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Do you want to get started in a great career, but don’t want to go any further than earning your bachelors degree? There are many good high paying jobs available to people who only hold a bachelors degree, and you don’t have to be an MBA degree or a Masters degree to pull in the big money. Below are 15 top jobs you can have with a Bachelors degree, and you may be surprised at what you can do with a four year degree.

1. Petroleum Engineer
Demand for skilled petroleum engineers is expected to increase exponentially in coming years, as energy issues lead the national agenda. Petroleum engineers create and optimize methods of extracting and processing oil and gas. Engineers across the board command the highest starting salary among bachelor’s degree holders–and petroleum specialists rank at the upper end of the engineering salary spectrum. Earnings in 2007 put petroleum engineers as earning $114,000 annually

2. Actuary
An actuary is a business professional who specializes in risk assessment, analyzing statistical data to calculate the probability of different outcomes and forecast risk. A bachelor’s degree combining mathematics and business courses offers the best preparation for actuarial work. Also, a bachelor’s degree in statistics, corporate finance, economics, or business will also offer the appropriate career training. A 24% growth rate is predicted in this industry over the next five years. Earnings in this field average $107,000, or about $52.00 per hour.
3. Computer Software Engineer
Computer software engineers apply the principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that make computers work. You will need not only a bachelor’s degree for this industry, but also experience with a variety of computer systems and technologies. Continuing education is also necessary to acquire the latest technical skills. The upper 10% of earners in this field took in more than $125,750 annually.

4. Graphic Design
Graphic designers create visual solutions to communications problems. They find the most effective way to get messages across in print, electronic, and film media using a variety of methods such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various print and layout techniques. A bachelor’s degree is required for most entry-level and advanced graphic design positions. An increasing number of graphic designers also develop material for Internet Web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects. Salaries in this field ranged from $62,000 to $98,000 annually.

5. Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst
Network systems and data communications analysts design and evaluate network systems such as local area networks (LANs) and Internet systems. The rapid and widespread use of computers and information technology has generated a need for highly trained workers proficient in this job market. A bachelor’s degree is generally a prerequisite for jobs in this industry. This area of employment has a projected growth of 53% over the next five years, with median annual earnings in a major metropolitan area being $81,000.

6. Real Estate Appraiser
The housing market in any shape needs real estate appraisers because valuations are needed whenever any property is sold, mortgaged, insured, taxed or developed. Even in a slow market there is work. 25% of appraisers are steadily employed by the government to assess property for tax purposes, but there are also many self-employment opportunities. A bachelor’s degree is required for this industry, as well as licensing and certification which vary by state. Median annual earnings are $64,000, but collateral appraisers, who work with lenders, can earn in excess of $130,000.

7. Financial Adviser
A financial advisor is a professional who renders investment advice and financial planning services to individuals and businesses. Ideally, the financial advisor helps the client maintain the desired balance of investment income, capital gains, and acceptable level of risk by using proper asset allocation. With a large number of baby boomers nearing retirement, business in this area will continue to grow. A bachelor’s degree and continuing education are required for this field with median earnings of $122,500.

8. Human-Resources Manager
At more and more companies, HR is no longer about benefits administration and the employee newsletter. Even lower-level managers are expected to design employee programs that also benefit the bottom line. International HR and compliance are especially hot. There’s a wide variety of work, from self-employed benefits specialists to corporate recruiters and HR generalists. A bachelor’s degree followed by professional certification is standard for this field. Annual earnings can average $73,500, but high level HR executives can earn in excess of 150,000.

9. Database Administrator
Database administrators determine ways to organize and store data, working with database management systems software. The role of a database administrator has changed according to the technology of database management systems as well as the needs of the owners of the databases. A computer related bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement in this field. There is expected to be a 29% increase in employment in this field through 2016. Database administrators earned an annual salary of $64,670 in 2006.

10. Forensic Science Technician
Forensic science technicians investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. Technicians set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments, monitor experiments, make observations, calculate and record results, and often develop conclusions. Science technicians use the principles and theories of science and mathematics to solve problems in research and development. A 4 year degree in forensic science is usually the preferred degree for the top jobs. This field has a projected 31% growth rate and median hourly earnings of $21.79 in 2006.

11. Computer Security Specialists
These specialists plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information. In addition to a degree, continuing education is necessary in this career to understand the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. As computer attacks and threats continue to be a problem, specialists in this area will see steady employment and rising pay. $53,770
12. Accountants and Auditors
This market is projecting a faster-than-average growth as a result of an increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and regulations, and greater scrutiny of company finances Most jobs in this area require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Accountants and auditors help to ensure that the Nation’s firms are run efficiently, its public records kept accurately, and its taxes paid properly and on time. Starting jobs in auditing positions for the Federal Government, for example, start at 46,718 a year.

13. Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists handle organizational functions such as media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations; political campaigns; interest-group representation; conflict mediation; and employee and investor relations. Entry level PR specialists need a college degree in public relations, journalism, advertising, or communication. Opportunities should be best for college graduates who combine a degree in public relations, journalism, or another communications-related field with a public relations internship or other related work experience. The middle 50% or PR specialists earned about $65,310.
14. Market Research Analysts
What do market research analysts do? Market and survey researchers gather information about what people think. Market research analysts help companies figure out what kinds of products people want to buy, and the price point at which the will buy it. They also assist companies to market their products to the segment of society who are most likely to buy them. A four year degree is the standard, but continuing education is necessary to keep current with the latest methods of developing, conducting, and analyzing surveys. Median earnings in this field were about $53,450 a year.

15. Writer
Writers and editors produce a wide variety of written materials delivered to an audience in an increasing number of ways. They develop content using any number of multimedia formats for readers, listeners, or viewers. Writers rarely punch a time clock and are often employed on a freelance basis. Writers need to have a basic familiarity with technology, regularly using personal computers. Having a degree in journalism, English, or communications is a basic prerequisite for being a writer. Annual median income in this profession is about $50,000, but can easily exceed $90,000 for well established writers.

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