Calendar With Pay Day ReminderAre you tired of people asking you what you plan on doing when you grow up?  While you might not be certain of what direction your life is taking you in, the statistics on college education are not pretty. In fact, with only half of college graduates working for profit in their line of work, you need to be more certain than ever of where you want to be long-term.

We’ve compiled a list of five starting salaries for five very diverse positions, and the educational requirements for each.  This type of comparative analysis can help you get a better grasp on what the job market looks like for different fields of study and just what a particular degree can get you these days.

Chemical Engineer

With a starting salary at a whopping $64,500 and hitting more than $150K by the midpoint in your career, becoming a chemical engineer is definitely a challenge worthy of an adversary such as yourself.  If you’re thinking about this line of work, you should know that formal education is a must, with a minimum of a 5-year chemical engineering degree and a master’s degree being a requirement to even get your foot in the door. Chemical engineers can work for pharmaceutical companies, oil & gas, or any number of manufacturing sectors.

Financial Analyst

Entry-level finance positions offer a livable salary of about $46,500, working their way up to about $87,000 within ten years. An undergraduate degree in finance or a related field is a requirement, with some analysts being asked for graduate degrees, depending on the company, of course. Analysts are required to have a professional designation as a chartered financial analyst after they have had four years of relevant experience in their area of expertise. Financial analysts can work for banks, work in stocks or provide legal advice to large corporations.

Film Production

If you have a knack for all things creative, you might consider a job in film production.  Starting salaries for this position are around $41,000 and, on average hit, about $80,000 midway.  If you’re incredibly talented, however, executive producers can make an infinite amount of money, as is evidenced by big name Hollywood producers today. To get into this line of work, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in arts at the very least, with a preference toward those candidates who possess a master’s.


Just a smidge under $40,000 per year to start, Zoologists can yield a mid-career salary of about $75K, even more if they’re working for a large Zoo or prominent organization. To become a zoologist, you’ll need a four-year degree with a focus on zoology.

Fashion Designer

To become a fashion designer, you’re going to need a four-year degree in fashion design.  Even if you’re planning on opening your own business, you’ll still benefit from the fashion degree but also one in business administration. Working for someone else, fashion designers can expect to make $35K per year, working up to $72K halfway through their careers.

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