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30 worst paying college majors: 2014

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There’s been a debate raging about whether college is worth the cost. The New York Times weighed in with a story recently saying it was a good deal if a college degree was earned.

Still, not all degrees are the same when it comes to earning power at a job. Recently, our sister site ThinkAdvisor looked at the 30 Best Paying College Majors: 2014. Engineering fields took many of the top spots in the survey of 129 majors.

Now we turn our attention to which pay the worst. Of course, salary isn’t the only consideration when choosing a career, but it can’t be denied that the more one earns the faster those student loans can be paid off. Still, the careers on our list might lead to personal fulfillment that can’t be measured in monetary terms.

(Related: 15 Cheapest Colleges With Best Job Value)

The rankings below are based on data collected by from 1,000 universities and include graduates with bachelor’s degrees only. The universities surveyed include 88% of U.S. schools with an enrollment of more than 5,0000. We sorted them by starting salary down to the lowest and included information and ranking for mid-career pay.

Take a look at the 30 Worst Paying College Majors: 2014.


30. Liberal Arts

Starting Salary: $36,900

Mid-Career Salary: $60,500 (86th, tie)

29. Psychology

Starting Salary: $36,300

Mid-Career Salary: $60,700 (85th)


28 (tie). Photography

Starting Salary: $36,200

Mid-Career Salary: $55,500 (110th)

28 (tie). Theater

Starting Salary: $36,200

Mid-Career Salary: $58,600 (96th, tie)


28 (tie). Anthropology

Starting Salary: $36,200

Mid-Career Salary: $61,400 (83rd)

25. Art

Salary: $36,100

Mid-Career Salary: $57,100 (103rd)


24. Interior Design

Starting Salary: $36,000

Mid-Career Salary: $59,300 (91st)

23 (tie). Human Development

Starting Salary: $35,900

Mid-Career Salary: $48,000 (125th)


23 (tie). Public Health

Starting Salary: $35,900

Mid-Career Salary: $56,500 (106th)

21 (tie). Music

Starting Salary: $35,700

Mid-Career Salary: $51,400 (119th)


21 (tie). Hospitality & Tourism

Starting Salary: $35,700

Mid-Career Salary: $62,600 (81st)

19 (tie). Drama

Starting Salary: $35,600

Mid-Career Salary: $56,300 (107th, tie)


19 (tie). Kinesiology

Starting Salary: $35,600

Mid-Career Salary: $60,400 (88th, tie)

17. Biblical Studies

Starting Salary: $35,400

Mid-Career Salary: $50,800 (123rd)


16. Criminal Justice

Starting Salary: $35,300

Mid-Career Salary: $58,400 (98th)

15. Horticulture

Starting Salary: $35,200

Mid-Career Salary: $50,900 (122nd)


14 (tie). Recreation & Leisure Studies

Starting Salary: $35,000

Mid-Career Salary: $51,900 (118th)

14 (tie). Paralegal Studies

Starting Salary: $35,000

Mid-Career Salary: $53,000 (116th)


12 (tie). Physical Education Training

Starting Salary: $34,900

Mid-Career Salary: $56,300 (107th, tie)

12 (tie). Religious Studies

Starting Salary: $34,900

Mid-Career Salary: $57,900 (101st)


10 (tie). Athletic Training

Starting Salary: $34,800

Mid-Career Salary: $46,900 (126th)

10 (tie). Culinary Arts

Starting Salary: $34,800

Mid-Career Salary: $51,100 (120th)


8. Theology

Starting Salary: $34,000

Mid-Career Salary: $52,200 (117th)

7. Special Education

Starting Salary: $33,800

Mid-Career Salary: $49,600 (124th)


6. Animal Science

Starting Salary: $33,600

Mid-Career Salary: $55,200 (112th, tie)

5. Social Work

Starting Salary: $33,000

Mid-Career Salary: $46,600 (127th)



4. Broadcast Journalism

Starting Salary: $32,700

Mid-Career Salary: $68,800 (69th)

3. Exercise Science

Starting Salary: $32,600

Mid-Career Salary: $51,000 (121st)


2. Elementary Education

Starting Salary: $32,200

Mid-Career Salary: $45,300 (128th)

1. Child & Family Studies

Starting Salary: $30,300

Mid-Career Salary: $37,200 (129th)



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