This post was provided by Claudia Allen, editor at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). NACE connects campus recruiting and career services professionals, and provides best practices, trends, research, professional development, and conferences.

Starting salaries for the Class of 2013 continue to climb as the job market improves for college graduates.

The average starting salary for a new college graduate earning a bachelor’s degree is $44,928—up 5 percent over the average starting salary earned by members of the Class of 2012, according to the April 2013 Salary Survey, a new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Starting salaries rose across the board, from 2 percent to almost 10 percent.

Engineering majors claimed seven of the 10 spots among the highest paying majors for 2012-13 bachelor’s degree graduates. Petroleum engineering majors grabbed the top starting salaries, with an average of $93,500. Computer engineers pulled the second highest salaries with an average of $71,700.
Other engineering majors among the highest-paid are:

  • Chemical engineering ($67,600),
  • Aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ($64,400),
  • Mechanical engineering ($64,000), electrical/electronics and communications engineering ($63,400), and
  • Engineering technology ($62,200).

The top-paying non-engineering majors are computer science, with an average starting salary of $64,800, followed by management information systems/business ($63,100) and finance ($57,400). Generally, for humanities and social science majors, the average salary is $37,058.
Here’s how that plays out for some new graduates:

Source: April 2013 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder.

A free executive summary of the April 2013 Salary Survey report is available at

NACE’s next report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be in the September 2013 issue of Salary Survey.

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