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Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs for People With a Ph.D. Degree

Ph.D. salary, degree in information assurance, Ph.D. graduates earn the most money, How much money does a Ph.D Earn, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? For some, that’s exactly how getting a Ph.D. degree looks. And those people couldn’t be more wrong! Studying in college is not for the faint of heart, and it requires lots of patience and hard work. However, it also pays off!

If you’ve been wondering whether a Ph.D. salary differs from others, now you have the chance to find the answer to your question. We prepared a list of 10 fields where Ph.D. graduates earn the most money. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Information Assurance

The highest paying position in this ranking goes to people with a Ph.D. degree in information assurance. You may be understandably surprised because this discipline has gained popularity recently. Massive amounts of data kept in electronic databases and devices contribute to a huge demand for cybersecurity experts.

Salaries for average early and mid-career are very solid, at around $104,000 and $111,000, respectively. However, if you manage to get into the top 10% of jobs in information assurance, you can earn around $259,000 a year – sometimes even more.


The second place on our list is probably more predictable. Economic analysis can be divided into categories like micro and macroeconomics, normative and positive economics, theoretical and applied analysis, and rational and behavioral economics. All of these are in high demand in the job market.

You can expect a 6-figure salary even in early career ($101,000), and up to $250,000 if you’re working in finance or consulting roles.

Computer Science

Computer science easily makes the cut to the top 3. A Ph. D. degree allows graduates to move on to more challenging career paths, such as system architecture, machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, or information assurance.

The maximum salary is around $220,000 a year. Early and mid-career earnings are gratifying, too ($118,000 and $145,000, respectively).

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Both of these fields study living organisms and focus on the molecular level. Getting a Ph.D. requires profound specialization, but you’ll be able to find a job in various settings, from crime labs to big pharma and academic research.

While early-career salary is “only” around $80,000, the best 10% can earn as much as $205,000 each year.

Organic Chemistry

A Ph.D. in organic chemistry offers almost endless opportunities for analysis because this field studies all living matter – you just have to make an interesting specialization choice. Ultimately, you can work in geology, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, natural resources, and more.

The studies are, by no means, easy, but excellent compensation follows. Average early earnings are close to $84,000 a year, and the most skilled 10% can earn up to $202.000.


Physics deals not only with matters related to the cosmos and the universe but also with engineering problems and interesting research questions. Private industries and universities often hire physicists for research purposes and product development. Other career opportunities include, but are not limited to, optics, nuclear physics, gravitational physics, or aerospace engineering.

While the maximum earnings are below $200k (almost $191,000), the yearly salary is close to $100k (at around $94,000).

Chemical Engineering

This multidisciplinary field encompasses math, economics, engineering, chemistry, and physics and focuses on problems related to handling chemicals. Chemical engineers are involved in the development and production processes of every large-scale consumer product.

The salary is very satisfactory: from $96,000 in the early career stages to $190,000 in the best workers’ case with a variety of degree and program options from MSE programs online and in-person to doctorate Ph.D. programs also offered online or in person. Check this link for more information.


This field offers mostly research-based or industry work and requires gaining domain-specific knowledge. However, the salary of the top 10% earners doubles, compared to the early earnings ($186,000 to $93,000). Climbing the career ladder in engineering can be very exciting for sure!

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering requires specialized knowledge and can be applied to both aerospace technology and theoretical problems such as failure analysis. It’s a lucrative career path, with job opportunities at NASA, military services, airlines, vehicle manufacture, and more.

Early salary is close to $95,000, and the top 10% earners can accumulate a little over $162,000 a year.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology closes our ranking. It offers career opportunities in various settings, such as research, management, education, hospital, businesses, or treatment centers. Getting a Ph.D. degree requires specializing in one field, which is why the salary ranges from $70,000 to $155,000. However, so many different clinical psychology areas mean that you have great freedom with the choice of your specialization. Many people find it extremely valuable!

Final Thoughts

Getting a Ph.D. degree in any of these fields means that you’re likely to have a high-paid job. Keep in mind that even if you choose another discipline, you can still make good money. What’s more, a degree alone won’t get you anywhere; you must also have the skills and be determined to succeed. Good luck!

Author: Julia Łysakowska

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