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Design Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

The field of design is broad and complex, with several branches of specializations. The majority of students choose to start their design degree with a core curriculum as they mold and aim for their professional and academic goals. Design is present everywhere – physical forms, photographs, illustrations, virtual spaces, and graphics are evident in our daily lives. Design degrees explore the diversity of the creative field or industry and enable students to develop strong artistic capabilities and knowledge while discovering their expertise.

Enrolling in a design-related degree program is challenging but rewarding. It takes three to five years to finish the program. The set of coursework found in the design degree equips students with an ideal combination of theoretical and practical background and skills essential to the field of design. Design majors enroll courses in different areas of study, such as studio art, modeling, typography, art history, computer programming, drafting, and many more things.

For students who have a creative flair, a design degree could open up several career opportunities to put their musical knowledge and skills to use commercially. There are a variety of disciplines to choose from – graphic design, fashion design, game design, interior design, or web design.

Design degrees tend to have fewer discussions or lectures compared to other academic degrees such as History, English, and Science. Students need to attend plenty of workshops, design conferences and seminars where they will be taught in an exclusive group, discover new skills, and collaborate with other design majors, integrating a much more practical and hands-on approach to learning.

Design as a Degree

Design degree programs can either be wide, narrow, or a combination of both when it comes to its concept of learning. There are several specializations to choose, including animation, computer game design, furniture design, theatre design, graphic design, product design, textiles, fashion design, and jewelry design, among others.

Each college and university have a different approach to its design degree programs. Key components of the bachelor’s degree program include graphic layout, computer-aided design, 3D materials and technologies, typography, and film making. Design degree programs teach students the fundamentals of design—from learning how to draw with accuracy through the computer or by hand up to design theories. Some schools concentrate on the detailed understanding of design theories, while others emphasize the practical elements of design.

Types of Design Degree Programs

Associate’s Degree in Design

Most vocational schools and community colleges offer 60-credit hour programs in Design. Depending on the students’ pace of learning, they can complete this degree in two years. This degree can help students prepare for an immediate career in the design industry or prepare them for a bachelor’s degree. Students will learn introductory foundational background in essential visual art techniques, and they will gain in-depth knowledge of art history and concepts. The set of coursework typically consists of liberal arts and humanities areas of study.

Some schools offer advanced studies in a variety of Design fields such as Graphic Design or Fine Arts and Multimedia. As a result, students will have the chance to build their portfolios that are key to landing careers. With an associate’s degree, students who finish this degree program are qualified to work as a freelance graphic artist, printing technician, multimedia animator, or even a photographer’s assistant. The courses that will be taken in the associate’s degree program includes computer-aided drafting, introduction to art history, drawing and illustration, design principles, sculpture, and painting, among others.

Bachelor’s Degree in Design

A Bachelor’s in Design provides an introductory background in visual media, art techniques, and art history as well as more extensive learning of the students’ chosen area of specialization. This degree program is typically completed in a minimum of four years depending on the students’ education timeline, with 120-credit hours required for completion. Fine Arts majors will have the opportunity to refine their techniques, familiarity with human anatomy and inanimate things, and an appreciation for art history in watershed format. Graphic Arts majors will learn creative and professional ways in technology, best practices, and concepts.

A similar setup is applicable for students majoring in photography, fashion design, animation, video game design, publication layout, interior decorating, or any other subdisciplines of the design field. The majority of subdisciplines provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge to develop students’ skills and capabilities. Students will build the portfolios of their works that will be ultimately shown to potential employers for a thriving career in the field of design. The bachelor’s degree in Design is a practical choice that will provide students the immediate access to several career opportunities. Sample courses under this degree program include 3D drawing, art, and new media, sculptures and ceramics, color and design, basics of design computer, integration of art and design, and foundation in art history among others.

Master’s Degree in Design

A master’s degree program in Design is a suitable option for students who want to become art directors, art historian, restoration specialist, or a museum curator. It is also the right choice for students who wish to become professors in the university or an art instructor. This one to two-year-degree programs will immerse students to become fully equipped with the knowledge and skills in the chosen area of concentration. A master’s degree program prepares students’ way of becoming a Ph.D. student in Design. Courses under this level include critical theory, contemporary issues in art, advanced studies in art history, typographic methods, and digital photography editing, to name a few.

Doctorate in Design

Students who wish to work in the research field or become educators in universities or colleges have the option to earn a Ph.D. in Design. Also, it is valuable for people who are interested in working in advance institutions such as foundations, museum administrative offices, reputable art associations, societies, or art collectives. They can also become advisers to a mentor to complete a research or dissertation work on a specific topic.

Difference Between Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design is solely intended for students who want to become art professionals. This degree is integrated with a range of humanities and liberal arts studies.

The Bachelor of Science in Design is suitable for students who intend to combine design and drafting skills for a career in the architecture field. Moreover, it provides educational preparation for advanced studies.

Design Specialization

Design is a vast field that choosing a concentration can be challenging. The array of choices for design is immense, and while design degree programs offer opportunities in the future, it can be tough to choose which is best for you.

Typography and Calligraphy

Students who love typography are ideal people who choose this type of specialization. They can earn excellence income by selling customized pieces or fonts, creating small print projects such as greeting cards, wall decors, and other print business. Also, they can design typefaces for applications and websites. Take as many courses related to this design medium and hone skills by constant practice. Students can even earn income while they are still studying by making custom work for friends, families, or clients.

Mobile Application Design

Today, technology has undergone tremendous changes in the last 20 years. Several mobile applications are developed daily. This is an excellent specialization to consider for designers who want to earn a good income from this industry and have an in-depth interest in mobile applications. There is no need to program these designs through complex algorithms or code; however, students must only learn user interface design to venture this field. There are several online tutorials to help students improve their craft for a career in mobile app design and to keep them updated with the latest trends in mobile application designing.

Print Media and Publication

Print designs, marketing, and digital artwork are still popular nowadays, despite the world going digital. They come from numerous applications such as marketing campaigns, newspapers, print advertisements, flyers, and magazine layouts. Students who earn this specialization can work either as a freelance print designer or in a publication company.

