Higher education is expensive in America. According to the Education Data Initiative, the total average cost of four years at a public U.S. college or university — including tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board — is $103,456 for an in-state student. From out of state? Figure $174,885. A private institution? As much as $215,796. And that’s assuming that the student earns a BA in four years — when in fact some 60% take six. (Chances are these numbers are a lot higher than the cost of college the year you were born.)
Pricey though it may be, however, a bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum qualification for many good jobs. Anyway, reports the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities, holders of BAs typically end up earning about $1 million more over the course of their working lives than those who have only a high school diploma. (Having a BA will help ensure that you won’t get stuck with one of the lowest-paying jobs in America.)
To find the highest paying jobs in the Houston metro area that require a bachelor’s degree, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data at the metro area level. Data on median annual wage nationwide and in Houston for all occupations as well as per occupation comes from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics as of May 2020. BLS employment growth projections are for 2020 to 2030.
Note that for many of these positions, a bachelor’s degree would be the absolute minimum requirement but not necessarily sufficient in itself. For instance, many financial management and marketing jobs would require an MBA, while many kinds of engineers would need a master’s degree or doctorate.
Houston is a hub for the fossil fuel industry, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that several oil-related jobs make this list. America’s fourth-largest city is home to a variety of other industries, as well, and boasts the presence of more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, including Sysco, Phillips 66, and Halliburton.
There are many job opportunities in Houston in these and other fields. The ones on this list could all lead to long, profitable careers that would more than amply pay workers back for an investment in their education.