Average Starting Salary for a Masters Degree Graduate

Higher degrees of education tend to lead to higher salaries. The average starting salary for those holding a master's degree will depend on the field of study and the career chosen, among other factors.

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What Is the Starting Salary for Master's Degree Graduates?

The starting salary for master's degree graduates will vary a great deal depending upon several factors, including degree earned and profession entered. For example, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate will typically earn more than a Master's of Social Work (MSW) graduate, even though they both hold a master's degree.

Salaries for master's degree graduates will also vary by region. For example, salaries in the northeastern U.S. tend to be higher than salaries in the mid-west due to the higher cost of living there.

Median Starting Salary for a non-MBA Degree

According to in June 2010, the most popular jobs for master's graduates with non-MBA degrees include social worker, school teacher, physical therapist and software engineer. Below are the median salaries for those who have four years or less in experience.

Job Less than one year experience 1-4 years experience
Social Worker $31,222 - $42,193 $33,291 - $44,774
Licensed Clinical Social Worker $30,125 - $40,968 $36,326 - $48,426
Elementary School Teacher $20,084 - $39,178 $30,550 - $41,338
High School Teacher $30,300 - $41,803 $32,518 - $43,846
Sr. Software Engineer $71,226 - $94,365 $61,270 - $88,008
Physical Therapist $50,937 - $60,996 $53,135 - $64,727
Executive Director, Non-Profit Organization $34,017 - $54,505 $35,453 - $60,297

Median Starting Salary for an MBA Degree

Those with MBA degrees hold jobs in financial, management and marketing positions. lists the jobs below and corresponding salaries for MBA graduates with less than four years experience.

Job Less than one year experience 1-4 years experience
Financial Controller $39,670 - $64,562 $46,345 - $72,195
Senior Financial Analyst $48,729 - $77,902 $55,000 - $72,669
IT Project Manager $41,062 - $60,899 $49,527 - $74,599
Chief Financial Officer $50,565 - 106,432 $54,907 - $106,464
Financial Analyst $39,248 - $52,431 $43,054 - 58,122
Chief Executive Officer $68,047 - $151,921 $61,300 - $150,297
Marketing Director $30,635 - $49,111 $34,826 - $58,935
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