Film and Video

Students who have a passion for video editing, film making, or even artistic productions can significantly benefit by taking up a concentration in film and video. They learn how to use technical software applications to create promotional content from video footages. Furthermore, they hone their skills in editing clips or videos that trims down footages into segments, frames for audio, and organizing raw content into a masterpiece.

Iconography

With the increasing demand for online presence, iconography can be a challenging yet lucrative field. Icon design is essential for mobile applications, products, and website applications; therefore, high demand for such specialization is an excellent option to consider. It requires expertise in photography and fine art, integrating the authenticity and creativity of icon designs.

User Interface Animation

Students who love animation and user interface animation can consider this type of specialization. It is one of the most challenging specializations of design that requires constant upkeep and creativity. However, working with movie production or even with mobile application user interface design can help students land in lucrative career opportunities.

Interior Design

Furniture, color schemes, functionality, aesthetics, lighting, or even flooring, revolves the career of students who choose this concentration. Their work mostly consists of all the elements that make up a room or a building. Students learn how to sketch their ideas or use design software applications and later on work with engineers, builders, and architects who bring their masterpiece to life.

Fashion Design

Students who love to design accessories and new clothing choose fashion design as their primary area of study. They learn how to sketch their designs on papers. Also, they know the textiles, color combinations, and raw materials to determine the final product of their collection. They study fashion trends by attending fashion shows and designer events as well as review magazines to gain inspiration.

Design Degree Program: Online or Traditional?

There are several associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in design online, which you can enroll, whether full-time or part-time. Online design colleges or universities are popular options for working professionals since it is more convenient to fit their coursework around their tight schedule. Programs like multimedia design, animation, and web design can be completed 100% because of the nature of the coursework. As such, learning materials and design assignments can be completed online. On the other hand, some specializations involving lithography, woodworking, fashion design, and painting require on-campus attendance since there is a need to access design studios and materials to get the most out of this degree.

Enrolling in the traditional on-campus learning setup is advised for students who need more guidance and structure while making most out of the resources found in the academic institutions. Online design degree programs are suitable for individuals who are independent self-starters and motivate themselves despite handling additional responsibilities to earn their degrees on their own. Another advantage of taking the design degree in a completely online format is students will likely to save money by eliminating additional expenses from transportation, housing, art studio fees, parking, and meals from their budget.

Financing Your Design Education

Earning a Design degree does not have to be impossible and scary, especially if there are several opportunities to finance students’ design education.

The first step towards searching for financial aid assistance should be applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or known as FAFSA. Design students can ask for financial help through FFEL Loans, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Direct Loans, and other private companies that offer loan services for education assistance. These loans must be settled within six months after earning the degree with interest and as such, settling these accounts will immediately save students the inconvenience of paying heavily rated fees.

On the other hand, numerous financial aid support opportunities do not require repayment. The U.S. federal government offers more than 1,000 federal grant programs such as FSEOG, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, and PELL. Students may consider a federal work-study program (FWS) to earn income for on-campus job opportunities and pay their education expenses. Each academic institution has dedicated Financial Aid Support Systems that readily helps students regarding their tuition fees and education expenses.

Money-saving scholarships, whether merit-based or need-based, are commonly recognized as gift aid or grants for providing free tuition assistance that doesn’t require to be repaid. They are one of the major tuition resources funding that offers millions of dollars to deserving students each year. Several organizations offer them; ask your school’s financial aid office for design-related scholarships for you.

Design Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

Choosing a design degree can open several opportunities for different creative career pathways with a lucrative income. The majority of the people associate design degree holders as sketch artists, painters, furniture makers, printmakers, sculptors, graphic designers, musicians, and jewelry makers.

However, the options are not limited to these fields as there are other high-paying careers such as web designers, interior designers, multimedia artists, industrial designers, art directors, and screenwriters. Therefore, a design-related degree is a wise investment for anyone looking for unleashing their creative capacity.

Graphic Designer

A highly popular design-related career is Graphic Design. These people have the talent to create designs for product illustrations, websites, marketing materials, and brand identities using computer software applications such as Adobe Creative Suite. They work independently as freelancers, for a company or in an agency. Graphic designers earn a median pay of $50,370 per year or $24.21 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Interior Designer

Interior designers work with interior spaces in rooms, residential homes, corporate buildings, condominiums, coffee shops, restaurants, and other establishments. Their work mainly revolves on flooring, lighting, color schemes, furniture, interiors, and other elements of design that make up a room or building. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers earn %53,370 per year or $25.66 per hour, with 66,500 jobs generated since 2016.

Art Directors

Art directors communicate and manage a team of design professionals that work in various settings such as public relations agency, magazines, advertising, or internet-based publications. They earn $92,780 per year or $44.60 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Fashion Designer

People who love the fashion industry and love to make their collections enjoy working as a fashion designer. They provide sample garments to agents, stylists, and creative directors in the hopes of showcasing their collections in magazines and publications. They work in apparel companies, design firms, wholesale, or retail manufacturing establishments, or their clothing line. Fashion designers earn $72,720 per year or $34.96 per hour.

Multimedia Artists/Animators

People who work as animators create animations and special effects for video games, movies, series and other forms of 2D or 3D media. They work with a team of artists and animators to bring their ideas to reality using computer software applications. They earn $72,520 per year or $34.87 per hour.

Various design-related degrees could establish a career in the following industries:

  • Craft/Fine Arts
  • Industrial Design
  • Floral Design
  • Game Design
  • Web Design
  • Advertising
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Animation
  • Film & Television Production

In this era of computers, these top modern-day Design specializations are on high demand:

  • UX (User Experience) Design
  • Product Design
  • UI (User Interface) Design
  • Video Game Design
  • Multimedia Art & Animation
  • Web Design
  • Exhibit Design

10 Common Design Occupations

Graphic Designer

Salary: $50,370 per year

Education Requirement: In the past, becoming a graphic designer required a unique portfolio only. Nowadays, clients and employers look for candidates who are well-educated and hold at least a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design programs. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in a different field may gain graphic design skills from enrolling to courses in art and design. A creative portfolio is still expected and will help you get hired for the job. To keep up with the fast-changing technology and keep a well-rounded skill set, graphic designers acquire certifications and training as well.

