Best college majors for scientific jobs

Find out what you should be majoring in before pursuing a scientific career.


It takes a lot of time, money and energy to earn a scientific degree, even at the undergraduate level. When it’s over, after you’ve tossed your cap and picked up your degree, you want to make sure that all of your hard work will pay off – in the form of a well-paying job.

However, not all college majors in science will lead to careers in science. That’s because changing trends in consumer behavior, an evolving job market and growing competition from fellow graduates is changing the balance of supply and demand in certain scientific fields.

Whether you are currently pursuing a degree or thinking about heading back to school, you should pursue a college major that will get you ahead in your job search. To help you, we’ve put together a list of the best college majors for scientific jobs ranked by median earnings. This list is based on research conducted by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

College Major Median Earnings (With Bachelor’s Degree)
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration $105,000
Oceanography $70,000
Physics $70,000
Physical Science $69,000
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology $67,000
Food Science $65,000
Geology and Earth Science $62,000
Microbiology $60,000
Chemistry $58,000
General Science $55,000
Biochemical Sciences $53,000
Nuclear, Industrial Radiology and Biological Technologies $52,000
Environmental Science $51,000
Plant Science and Agronomy $50,000
Biology $50,000
Zoology $50,000
Nutrition Sciences $46,000
Molecular Biology $45,000
Physiology $45,000
Animal Sciences $44,000
Ecology $44,000
Botany $42,000

Internships and training

Along with a bachelor’s degree in an in-demand profession like pharmacy, oceanography and physics, pursuing internship opportunities may help set you apart

For instance, The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a widely recognized internship program called the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) which encourages undergraduate students to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM skills).

Additionally, schools, hospitals, laboratories, clinics, government entities, and public or private companies often offer internship and training programs in a multitude of science-related markets. What better way to get ahead and gain hands-on experience?

To put your degree to work, or to explore different careers in science, browse our science job titles today.