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Last updated on November 28th, 2023.

Venturing out and getting a degree from an online school is a daunting and scary decision. The process of getting the classes, understanding the curriculum, and doing all of your schoolwork online is complicated enough. How do you choose an online degree that will lead to a lucrative career?

The five highest paying online degrees include:

  1. Engineering management
  2. Computer systems administration
  3. Petroleum engineering
  4. Advertising, promotions and marketing management
  5. Financial management

Choosing a career is one of the most important financial decisions you make in your life. The investment in your online education not only should last a long time, but it should pay dividends in the long run with an excellent salary. Read on to find out more about the five highest-paying online degrees.

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What Is the Threshold to Consider Something "High Paying"

The term “high paying” is relative, and salaries are different based on the cost of living in any place that you live. However, the threshold for a high-paying job usually gets determined by the number of people in the family and the yearly salary earned for that family.

In recent studies, people in the United States claim that there are economic inequalities that need correction. These studies use salary and cost of living statistics and calculate the income levels that correspond with the classes in the United States. The following chart got based on the assumption that there are three distinct groups in the U.S. labeled Low Income, Middle Income, and Upper Income:

Choose Regional Accreditation if You:Choose National Accreditation if You:
• Value attending more prestigious and well-known institutions
• Intend to obtain a degree in an academic subject
• Are pursuing a career that will require licensure or some type of credential
• Plan to apply for financial aid
• Will or are contemplating pursuing a higher level of education (ex. a Masters or Ph.D.)
• Value a school that focuses on more specialized skills and careers versus offering a wide, over-generalize selection
• Intend to pursue a career-based, trade-centered, religious, or vocational degree
• Prefer the freedom of having your credits accepted regardless of what accreditation they have
• Need the most cost-efficient option for your education

Class is also tied closely with income level. A high-paying job should put you and your family in the middle class or higher. Recent statistics based on financial, geographic, and household information classify Americans by how much they earn. The finding of the study got charted below:

Economic ClassSalary Range(for a family of three)
Low IncomeLess than $40,100
Middle Income$40,100 to $120,400
Upper IncomeMore Than $120,400

Clearly, if you have a job at or over $120,400 in the United States, you are in the upper income of earners and are considered a high-paying job. High-paying jobs that put people on the upper end of the middle-income earners and into the upper-income earners usually require degrees and are available for those who complete traditional or online degrees.

What Types of Jobs or Careers are High Paying?

As you can imagine, executives and doctors make a lot of money. But, they need a lot of schooling and experience before they start raking in cash. Also, these types of jobs are difficult for people with online degrees and little else to start. Instead, the jobs and careers that are high-paying for online degrees include managerial employment and jobs in finance.

One of the highest paying careers and jobs are managerial, administration, or boss-level jobs. Those in charge typically make more money and work for salaries as opposed to lower-earning hourly employees. Jobs as a manager involve a lot of pressure and taking care of the needs of many people. Still, it is also the most well-paying in most organizations.

Financial careers are also very well-paying. Any job in a bank will pay well, but the trades that involve investment and accounting tend to pay very well. However, there is no doubt that your degree in finance is an excellent financial investment. There are several reasons why financial careers make a lot of money.

How Long Does it Typically Take to Get a Degree Online?

If you want to start making good money fast and are itching for an online degree, the timetable for completion might shock you. Average college degrees usually take anywhere from three to six or more years. However, online degrees take anywhere from two years for an Associate Degree to four years for a Bachelor’s Degree.

The time that your online degree takes for completion is entirely up to you. The amount of classes you take each week depends on your work outside of school, how many courses you could register for, and the amount of workload you are capable of. In the end, schooling online takes just about as much time as it would for you to take classes on a University campus.

The 5 Highest Paying Online Degrees

Now that we understand some of the features of high-paying jobs and online degrees let’s get into the critical decision-making process of finding out which online degrees pay the most. Even though there are plenty of careers that pay more than these jobs, these are the ones that offer a variety of courses at different online universities.


Highest Paying Online Degrees - info

1. Engineering Management

Engineering management is a manager’s level position that has a median salary of $151,000. This career gets based on combining technical skills and know-how with the ability of leadership and project management.

The engineering management degree is usually designed for engineers already looking for their master’s degree. However, there are also minors and Bachelor’s degrees for engineers early in their careers.

