Special Report

Lowest Paying Jobs for College Grads

The benefits of having a bachelor’s degree are many and well documented. Chief among them is the opportunity for higher-paying jobs. While jobs that require training and education certainly tend to a pay more, a college degree by no means guarantees a high salary. In fact, the typical annual wage for occupations that require a college degree is as little as $20,000.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median annual wage for jobs classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as typically requiring a bachelor’s degree. Even the lowest paying jobs among them tend to be relatively high paying. The median annual salaries of the 14 jobs on this list are all less than $50,000. In all but four of these occupations, the typical worker earns more than the national median wage of $36,200 a year.

It may puzzle some to learn that there are jobs that require the most education but pay some of the lowest wages. However, there will likely always be people who choose greater levels of education and careers for reasons other than money. Six of the 14 occupations on this list are jobs typically found at religious or educational institutions.

Click here to see the lowest paying jobs for college grads.

Student debt levels and tuition costs are rising in the United States. However, need-based financial aid and government forgiveness programs make going to college in order to pursue a low-paying profession a reasonable option for many Americans. After 10 years of public service, for example, college loans may be completely forgiven.

Employment in several of the lowest paying jobs for college graduates is expected to decline over the next decade, but others will likely growth considerably. By 2024, employment across all occupations is projected to grow by 6.5%. Five of the 14 jobs are expected grow faster than average, while the number people employed in four of these occupations is expected to decline.

To identify America’s lowest paying jobs for college graduates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2015 annual median pay data for 449 jobs tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the broad occupation level of aggregation — the third of four government labor classifications. Only jobs that typically require at least a bachelor’s degree were considered. 2014 employment figures, and projected change in employment from 2014 to 2024 came from the BLS.

These are the lowest paying jobs for college graduates.

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