Who Are The Highest-Paid College Graduates? | Top Careers And Schools

College is an important part of many people’s lives. It is an experience unlike any other. You stand to get invaluable experiences; you stand to gain important, lifelong connections that might help you in the long run.

However, there are many careers that don’t pay well enough to make a degree worth it. Here is a guide to help by showing you the high-paying careers and the colleges with the highest-paid graduates.

How Much do University Graduates Earn?

Graduates often enter the workforce with decent pay, but not always in accordance with their expectations.

According to the survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, among the graduates with the highest salaries, over 38% are expected to earn less than $60,000.

Alternatively, those expecting to make less than $40,000 often find themselves with higher salaries as demand appears to be higher.

What is the Average Starting Salary for a University Graduate?

The general average starting salary for college graduates is about $50000, according to the recent National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) salary survey.

Those who majored in computer science, engineering, mathematics, health sciences, and business were the highest earners, with salaries ranging from $52,000 to $71,000.

Read this: 10 Highest Paid Entry-level Jobs in 2023

Which Careers give the Best Salaries?

Careers in healthcare have topped the list of degrees that pay the best salaries after graduation.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. This is a result of the constant and unending need for health care.

These are the top 10 careers and their pay-

#1. Anaesthesiologists

This is one of the top careers for highest paid college graduates.

These are physicians who administer anesthetics and analgesics for pain management prior to, during, or after surgery. They top the list of highest earning professions.

Furthermore, their work schedule is long and unpredictable because they need to be there for both scheduled surgeries and emergency procedures.

Anaesthesiologists get paid at least $261,730.

#2. Surgeons

Surgeons are one of the highest paid careers for college graduates. They work long hours, depending on their specialty.

In addition to performing operations, they help manage the patient’s care before and after the surgery.

Even when they are not scheduled for work, a surgeon helps manage the patient’s concerns over the phone.

Yearly, they earn at least $252,040.

#3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons treat a wide range of diseases, injuries, and defects that happen in and around the mouth and jaw.

They to manage problems like wisdom teeth, misaligned jaws, tumors, and cysts of the jaw and mouth. They may also perform dental implant surgery.

In addition, they are one of the highest-paid careers for college graduates.

Their salary is at least $237,570 yearly.

#4. Obstetricians- Gynaecologists

Obstetricians are doctors who specialize in vaginal, ovarian, uterine, and cervical reproductive health and childbirth.

They are good at communicating information to patients that improve their health and that of their babies. Also, they are one of the top careers for highest paid college graduates.

They earn at least $233,610 yearly.

#5. Orthodontists

Orthodontists specialize in corrective measures for the teeth. They are often referred to as dentists. These doctors frequently take X-rays, apply braces, create mouth guards, and perform other procedures as needed.

Also, they work with patients directly and push strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.

Their salary is at least $230,830 yearly.

#6. Prosthodontists

Prosthodontists are one of the highest-paid college graduates careers.

They fix damaged teeth or missing teeth with artificial devices such as dental implants, dentures, bridges, crowns, and veneers.

To thrive in this specialty, you must have a strong inclination towards science and be able to diagnose complex dental problems, and possess the mechanical acumen to properly address ailments.

Salary: $200,840

#7. Psychiatrists

You can find Psychiatrists in any number of work environments: private practice, hospitals, community agencies, schools, rehabilitation programs, and even prisons.

While most of them help in treating mental health issues, it has various wide branches.

Some specialize in psychoanalysis, where the psychiatrist helps the patient remember and examine past events and emotions to better understand their current feelings.

Salary: $220,430.

Also, read this: 13 Quick & Easy Online Jobs for College Students in 2023

#8. Family Medicine Physicians

Family medicine physicians are also called primary care physicians. They help to diagnose, treat and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.

Some family physicians work with adults or children. They treat patients of all ages. They generally manage a wider range of medical conditions.

