Salary potential isn’t necessarily the most important consideration to make when deciding on a college major


The 21 lowest-paying college majors

Rachel Gillett Nov. 3, 2016, 3:35 PM

Social Worker
Not every major is guaranteed to pay you back.

Salary potential isn’t necessarily the most important consideration to make when deciding on a college major — but it’s certainly important to think about when you’re pondering your future, especially considering the rising cost of a college education.

To find the majors that are least likely to pay you back (at least in a financial sense), we looked at this year’s College Salary Report from PayScale,which was compiled using data from more than a million college grads who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey.

Here are the 21 college majors that see the lowest salaries for workers with at least 10 years of experience, as well as common jobs associated with each major.

21. Athletic training

21. Athletic training

Common jobs: Athletic trainer, assistant athletic trainer, physical therapist assistant

Starting median pay: $36,000

Mid-career median pay: $51,900

20. Parks and recreation management

20. Parks and recreation management

Common jobs: Parks and recreation director, program coordinator of a nonprofit organization, recreation supervisor

Starting median pay: $38,200

Mid-career median pay: $51,700

19. (tie) Health services administration

19. (tie) Health services administration

Common jobs: Medical office manager, office coordinator, administrative coordinator

Starting median pay: $36,300

Mid-career median pay: $51,500

19. (tie) Special education

19. (tie) Special education

Common jobs: Elementary school teacher, special education teacher of preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, or secondary school

Starting median pay: $35,000

Mid-career median pay: $51,500

17. Art teacher education

17. Art teacher education

Common jobs: Art teacher, graphic designer, administrative assistant

Starting median pay: $35,300

Mid-career median pay: $51,300

16. Theology

16. Theology

Common jobs: Pastor, youth minister, associate pastor

Starting median pay: $37,600

Mid-career median pay: $51,200

15. (tie) Pastoral ministry

15. (tie) Pastoral ministry

Common jobs: Senior pastor, youth pastor, pastor

Starting median pay: $32,800

Mid-career median pay: $50,500

15. (tie) Culinary arts and food service management

15. (tie) Culinary arts and food service management

Common jobs: Executive chef, line cook, food service director

Starting median pay: $34,700

Mid-career median pay: $50,500

15. (tie) Horticulture

15. (tie) Horticulture

Common jobs: Horticulturist, landscape designer, landscape manager

Starting median pay: $37,600

Mid-career median pay: $50,500

12. Bible studies and theology

12. Bible studies and theology

Common jobs: Pastor, senior pastor, youth pastor

Starting median pay: $34,900

Mid-career median pay: $50,400

11. Biblical studies

11. Biblical studies

Common jobs: Youth pastor, associate pastor, program coordinator of a nonprofit organization

Starting median pay: $36,200

Mid-career median pay: $49,400

10. Elementary education

10. Elementary education

Common jobs: Elementary school teacher, head teacher, preschool teacher

Starting median pay: $34,700

Mid-career median pay: $48,900

9. Youth ministry

9. Youth ministry

Common jobs: Youth pastor, youth minister, youth director of a church

Starting median pay: $32,900

Mid-career median pay: $48,400

8. Human development and family studies

8. Human development and family studies

Common jobs: Program coordinator of a nonprofit organization, case manager, daycare teacher

Starting median pay: $34,300

Mid-career median pay: $47,800

7. Therapeutic recreation

7. Therapeutic recreation

Common jobs: Certified therapeutic recreation specialist, recreation therapist, activity director

Starting median pay: $35,200

Mid-career median pay: $47,700

6. Social work

6. Social work

Common jobs: Social worker, case manager, social services director

Starting median pay: $33,800

Mid-career median pay: $46,700

5. Human services

5. Human services

Common jobs: Case manager, social worker, program coordinator of a nonprofit organization

Starting median pay: $34,000

Mid-career median pay: $44,600

4. Child development

4. Child development

Common jobs: Preschool teacher, head teacher, child care center director

Starting median pay: $32,000

Mid-career median pay: $42,500

3. Early childhood and elementary education

3. Early childhood and elementary education

Common jobs: Elementary school teacher, head teacher, director of preschool

Starting median pay: $34,800

Mid-career median pay: $41,900

2. Child and family studies

2. Child and family studies

Common jobs: Nanny, preschool teacher, daycare teacher

Starting median pay: $31,400

Mid-career median pay: $40,700

1. Early childhood education

1. Early childhood education

Common jobs: Preschool teacher, head teacher, elementary school teacher

Starting median pay: $30,700

Mid-career median pay: $37,500

SEE ALSO: The 20 college majors that

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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