Interior Designer

Salary: $53,370 per year

Education Requirement: While a degree is not a strong need to become an interior designer, most interior design companies prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs in interior design or a program in a related field with coursework in computer-aided design (CAD), drawing, lighting design, and visual design are acceptable. Prospective interior design students may consult with either the Council for Interior Design Accreditation or the National Association of Schools of Art and Design for accredited design schools and institutions.

Fashion Designer

Salary: $72,720 per year

Education Requirement: The competitive world of the fashion industry now typically requires a minimum of an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. These programs may be combined with another major such as marketing, business, or fashion merchandising. Fashion designers are expected to be well-versed with textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and keep abreast with fashion trends. Hands-on training and internships are essential in learning skills and acquiring valuable experiences. Aspirant fashion designers looking for accredited schools and institutions with top tier fashion design programs may see them on the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) list.

Film/Video Editor

Salary: $50,584 per year

Education Requirement: The education needed to be a film or video editor starts with a bachelor’s degree. Aside from experience and industry connections, film or video editors get into the industry because they have a bachelor’s degree in film studies, video production, communications technology, or audiovisual communication. They begin their careers as assistants or apprentice editors and work through many experiences to become a lead editor. A master’s degree helps them prepare for more job prospects and stay atop the industry.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Salary: $72,520 per year

Education Requirement: According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, most employers prefer multimedia artists and animators who hold a bachelor’s degree in any program that offers coursework on two- or three-dimensional designs, new media, digital arts, computer animation, and graphic design. These programs may be computer graphics, art, and design. Multimedia artists and animators work to increase their accomplishments and typically earn a master’s degree to move to a higher position in the company.

Advertising Designer

Salary: $73,182 per year

Education Requirement: Typically, advertising designers hold a bachelor’s degree in Graphic or Advertising Design, Advertising, or Marketing. Some advertising designers begin their career with an associate’s degree, but earning a bachelor’s degree helps them land jobs and develop more portfolio of their work. You can obtain a good list of high-quality art schools and institutions with good advertising programs from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) site.

Photographer

Salary: $34,000 per year

Education Requirement: Education programs for prospective photographers would depend on their career goals. Some employers take a high school diploma, but some industries require higher education. Say if you want to work for photojournalism or forensic photography industry, then an associate’s degree in Photography might be enough for some companies or some clients. A bachelor’s degree in Photography provides you with more workshops and lets you explore the logistical and technical aspects of the field. For the reason that technology is continuously upgrading especially in photography, one must be able to advance by learning new skills and techniques. Professional certificate programs are available to help you, and these are offered by the Professional Photographers of America.

Industrial/Commercial Designer

Salary: $66,590 per year

Education Requirement: Aspiring industrial designers may be required to have a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Product Design, Engineering, Advertising Art, Packaging Science, Visual Design, and related fields. Coursework should have either computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided industrial design. Additionally, earning a master’s degree will help build a strong professional portfolio of designs that will demonstrate skills and help bid contracts for work.

User Experience Designer

Salary: $90,697 per year

Education Requirement: The least degree you can earn to get a job as a UX designer is an associate’s degree in the fields of Visual Design, Communications, Computer Science, and even in Psychology. There is no specific degree for UI/UX designers. Also, many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. So, developing advanced skills still brings more significant benefits. You can also further build your knowledge and skills by getting into certificate programs. The Interaction Design Foundation offers excellent certificate programs targeting interaction design, computer science, information architecture, user experience, and design.

Craft and Fine Artist

Salary: $48,960 per year

Education Requirement: High school classes in the art may help you with essential skills such as drawing, sewing, painting, and woodworking but to get sufficient skills, you need either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fine arts. These degrees should be obtained from accredited colleges and universities. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) has a complete list of accredited schools and institutions who offer art and design programs. Independent academies of art and design also offer art programs, certifications, and training.

30 Highest-Paying Design Occupations

Creative Director

Creative Directors plan, oversee, and manage the creative process of all projects. They are the leads at advertising agencies or marketing companies. They are responsible for guiding their creative teams, which include directors, designers, and copywriters. Depending on the company’s goals, the role of creative directors may change. Working with the team to produce creative ideas, overseeing client pitches and proposals, meeting with clients or upper management, reviewing work, and providing feedback to the group are some of the responsibilities creative directors hold. This position needs ample experience that runs from five to eight years. Problem-solving and project-management skills are essential.

Creative Director Salary: $132,770 per year

Furniture Designer

Furniture designers develop and produce designs for items and different kinds of furniture. Some of these creative individuals work for the mass production of furniture and may even work for branded pieces. There are two kinds of furniture designers. Independent furniture designers work a commission basis and create designs without having to depend on clients. Commercial furniture designers create their designs based on the company’s goals and target market. Responsibilities of furniture designers are preparing detailed plans, using software packages, evaluating ordering and manufacturing of furniture, attending workshops, and staying abreast of design trends and developments.

Furniture Designer Salary: $111,441 per year

Product Designer

The challenge of product designers is to take broad ideas and make them functional and straightforward items or products. These products are used in our daily lives, may they be industrial or consumer goods. Product designers do not only design new products but also improve how existing products work. They have to work and collaborate with engineers, marketing, and manufacturing teams as well. Responsibilities may include analyzing the development process of new products, developing a comprehensive specification and documentation necessary to other teams, presenting drafts through sketches, storyboards and architecture blueprints, producing prototypes, testing the functionality of products, and gathering feedback from clients, upper management, engineering, and other teams. The work environment for product designers is usually in bright studios or workshops.

Product Designer Salary: $106,766 per year

Design Manager

Design managers drive efficiency and manage a team of design, graphics, and drafts team or department. These managers are tasked to develop design strategies, ensure technical resources are utilized efficiently, oversee quality checking and approval procedures are observed, coordinate with other teams and various parties of production and design, escalate the potential issue to the upper management, and lastly, track and evaluate the feedback of design performance. They work standard office hours and full-time.

