Careers

20 high-paying jobs that make grad school worth it

The decision to pursue a master's or doctorate degree is a significant one.

Tuition and fees can translate into high student debt that could take longer to pay off than you think. But on the other hand, it could yield a well-paying job that makes the investment worth it.

Which jobs are worth that investment? To help answer that question, loan comparison site Finder.com looked at the highest-paying jobs that require a professional degree and calculated which leave individuals with the greatest income, after education costs and student loan repayment.

To compile the report, Finder.com chose the professions that made LinkedIn's 2017 highest-paying jobs list. Researchers calculated the average amount it would cost a professional to pay for the education associated with the job, as well as how much it would cost to pay off their student loans.

They used average tuition costs and a typical student loan repayment term of 10 years, with an interest rate of 3.76 percent for an undergraduate degree, and 4.53 percent for a graduate degree.

To determine which profession has the best value, they used LinkedIn's salary data and multiplied it over 10 years, the same time it would take to pay off all costs associated with the degree. They then subtracted the total costs of paying off the student loan.

Here are 15 jobs that make grad school's price-tag worth it:

20. Podiatrist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $777,369
Median base salary: $150,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

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Getty Images

19. Anesthetist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $820,569
Median base salary: $156,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

18. Dentist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $887,859
Median base salary: $165,000
Total cost of student loan: $300,140

17. Patent Attorney

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $917,243
Median base salary: $160,000
Total cost of student loan: $234,757

16. Senior Software Engineering Manager

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $940,610
Median base salary: $155,000
Total cost of student loan: $175,389

15. Director of Engineering

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $989,009
Median base salary: $164,000
Total cost of student loan: $191,791

A 23-year-old works at his desk at Rally Software Development in Boulder, Colorado. 
Cyrus McCrimmon | Getty Images
A 23-year-old works at his desk at Rally Software Development in Boulder, Colorado. 

14. Global Marketing Director

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,003,558
Median base salary: $155,000
Total cost of student loan: $112,441.79

13. Tax Director

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,014,360
Median base salary: $161,000
Total cost of student loan: $144,839

12. Staff Software Engineer

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,027,772
Median base salary: $168,000
Total cost of student loan: $181,827

11. Senior Corporate Counsel

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,033,555
Median base salary: $175,000
Total cost of student loan: $226,445

10. Director Product Management

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,039,558
Median base salary: $160,000
Total cost of student loan: $112,441

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9. Psychiatrist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,157,969
Median base salary: $218,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

8. Hospitalist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,171,369
Median base salary: $220,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631.47

7. Physician (general)

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,171,369
Median base salary: $220,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

6. Pathologist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,204,869
Median base salary: $225,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

5. Medical Director

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,238,369
Median base salary: $230,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

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4. Surgeon

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $1,961,969
Median base salary: $338,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

3. Anesthesiologist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $2,042,369
Median base salary: $350,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

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2. Radiologist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $2,075,869
Median base salary: $355,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

1. Cardiologist

Net earnings for 10 years after loan repayment: $2,082,569
Median base salary: $356,000
Total cost of student loan: $302,631

Check out the highest paying jobs that don't require a master's degree