Undergraduate vs. Graduate Degree Salary
In general, graduates of master's degree programs earn more than those with an undergraduate degree in similar positions. Overall, however, individuals with a bachelor's degree earn slightly more than individuals with a master's degree. Individuals with a professional or doctoral degree earn around $30,000 more than either.
According to 2014 data from the United States Department of Labor, U.S. workers with a bachelor's degree earned a median salary of $69,260, while U.S. workers with a master's degree earned a median salary of $65,330. Meanwhile, someone with a doctoral or professional degree could expect to earn around $98,940.
Salaries for college graduates vary by subject, as well as the level of degree earned. However an individual with a master's degree can expect to earn more than an individual with a bachelor's degree in a similar position. For instance, according to the 2015-2016 College Salary Report done by Payscale, an accountant with a bachelor's degree earned an average salary of $46,900. Meanwhile an accountant with a master's degree earned an average salary of $55,600.
The table below shows the average starting salaries according to Payscale's 2015-2016 College Salary Report:
|Academic Major||Salary with a Bachelor's Degree||Salary with a Master's Degree|
|Elementary Teacher Education||$34,300||$39,700|