Design Manager Salary: $94,926 per year

Art Director

Art directors generally have to manage a team of designers working on a creative project for visual styles and images in the fields of film and television, publishing, marketing, product packaging, web design and more. Art directors have responsibilities to meet with clients to discuss brand objectives and target, hire and train designing staff, collaborate with other teams in the art department in developing creative visual elements, establish budgets and timelines, research market trends and consumer need, and track campaign performance. Most employers look for a master’s degree for this position. Art directors usually work in a fast-paced environment and have very high social interaction skills since they work with customers and client staff regularly. They have to work under pressure to meet deadlines every week or every month.

Art Director Salary: $92,780 per year

User Experience Designer

User experience designers’ main concern is how a particular product “feels.” They have to possess a strong empathy for the user and have excellent analytical abilities to identify user needs and solve problems. These are possible through research and testing. UX designers are responsible for developing wireframes and task flows premised on user needs, understanding product specification and user psychology, develop prototypes based on customer needs, create a strategic design on new functions and features, collaborate with other designers and developers, and gather feedback after conducting tests. They must be experts in standard UX software like Sketch, Framer, OmniGraffle, InVision, UXPin, and Balsamiq.

User Experience Designer Salary: $90,697 per year

Architect

Architects design residential and commercial buildings and the spaces around them. They plan, design, and oversee the construction. They may also restore and redesign old or existing buildings to make room for new facilities. Their tasks may include developing ideas based on client specification and needs, produce detailed blueprints, ensure budget and timelines are met, coordinate with contractors, do site visits, and attend regular meetings with other colleagues and professionals involved in the construction or project. Most of them work in offices with occasional visits to clients and project location. Employers may vary from private construction companies, government agencies, and other organizations.

Architect Salary: $77,799 per year

Advertising Designer

Advertising designers develop ideas for advertisements and work to bring these advertisements to life and different channels. These advertisements can involve television, web content, print, newspapers, magazines, books, or promotional giveaways. This is done by creating or choosing eye-catching designs through visual concepts comprised of shapes, drawings, computer-generated objects, or photographs. Other design team members may also produce these concepts, so coordination and interaction are essential to this job. Advertising designers work to sell a product or service. They have to do market research on customer needs, edit and manipulate presentations according to the client’s needs, and determine which layout or design will be most appealing to the consumers.

Advertising Designer Salary: $73,182

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers have a strong sense of aesthetics, a sense of balance and proportion, and a keen eye for color and detail. They design and assist in the production of clothing range, shoes, and accessories. Some may work as a generalist while some prefer to specialize in an area like women’s wear, sportswear, haute couture, high-street fashion, menswear, and more. They decide what color, style, size, fabrics, and trims to work on. Their responsibilities include creating an idea and developing a design, planning and formulating ranges, coordinating with other members of the team, reviewing product or style, presenting mood boards or storyboards to potential clients and lastly, keeping track of the latest trends on fashion.

Fashion Designer Salary: $72,720 per year

Multimedia Artists and Animator

Multimedia artists and animators, through the use of multiple technologies, create animation, special effects, and other visual images for television, movies, video games, and different sorts of media. The animations are usually created in a two- or three-dimensional models. Multimedia artists and animators are tasked to develop sophisticated graphics and animation through computer programs and illustrations. They manipulate light, color, shadow, movements, and texture of an object to make characters appear real. Applying story development, creating storyboards, working with other team members, research on upcoming projects, and meeting with clients, directors, actors, other designers to check timelines and update on deadlines are some of the responsibilities of multimedia artists and animators. Motion picture agencies and video industries hire most of them while some are employed by software publishers, advertising agencies, and related services.

Multimedia Artists and Animators Salary: $72,520 per year

Video Producers

Video producers are leaders who are in charge of getting things done in a film or video production. They must possess the creative ability and as well as strong entrepreneurial skills. Video producers work on the project from start to finish. They begin with selecting artistic elements for multimedia content, then hire editors, actors, stylist, videographers, and other team members needed for the production team. Once video producers organize the crew and staff, they then delegate specific tasks to each of them. Video producers also have to ensure that the projects are kept within the budget, actualize expenses, secure business and location permits, plan video shoots and schedules, record and edit video projects, and even write scripts or design graphics. To become a video producer, one must hold a long-term experience in the field.

Video Producer Salary: $71,680 per year

Interior Design Project Manager

Interior design project managers primarily oversee the project from conception to completion. They are responsible for planning, budgeting, organizing, and execution of the project. Their ultimate goal is to ensure the safety and welfare of the clients who will occupy the space they are working on. They have to make decisions, delegate tasks to interior designers and other members of the team, consult with clients about the area, design, and other preferences. They also need to ensure that the execution of the project adheres to the building code, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and that preparation of contracts for clients approval is carried out.

Interior Design Project Manager Salary: $68,119 per year

Industrial Designer

Industrial designers work with other industry professionals in creating and manufacturing industrial products like home appliances, toys, cars, sports equipment, materials, and supplies. They have to hold a formal education and apply art, business, and engineering techniques to create or design such products. Industrial designers should develop designs by sketching, rendering, and prototypes. They have to regularly do meetings with other professionals like engineers and other designers to help them with the decision-making process. Other tasks include identifying manufacturing partners and resources, continuously developing new ideas and design, evaluating the feasibility of plans, and maintaining expertise on product design ensuring adherence to International Organization of Standardization and Good Manufacturing Practice.

Industrial Designer Salary: $66,590 per year

Graphic Design Manager

These senior-level employees are responsible for supervising a graphics design team in an organization or company. Graphic design managers oversee the development of designs, concepts, and layouts. They have to present these design projects to stakeholders or the upper management for support and approval. They have to delegate tasks to art designers, graphic designers, production designers, and other professionals needed in the execution of the project. Like most managers, they need to meet with clients or art directors to prepare and know their preferences on the project. Product logos, websites, and illustrations are the essential elements in the execution of the project. Ensuring organized and up-to-date files are maintained, training and mentoring junior designers, and ensuring strict adherence of design guidelines are some of the other responsibilities of graphic design managers.

