Salary survey: Top-paying industries

With an average starting salary that topped $85,000, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction was far and away the top-paying industry for Class of 2013 graduates who earned bachelor's degrees, according to NACE's September 2013 Salary Survey.

Employers in this industry paid their hires starting salaries that averaged $85,733. (See Figure 1.) Meanwhile, average starting salaries from employers in the management of companies and enterprises ($57,462) and construction ($57,153) both exceeded $57,000.

Rounding out the five top-paying industries for Class of 2013 bachelor's degree graduates were manufacturing ($55,558) and finance and insurance ($53,964).

Figure 1: Top-Paying Industries for Class of 2013 Bachelor's Degree Graduates


Average Starting Salary

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction


Management of companies and enterprises






Finance and insurance


*Source: September 2013 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges & Employers

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