June 11, 2019 By College Ave Student Loans

Estimating the Cost of College by Profession

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question we’re asked our entire lives, especially when it’s time to apply to colleges. It’s a big decision, and choosing a major is just the first step in deciding what career you want. With many big decisions, there are many things to take into consideration before you choose.

Students consider their skills, interests, and potential career paths when choosing their major or a discipline to explore. It’s important to combine what you’re passionate about with a realistic look at what profession your chosen major will prepare you for. While nothing is set in stone, it’s helpful to understand the common projections of popular jobs. Below you’ll see a sampling of professions, their salaries, how much schooling they require, and how much it might cost. Use this list as a starting point to help narrow down your major. You’re already on the right path for planning your future.

1. Orthodontist

Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in straightening teeth. They design and create appliances like braces to realign teeth and jaws. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: The median annual wage for orthodontists is $229,380. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: Most dental programs require a 4-year bachelor’s degree with pre-dental courses like chemistry, biology, and physics. Graduate dental programs are 4 years and include classroom and clinical experience. After the dental program is completed, a 3-year orthodontic specialty program is required. (Learn.org)
  • Average Tuition Cost:
    • Bachelor’s Degree – $23,890 * 4 years = $95,560
    • Graduate Dental School, Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine – $50,770 * 4 Years = $203,080 (ADA)
    • Postdoc Orthodontic Specialty Program, – $74,974 (Example from Penn) * 3 Years = $224,922
    • Total Estimated Tuition: $523,562 over 11 years   

2. Museum Curator

Museum curators oversee collections of artwork and historic items and may conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of the institution. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: The mean annual wage for museum curators is $56,480. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: Following an undergraduate degree, curators typically need a master’s degree in art history, history, archaeology, or museum studies. Some archivists may choose to earn voluntary certification. (BLS)
  • Average Tuition Cost:
    • Bachelor’s Degree – $23,890 * 4 years = $95,560
    • Master’s Degree in Museum Studies – $38,696 (Data USA) * 4 years = $154,784
    • Total Estimated Tuition: $250,344 over 8 years

3. Veterinarian

Veterinarians care for the health of animals and diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases. Most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals. Others travel to farms or work in settings such as laboratories, classrooms, or zoos. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: The median annual wage for veterinarians is $93,830. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: In addition to an undergraduate degree (highly recommended), veterinarians must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM or VMD) from an accredited veterinary college (typically 4 years), as well as a state license. (BLS)
  • Average Tuition Cost: The typical cost over four years for a veterinary degree ranges from $147,000 to $250,000 for in-state resident tuition at a public institution. (VIN Foundation) Add this to the cost of a 4-year undergraduate degree ($95,560) for a total estimated tuition cost of $242,560 – $345,560.

4. Entertainment Lawyer

Entertainment lawyers represent clients in the entertainment industry and negotiate on their behalf, review contracts and advise on client agreements. Entertainment lawyers usually keep a percentage of their clients’ earned contracts.

  • Average Salary: The average annual pay for entertainment lawyers is $91,244, according to ZipRecruiter.
  • Average College Requirements: Lawyers typically need 7 years of advanced education. This includes both an undergraduate degree and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from law school. Typical undergraduate majors include English, public speaking, government, history, economics, and math.
  • Average Tuition Cost: According to S. News, the average annual cost of a public, out-of-state law school is $40,725 (compared to a much higher private school at $49,095 and public in-state at $27,591). Add this to the average the $23,890 public out-of-state four-year college undergraduate degree (College Board).
    • Undergraduate: $23,890 * 4 years = $95,560
    • Law School: $40,725 * 3 years = $122,175
    • Total Estimated Tuition: $217,735 (for public, out-of-state over 7 years)

5. eSports Game Developer

Game developers (or programmers) build video games using written code and computer programs. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for game developers is $101,932. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the 2018 median pay for multimedia artists and animators was $72,520. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: In order to become an eSports game developer, many employers require a relevant bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering.
  • Average Tuition Cost: The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor’s degree in computer science is $41,992. Over 4 years, the total cost is $167,968. (College Calc)

6. Graphic Designer

Graphic designers create advertisements, brochures, magazines, reports, and other materials using computer software or by hand. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: The median annual wage for graphic designers is $50,370. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or can complete related technical training courses.
  • Average Tuition Cost: The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor program in Graphic Design is $40,377. Over 4 years, the total estimated tuition cost is $161,508. (College Calc)

7. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry research and improve environmental problems. They are often involved in recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: The median annual wage for environmental engineers is $87,620. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: Environmental engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field, such as civil, chemical, or general engineering. (BLS)
  • Average Tuition Cost: The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering technology/environmental technology is $40,056. Over 4 years, the total estimated tuition cost is $160,224. (College Calc)

8. Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who treat athletes by preventing, diagnosing, and treating injuries and illnesses. (BLS)

  • Average Salary: The median annual wage for athletic trainers is $47,510. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: Athletic trainers typically need a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and to successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Exam. Some employers also require a master’s degree.
  • Average Tuition Cost: The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor program in Athletic Training is $37,671. Over 4 years, the total estimated cost is $150,684 (College Calc)

9. Advertising Director

Advertising directors are marketing executives who manage programs and creative campaigns to promote products and services to increase sales.

  • Average Salary: The median annual wage for advertising and promotions managers is $117,130. (BLS)
  • Average College Requirements: A bachelor’s degree is typically required for most advertising and marketing positions. Areas of study may include marketing, business, English, communications, or economics.
  • Average Tuition Cost: The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor program in marketing is $36,390. Over 4 years, the total estimated tuition cost is $145,560. (College Calc)

10. Music Teacher (Elementary)

K-12 music teachers lead courses in general music education, choir, instruments, and more for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade.

  • Average Salary: The average base pay for music teachers is $46,744. (Glassdoor)
  • Average College Requirements: Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Music teachers typically have a degree in music or an education-related field with a music specialty. Public school teachers must also have a state-issued certification or license. (BLS)
  • Average Tuition Cost: The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching is $35,484. Over 4 years, the total estimated tuition cost is $141,936. (College Calc)

Planning for college now will set you up for career success in the future. There are so many variables among institutions, degree types, and areas of study that affect the overall cost of college greatly. Before committing to a program, make sure you’re prepared for the costs associated with the path you choose. The easiest way to plan? Use our Student Loan Calculator to get started.

 

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