Payscale has released new data on the highest paying majors.

Perri Ormont Blumberg
August 30, 2017

What do the University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, and University of Tulsa all have in common? They all have renowned petroleum engineering programs. Like many other excellent petroleum engineering or “PETE” programs, they all also happen to be in some incredible Southern towns.

Well, they now have one more thing in common: Students who take on PETE as their college major can expect the highest paychecks right out of college. Based on new data from PayScale, the world’s largest database of individual salary profiles, PETE majors can expect a starting salary of $94,600. By mid-career, that gets bumped up to an impressive $175,00.

The formal study of petroleum engineering combines math, physics, geology, chemistry and more to look at how to extract oil and gas from the earth. With many job opportunities in the profession along the Gulf Coast, it’s no surprise that states on and near the Gulf— Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and Florida—have excellent college programs in the field.

Rounding out the top five highest paying bachelor degrees by salary potential are actuarial mathematics, actuarial science, nuclear engineering, and chemical engineering. So even if students aren’t putting that hard hat on for PETE, they’ll certainly be putting their math and science cap on.

For the full list of PayScale’s 2017-2018 college report, click here.