Top 10 Least Lucrative College Majors

Graduation cap on a book next to a degree.

It's generally possible to change college majors, but once you graduate with one, you're stuck with the degree. If you're transferring soon or have recently left the military, think carefully about which career fields you'd like to enter.

There are many different reasons to pick one field or another, but for many income, is a major concern. Check out the top 10 least lucrative college majors, inspired by Washington, D.C., television station WUSA9. While each leads to respect and fulfilling work, make sure the one that you're considering matches with your financial goals.

10. Behavioral Science

This interdisciplinary major covers a broad range of topics, and as a whole, they don't point toward any direct career. It is possible to leverage the degree for a higher-paying job, but most behavioral science majors find work as research assistants or in the marketing industry.

  • Average salary: $33,800

9. General Education

General education majors tend to gravitate toward primary and secondary education, jobs that usually don't pay very well. Obtaining a master's in the field may increase your chances at earning a higher income.

  • Average salary: $33,800

8. Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

The major may sound fluffy to some, but if taken seriously, it can lead to work in all types of recreational facilities, including hotels and spas. The job may not be lucrative, but it certainly is a good fit for the type of person who is active and creative.

  • Average salary: $33,500

7. Radio, Television and Digital Communications

Like many media industries, radio, television and digital communications is a tough nut to crack. The majority of students pursuing this degree will never land top-notch positions. Those who don't can still find work, but usually for a much lower salary.

  • Average salary: $33,300

6. Culinary Arts

Learning how to cook isn't terribly difficult, but becoming a master chef is. While it's possible to take a major in culinary arts to the top, most folks with a culinary arts degree won't make enormous amounts of money.

  • Average salary: $33,000

5. Human Development, Family Studies and Related Services

While the interdisciplinary focus of this major provides future professionals with strong communication skills and understanding in their work, it doesn't lend itself to lucrative careers.

  • Average salary: $32,700

4. Theological and Ministerial Studies

This major is suited best for students who are pursuing a career in a religious organization or feel a spiritual calling.

  • Average salary: $32,500

3. Child Development and Psychology

Students in this major are best suited to working in social work or education, but they may also assist in different research programs. The major can also lead to a master's degree, which can bring higher pay.

  • Average salary: $32,300

2. Social Work

A degree in social work generally leads to becoming a social worker. While this job is commendable in many regards, it does not lead to a high salary.

  • Average salary: $32,200

1. Animal Science

The animal science major teaches students general animal biology, anatomy and physiology. When combined with the right classes, this can lead to work in agriculture or on ranches and farms. This can also lead to work in research labs.

  • Average salary: $31,100

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