Pharmacy Ranks 2nd on Highest-Paying College Majors


Pharmacy majors receive the second-highest median earnings among bachelor's degree holders.

Pharmacy majors receive the second-highest median earnings among bachelor’s degree holders.

Researchers from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce examined the wages of college graduates in 15 major groups such as health, which included pharmacy. They also looked at 137 major subgroups, including pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and pharmaceutical administration majors.

Petroleum engineering was named the highest-earning major, with an average annual wage of $135,754. Pharmacy majors notched the next slot, at $113,000.

According to the “What’s It Worth?: The Economic Value of College Majors” report, the average annual wages for pharmacy majors are the highest among all health majors. In fact, the bottom 25% of

pharmacy majors still earned more money each year than most of the top earners in other health majors.

Although pharmacy majors may have higher wages, nursing was the most common major among the health group, comprising 3 of every 5 majors in this group.

Pharmacy landed in the middle of the 8 health majors in terms of popularity, with bachelor’s degrees in health and medical administration, nutrition sciences, communication disorders sciences and services, and health and medical preparatory programs following. Among all 137 subgroups of majors, pharmacy was the 57th most common.

Compared with nursing, nutrition science, and treatment therapy professions majors, pharmacy majors were more likely to pursue graduate degrees, the researchers also found. However, health and medical preparatory programs majors and communication disorders sciences majors were even more likely than pharmacy majors to pursue graduate degrees.

Of the major subgroups that lead to graduate degree attainment, pharmacy ranked 20th.

The researchers cited that 35% of jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree.

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