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Finding a job is on the mind of every college graduate even before they receive their diplomas. If making money right out of college is your goal, check out these 5 jobs that let you do so.

5. Nursing

nursing

Image via Flickr from Walt Stoneburner

An online degree program in nursing can take you from classes to the healthcare workforce in as little as 18 months. This degree track often carries a lower total cost and puts you in a place to earn money faster than going with a traditional four-year university. With median pay of more than $65,000 a year as a registered nurse, and a predicted shortage in primary care physicians in the next 10 years, both career and financial stability become a realities.

Continuing Education: earning more licenses and higher-level degrees in your field can vastly increase your earning potential. Nurse practitioners, who can prescribe medication and order diagnostic tests, earn six-figure salaries.

4. Actuaries

If a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics sounds boring, the average salaries that actuaries earn might change your opinion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 median annual salary for these financial analysts was $93,680. To put that number into perspective, the median yearly wage for all jobs in the United States for the same year was $34,750.  Data collected by the federal government points to strong growth for this profession, which researchers expect to exceed the average for other jobs in all fields.

Some Additional Testing Required: Earning certification from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) requires you to pass multiple exams and satisfy continuing professional development guidelines.

3. Civil Engineers

Faster than average job growth in this field is the main reason you should consider this career. Apart from designing huge building projects, including hotels, skyscrapers and bridges, there’s also the median annual pay of $79,380 as of 2012. You can enter the field needing only a Bachelor’s degree, though you may need more certifications and education to advance.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Passing a professional engineer test administered by the ASCE is necessary before you can offer your services to the public legally.

2. Web Developers

web developers

Image via Flickr from Moveable Online

Internet marketing is an evolving battle ground where businesses of all sizes war for consumers’ digital attention. Web developers are leaders in that arena. Creating websites, designing mobile apps and writing programming code is all part of the job that shows fast than average growth through 2020, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yearly median pay in this field is $62,500 with a two-year Associate’s degree needed for an entry-level position.

1. Mechanical Engineers

With a Bachelor’s degree in your pocket, you can earn a yearly income of $80,580 as a mechanical engineer. This career path gives you versatility in providing you with a skill set to get a job in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, engine design, research and development and federal contracting. You’ll need to pass a licensing exam similar to other professional fields. Staying on top of the latest technological developments is also essential to see continued career growth in this area.

Your degree is only part of what determines your earning potential when you graduate college. You’ll need determination, passion for your chosen craft and no small amount of persistence to get the job you want and thrive.

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