A Master's degree is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. Within the area studied, graduates are assumed to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.
If you're considering pursuing a Master's degree, don't assume that you'll command a significantly higher salary right out of the gate. In fact, many master's degrees do not result in high financial returns but instead provide access to an exciting field or position. Of course, depending on what type of degree you choose to pursue, it's possible to have a high-paying career in a field you love.
Generally speaking, Master's degrees in science-based fields or business administration over a period of 5-10 years typically result in higher salaries. Here are some a Master's degree caliber careers that pay well into the six figures.
According to a 2009 report by the Labor Department, dentists earned an annual median salary of about $142,000.
Family Practice Doctor
In 2009, family-practice doctors brought home an annual median salary of $161,000, according to the Labor Department.
Financial managers can expect to earn a median salary of $101,000 per year, according to reports from the Labor Department.
According to a 2009 report by the Labor Department, lawyers earned an annual median salary of about $113,000.
Management consultants at certain companies earn average annual salaries of $114,000 or more
In 2009, petroleum engineers brought home an annual median salary of $109,000, according to the Labor Department.
Psychiatrists can expect to earn a median salary of $160,000 per year, according to reports from the Labor Department.