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How Much is a College Degree Worth?

Average Salaries Listed by Degree


Group of graduates with diplomas on university campus (differential focus)
Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Current Population Survey reports on education level and salary for workers age 25 and over. The median annual salary based on education is as follows:

Individuals who did not complete high school: $24,492

High School Diploma: $33,904

Some college: $37,804

Associates Degree: $40,820

Four Year Degree: $55,420

Masters Degree: $67,600

Doctoral Degree: $84,448

Professional Degree: $90,220

Required Degrees and Salaries

Job search engine Indeed.com took a look at job postings to determine how many organizations that are hiring require an advanced degree, and what the salary differential is for various levels of education.

Here's what the results show:

  • 68% require a Bachelor's degree; average salary is $73,000
  • 25% require a Master's degree; average salary is $83,000
  • 7% of job postings cite a PhD; average salary is $93,000

To recap, each degree beyond a Bachelor's is worth at least $10,000, however there is much less demand for applicants with advanced degrees.

Related Articles: Education Level and Employment | Degree Inflation

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