Monday, July 11, 2011

Income And Wealth Are Markers Of Behavior

It makes a difference which skills you develop.

Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary Starting Median Pay Mid-Career Median Pay
Petroleum Engineering $93,000 $157,000
Aerospace Engineering $59,400 $108,000
Chemical Engineering $64,800 $108,000
Electrical Engineering $60,800 $104,000
Nuclear Engineering $63,900 $104,000
Applied Mathematics $56,400 $101,000
Biomedical Engineering $54,800 $101,000
Physics $50,700 $99,600
Computer Engineering $61,200 $99,500
Education $35,100 $54,900
Art $33,500 $54,800
Special Education $36,000 $53,800
Recreation & Leisure Studies $33,300 $53,200
Horticulture $35,000 $50,800
Culinary Arts $35,900 $50,600
Athletic Training $32,800 $45,700
Social Work $31,800 $44,900
Elementary Education $31,600 $44,400
Child and Family Studies $29,500 $38,400


Anonymous said...

Just to pick at nits, these numbers probably don't reflect people not
working in their field. When I was in high school I knew a ChemE student with pretty poor job prospects. Just because you have an advanced degree doesn't mean it will pay off for you.

Overall for your series, I'm sympathetic to the argument that the people making the big bucks/stable lives are naturally inclined to those habits. Granting degrees can't fix someone who's not willing to do the work.

(hotgl. Captchas are getting weird)

Kelly the little black dog said...

Clearly I'm grossly underpaid. Where are these statistics from? Are they current?

K T Cat said...

Click on the link above the table. If they're not current, then at least the trend and the scaling is in line with what I've seen before. As for your pay, well, it's a dog's life.


Kelly the little black dog said...


Ya, but I'm supposed to be an overpaid uncivil servant. They're falling down on the overpaid part.

Ohioan@Heart said...

"It makes a difference which skills you develop". No kidding.

The median of the major league baseball team median salaries (see <a href=">the data here</a>) is about $1,200,000. Kinda crushes us Chemists ($42,400 and $83,700 which you did not include in your table).

Ohioan@Heart said...

Ahhh, fooey... HTML error above, sorry about that.

Brad Wright said...

Interesting that the mid-career incomes are in the same rank as starting. I would have figured that some of these professions would have increased in pay faster than others.

K T Cat said...

Ohioan, here's the link for you.

K T Cat said...

Good point, Brad. I hadn't noticed that. To make the post shorter, I cut out lots of rows. I wonder if the whole table looks like that.

tim eisele said...


Before you start feeling too bad about it, I think if you are going to compare "chemists" to "ballplayers" you need to throw in the minor-league ballplayers, too. Who get paid a lot less.

(not to mention the number of wannabe-but-never-made-it ballplayers as compared to the number of unemployed chemists)

K T Cat said...

In a parents' pre-season meeting in one of my son's baseball leagues, we were told to get over our delusions that our boys were going to be major league players. There was a greater chance they would grow up to become brain surgeons than baseball players.