To Rake in the Dough, Major in Petroleum Engineering Pysch major not the optimal choice for those seeking riches By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 24, 2011 3:40 PM CDT 3 comments Comments Petroleum engineering isn't a bad major for those looking to bank a nice salary. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Debating between engineering and English? Prospective college students may want to factor in a new census-based survey of salaries and careers in USA Today that projects the lifetime earnings of 171 college majors: No. 1: Petroleum engineering majors can expect to make $4.8 million over a 40-year career, an average of $120,000 a year. Lowest pay, with degree: For counseling/psychology majors, it's $1.16 million ($29,000 a year). No college degree: High school grads can figure on lifetime earnings of $770,000. Demand: Among the top 10 majors with highest pay, four are also among the least popular majors: Math and computer science, naval architecture and marine engineering, metallurgical engineering, and mining and mineral engineering. Humanities: English, history, and philosophy majors can expect to make about $47,000, but a graduate degree can raise that by 50% or so. Click for the full story, or to see the "most useless" degree, or to read about the is-college-worth-it debate.