Some of the colleges that offer the engineering management degree online include:

  • Arizona State University-BSE: Arizona State has one of the best online educational portals and staff in the United States. In your online program, you are encouraged to continue working in your current field while you study and set yourself up for a managerial engineering position upon completion.
  • Grantham University: BS-EMT: This fully accredited University has room for electives built into the curriculum so that you can specialize in one part of engineering management. The BS is a bachelor’s degree course load and takes around four years to complete.
  • Grantham University: AA-EMT: Grantham’s fully accredited associates degree program is a great starter degree for early-career engineers considering moving into managerial positions at a later point in their careers. This university’s online degree is an excellent courseload for engineering and business skills related to the engineering field.
  • Johns Hopkins University: Master of Engineering Management: One of the most prestigious schools and degrees on this list for engineering management degrees, Johns Hopkins has an intensive online program that works with professional engineers and trains them in the business tactics and leadership skills needed for taking on large-scale engineering jobs.
  • Penn State: Master of Engineering Management: Another high prestigious online school, the Penn State Master of Engineering Management degree readies professional engineers to take a managerial position where they will use their technical expertise and lead teams towards significant project goals.

2. Computer Systems Administration

A computer science degree assures that you will make good money. However, the computer systems manager and the techs working under that system is the position that makes the most money.

The average salary for a Computer Systems Administration position is $151,000. These jobs are typically given to those with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Administration. This degree is available online from universities including:

  • Everest University: BS: You will learn the technical skills needed for computer systems coding and management and the managerial skills necessary for leading a team of workers. The systems under your guidance will be better supported with your Bachelor’s degree.
  • Rasmussen College: BS: This Bachelor’s degree prepares you for a job as a technician and a manager. Even if you end up becoming a coder or computer technician at a prestigious company, your degree gives you the leg-up on any promotions to managerial positions when they come along.
  • Oregon State University: BS: Oregon State offers leadership, management, and computer technology courses in a four-year course load available online.

A computer technician makes pretty good money. But with this type of online degree, you could make yourself more attractive and ready for a managerial position, should one become available at the company of your choice.

3. Petroleum Engineering

The rough-necks who work on petroleum pumps work under the guidance of a trained and professional petroleum engineer. This is a sometimes dangerous and stressful position that is also highly lucrative, with an average salary of about $137,000.

A bachelor’s degree in engineering will give you the credentials for this job. However, you could also have a degree in civil engineering, mechanical, or chemical engineering.

Some of the top universities that offer these degrees online include:

  • University of North Dakota: BS: The Bachelor’s degree in engineering from South Dakota has electives and concentration courses in petroleum extraction, making you ready for a job as a petroleum engineer.
  • Texas A & M University: M.S.M.S. and Graduate Certificate: With a Master’s or another graduate degree from Texas A&M, you could step right into a petroleum engineer position.
  • University of Southern California: MS: The Master’s degree offered in the online courses from the University of Southern California has concentrations and internships with petroleum producers giving you the experience and knowledge you need for petroleum engineering.

Even though this engineering career in petroleum extraction is somewhat dangerous, there are many benefits, and the pay exceeds some other engineering positions you could get with the same degree.

4. Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Management

A job in advertising usually requires a bachelor’s degree. However, running the team that makes the decisions on marketing and promotions usually requires a bachelor’s degree emphasizing management. Some of the best online schools offering the right degree for a Marketing manager include:

  • ​​Colorado State University: BS: Learn all you need to know about marketing, emphasizing leadership and management. This courseload gives you the confidence and knowledge for leading teams towards decisions about advertising and marketing.
  • New England College of Business: BSBA: A great college with electives that allow for leadership experience and job placement in prestigious advertising companies where you will one day work as a manager.

5. Financial Management

The financial world is an excellent place for high-paying jobs. A financial manager is one of the best high-paying jobs you can get with an online degree. Making an excess of $150,000 is possible with a financial management degree from colleges such as:

In Conclusion

Online degrees might have a stigma for being less attractive than brick-and-mortar earned degrees. But, as you can see, there are plenty of high-paying careers and jobs that you can get with an online degree.

Hopefully, this list gives you some insight into the highest paying jobs and where you can start your degree education.

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