Salary: At least $213,270

#9. Physicians(other)

Physicians are one of the top highest paid college graduates’ careers

This specification includes careers like allergists, cardiologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, and ophthalmologists.

It also covers pathologists, who study body tissue for possible abnormalities, and radiologists, who analyze medical images and administer radiation treatment to cancer patients.

They are paid at least $206,500

#10. Internal Medicine Physicians

These are often known as primary care doctors or hospitalists who specialize in the care of adult patients.

They see a lot of patients a day and treat a lot of ailments ranging from asthma and diabetes to high cholesterol and hypertension.

Internal Medicine Physicians are paid up to $201,440 yearly.

Which Colleges Have the Highest Paid Graduates?

Objective research has shown there are a lot of colleges that have the highest paid graduates. These are the best 10-

#1. Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College offers nine engineering, science, and mathematics-based majors. They are unique because they are a liberal arts college. About 85% of graduates from Harvey Mudd get employed between 6-8 weeks of graduation.

Early career: $91,400

Mid-career: $162,500

#2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT has played a key role in the development of modern technology and science, ranking it among the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. About 91% of graduates from MIT get employed within 6-7 weeks of graduation.

Early career: $88,300

Mid-career: $158,100

#3. U.S Naval Academy

U.S. Naval Academy is the second oldest of the five U.S. Service Academies and educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

About 92% of graduates from the U.S. Naval Academy get employed between 2-4 weeks after graduation.

Early Career: $79,600

Mid-Career: $152,600

#4. Princeton University

Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges before the American Revolution. It ‘s one of the highest paid college graduates schools.

It offers professional degrees through the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The university also manages the Department of Energy Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Princeton has the largest endowment per student in the United States.

About 87% of graduates from Princeton University get employed between 5-10 weeks of graduation.

Early Career: $77,300

Mid-Career: $150,500

#5. California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology is known for its strength in science and engineering and is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

There are 76 Nobel Laureates who have been affiliated with the Institute, including 40 alumni and faculty members.

In addition, 4 field medallists and 6 Turing Award Winners have been affiliated too. About 78% of graduates from the California Institute of Technology get employed between 8 weeks and 2 months of graduation.

Early Career: $87,600

Mid-Career: $150,300

#6. Harvard University

Harvard University is an Ivy League research university in Cambridge. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.

It has the world’s largest academic library system. About 88% of Harvard University graduates get employed between 10-2 months of graduation.

Also, it’s one of the schools that has the highest paid college graduates.

Early Career: $76,400

Mid-Career: $147,700

You can check this: 10 Highest Paid Lawyers in the World| Top Law Careers in 2022

#7. Stanford University

Stanford University is ranked among the best universities in the world by academic publications.

It is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than one billion dollars a year.

Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship. About 80% of graduates from Stanford university get employed between 8-10 weeks of graduation.

Early Career: $81,800

Mid-Career: $146,300

#8. U.S Military Academy

It is the oldest of the five American service academies and educates cadets for commissioning into the US Army.

Most graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. Foreign cadets are commissioned into the armies of their home countries.

Since 1959, cadets have also been eligible for an interservice commission in one of the other armed services provided that they meet that service’s eligibility standards.

Early Career: $81,100

Mid-Career: $146,300

#9. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara is one of the oldest operating institutions of higher learning in California and has remained in its original location since its establishment.

The university is classified as a doctoral/professional university by the Carnegie classification.

About 70% of graduates from Santa Clara University get employed between 1-3 months of graduation. Also, it’s one of the schools that has the highest-paid college graduates.

Early Career: $71,100

Mid-Career: $146,300

#10. Babson College

Babson College has its special focus on entrepreneurship education. It has about 306 full-time academic staff and 3,113 students. It is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States.

About 65% of graduates from Babson College get employed between 1-3 months of graduation.

Early Career: $73,000

Mid-Career: $146,200


When it comes to high-paying jobs, it is hard to beat a career in health care. If the medical field isn’t for you, then careers such as engineering and management can also lead to lucrative jobs.



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