20 Most In-Demand PhD Degrees

For a continued career advancement in academics, there is every need to get a PhD. This is often recommended for those who wish to become teachers or lecturers in colleges or universities. Among the numerous challenges that come with getting a PhD is knowing the Most In Demand PhD Degrees that can pay well. In other words, what are the highest-paying PhD degrees?

For anyone whose intention is to earn an honest living with his graduate certificates, knowing the most in-demand PhD degrees is a must. A PhD can open doors to better employment and wage opportunities in academia and industry. If you want to further your career, researching fields that offer very high PhD salaries might help you decide where to focus your studies.

In most cases, the most in-demand PhD degrees are also among both the top PhD programs and the highest paying PhDs. Let us look at these most popular PhD degrees holistically.

What Is A PhD?

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the terminal degree for university-level study in the fields of arts and sciences. PhD candidates typically pursue more education for several years. In most cases, to get a PhD, one may be required to complete a Master’s Program. The PhD program is a research-based program with theses as common requirements for earning a doctoral degree.

Generally PhD program is majorly a research-oriented program. This is to say a PhD is about 80-90% research and 10-20% course work. This is what distinguishes a PhD degree from other doctorate programs. To successfully complete a PhD program, there are Available PhD Stipends to enable Students to Save Some Costs while studying.

Related: PHD Degree: Everything You Need To Know

Top 20 Most In-Demand PhD Degrees – With Salaries Inclusive

Most in-demand PhD Degrees/Highest Paying PhD Degrees

Students who go on to get a doctorate degree may have an easier time finding employment that pays more than minimum wage. Just like those in the STEM Majors, a PhD is an added advantage to your salary when you start working with it. Nevertheless, some fields of study might lead to even greater financial rewards than a PhD. This is sometimes rare and depends on your location or province.

In this post, 20 Highest Paying PhD degrees, we are going to consider only the PhD degree with annual salaries above $100,000. Although there may be other Best PhD degrees for business that may pay more depending on your country. These are our picks for the most in-demand PhD degrees. The average salaries specified here are based on the US Bureau of Labour Statistics and Glassdoor Data as at the time of this publication.

1. Immunology – Est. Average Salary: $208,000

Immunology is the scientific study of how the body defends itself against illness. A doctorate in immunology allows one to research infectious illnesses and develop public health strategies for stopping the spread of illness. The high wages and specificity of the positions in this field can be attributed to the high level of specialization required making immunology one of the most in-demand PhD degrees and also the highest-paying PhD degrees. Immunology practice can be a good feat for Physicians and Surgeons.

2. Pharmacology – Est. Annual Salary: $107,000

Earning a doctorate in Pharmacology requires extensive research into medical practice. Professional opportunities for someone with a PhD in pharmacology include teaching and consulting roles. Pharmacology majors find employment in research labs, hospitals, and universities.

3. Aerospace Engineering – Est. Annual Salary: $122,000

Those with a prior interest in science or engineering (STEM) are likely to be drawn to the area of aerospace engineering. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors globally. Its employment needs are only projected to expand as time goes on. Aerospace engineers may find employment with a wide range of entities, including armed forces, government agencies, and private corporations. They might even have executive roles with companies that make military hardware or automobiles and planes. A PhD in Aerospace engineering is not only one of the most in-demand PhD degrees, but it is also one of the highest-paying PhD degrees.

Related: Top 10 Best STEM Majors For Females

4. Physics – Est. Annual Salary: $148,000

The field of physics is expected to be one of the fastest-growing in terms of employment opportunities over the next decade. Someone having physics knowledge or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field plus relevant work experience may be well-suited to pursue a doctorate in physics. Those who earn a doctorate in physics gain insight into fundamental ideas like matter and space.

There are many specialties at the doctorate level for PhD students in Physics. Some of these specialties include electromagnetic physics, quantum mechanics, kinetics, statistical physics, and chemical thermodynamics. These branches of Physics make a PhD in Physics one of the highest-paid PhD degrees.

5. Economics – Est. Annual Salary: $108,000

Doctorates in economics are among the most sought-after PhD degrees. Economics, as a branch of the social sciences, investigates the link between the creation of wealth and the behaviour of consumers. A PhD in economics might provide you with an edge over the competition in the cutthroat finance sector, where salaries are often high.

See Also: Best Schools To Do Masters In Economics In The World | Cost of Tuition and Duration

6. Engineering – Est. Annual Salary: $120,000

Conventional Engineering Graduates with a PhD degree are well-equipped to pursue employment in a wide range of fields. Earning a doctorate in engineering provides students with the opportunity to broaden their understanding of engineering and its many applications. Professional opportunities for someone with a doctorate in general engineering include those in chemical, aeronautical, electrical, mechanical, and telecommunications engineering. Making a PhD in Engineering one of the most in-demand PhD degrees.

7. Clinical Psychology – Est. Annual Salary: $130,000

The increasing societal acceptance of mental health concerns has led to a surge in the need for professionals in the field of psychology. Obtaining a doctorate in psychology can potentially lead to higher-paying career opportunities compared to those available with a standard undergraduate or graduate degree in the field. While a degree or master’s in psychology may qualify individuals for positions as psychiatrists or psychologists, pursuing a doctorate can open up additional lucrative career paths.

8. Chemistry (Organic Chemistry) – Est. Annual Salary: $110,000

Chemistry is a well-established field with a lot of opportunities for growth and innovation. Graduates with a PhD degree have a plethora of opportunities to explore and pursue employment in a diverse range of fields. Pursuing a doctorate in Chemistry opens up exciting possibilities for students to expand their knowledge of Chemistry and explore its diverse range of applications. Doctorates with organic chemistry degrees have the most professional prospects in Chemistry. Organic Chemists are among the Highest Paid Chemistry Careers and can work in geology, pharmaceuticals, engineering, and research, among other fields.

