The Five Worst-Paying Majors

Photo (cc) by woodleywonderworks

We recently wrote about a Census analysis of college majors and lifetime earnings. Payscale has now taken a look at the five majors that pay the least…

The jobs that help people and make the world a better place don’t always seem to come with the heftiest paychecks. Not to pick on athletes, but it would take 35 elementary school teachers one year to earn the salary of a Dallas Cowboy football player*. And even if you aren’t gifted with a tight end, there are still high paychecks to be made. A petroleum engineering major can look forward to mid-career earnings of $163,000, typically. So why do people choose majors that pay so little?

In our 2012-2013 College Salary Report, PayScale examined 130 of the most common majors, according to job meaning and salary potential. We’ll start by looking at the five majors that pay the least:


There’s obviously a lot more to the report, which you can check out in the link above. But as for these majors, people pick them because they’re rewarding.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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