Graphic Design Manager Salary: $63,503 per year

Motion Graphic Designers

Graphic designers develop designs through visuals, while motion graphic designers do the same with movement. Animators present concepts through a storyline while motion graphic designers give life to ideas or elements that usually don’t have any.  Motion graphic designers create elaborate designs for a broad array of media such as the web, television, smartphones, and electronic devices. They also collaborate with editors, producers, and other designers to work on a project and solve technical issues. Research and analysis on best techniques for motion graphics, maintaining best practices in organizing files, versioning control, and naming convention, being knowledgeable about the current graphic designs are some of the tasks and responsibilities they need to handle.

Motion Graphic Designer Salary: $63,373 per year

Apparel Technical Designers

Apparel technical designers have become essential members of the fashion industry. They primarily take over a new design idea and work to ensure that products meet brand standards. They see to it that garments or accessories align with product specifications. Designers with pattern-making skills are best qualified for this job. Apparel technical designers have to engage in quality control by attending product fittings, ensure specific characteristics for the brand like displaying the company’s logo, work and coordinate with advertising and marketing teams to produce effective advertisement on the product. Making a recommendation about pattern improvements, consulting pattern makers in creating new designs, and maintaining documentation for pattern designs are all part of an apparel technical designer’s tasks.

Apparel Technical Designer Salary: $61,317 per year

Set and Exhibit Designer

Set and exhibit designers work to design special exhibits and physical sets for movies, television, and theater sets. To do this, they have to collaborate with directors, writers, and research team to identify appropriate styles and setup. They may also have to read scripts and do research on architectural styles to get more ideas on what the final set design should be. Their tasks may include estimating set-related costs, including construction and materials, selecting appropriate furniture, and designing wall and floor coverings. They also prepare the floor plans and delegate specific work such as sketching and illustrating. They incorporate security systems into exhibit layouts. Group discussions and meetings are essential in this job. Set and Exhibit Designerswork either in an office-style or warehouse-style setting.

Set and Exhibit Designer Salary: $61,020 per year

Digital Designer

Digital design is a specialty in graphic design. This may include multimedia presentations, email and web ads, social media collateral, digital signage, pitch decks, and more. Digital designers mainly apply graphic design principles in creating digital graphic communication. Their responsibilities may include designing and developing microsites, electronic media, and rich text emails, design HTML email and newsletter, collaborate with digital photographers and illustrators, and finally, staying up to date with the digital trends. Digital designers must be knowledgeable with HTML coding, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator, and other software packages essential to digital design.

Digital Designer Salary: $59,698 per year

Illustrator

Illustrators create original pieces of artwork through still drawings for the advertisements published in books, magazines, packaging, greeting cards, and newspapers. Illustrators either work on various projects or focus on one area. It is crucial for these creative professionals to know and understand the target audience and the concept of art appropriate for these audiences. They have to seek approval from the upper management or even stakeholders before working on the final idea for the project. Other responsibilities may include refining designs using illustration software, setting budget and timeline, ensuring the color and quality standards are met, formatting images through computer-aided design software, and keeping track with new designs and software. Some illustrators work either home or in a studio.

Illustrator Salary: $58,370 per year

Textile Designer

Textile designers design and create patterns for knitted, printed, and woven textiles. The textile design may include clothing and accessories, fabrics and furnishings, upholstery, and even industrial equipment. Some textile designers may be involved with a variety of textile while some work in a specialty area.  They produce sketches and samples for presentation to customers, upper management or stakeholders, assessing production standards, use software applications for print machines, identify color arrangements, source fabrics, and materials, attend trade shows and exhibits, ensure projects are completed on time and budget, and keep up to date on textile design trends. Most textile designers may have to work extra hours for meetings. Textile designers are mostly found in factories, smart design studios, or at the office.

Textile Designer Salary: $58,334 per year

Sculptor

Sculptors create three-dimensional pieces using stone, wood, plaster, marble, concrete, metal, and even blocks of ice. They design and construct their artwork using techniques and methods in carving, metalworking, whittling, chiseling, or shaping. They utilize tools such as chisels, mallets, gouges, and other hand tools to create the object. Most sculptors work freelance and do not have to depend on someone else. Some work for commission-based pay and make a piece for a person or a company.  They may also teach sculpting, reach out to galleries to showcase their work, and select materials for new projects.

Sculptor Salary: $57,520 per year

Jewelry Designer

Jewelry designers are professionals who were trained to design and make jewelry using a variety of materials such as gems, stones, precious metals, and crystals. These trained professionals create accessories for the ears, neck, hands, feet, and toes. They may create these accessories for mass production or produce a few of them for clients. They have to discuss client’s range of options, sketch out ideas by hand, 3D modeling, 3D construction or using computer-aided design (CAD) software, adjust to mount to ensure a perfect fit, and meet client expectations. Working hours for employed jewelry designers are typically regular and do not require shifts while freelance jewelry designers have the flexibility to work hours that suit them.

Jewelry Designer Salary: $57,485 per year

Interior Designer

Interior designers work to set up interior spaces by making them functional, safe, and aesthetic. They determine space requirements, select colors, light, and furniture to set up a room, read blueprints, and are well informed with building codes and inspection regulations. They are responsible for defining project requirements, sketching preliminary designs, sourcing materials, and furnishings, preparing final plans, ensuring client expectations are met, producing samples and mood products, and collaborating with other designers, architects, engineers, and constructors. Research about industry changes and trends are also essential to succeed in this type of job.

Interior Design Salary: $53,370 per year

Film/Video Editor

Video editing is crucial in the entertainment and marketing industry. It puts all shots into their proper sequence and gives the perfect flow of the film. The primary responsibility of film and video editors is to edit and assemble recorded raw materials, videos, graphics, audio and texts into a qualified finished product ready for transmission, advertisement, broadcasting or distribution. Film and video editors arrange footage and match sound files, decide which shots are kept and which ones make the cut, add graphics and titles, capture studio-quality photographs and videos, work with other member of the creative team, present final product to the management or producers, and manage all aspects of recording and editing. Film and video editors make use of editing software to produce films that suit the audience expectations or preference.

