BETHLEHEM, PA--More than half of all engineering students expect to earn $45,000 when they graduate.

According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 57.6 percent of engineering students anticipate salary offers of at least $45,000. In contrast, almost 75 percent of visual and performing arts majors and 67 percent of education majors anticipate earning $30,000 or less. And, one-fourth of MBAs expect to earn more than $50,000.

The survey found that student expectations are realistic. Last year, starting salary offers for engineering majors averaged $40,377 for civil engineers and $53,477 for petroleum engineers. Visual and performing arts graduates averaged $27,010, and education majors earned $28,000. MBAs with nontechnical undergraduate degrees and no experience commanded offers of $45,048, with 25 percent of their offers exceeding $50,000.