The More You Learn, the More You Earn

Main Content

The More You Learn, the More You Earn

More education leads to a bigger paycheck. What do you think your average salary will be when you achieve your educational goals?

$0

Professional degree

Annual salary: $90,740

Hourly rate: $43.63

Years of schooling: Varies by program; generally 2–8 years beyond a bachelor's degree

Possible careers:

  • Attorney
  • Chemical engineer
  • Dentist
  • Medical doctor
  • Orchestra conductor
  • Physical therapist
  • Veterinarian

Doctorate degree

Annual salary: $86,528

Hourly rate: $41.60

Years of schooling: Varies by program; generally 3–5 years beyond a master's degree or about 7 years beyond a bachelor's degree

Possible careers:

  • Anthropologist
  • Art historian
  • Biochemist
  • Clinical neuropsychologist
  • Licensed psychologist
  • Medical scientist
  • Researcher
  • University professor

Master's degree

Annual salary: $71,760

Hourly rate: $34.50

Years of schooling: Generally 2–3 years beyond a bachelor's degree

Possible careers:

  • Computer software engineer
  • Financial analyst
  • Geographer
  • Physician assistant
  • Psychologist
  • Research analyst
  • School counselor

Bachelor's degree

Annual salary: $60,112

Hourly rate: $28.90

Years of schooling: Generally 4 years beyond a high school diploma

Possible careers:

  • Computer systems analyst
  • Detective
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Parole officer
  • Public policy advocate
  • Registered nurse
  • Sales manager

Associate's degree

Annual salary: $42,588

Hourly rate: $20.48

Years of schooling: Generally 2–3 years beyond a high school diploma

Possible careers:

  • Court reporter
  • Dental hygienist
  • Electrician
  • Funeral director
  • Police officer
  • Radiation therapist
  • Science technician

Some college, no degree

Annual salary: $39,312

Hourly rate: $18.90

Years of schooling: Any schooling beyond a high school diploma

Possible careers:

  • Chef
  • Food service manager
  • Locksmith
  • Real estate broker
  • Sales representative
  • Teacher's aide
  • Transportation manager

High school diploma

Annual salary: $35,984

Hourly rate: $17.30

Years of schooling: Generally 4 years

Possible careers:

  • Cook
  • Cosmetologist*
  • Entrepreneur
  • Fitness trainer*
  • Home care aide
  • Medical secretary
  • Nursing aide*
  • Retail salesperson
  • Truck driver*
  • Writer/novelist

*May require additional certification

Less than high school diploma

Annual salary: $26,208

Hourly rate: $12.60

Years of schooling: Less than 4 years

Possible careers:

  • Cashier
  • Child care worker
  • Construction worker
  • Fast food worker
  • Lawn service provider
  • General laborer
  • Singer
  • Waiter/waitress
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.
Last Modified Date: April 20, 2017.

Not Impressed? Think About This…

Dropping out of high school is NOT an option.

Want to Know More?