Written By - Bob Litt

Edited By Gabriel D.

Review & Contribution By Erik L. Cato

No single motivation drives people to continue their education past the undergraduate level. Some people look to graduate-level study to better themselves professionally; some enroll to gain the academic credentials necessary to switch professions or industries; and for others, especially working professionals, the financial benefits of earning a masters degree outweigh any other considerations. This could mean a promotion in their current field or switching to a more lucrative one. Graduates of master’s and doctoral programs can expect to earn up to 28% more than those with only a bachelor’s degree[1]. The median weekly wage for full-time workers aged 25 and over whose highest level of education was a master’s degree was $1,497, compared with $1,248 for those whose highest level was a bachelor’s degree—a $12,948-a-year wage premium[2]. But it would be good to see the paying potential for masters’ degrees. This article discusses the highest paying master’s degrees and the full details of those degrees and schools that offer the highest paying master’s degrees.

Highest Paying Masters

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Highest Paying Master’s Degrees – Subject Wise

1. Master of Science in Computer Engineering

  • Most Annual Popular Job Role: Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Computer and information systems managers, also known as information technology (IT) managers, plan, coordinate, and direct an organization’s computer-related activities. They assist in determining an organization’s information technology goals and are in charge of implementing computer systems and networks to achieve those goals.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $164,070
  • Job Growth: 15% (much faster than average)

2. MBA in Marketing

  • Most Popular Job Role: Marketing Manager
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Marketing managers devise programs to generate interest in products or services, such as contests, coupons, or giveaways. They conduct market research studies and analyze their findings to better understand customer and market opportunities for businesses, as well as develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to target customers.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $138,730
  • Job Growth: 6% (faster than average)

3. MBA in Human Resources Management

MBA in HR online
  • Most Popular Job Role: Human Resources Manager
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Human resource managers plan, coordinate, and direct an organization’s administrative functions. They manage the interviewing, recruiting, and hiring of new employees, consult with top executives on strategic planning, and act as a liaison between management and employees.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $130,000
  • Job Growth: 5% (faster than average)

4. Master of Arts in Political Science

  • Most Popular Job Role: Political Scientist
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They conduct political research and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and other related issues. They also usually research national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.
  • Average AnnualMedian Salary: $128,020
  • Job Growth: 7% (faster than average)

5. Master of Arts in Public Relations

  • Most Popular Job Role: Public Relations Manager
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will enhance the public image of their employer or client. They review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve their organization’s or client’s image.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $125,620
  • Job Growth: 6% (faster than average)

6. Master of Science in Nursing

  • Most Popular Job Role: Nurse Practitioner
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Nurse practitioners, also called advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and deliver primary and specialty healthcare. They collect and record medical histories and symptoms from patients, provide medications and treatments to them, and counsel and educate patients and their families on how to stay healthy or manage their illnesses or injuries. 
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $125,900
  • Job Growth: 38% (much faster than average)

7. Master of Science in Finance

  • Most Popular Job Role: Financial Manager
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Financial managers are in charge of an organization’s financial health. They develop financial reports, oversee investment activities, and plan for the organization’s long-term financial objectives. To maximize profits and identify expansion opportunities, they also analyze market trends.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $139,790
  • Job Growth: 16% (much faster than average)

8. Masters in Healthcare Administration

  • Most Popular Job Role: Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may oversee an entire facility, a clinical area or department, or a group of physicians’ medical practices.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $104,830
  • Job Growth: 28% (much faster than average)

9. Master of Science in Statistics

  • Most Popular Job Role: Statistician
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Statisticians create mathematical or statistical models used to analyze data. They use statistical software to interpret data and communicate analyses to technical and non-technical audiences. They also analyze data and produce visualizations to help with business decision-making.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $99,960
  • Job Growth: 31% (much faster than average)

10. Master of Science in Economics

  • Most Popular Job Role: Economist
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Economists study how resources, goods, and services are distributed by data collection and analysis, trend research, and evaluation of economic issues. They research economic problems, analyze and predict market trends, and make recommendations for fixing economic issues.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $113,940
  • Job Growth: 6% (as fast as average)

11. Master of Science in Physics

  • Most Popular Job Role: Physicist
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Physicists examine how matter and energy interact. They plan and conduct scientific investigations and tests to verify hypotheses and learn about the characteristics of matter and energy. Theoretical physicists may investigate the universe’s origin or the nature of time.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $139,220
  • Job Growth: 5% (faster than average)

