Petroleum engineering is the very highest-paying college major, according to Georgetown’s study. Those with a bachelor’s degree in this engineering field earn a median of $136,000 annually. (The earnings figures are for workers beyond entry level, and median means that half make more, half earn less.)

What exactly do petroleum engineers do?

They design and manage ways to extract crude oil and natural gas, and make sure those forms of energy production run efficiently. According to research published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in December 2015, petroleum engineer employment was projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024.

Be warned, however, that the field is highly dependent on oil prices, which have plunged by 70% or more since mid-2014.

“For now, oil is down,” notes Lori Shreve Blake, senior director of alumni and student career services at the University of Southern California Career Center in Los Angeles, adding that a gas company representative told her last year that the firm wasn’t hiring petroleum engineers because of low crude oil prices.

Higher oil prices support higher demand and pay for petroleum engineers because they allow the industry to undertake more complex drilling operations.

Read the full story from Bankrate.

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