10 jobs that aren’t worth their pricey educational requirements

The old saying “you get what you pay for” in life may not hold true when it comes to your degree.

According to a new study by GoBankingrate.com, some jobs might not have the financial return worth their pricey education requirements.

To determine what careers fall under this category, the personal finance website compared the average degree cost for each job with its national salary average.

Here are its top 10 picks.

1.  Human Services Worker

Psychology Degree: $161,728

Average Salary: $28,060 per year

“Over 30 years, that only equals $841,800, shaved down to $680,072 after paying off your costly degree. That means your annual average earnings would be only $22,669 — only $10,529 above the poverty line for a single person," according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

2. Daycare Center/Teacher

Education Degree: $171,132

Average Salary: $31,685

“The low average annual salary of $31,685 will make it hard to pay back your investment. Even if you put all your earnings toward paying off your degree expenses, it would still take 5.4 years. Plus, it gets worse. Thirty-year career earnings will only equal $950,535 or $779,403 after degree expenses. That leaves you with a meager salary of $25,980 annually — little more than half of the annual average earnings nationwide.”

3. Painter/Illustrator

Fine Arts Degree: $182,353

Average Salary: $41,566 or $1,246,980 over a 30-year career.

“After paying off your degree, however, those lifetime earnings will shrink to $1,064,628 or only about $35,488 per year, which is only about 70 percent of the average annual salary in the U.S.”

4.  Graphic Designer

Fine Arts Degree: $182,352

Average Salary: $43,056, totaling $1,291,680 over a 30-year career.

“Once you pay off your degree, however, you’ll be left with only $1,109,328 or 36,978 per year — $13,644 less than the average annual U.S. earnings of $50,622 annually.”

5.   Associate Pastor

Religious studies/Theology Degree: $190,108

Average Salary: $45,976

“After 30 years in the job, however, you’ll have earned $1,379,280. Once you subtract the degree cost, you’ll have $1,189,172 or a below-average salary of $39,639 annually.”

6.  Chemical Dependency Counselor

Sociology Degree: $164,724

Average Salary: $38,997

“Over a 30-year career, you’ll be paid a total of $1,169,910. Once you subtract the cost of your degree, however, you’ll be left with $1,005,186, equaling an annual salary of only $33,506 — much less than what the average earner in America pulls in.”

7.  Elementary School Teacher

Education Degree: $171,132

Average Salary: $44,415

“Over a span of 30 years, you’ll take in $1,332,450, but that amount will shrink as you pay off your degree, leaving you with $1,161,318 or around $38,711 a year. Even though being a teacher is meaningful, you’ll make almost $12,000 less a year than what the average U.S. earner makes.”

8.  News Reporter

Communications Degree: $154,836

Average Salary: $39,793 and 30-year earnings of $1,193,790.

“Once you pay off your educational expenses, however, you’ll be left with $1,038,954 or around $34,632 annually — more than $15,000 less than the average annual earnings in the nation, which could have you living paycheck-to-paycheck.”


9.  Corrections Officer

Sociology Degree: $164,724

Average Salary: $44,218 with earnings over a 30-year career will equal $1,326,540, which dwindles to $1,161,816 after paying off school loans.

“Even though this job might offer a pension, after paying off your degree, you’ll only pull in around $38,727 per year — $11,895 less than the average U.S. earner.”

10. Religious Educator

Religious Studies/Theology: $190,108

Average Salary: $53,797 with earnings equaling $1,613,910 over a 30-year career.

“At that rate, it would take every penny of your salary for over 3.5 years to pay off college expenses. Once you calculate paying off your degree, your 30-year career earnings shrink to $1,423,802 or about $47,460 annually, which is $3,162 less than what the average American earner pulls in.”