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Top Pay for Physical Science Majors

NC State physical science majors are among the highest paid in the nation, according a Seattle company that tracks salary data. The 2013-14 PayScale College Salary Report places NC State 16th in the nation for the earning power of its physical science majors, who earn $43,800 per year on average just out of college and $84,900 on average mid-career.

NC State is the only North Carolina school in the top 20. Find the complete list online.

A Great Investment

Overall, PayScale ranks NC State 171st out of 1,511 schools (47th among public schools) for return on investment, or ROI, with students earning an average return of $832,600 over 30 years. Students who receive financial aid see an average annual return of 11.6 percent, making NC State the sixth best school nationally for percentage ROI for low- and middle-income students (tied with the University of Washington and SUNY Maritime College).

The typical starting salary for graduates is $48,500. By mid-career, many graduates are commanding impressive salaries. Alumni working as senior software engineers, for example, make $96,167 on average, the company says.

PayScale collects real-time salary information from 1.4 million college alumni, and then applies complex search algorithms to measure current pay against the market, its website says. The methodology is explained online.

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