Related: What Can I Do With A Chemistry Degree?

9. Nursing – Est. Annual Salary: $120,000

The nursing profession is vast, however, with a lot of sub-fields. Nursing is a rewarding career choice for anybody curious about the human body and interested in applying that curiosity to the alleviation of human distress. In contrast to other health science fields, a doctorate in nursing entails conducting research aimed at enhancing the nursing profession, as opposed to providing direct patient care.

10. Cybersecurity – Est. Annual Salary: $103,000

The increasing expansion of the IT industry has led to a corresponding rise in the need for heightened cybersecurity measures. This discipline is experiencing rapid growth globally, and obtaining a doctoral degree in this field may lead to various lucrative career opportunities. Cybersecurity and cyber resilience have become the most embraced technology in businesses today. This has resulted in cybersecurity being one of the most in-demand PhD degrees and can become one of the highest-paid PhD degrees.

11. Business Administration – Est. Annual Salary: $105,000

Pursuing a doctoral degree in business administration has the potential to provide numerous opportunities for professional advancement. Individuals who pursue a Doctorate in Business Administration frequently assume leadership roles such as Chief Executive Officer, as well as engage in entrepreneurial ventures and provide financial advisory services.

See Also: What Courses Are Required To Study Business Management?

12. Environmental Science – Est. Annual Salary: $103,000

The pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in environmental science entails an in-depth examination of the natural environment and the undertaking of investigative studies concerning environmental concerns such as climate change. Doctoral students pursuing a PhD degree have the opportunity to investigate and analyze various challenges that impact the well-being of humans, animals, plant life, and geological features. They can develop effective strategies to mitigate these challenges. A PhD in environmental science is among the most popular PhD degrees.

13. Education – Est. Annual Salary: $107,000

Attaining a doctoral degree in the field of education can potentially broaden an individual’s career prospects within the industry. Many individuals who hold a Doctorate in Education often pursue careers in research or assume leadership roles in educational institutions, such as serving as principals or superintendents. The increasing number of professors in education has turned a PhD in Education into one of the most popular and most sought-after PhD degrees.

14. Biostatistics – Est. Annual Salary: $130,000

A biostatistician is a type of statistician that specializes in the medical profession and is responsible for the collection, processing, and analysis of data involving live organisms. With a PhD in Biostatistics, you can share your knowledge by instructing college students. Due to the lack of this professional, a doctorate in biostatistics is one of the most in-demand PhD degrees.

15. Optometry – Est. Annual Salary: $200,000

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who are responsible for the identification and management of various ocular conditions through non-invasive means. The primary tasks performed by optometrists involve administering eye examinations and providing prescriptions for corrective eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses. The demand for Optometry lecturers in universities has continually called for the high demand of PhD holders in Optometry.

16. Political Science – Est. Annual Salary: $110,000

Individuals aspiring to work in government and engage in policy design may find a PhD in political science to be a valuable asset. PhD candidates in political science have the opportunity to conduct research on political processes and gather empirical evidence to formulate well-informed policy suggestions. One possible avenue of inquiry is to investigate the effects of government policies. Individuals who have obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science may pursue a career as a consultant to elected officials or those seeking political offices.

Related: Best Countries To Study PhD Program

17. Computer Science – Est. Annual Salary: $104,000

The computer science field is vast and covers a wide range of exciting areas such as computer systems and networks, artificial intelligence, and software engineering. It’s great to know that individuals pursuing a doctorate in computer science typically have a master’s degree and prior experience in the field. Due to the numerous career paths in the computer science field, one can earn a good salary in this field. With this, a PhD in computer science is one of the best-paying doctorate degrees as well as the most in-demand doctorate degrees.

18. Mathematics – Est. Annual Salary: $112,000

To earn a math PhD, one must study several different areas of mathematics. Graduates of this program have several employment options in fields including medicine and technology. Some of them may find jobs in biostatistics or data analysis. Mathematicians who have earned a doctorate could focus their studies on a particular branch of mathematics like geometry or statistics. As a result of the technicalities, PhD holders in mathematics have the best doctorate salaries.

19. Statistics – Est. Annual Salary: $135,000

Statisticians engage in the examination and interpretation of data to furnish insights for reporting, decision-making, and additional forms of analysis. Attainment of a master’s degree is often a prerequisite for pursuing advanced careers in statistics, while a PhD in statistics can facilitate access to more specialized research prospects within the discipline. It can equally make you earn more.

20. Biology/Biochemistry – Est. Annual Salary: $123,000

To earn a PhD in biology, you’ll need to research topics relevant to the field. Graduates with a PhD might find work in fields as diverse as medical research, conservation aid, and environmental study. The discipline of biochemistry investigates the chemical and physical components of living things. Research jobs in this field tend to pay quite well because of the high level of specialization required. PhD holders in Biology or Biochemistry are in high demand because they can lecture in colleges and universities. This is why we have included it in the list of the Most Popular Doctorate degrees and Highest Paying PhD Degrees.


Individuals who successfully finish doctoral programs are typically qualified for prominent positions and advantageous prospects within their respective fields. The acquisition of a PhD degree necessitates a significant level of academic preparation, which results in commensurately higher starting salaries for PhD graduates relative to those with solely a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Additionally, PhD graduates may have access to a greater number of top-tier employment prospects.

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