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  • 3m.
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    Is College Still Worth The Cost?

    It depends on what you study and the career you pursue, but college grads generally make about $1 million more than high school grads over the course of their lives.
    Updated: January 31, 2013

    Is College Still Worth It

    IS A COLLEGE DEGREE STILL WORTH IT?

    Over the course of their lives, people who graduate from college supposedly earn about $1 million more than those who don't. But how do those numbers add up?

    AVERAGE SALARY BY EDUCATION LEVEL

    That million-dollar figure comes from pay increases over time. For instance, the average college grad makes $4,500/year more than the average high school grad when they're both 22. But when they're both 32? That number increases more than five times to a difference of $25,500/year

    Age
    High School Grad
    College Grad
    22
    $19,700
    $24,200
    27
    $27,300
    $43,600
    32
    $31,200
    $56,700

    PICK YOUR PAYCHECK

    Still, those salary differences don't apply to every profession. For instance, high school graduates without a college degree can land certain jobs that actually pay more than what some college grads make before they turn 30.

    High School Grads

    HIGHEST PAYING JOBS

    Age 30 or under

    Average SalaryNumber Employed
    Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers$46,00010,000
    First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers$37,00034,000
    Miscellaneous Extraction Workers, Including Roof Bolters and Helpers$37,00014,000
    Firefighters$37,00011,000
    Industrial and Refractory Machinery Mechanics$35,00015,000
    Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics$34,00017,000
    Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists$32,00024,000

    Construction Equipment Operators

    Expect Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators

    $32,00028,000
    First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers$32,00028,000
    Pipeplayers, Plumbers, and Pipefitters, and Steamfitters$31,00048,000
    Police Officers$31,00024,000
    Electricians$31,00060,000
    Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers$31,00027,000
    Fire-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers$31,00034,000
    Bailiffs, Correctional Offers, and Jailers$30,00033,000

    College Grads

    LOWEST PAYING JOBS

    Age 30 or Under

    Average SalaryNumber Employed
    Childcare Workers$15,00031,000
    Teacher Assistants$20,00026,000
    Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides$26,00021,000
    Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers$27,00045,000
    Counselors$28,00052,000
    Health Practitioner Support Technologists and Technicians$29,00028,000
    Clergy$30,00016,000
    Social Workers$31,00084,000
    Paralegals and Legal Assistants$32,00041,000
    Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians$32,00040,000
    Elementary and Middle School Teachers$34,000361,000
    Special Education Teachers$34,00024,000
    Editors$35,00020,000
    Legal Support Workers$36,00022,000
    Social and Community Service Managers$37,00019,000
    Education Administrators$38,00026,000

    WHERE THE JOBS ARE

    However, the most widely available jobs don't pay as well for high school grads without college degrees. College grads are also much more likely to find higher paying gigs before than turn 30-which is a good thing, since may of them have student loans to repay.

    High School Grads

    POPULAR CAREERS

    Age 30 or Under

    Average SalaryNumber Employed
    Construction, Including Cleaning During and Imm. After$26,000645,000
    Restaurants and Other Food Services$18,000497,000
    Grocery Stores$21,000144,000
    Department and Discount Stores$20,000132,000
    Hospitals$23,000110,000
    Automotive Repair and Maintenance$25,00094,000
    Landscaping Services$17,000102,000
    Nursing Care Facilities$18,00091,000
    Other Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries$18,00091,000
    Justice, Public Order, and Safety Activities$32,00077,000
    Automobile Dealers$26,00077,000
    Truck Transportation$28,00074,000
    Banking and Related Activities$25,00070,000
    Child Day Care Services$14,00069,000
    U.S. Army$24,00075,000
    Traveler Accommodation$19,00073,000
    Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment$23,00054,000
    U.S. Marines$22,00063,000
    Elementary and Secondary Schools$20,00062,000

    College Grads

    POPULAR CAREERS

    Age 30 or Under

    Average SalaryNumber Employed
    Elementary and Secondary Schools$29,000769,000
    Colleges and Universities, Including Junior Colleges$17,000492,000
    Hospitals$28,000411,000
    Restaurants and Other Food Services$17,000396,000
    Banking and Related Activities$38,000206,000
    Computer Systems Design and Related Services$48,000197,000
    Insurance Carriers and Related Activities$41,000201,000
    Construction, Including Cleaning During and Imm. After$36,000184,000
    Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services$44,000146,000
    Securities, Commodities, Funds, Trusts, and Other Financial Investments$62,000147,000
    Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services$43,000142,000
    Other Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries$19,000132,000
    Justice, Public Order, and Safety Activities$42,000128,000
    Individual and Family Services$25,000118,000
    Real Estate$35,000117,000
    Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services$43,000110,000
    Legal Services$27,000107,000
    Child Day Care Services$15,000101,000
    Department and Discount Stores$22,000110,000

    In the end, knowing your career plans can help you determine whether college is worth it for you. Before you pass on a degree, be sure the job you want will be attainable without one. Source: Joe Search Intelligence Master Data Set: jobsearchintelligence.com

    It depends on what you study and the career you pursue, but college grads generally make about $1 million more than high school grads over the course of their lives.
    Actualizado: 31 enero 2013
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