How Much Money Can I Earn with a Bachelor’s Degree?

By Jennifer Jacobsen

It is well known that those with a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) or a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) earn higher incomes than those with less education. Among those with bachelor’s degrees, salaries also vary based upon gender, race and field of study.

What You Can Earn

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, those age 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $1,101 per week, equal to $57,252 per year. This is significantly higher than earnings for those with only a high school diploma, who received $668 per week, or $34,736 per year.

Earnings by Race and Gender

In 2014, the BLS indicated that women age 25 and older with bachelor’s degrees earned $965 per week, or the equivalent of $50,180 per year. Men with the same level of education earned $1,249 per week, equal to $64,948 per year. African Americans with bachelor’s degrees brought home an average of $895 per week, or $46,540 per year.  Hispanic and Latino individuals earned $937 per week with bachelor’s degrees, the same as $48,724 per year. Earnings were highest for Whites and Asians, who earned $1,132 and $1,149 per week, respectively. This is equal to $58,864 and $59,748 per year.

Different Pay for Different Degrees

The National Center for Education Statistics has reported salary data for students four years following the completion of a bachelor’s degree. As of 2012, those with degrees in computer and information sciences earned an average of $72,600 per year, whereas those with degrees in engineering and engineering technology earned $73,700 yearly, on average. Business graduates earned an average of $55,500 per year. Annual salaries were lower for social science graduates and education graduates, who earned an average of $46,700 and $40,500, respectively.

Despite variations in pay for different degrees, it is clear that those with a bachelor’s degree earn more money than those with less education. Choose a bachelor’s degree that interests you, and enjoy significantly higher earnings throughout the course of your life.

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