Choosing the right college major is one of the most critical steps in the college prep process. There are many factors that students should consider when determining which career path is the best fit … including which career path will lead to their financial well-being.

With that in mind, it can be helpful for college-bound students to think about how much they might expect to earn after graduating. While a potential salary shouldn’t be the only thing students consider, it’s a factor they certainly shouldn’t ignore, either.

Let’s take a look the best and worst paying college majors of 2016 (according to Payscale.com).

Here are the 10 college majors with the LOWEST starting salaries:

1. Early Childhood Education (Starting Salary: $30,300)

2. Child & Family Studies (Starting Salary: $30,900)

3. Child Development (Starting Salary: $31,500)

4. Youth Ministry (Starting Salary: $32,200)

5. Counseling (Starting Salary: $32,300)

6. Early Childhood & Elementary Education (Starting Salary: $32,900)

7. Social Work (Starting Salary: $33,200)

8. Culinary Arts & Culinary Management (Starting Salary: $33,600)

9. Art Teacher Education (Starting Salary: $33,800)

10. Therapeutic Recreation (Starting Salary: $33,800)

Here are the 10 college majors with the HIGHEST starting salaries:

1. Petroleum Engineering (Starting Salary $101,000)

2. Mining Engineering (Starting Salary: $71,500)

3. Chemical Engineering (Starting Salary: $69,500)

4. Computer Science & Engineering (Starting Salary: $69,100)

5. Computer Engineering (Starting Salary: $68,400)

6. Nuclear Engineering (Starting Salary: $68,200)

7. Systems Engineering (Starting Salary: $67,100)

8. Electrical & Computer Engineering (Starting Salary: $67,000)

9. Electrical Engineering (Starting Salary: $66,500)

10. Dental Hygiene (Starting Salary: $65,800)

What do you think? Did any of these surprise you?