Raise Your Income By $17,000 or More with a Graduate Degree in These 10 States

Going to college is an expensive prospect for most Americans. Despite being the key to higher wages, college often involves large loans that young students need to pay back. Because of this, the prospect of even more school after your first degree can seem scary, as you can't afford to take on more loans and you need a professional salary in order to pay back the loans from your undergraduate degree! However, having a graduate degree can actually help to boost your pay by a huge amount, making it easier and faster to pay back loans.

According to the most recent American Community Survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau, having a graduate degree (such as a Ph.D., JD, or MBA) meant that a person was likely to make about 32% more than the average American worker with a Bachelor's or even no college degree. The median salary for someone with a graduate degree rests at about $69,240 per year – and that's a figure that's been adjusted to 2017 dollars.

Student Loan Hero, an online service that helps postgraduates consolidate and repay their student loans, recently did a survey and discovered the ten states where a graduate degree was likely to give the biggest pay bumps. If you'd like to be earning more money – whether it be in your current career or you're ready for a shift – check out this list to see what states are most likely to help you get there.

10. Alaska

In Alaska, graduate degree holders seen an increase of about 35%, from $54,650 among people without advanced degrees to a median of $73,871 for people with advanced degrees, or an increase of about $19,000 per year.

9. North Dakota

North Dakota residents with graduate degrees earn a median of $62,675 yearly, or almost 39% more than people without graduate degrees. Despite the fact that this is the second lowest median income on this list, it is significantly greater, percentage-wise, than the median salary earned by people without graduate degrees.

8. Michigan

Someone with a graduate degree in Michigan can expect a medium income of $69,099 yearly, or $18,744 higher than their peers with only Bachelor's degrees. With Michigan's low cost of living, graduate degrees in Michigan can translate to great opportunities.

7. Maryland

With the third-highest median salary for graduate degree holders, they can expect to earn just over 34% higher than peers without graduate degrees. The median salary for workers with advanced degrees in Maryland is just over $84,000.

6. New Jersey

New Jersey's median salaries for graduate degree holders are second only to those in the District of Columbia at $85,789 yearly. Workers without advanced degrees see a median salary drop of about 35%, putting their salaries just over $63,000 yearly.

5. Idaho

Idaho holds the second spot for highest salary by percentage, where a graduate degree puts the median income 44.03% higher than that of non-graduate degree workers. Idaho's low cost of living makes the $60,922 median salary for graduate degree workers a great income.

4. District of Columbia

While not technically a state, the District of Columbia comes in at #4 on this list, with graduate degree holders making a median of $88,431, the highest in any state, and 37% higher than people without advanced degrees.

3. Utah

Workers with graduate degrees in Utah earn the biggest pay raise by percentage, with almost a 45% greater salary than those who do not have graduate degrees. The median salary for graduate degree holders in Utah is $67,575, which is $20,923 dollars higher than the median salary for those without advanced degrees.

2. Virginia

median wages for people with graduate degrees in virginia are around $81,401 yearly, while the median wage for people without graduate degrees is closer to $57,487. earning a graduate degree generally earns people in virginia about a 41% higher salary.

1. California

Unsurprisingly, California takes the lead, offering about a 40% increase in pay to workers with graduate degrees. The median pay for California comes in at about $58,000 yearly, while the median pay of workers with graduate degrees is closer to $82,299.

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