Film/Video Editor Salary: $50,584 per year

Videographer

Videographers operate video cameras and other related equipment in capturing important events, production of video documentaries, scouting video, and production of television programs. They wear more than one hat. They can be directors, sound man, and editor. Videographers may direct people to capture certain angles and actions, edit these captured videos, and use audio mixing and lighting equipment for field or studio productions. They are responsible for completing preventive maintenance reports on videos and other production equipment, negotiating to price with clients and tracking time and schedule spent in shooting, directing, editing and post-production process.

Videographer Salary: $50,584 per year

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers create visual concepts for print, digital, and mobile platforms. Their job may vary widely depending on what type of project they need to work on. Graphic designers establish a working relationship with clients to determine their goals, budget, and expectations. They also develop design ideas and layouts for product illustrations, logos, and websites. They prepare drafts and sketches based on the client’s preference and work with the creative directors and the marketing team to decide on the final design. Graphic designers are typically hired by advertising agencies, large print companies, multimedia companies, and television and broadcasting companies.

Graphic Designer Salary: $50,370 per year

Art Professor

An art professor’s career falls under a broad category. Art professors not only teach art classes but also include drama and music classes. These professionals are also artists who contribute to the knowledge and skills acquired by undergraduate and graduate students. They work in colleges and universities, and most of them are tenured and are awarded a lifetime of employment. They can also teach art history, the basic principles of art, and art restoration. They supervise and assist students in their artwork, encourage creativity, and provide feedback and evaluation on student’s performance. If they are not in the classrooms, you can find them in art studios.

Art Professor Salary: $49,465 per year

Craft and Fine Artist

Most craft and fine artists try to work with art away from traditional methods like sculpting, painting, or drawing. They produce or reproduce hand-made objects by using a variety of techniques for sale and exhibition. Materials or objects used may be glassware, textiles, pottery, metal, and wood. Craft and fine artists create pieces that are designed to be functional. These professionals shape, cut or join materials, use visual techniques for color, space, composition, and perspective, select which materials to use, create sketches and templates or models to guide their work, and display their work at auctions and galleries.

Craft and Fine Artist Salary: $48,960 per year

Production Artist

Production artists are tasked to evaluate the final product or design. Aside from collecting, processing and uploading files, production artists review final copy or content in print or digital form. They ensure that the client’s expectations are met by checking standards in color, font, production quality, and more. They have to possess skills in graphic design and fine arts as these will help complete a great deal of work. They have to put finishing touches, change the layout, get rid of redundancy in the final product, catch typos, spot size, resolution, and font errors. Getting into this job means being under constant pressure and deadline. They are expected to know how specific software work, such as Dreamweaver, Microsoft Project, and Macromedia Flash.

Production Artist Salary: $47,563 per year

Kitchen and Bath Designer

Kitchen and bath designers are interior designers who specialize in designing kitchens and bathrooms. Before materials are bought, kitchen and bath designers have to visit the site and do a survey while communicating with clients. They have to ensure that clients approve of the patterns, color, design, and materials they have proposed. Their responsibilities include planning a layout by using sketches and blueprints, be involved in sourcing, purchase, freight, and delivery, handle a team of designers for large-scale projects, ensuring the project is completed on time and kept within the budget, and looking after the documentation and files of all the phases of project execution.

Kitchen & Bath Designer Salary: $35,060 per year

Part-time Design Jobs

Photo Retoucher

Photo retouching refers to making some changes on the photos that need to be improved, and they manipulate the looks of the subject of the picture. Some photo retouchers are hired to work flexible or short periods of hours, depending on the number of tasks assigned in one project or photo. They are expected to provide support or assists the senior photographer or editor, contributing their expertise in innovating image flow processes.

Floral Designer

Floral designers can design a wide variety of floral arrangements, recommend flowers and greenery based on the customer’s budget and collaborate with other floral artists to determine which type of arrangement is appropriate for the occasion, event or location. They may work flexible hours like creating a single arrangement for special occasions or provide floral displays for rooms or office spaces. Some floral designers are hired with long-term contracts with companies having to call for their services weekly or monthly.

Ceramics Designer

Ceramics designers, also known as ceramicists, work with clay, porcelain, bone china to create designs for pottery items, wall and floor tiles, figurines, sculpture, homeware, tableware, and cookware. They research and find new materials for their designs, decide on decorative techniques, prepare for sales or exhibition, and develop artistic business plans. They may work for manufacturing companies or work independently as freelancers. Some part-time ceramics designers work for art schools and universities to teach a few courses on ceramic art.

Cake Decorator

Cake decorators are craft artists who work to make cakes, tarts, pastries, and other baking orders look deliciously appealing. Attention to detail and steady hands are necessary skills they must possess. They have to assist pastry chef in shaping dough portions, prepare ingredients, manage the mixing of icing and sugar ornaments, and perform all finishing touches and labeling of the products. Some companies hire them for part-time positions or work only on weekends.

Furniture Designer

Furniture designers create and develop design concepts for various furniture and fixtures at home or an office. Creative and commercial skills in marketing, finance, and sales are crucial for this type of job. These designers sketch and create prototypes, 2D, or 3D models using computer-aided design (CAD) software. They also have to spend a lot of time experimenting with different materials, techniques, and software to produce innovative designs for furniture. Most of their time, they work in a studio or workshop and attend client meetings and trade shows. Some may work for established designers and work irregular and flexible time, with work in evenings or on the weekend.

Stained Glass Artist

Stained glass artists create weatherproof artwork on glasses like windows of religious buildings, glass domes of art institute buildings, libraries, homes, and more. They draw cartoons, prepare glass fabrication, research on stresses, symbolism, and history of their design concepts, possess knowledge and skills in glass cutting, assemble wax pieces, paint, stain, and fire glass to fuse and stabilize colors. They may also need to install the finished product and restore damaged glass objects. Most stained-glass artists are self-employed and get to work on a project depending on the client’s timescale.

