Whether you have just graduated from college or are deciding on your major, your choices may be influenced by knowing which careers will earn you the most money. Fortunately, there are many types of degrees and career paths that can increase your chances of getting a great salary.
Although some high paying jobs like being a doctor require a graduate degree, some jobs that pay well only require a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree plus certifications. Below are the top paying jobs for college grads. See if one or more of these good paying jobs near you are hiring.
Some people love to work with numbers and finance, and there are plenty of high paying job opportunities for them in the banking, advising and insurance industries. Of course, if you’re good with numbers, accounting, bookkeeping, and or even teaching finance or mathematics are great job options for you.
While some jobs in these sectors don’t require higher-education degrees, for those who have graduated from college with an undergraduate degree or a masters degree, you can either earn more in the same jobs as those without degrees, or be applicable for more advanced, higher paying jobs that do require degrees.
A financial advisor works with individuals to help them manage their money. This includes investing, life insurance, saving for college and retirement, estate planning and tax planning.
The best bachelor’s degrees for this career are finance or accounting. Financial advisors may work for banks, brokerage firms or may be self-employed.
To be a financial advisor, graduates must have an understanding of finance, the types of investments and financial instruments and familiarity with market conditions. They also need to have great sales and interpersonal skills, since the majority of their time is being face-to-face with clients, helping them to meet their financial goals.
It is also helpful to be good at networking, since this is an important source of new clients. Internships can be helpful in getting your first job in this field. You will also likely need certifications and to pass exams which may include:
- Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam
- Series 6: Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Qualification Examination (IR)
- Series 7: General Securities Representative Qualification Examination (GS)
- Series 63: Uniform Securities State Law Examination
- Series 65: Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination
- Series 66: Uniform Combined State Law Examination
The national average salary for actuaries is $87,850 per year, which may be increased by commissions and fees; the average entry level salary is $34,000.
Financial managers work in nearly every type of company and are responsible for analyzing the company’s financial performance, producing financial reports and forecasting sales, profits and other metrics.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 15.5% job growth between 2019 and 2029 in this field, but there is a good amount of competition as well. The highest paying jobs in finance are in international finance and financial instruments and derivatives.
- Finance is heavily regulated, so finance managers must be detail oriented. They are responsible for presenting their findings to others in the company, so they also need to have good communication skills.
- Hiring managers generally look for candidates with degrees in finance, accounting or business administration.
- The average base salary for financial managers is $93,197 which is sometimes supplemented by bonuses, profit sharing and/or commission. Entry level salary is $59,000.
Management consultants help client companies improve their efficiency in a variety of areas including operations, accounting, finance and sales. They typically work for management consultant firms and operate in teams. When engaged with a client, they will learn all about the company’s business and processes, collecting and analyzing data.
- They need to be able to do data collection and statistical analysis and have a thorough understanding not only of finance but business in general. Communication and relationship building skills are highly important, as are high level critical thinking skills.
- Popular majors among management consultants include business, economics, statistics and computer science.
- The average salary is $149,000 per year plus performance bonus of around $37,000 with an average entry level salary of $82,000 plus bonuses of $20,000. There may also be signing bonuses and relocation assistance.