a considerable difference in a college graduate’s annual earnings, according to 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. These differences add up over the span of one’s work-life. For example, among people whose highest degree is a bachelor’s, engineering majors earn $1.6 million more than education majors.These findings come from two separate ACS reports released today. The first report Field of Degree and Earnings by Selected Employment Characteristics: 2011, provides information about the relationship between the field of bachelor’s degrees, median annual earnings, and the likelihood of full-time employment.

    According to this report, people who majored in engineering had the highest earnings of any bachelor’s degree field, at $92,000 per year in 2011. At the other end of the continuum were fields such as visual and performing arts, communications, education and psychology, with median annual earnings of $55,000 or less.

    People who majored in a science and engineering field were more likely to be employed full-time, year-round.

  • Download full report

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