Product Designer

In addition to the abovementioned responsibilities of product designers, they have to consider factors about products such as buyers, quality and safety features, reliability, and environmental-friendly features. Some may work from nine to five with extra hours to meet deadlines, but some work as freelancers or with contract work, so opportunities for part-time positions are available.

10 Unique Design Careers

Picture Framer/Picture Frame Designer

A picture frame designer works to design and make frames by cutting out or assembling moldings. He/she discusses the design to clients, advises on the materials, work out the cost, set up woodworking machines, fix artworks, documentation, memorabilia, and photos into the frame and package the finished product. These designers combine their technical and craft skills to do the job.

Inker and Opaquer

An inker and opaquer mainly trace drawings and sketches prepared by cartoonists. He/she reverses celluloid (film) and brushes a thin coat of special paint on the reverse sides to render the drawing opaque. Also, preparing the artwork for heavy screen toning using pen techniques and painting on the opposite side of the celluloid using specified colors are parts of their duties. Inking can be done traditionally or with the use of computers. Using technology in inking makes the job easier and faster.

Kinetic Sculpture Artist

A kinetic sculpture artist creates sculptures that involve motion. The artwork may sway in the breeze, swing from side to side, moved by powered magnets or vibrate with a motor. He or she comes up with an innovative idea to put up a unique kind of sculpture or masterpiece. Some pieces are installed outside of a building, parks or in particularly famous spots.

Art Repairer/Conservator

An art repairer or conservator is responsible for repairing damaged artworks like paintings, textiles, ceramics, cultural objects, and historical artifacts. This job involves not only repairs but also a lot of research on the appropriate techniques to use when repairing objects, especially antiques, where the original art form should not be altered. Examination of the art object’s condition, authenticity, and method of preservation and working with the repair team are some of the responsibilities of an art repairer.

Body Paint Artist

Body paint artist creates designs and uses human skin as their canvas for artistic expression. He or she uses water-based paints to create or draw images. The color lasts for about a few hours to a day. A body paint artist may work in film or entertainment industry. He or she may work in a science fiction film or television programs to transform actors into different characters. Some may work for the professional modeling or photography industry. Spray tanners and makeup artists are also types of body paint artists.

Color Expert

A color expert specializes in choosing color themes and color combinations on paper, paint, floor coverings, furnishings, and draperies of homes, offices, and other establishments. He or she has to check the client’s home or building from room to room, discuss color options and provides the client with the required color information or chips. A color expert who holds a degree in art or design embraces more opportunities in the industry.

Landscape Designer

A landscape designer is responsible for maintaining the outdoor aesthetics of properties such as buildings, houses, and schools. He or she uses creativity to design a pleasing and functional outdoor area, plan and sketch details, performs assessment on plants, soil’s current condition, lighting, view and the architectural style of the building, works out fees, ensures the projected designs match with the client’s needs, and prepares specifications for garden contractors. A landscape designer usually works with flexible hours that include weekends and evenings, depending on client’s timescale.

Professional Food Photographer

A professional food photographer captures appetizing food images for restaurants, catering companies, and food producers. Some of them work with food stylists or be part of a team for food organizations. He or she must not only possess excellent photography skills but also has to hold the culinary background. A food photographer has to pick the freshest and the best-looking food items. The challenge is to reveal the visual elements of the food as a means to stir the senses of smell and taste of viewers. Some food photographers work with art directors as well.

Font Designer

A font designer designs develops and creates fonts to meet a client’s need. Some work as freelancers and some work for font design companies. He or she may also redesign and recreate character sets within the company, maintains high-quality typography, support digital designers and advertising teams in matters of design elements, and ensure every letter or character is tweaked individually until it is developed. One must be well-versed with font software such as Adobe Illustrator, FontLab, FontCreator, Glyphs, and InDesign as these will help in building a vast portfolio.

Glass Blower

Glass blowing is an ancient form of art that uses equipment such as blowpipes, furnaces, baking kilns, engraving plates, stencils, and needles. It is labor intensive and is best for individuals who can work in a potentially hazardous environment. A glass blower uses blowing techniques in handling molten glass and other tools or materials like metals to obtain final shapes. This job requires a specific skill set which can be acquired by getting into fine arts programs that offer a concentration in glass and glass blowing techniques.

Top Travel Design Careers

Traveling Body Paint Artist

Most body paint artists travel to the location of the event or production. If you work in the entertainment industry, your job may involve traveling to the film location. When you work for a magazine and advertising agencies, you join photo shoots on site. Some of these artists travel across the globe to participate in competitions and to discover more inspiration for their art.

Professional Sandcastle Sculptor

Sand sculpture is the practice of creating visual art by using wet sand and compaction. Sand artist or sculptors make use buckets to fill with water, barber’s brush, paintbrushes, leveling tool and more for sandcastle success. Most of these sculptors produce significant kinds of statues or reliefs and typically work at the beach. This profession may involve a lot of traveling since there are a lot of places to discover and share sand sculpting tradition with.  Some sand sculptors are hired for special events, and some are invited to showcase their talent and skills in competitions and art galleries.

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers, especially the famous and flagbearers of fashion, do a lot of traveling. They have to attend fashion runway shows, fashion week, and exhibit held in other countries. Traveling is also essential to keeping up with the trends in style. Some designers travel to source supplies and materials for their designs. They do promotions in local and international events. It’s one of the perks of being a fashion designer.

Art Director

Art directors work for television and movie production, magazines and multimedia companies. They may have to travel to the location of production where they can do the filming and editing. For print production, they may have to on site to oversee and support photo shoots.

Fashion and Textile Curator

Fashion and textile curators learn from other people’s clothes, accessories, and textiles. Their goal is to present different perspectives from around the world and expand the historical narratives of these collections. They collect and care for these items in storage or a museum. Liaising between museums, external agencies, collectors, donors, and artists is a big responsibility that curators have as they have to ensure that their objective aligns with others’. Traveling to different countries to find particular collections and holdings complete the exhibition and research programs of curators.