12. Master of Science in Psychology

  • Most Popular Job Role: Psychologist
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and their environments. They use their findings to help improve processes and behaviors.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $85,330
  • Job Growth: 2% (as fast as average)

13. Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering

  • Most Popular Job Role: Petroleum Engineer
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Petroleum engineers create and develop processes for removing oil and gas from deposits beneath the surface of the Earth. They develop new techniques for recovering oil and gas from aging wells and ensure that oilfield machinery is installed, used, and maintained correctly.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $131,800
  • Job Growth: 2% (as fast as average)

14. Master of Science in Applied Mathematics

  • Most Popular Job Role: Mathematician
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Mathematicians focus on numerical analysis, scientific computing, and mathematical biology. They research and apply complex math concepts to business, economics, engineering, computing, or other industries.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $99,960
  • Job Growth: 30% (much faster than average)

15. Master of Legal Studies

Master in Legal Studies
  • Most Popular Job Role: Lawyer
  • Responsibilities of This Job Role: Lawyers and attorneys advise and represent people, businesses, and governmental organizations on legal matters and disputes. They argue on behalf of their clients, present written and oral arguments, and interpret laws, decisions, and regulations for individuals and corporations.
  • Average Annual Median Salary: $135,740
  • Job Growth: 8% (faster than average)

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Universities That Offer the Highest Paying Master’s Degrees – Schools Details

Although many universities offer master’s degrees in high-potential disciplines, not all lead to high-paying careers; only some degrees at specific schools are promising. Likewise, it is also not necessary for any high-paying master’s degree to yield a fat paycheck. One must ensure that one is educated at an institution that is accredited, reputed, and recognized by the industry as providing quality education. To draw up a list of some of the top schools that offer the highest-paying master’s degrees, OMC teams factored in affordability vs. return on investment, accreditation, quality and experience of the faculty, institutional reputation, program structure and delivery, career support services, and more. Based on these and other critical components, here is a list of some of the best schools for a high-paying master’s degrees:

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The Georgia Institute of Technology is a top 10 public research university with nearly 40,000 students who study in person at the main campus in Atlanta. Tech’s engineering and computing Colleges are the largest and among the highest-ranked in the nation. The Institute also offers outstanding programs in business, design, liberal arts, and sciences.

With more than $1 billion annually in research awards across all six Colleges and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Georgia Tech is among the nation’s most research-intensive universities. It is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation.

The program for the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) prepares students for more highly productive careers in the industry. Students may apply to the program if they possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science from an accredited institution. According to their prior academic record, all applicants are evaluated, scores on the Graduate Record Examination, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are selected for fall semester admission only. The application deadline is February 1.

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

FAQs about the Highest Paying Master’s Degrees

What are the highest-paying master’s degrees?

Some of the highest-paying master’s degrees are those connected to healthcare, medicine, engineering, computer science, law, and business. However, it is worth noting that other disciplines also provide employment opportunities that command high salaries, such as Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals, Natural Sciences Managers, and Industrial Production Managers.

Which schools offer the highest-paying master’s degrees?

A variety of universities offer high-paying master’s degree programs. However, one should remember that the institution’s reputation, accreditation status, location, and program structure must be considered before choosing a specific master’s degree at a chosen university.

Will I earn a high salary if I get a high-paying master’s degree?

No. There is no guarantee that you will earn a very high salary after graduation. Most statistical figures are average estimates and calculated at the height of the career. One’s skills, work experience, exposure, certifications, the company, and other industry-specific factors will determine pay.

How much does a master’s increase your Salary?

The median weekly wage for full-time workers aged over 25 with a master’s degree was $1,497, compared to $1,248 for those with a bachelor’s degree, representing a $12,948 annual wage premium[2].

Does it help to get to higher-paying careers by having two master’s degrees?

Yes. Two graduate degrees will make you more well-rounded, help you hone high-level skills, and possibly qualify you for more jobs. But, two master’s degree does not necessarily guarantee a high-paying career.

Are general master’s degrees worth it instead of high-paying master’s degrees?

 A master’s degree is a financial investment that will eventually pay you back and help you increase your earning potential. Whether a master’s degree is high-paying or not depends on several factors; one can do a “general” master’s degree and be paid as much as a high-paying master’s degree.

Do students enrolled in high-paying master’s programs get paid to attend school?

Colleges may pay graduate students who work at the school via a stipend or a salary. Stipends are usually part of an assistantship or fellowship from the school.

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