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10 lowest-paying college majors

Thursday - 8/14/2014, 10:34am  ET

teacher (John Moore/Getty Images)
Teaching can be rewarding for education majors, but it is among one of the lowest-paying majors. (John Moore/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- It pays to go to college. But not all majors lead to jobs that pay well.

College information website, College Factual, evaluated data to determine which majors can lead to low-paying jobs.

While it's important for students to follow their passion, compensation can be important for a generation of graduates with mounting student debt.

Roughly 37 million people in the U.S. are saddled with $1 trillion in student debt. Estimates show that the average four-year graduate accumulates $26,000 to $29,000 in loans, and some leave college with six figures worth of debt.

College Factual used data collected by Pay Scale for the ranking of low-paying majors. The Pay Scale information is based on survey responses from thousands of college graduates, USA TODAY reports.

View the lowest-paying majors and the amounts they earn, according to College Factual.

  1. Behavioral Science: $33,800. Students in this major study a combination of psychology, biomedical science and social science. The major can be wide-ranging, which leads students to no obvious career path. Many behavioral science majors end up working in labs as research assistants.

  2. Education, General: $33,800. Education majors are taught to become teachers. The slow hiring of teachers and low pay for teachers at the primary and secondary levels have led many education majors to struggle in their job searches.

  3. Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies: $33,500. Students explore recreation and leisure theories and learn about providing recreation services to the public. Many majors go on to find jobs managing hotels, parks, spas and other facilities.

  4. Radio, Television and Digital Communication: $33,300. Majors in the field learn about operating audio and video recording and editing equipment as well as telling stories as a journalist. The radio and television industries are competitive and jobs can be difficult to obtain.

  5. Culinary Arts: $33,000. Culinary Arts majors learn everything about cooking and baking as well as some business and management skills. Jobs in culinary arts can be competitive and demanding.

  6. Human Development, Family Studies and Related Services: $32,700. The major explores the ways in which people develop as well as the framework of family and society. The major can lead to jobs such as counseling or social work. Without a master's degree, it can be a low-paying career.

  7. Theological and Ministerial Studies: $32,500. Students study spirituality and are prepared for careers in ministry, missions or religious education.

  8. Child Development and Psychology: $32,300. The major focuses on the emotional and mental needs of children. Career paths include social work, education or research.

  9. Social Work: $32,200. Social work majors study human behavior and interactions as well as some mental health issues. Graduates often go on to careers in social work or mental health.

  10. Animal Science: $31,100. Majors in Animal Science study animal biology, anatomy and physiology. Its students go on to get jobs in agriculture, such as farm or ranch jobs, or research.

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