The 12 College Majors That Earn the Most -- and the Least
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The 12 College Majors That Earn the Most -- and the Least


Although the job market might be looking up for Millennial college grads, not all college degrees are created equal, especially when it comes to pay, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The report found that eight of the 10 highest-paying degrees are engineering majors, with chemical engineering at the top of the list. That degree boasts a median early career salary of $70,000. Midway through their careers, chemical engineers earn about $94,000. (According to the study, “early career” workers are between the ages of 22 and 27, and “mid-career” workers are between the ages of 35 and 45.)

Related: Here’s Why Millennials Are Finally Leaving Home

College graduates with degrees in family and consumer sciences earn the least, with a median early salary of $28,600 a year. Close behind are theology and religion majors, who can expect to earn a starting salary of about $28,600. 

"Majors with quantitative skills, STEM-type [science, technology, engineering, math] majors, tend to have better outcomes than those that are less analytical,” Richard Dietz, assistant vice president at the New York Fed, told CBS News. “Majors that provide occupation-specific training tend to do better than non-specific majors.”

Students with agriculture, construction and nursing degrees are the least likely of all graduates to be without a job after college. Their unemployment rates are 2 percent or under, less than half the national average of 5 percent.

Related: 11 Incredibly Strange College Majors

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the unemployment rates among graduates who majored in environmental studies, anthropology and geography are closer to 9 percent. 

Here are the 12 college majors that earn the most and the least for recent college graduates, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The 12 college majors that earn the most, on average:

1. Chemical Engineering - $70,000
2. Electrical engineering - $61,000
3. Industrial engineering - $60,000
4. Mechanical engineering - $60,000
5. Aerospace engineering - $60,000
6. Computer engineering - $60,000
7. General engineering - $55,000
8. Miscellaneous engineering - $52,000
9. Business analytics - $50,000
10. Civil engineering - $50,000
11. Construction services - $50,000
12. Physics - $50,000

The 12 college majors that earn the least, on average:

1. Family and consumer sciences - $28,400
2. Theology and religion - $28,600
3. Fine arts - $29,000
4. Social services - $30,00
5. Anthropology - $30,000
6. Early childhood education - $30,000
7. Environmental studies - $30,000
8. Psychology - $30,000
9. Social services - $30,000
10. Performing arts - $30,000
11. Earth sciences - $30,300
12. Mass media - $31,200