Online University Graduate Average Salary

When choosing a college or university, one of the concerns most students have is their job prospects after graduation. If you choose to go to school online, will your salary be comparable to students who studied the same subjects are typical brick and mortar colleges?

The salary you’re offered depends on the type of career you choose after graduation. Some of the most popular degree programs include those in health administration, business, nursing, psychology, education, and criminal justice. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the average salaries you can expect in related fields, whether you go to school online or at a “real world” school, according to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics:

  • Educational Administrators: $46,370 to $92,920 (depending on type of school)
  • Registered Nurses: $65,130
  • Physician Assistants: $81,610
  • Accountants and Auditors: $65,840
  • Financial Analysts: $84,780
  • Tax Preparers: $35,520
  • Marriage and Family Therapists: $46,930
  • Lawyers: $124,750
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: $48,790
  • Criminal Investigators: $63,840

These are, of course, not the only careers you can pursue with your online degree. Most majors that you can find at offline schools have corresponding programs online for students interested in a distance learning program. So, the sky is the limit.

In many cases, employers will not question you education, as long as you go to an accredited online school, so you should make a salary comparable to any other qualified candidate for the job. Accreditation ensures that the school you attend is not a “diploma mill”. Diploma mills, which were once very common and are still found online, don’t actually provide a quality education. Instead, they essentially give students diplomas in exchange for their “tuition” payment, without much concern over academics. It goes without saying that these candidates for a job aren’t as strong as someone who’s completed an intense academic program, so employers will typically want to hire someone they’re sure received proper education for the job.

Keep in mind that your salary is not just dependent on the piece of paper you receive when you graduate. You’ll be qualified for higher-paying jobs if your resume is filled with learning experiences, such as part-time jobs, internships, club participation, and conference attendance. Some of these experiences are easier to gain when you choose online education, since you’ll have a more flexible schedule. Don’t be afraid to contact your school’s student services departments, as they can help you find the opportunities you need to fill out your resume. At typical brick and mortar colleges, these opportunities may be more highly publicized around campus, but that doensn’t mean that they don’t exist with online education.

Salary is also dependent on the area in which you live. Nationally, the highest average incomes in the United States in 2008 were in the following states:

  • Maryland: $70,545
  • New Jersey: $70,378
  • Connecticut: $68,595
  • Alaska: $68,460
  • Hawaii: $67,214

In general, metropolitan areas have a incomes that are higher than the state average, while more rural areas have lower incomes. Remember, however, that cost of living comes into play – housing costs, utilities, food, and more is higher in cities than in rural areas, so that’s something to take into consideration when choosing where to live and work.

Featured Online Universities in America

Sponsored Listing

The Internet has revolutionized education so that now you can earn a degree entirely online from the comfort of your home. This is perfect for working professionals or anyone who wants to get ahead in a career without having to go to a physical campus everyday.

University of Phoenix is world-renowned for being the largest online university. The University boasts dozens of degree programs at all levels that students can choose from. University of Phoenix has produced thousands of graduates in fields such as nursing, education, health care, and information technology. In addition to its online access, the University has campuses in over 100 locations.
Learn More About University of Phoenix
Kaplan is organized into ten different academic schools, including Arts & Sciences, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Health Sciences, IS & Technology, Legal Studies, Nursing, Continuing Education, and Concord Law School. All told, Kaplan offers more than 125 degrees and programs both off- and online, with more than 70 campus-based locations nationwide.
Learn More About Kaplan University
In addition to a host of options for students needing to transfer existing bachelor's and master's coursework into one of its more-than three dozen degree programs, Post University also welcomes military personnel to join its student body. Post offers detailed opportunities for veterans, those participating in active duty, as well as military dependent students.
Learn More About Post University
For students looking for flexible and affordable online education, Walden University offers both. As a leading accredited online university for more than 40 years, Walden has more than 42,500 students, from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Nearly 85 percent of Walden students are satisfied with their university, and would be likely to recommend Walden to others.
Learn More About Walden University
American InterContinental University, also known as AIU, is a private school accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Founded in 1970 as the American College of Applied Arts, AIU today has seven campuses in the US and UK and runs its online program out of its Chicago offices. AIU offers degree programs in several subjects, including healthcare, business, education, criminal justice, and more.
Learn More About American InterContinental University
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 as Grand Canyon College, an Arizona Southern Baptist school. (It reached university status in 1989.) Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, GCU is typically featured among the Top 10 online colleges as ranked by The Online Education Database (OEDb).
Learn More About Grand Canyon University
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs. Speak with an enrollment counselor at 1.866.679.9687.
Learn More About Capella University


Fill out this short form below, and we'll help match you to an accredited college that suits your interests, whether online- or campus-based.