Salary Guide for Online Degrees: What Do Graduates Earn?

Like most college degrees, a degree earned online allows students to enhance not only their knowledge, but also income generating potential. An online degree from a reputable and accredited school is just as valuable in the job market as a traditionally earned degree.

Online degree programs are available in hundreds of areas of study, and with those options comes a wide range of salary potential. Degrees from the associate's-level to advanced are obtainable online from nationally and regionally accredited online colleges across the country.

Online Degree Programs and Salary Information

Online programs can provide a more flexible route to that valuable college degree, and the increased popularity of distance education is resulting in a growing variety of degree programs from which to choose. Numerous accredited schools offer online and hybrid degree programs in popular fields, such as accounting, business, psychology, computers and communications, to name a few. Online programs can be found at all levels, ranging from certificates and associate's degrees all the way up to Ph.D.'s.

Incidentally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't distinguish between an online or on-campus degree. However, it did report, as of 2016, that graduates with a bachelor's degree earned a median of $1,155 per week, graduates with an associate's degree earned a median of $782 per week, while those with only high school diplomas earned $679. This goes up to $1,435 for those with an advanced degree.

Online Graduate Earning Potential Based on Field

Your potential salary will depend on a number of factors, including career choice, degree level and the field of study. The field of study represents one of the most distinguishing factors in earning potential for both online and on-campus programs.

Degrees in fields like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and finance can be reliably obtained through accredited online programs. The following represents the median salary of a number of popular careers in fields where online degrees are available, according to data as of May 2016 from the BLS.

Career Median Salary
Accountants and Auditors $68,150
Computer and Information Research Scientists $111,840
Electrical & Electronics Engineering Technicians $62,190
Elementary School Teachers $55,800
School Administrators $92,510
Financial Analysts $81,760
Financial Managers $121,750
Nursing Assistants $26,590
Registered Nurses $68,450
Pharmacy Technicians $30,920

Careers with good pay potential, such as those in accounting, finance, nursing and engineering, are all readily achievable with an online degree.

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