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.


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.