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12 hot, high-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree

Are you considering your educational future? If so, you may be considering whether or not you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree. You might even find yourself wondering if a bachelor’s degree is all you need, or if you should plan on graduate work as well. To help you understand your options and the education that might get you there, here is a look at some of the highest paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree as the entrance requirement.

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Why earn a bachelor’s degree?

In many career fields, a bachelor’s degree is considered an entry-level degree. In fact, some careers and employers do not care whether or not you have a degree in their particular field, as long as you have a bachelor’s degree.

Earning your bachelor’s degree shows that you have the ability to learn and stick with a program for the long term. It takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication to earn this degree, and employers know this. Thus, many will look for a bachelor’s degree when choosing a new hire.

In your bachelor’s degree program, you can gain more insight and develop new skills in a field you have a passion for. This, in turn, can make your future career more rewarding, because you will be good at doing what you love.

Having a bachelor’s degree also opens the door to more potential career opportunities than an associate degree or work experience alone would provide. When you combine a bachelor’s degree with work experience, you can often find yourself qualified for high-paying positions. There are multiple career fields with six-figure salary averages that require a bachelor’s degree as a starting point.

Highest paying jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree

You may be thinking that you have to have a master’s degree to earn six figures, but data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates this is not true. There are many jobs that have average pay ranges above $75,000 a year—including many six-figure averages—that require a bachelor's degree alone. There are others that require a bachelor's degree along with work experience or certification in a particular field. If you are considering your career path and want to open the door to high pay potential, here are 12 fields where you could earn quite well:

1. Engineer

Engineers help plan and design construction projects, including buildings, infrastructure development and machinery. Many types of engineers can start their work with just a bachelor’s degree, and there is a high pay range for this type of work. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics , mechanical engineers earn an average of $95,300 a year, while environmental engineers earn $96,820 a year on average. Civil engineers, which also need just a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position, earn $88,050 a year.

2. Marketing manager

A marketing manager oversees and leads the advertising and promotions team within an organization. They manage the marketing team members, generate promotions, develop advertising material and evaluate the effectiveness of these campaigns. The  2021 median pay  listed in the BLS is $133,380 for people in this role. A bachelor’s degree is the base degree requirement, though many managers will get additional training in management or business to step into this leadership style role.

3. Architect

Architects are the designers behind buildings, including houses and commercial properties. They develop the blueprints that builders use to create the buildings. This highly detailed job requires good knowledge of math and physics principles, yet it may be possible to start as an architect with just a bachelor’s degree, depending on the field where you wish to work. The BLS estimates an average annual wage of  $80,180 a year  for architects.

4. Human resources manager

Human resource managers are in an administrative leadership role. They oversee and direct the administration of an organization, and are necessary in every industry. These professionals have strong communication skills and enjoy working with people. Though a bachelor’s degree is the only degree requirement, most human resources managers must work in their field for at least five years before they qualify to step into this position. The BLS estimates  $126,230 a year  for a median salary.

5. Database administrator

Computers and computer-based networks are an essential part of nearly every business. Database administrators create and organize these systems. Companies use the systems to store, secure and retrieve the data they need to do their business. Any company that works with large amounts of data will need a database administrator. The BLS estimated a  2021 median pay of $101,000  for this field.

6. Finance manager

Financial managers oversee investments and help organizations make plans to achieve their financial goals. This is a high-demand field with an expected job growth of 17% from 2021 to 2031. This is also one of the jobs with the highest potential pay range. Financial managers earn, on average,  $131,710 a year.

7. Computer and information systems analyst

If you have a knack for working with computers, then consider a career as a computer and information systems analyst. This professional will study the computer systems within an organization and help find ways to make them more efficient. The average expected rate of pay for this career is  $99,270 a year.

8. Accountant

As long as people are making money, they will need professionals to help them manage it. Accountants prepare financial records and tax returns and they can also examine them. They may work for businesses or individuals. This career does require a bachelor’s degree and it may require certification to work within certain aspects of the financial world. The average 2021 pay range was  $77,250 a year,  but those in the highest 10% can earn over $128,000 a year.

9. Economist

Economists are responsible for collecting and analyzing data and research in the world of economics. Many starting roles require a master’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree in economics can be a starting point to get into working with numbers in this type of field. The average pay for economists in 2021 was $105,630.

10. Natural science manager

The natural sciences include biology, physics and chemistry. Natural science managers oversee the work of scientists or head research teams in these fields. They may do hands-on work in science as well. This requires a bachelor’s degree in natural science as well as around five years of on-the-job experience, according to the BLS. The average pay is  $137,900 a year.

11. Health services manager

Health services managers are business professionals who oversee the business side of the healthcare industry. They work within hospitals, nursing homes and clinics to make sure that the doctors and medical providers are making money through coordinated business efforts. This requires a bachelor’s degree, but many of these professionals also pursue a master’s degree. The average rate of pay is  $101,340 a year .

12. Software developer

Another job for the tech-savvy person, a software developer creates computer applications and programs. This role pays $109,020 a year, on average, and is projected to see job growth as high as 25% between 2021 and 2031, based on recent data from the BLS . This is due to the growing demand for software and apps for companies as the digital age is here to stay.

Earn your bachelor’s degree from CMU

If you are interested in pursuing some of these high-paying jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree, then it’s time to determine which career and which degree would be the best fit for your needs. Central Michigan University can help. Our  undergraduate degree program finder page  can help you sift through your options to find a degree that will fit your passions and your future career goals. As you earn your bachelor’s degree, keep your eyes on these high-paying, in-demand career paths. Whether you see yourself in healthcare, technology or management, there are many opportunistic that will open for you with your bachelor’s degree in place. Reach out to CMU today to get started.

Blog: All Things Higher Ed posted | Last Modified: | Categories: General Education
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