The 5 Highest Paying (and Lowest Paying) College Degrees You Can Get in the Portland Metro Area

We live in a period of time where we have to ask ourselves if going through years of higher education is even worth it. We go to college with the idea that being able to score a college degree will ensure a secure, higher paying job, but that’s not completely true, as it turns out. 

With the job market so cutthroat in Portland, especially in the Metro area, you have to consider your future job prospects carefully. If you’re considering taking up higher education, I’ll be happy to tell you the highest (and lowest) paying degrees in the Portland Metro area based off of medians taken from 2022.


Highest Paying College Degrees

Electrical Engineering: $121,600

Taking the top spot in high paying degrees, those with proficiency in electrical engineering are in high demand. This is because this degree tends to take the normal technical skills that come with engineering and combine it with innovation, making them fairly lucrative in a market that’s always moving forward.


Computer Science: $108,500

Just like with electrical engineering, these degrees prove to be fairly lucrative in a market that’s always moving forward in terms of innovation. Technology is rapidly evolving all the time, and it demands people who are able to keep up with it.


Mechanical Engineering: $106,200

By now I’m sure you notice a trend with the tech-enriched degrees being in more demand; or at least belong to jobs that pay more. Those with Mechanical Engineering degrees tend to work on the design and maintenance of mechanical devices and systems.


Economics: $101,400

It really only makes sense that those who pursue jobs revolving around money itself would be able to find rather lucrative opportunities. It’s the only job on this list that does not require a high degree of knowledge surrounding modern day tech, but it still requires quite a bit of mathematical knowledge nonetheless.


Engineering: $100,600

While you’re sure to make quite a bit of money with Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering degrees, let it be known that just engineering in general will allow you to excel in today’s job market. Being able to know your way around tech and infrastructure is vital within the Portland Metro Area.


Lowest Paying College Degrees

Family and Consumer Sciences: $52,850

This degree focuses on family dynamics and consumer behavior. These can go for a broad range of jobs, but aren’t likely to see much in the way of a high income.


Fine Arts: $53,450

You’ve heard all the jokes about Fine Arts degrees being relatively useless, and while I wouldn’t use such harsh language, there’s a reason why these jokes are made so often. A Fine Arts degree won’t make getting a decently paying job very easy.


Elementary Education: $54,900

I find it rather ironic that the people tasked to educate (and partially raise) the next generation of hard working men and women are some of the people who get paid the lowest. This is an unfortunate, but very true fact.


Social Work: $55,060

In a time where social work is critical in taking care of our society and the people who need it the most, the people doing said work aren’t likely to see much reward for it. Social work isn’t likely to get you much in the way of a high income.


General Education: $58,000

If you aren’t aware, people who get degrees in general education usually go for teaching jobs. Like with an Elementary Education degree, those pursuing these jobs aren’t likely to see high income.


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