10 Lowest Paying College Majors

One of the most stressful decisions when determining a college major is job security. However, due to the astronomical rise in tuition prices, financial security is more important than ever before. Luckily, Ensphere offers ways to pinpoint a major that fits your personality while also showing you the industry pay scale. We offer services such as Kolbe, Career Cruising, OpGig, and more. This will better determine which career path would be a good fit for you. 

In addition to our services, we always want to keep you up to date on external information such as “Best Pay Lists”. I am fond of the U.S. News lists that they produce each year. This one titled “10 College Majors With the Lowest Starting Salaries”, is a great source! They used the data from PayScale to determine this list.

Here are the 10 college majors with the lowest median salaries for alumni with three years of postgraduate work experience whose highest degree is a bachelor’s. Also included for each major is the college where alumni make the highest median salary in that field. During the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing more pay related lists.

10 College Majors With The Lowest Median Salaries

10. Design and applied arts

Median starting salary: $42,727

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

U.S. News rank and category: 25 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Carnegie Mellon University graduates in this field: $75,700


9. Liberal arts and general studies

Median starting salary: $42,617

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Biola University (CA)

U.S. News rank and category: 185 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Biola University graduates in this field: $65,100


8. Human development and related services

Median starting salary: $42,252

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Cornell University (NY)

U.S. News rank and category: 17 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Cornell University graduates in this field: $56,400


7. Criminal justice

Median starting salary: $42,025

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: George Washington University (DC)

U.S. News rank and category: 70, National Universities (tie)

Median salary for George Washington University graduates in this field: $58,400


6. Psychology

Median starting salary: $41,890

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: University of Scranton (PA)

U.S. News rank and category: 6, Regional Universities (North)

Median salary for University of Scranton graduates in this field: $66,100


5. Criminology

Median starting salary: $41,722

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: University of Maryland—College Park

U.S. News rank and category: 64 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for University of Maryland graduates in this field: $50,900


4. Health and physical education/fitness

Median starting salary: $41,608

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Rice University (TX)

U.S. News rank and category: 17 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Rice University graduates in this field: $56,700


3. Animal science

Median starting salary: $39,905

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Colorado State University

U.S. News rank and category: 166 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Colorado State graduates in this field: $55,400


2. Education

Median starting salary: $39,082

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Boston University

U.S. News rank and category: 40 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Boston University graduates in this field: $53,100


1. Social work

Median starting salary: $37,035

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: University of South Dakota

U.S. News rank and category: 263 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for University of South Dakota graduates in this field: $49,800

Earn More Money By Attending These Colleges

Choosing a college isn’t a simple task – you want to pick a school that will challenge you intellectually and provide you with life experiences that help you grow as a person.

PayScale’s College Salary Report has ranked colleges and universities by the median salaries of their alumni. By knowing how much you can expect to earn after getting your bachelor’s degree, you can choose a school wisely and set yourself up for future financial security, especially when evaluating how much to borrow to help pay for your education.

The Best 4-Year Universities in 2018

For now, we’ll focus on learning more about the universities that came out on top in 2018 for having the highest salary potential and what makes these schools so beneficial for students.

Harvey Mudd College – Mid-Career Salary: $158,200

Harvey Mudd is consistently among the top school on our College Salary Report year after year. The small, private school of about 800 students is located in Claremont, California. HMC offers students small class sizes, and the institution has an academic focus in science and engineering, with 85 percent of graduates earning a degree in STEM.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Mid-Career Salary: $155,200

It goes without saying that MIT is one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. Students who enter the four-year degree program at MIT can expect to perform a lot of hands-on research related to their studies. Unlike Harvey Mudd, MIT has an undergraduate population of just under five thousand, which means larger class sizes for MIT students. MIT is largely focused on engineering and research.

United States Naval Academy – Mid-Career Salary: $152,800

Military and service academies continue to be great options for students because the cost to attend is so low. The USNA campus is located near the water between the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland. The curriculum at USNA is mostly focused on technology and learning skills for a career in service.

California Institute of Technology – Mid-Career Salary: $151,600

It’s not uncommon to see technology-focused universities take the top spot on our college rankings. As one of the top universities in California, CalTech has a lot to offer students ranging from university sponsored research opportunities to an athletics program that is sure to thrill. There are around one thousand undergraduates enrolled at CalTech, and ninety-six percent of those students are studying STEM-related subjects.