Travel Videographer

Most travel videographers cover and create incredible content for travels, travel agency promotions, and even for tourism agency of the government. They are paid to travel and take the best videos and produce them for distribution in social media, television, and films. Their lifestyle is about living in different countries, places, or destinations. They get to immerse themselves in different cultures which contribute to their concepts and innovative ideas.

What are the skills you gain on a Design Degree?

Students gain a wealth of skills and capabilities due to the technical nature and characteristics of the design degrees, preferred by numerous employers within the design industry. Design majors develop skills in illustration, animation, use of 3D modeling software applications, and other production techniques that are essential to many career opportunities. Whether you apply for a job prospect in your specialization or try your luck in other areas of discipline in the Design industry, several of the skills you acquire are useful, marketable, and transferable.

Design 1

The valuable skills you will develop as you progress yourself within the design studies include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Researching
  • Creativity
  • Problem Solving
  • Computer Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Project Management
  • Critiquing
  • Presentation Skills

What will I study on my Design Degree?

The majority of the students’ time will be mostly on learning a variety of technical skills. Depending on the chosen concentration or specialization, such capabilities could range from practicing technical drawing to developing their craft on several game development applications. Students will learn several theories varying from one degree to another; however, they will have an in-depth understanding about contemporary practices in the design field or art history, whether it revolves learning about the development of printing techniques or critical processes of furniture design.

The modules will depend on the chosen design degree. Typically, students will study the following areas of study:

  • Design for Online and Print
  • Graphic Design Theory
  • Introduction To Art and Media
  • Typography
  • Basic Moving Image
  • Illustration
  • Principles of Visual Communication
  • Photography

However, on a different design-related degree such as product design degree, students will likely to study the following:

  • Manufacturing Process
  • 2D and 3D Media
  • Applications, Properties, and Limitations of Materials
  • Design Communication Theory

Despite there are several educational institutions that offer the same type of design degree program, it is most likely that the set of coursework they offer are different.

What kind of Accreditation should my Design Degree have?

Students must never waste their time and financial resources on a Design degree that will not be considered by potential employers seriously. It is vital to make sure the college or university chosen must have the proper accreditation and reputation before they will proceed.

The majority of higher education disciplines have accreditation status, which makes it critical in determining where to earn your design degree. Another essential factor of enrolling in an accredited academic institution is the eligibility of financial aid. These schools must be certified by an association recognized by the Department of Education to be able to qualify to provide financial assistance among its students. Having an accreditation means the school has an initiative of maintaining its standards as well as look for ways to improve and advance its status within the current field.

Regional Accrediting Institutions

The accrediting sectors are categorized into regional and national accrediting bodies. Regional accrediting organizations indicate greater credibility, reputation, and merit. When you are searching for a potential college or university to obtain a design degree, you must consider the ones who have verified status from the following regional accrediting institutions:

Program-specific Accreditation

Aside from regional or national accrediting agencies, there are program-specific accreditations that add up more value and credentials to your design degree. Some companies will require that your design degree is earned with a set of coursework that is accredited by program-specific agencies.

The good news is, accreditation is not strictly a requirement for your Design degree. In some cases, the regional accreditation from the school is more than enough. As such, the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) maintains national design-related undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The association has awarded more than 350 academic institutions, indicating that these institutions maintain the standards of quality and curriculum set by NASAD. As such, it suggests the program credibility of the school.

The absence of this program-specific accreditation is not a big deal. If your chosen school has regional certifications by one of the six agencies listed above, it is considered legitimate, and future employers will take your earned Design degree seriously.

Is there a need for a Design foundation course?

A unique way to enhance your portfolio is to obtain a certification in Design. Some certifications or courses typically last one year and allow students to try different areas of the design before ultimately choosing a concentration or specialization. These foundational courses will enable you to weigh down your options and discover which field of design you are interested in studying.

These Design disciplines include:

  • Fashion and Textiles – Make-up, Fashion Design, Costume Design
  • Fine Arts – Sculpture, Painting
  • Graphics and Illustration – Game Design, Animation
  • 3D Design – Architecture, Interior Design

Taking up such foundational courses allow you to build a strong portfolio which will help you in your future job prospects. As such, it is one of the great ways to try out different design disciplines, discover what you are passionate about and create a range of work and art pieces. However, it is not mandatory to have one if you are already determined about your interest and the quality of your portfolio.

Who are suitable for a Design Degree?

Students who are searching for ways to enhance or spark their creative interest while getting a Design education are best suited to pursue the Design degree. There are several areas of concentration to showcase their creative talents as printmakers, photographers, animators, UI UX designers or illustrators to name just a few of several design-related positions.

As a design major, you will indulge in a variety of several visual media such as sculpting and painting. You will obtain a comprehensive understanding of various techniques of shading. You will be immersed in art history, and learn the eras and movements that brought world-class artists and masterpieces to life.

Therefore, a Design degree is suitable for people who have an in-depth passion, interest, and appreciation for creative endeavors. It is one of the practical choices of degree programs in today’s job market. There is an increasing demand for multimedia artists, video creators, illustrators, visual storytellers, animators, web designers, and many others.

Alternative Options to a Design Degree

Students who consider a Design degree but are more inclined to art as a form of greater self-expression and experimentation can pursue Art as a degree. If the entertainment side of it interests you, film making and broadcasting, audio and music technology, film and television production and animation are considerable options.

If students who are more interested in the modern elements of design as well as the structural aspects, they can find choices in an engineering-related degree.

However, if students have a combined interest in structure and aesthetics, an architecture-related degree program may be an appropriate choice for them.

Science Career Guide, Salary and Degree Info

Science and the people behind it have made a tremendous contribution to progress in the many facets of living. Finding the cure for diseases, developing technological advancements, and preserving the earth are just some of humankind’s key accomplishments, all thanks to science. Unsurprisingly, science attracts the most ambitious, the brightest, and the most committed students who aspire to build their career in this exciting field.

Science, as a discipline, offers an unlimited number of options to students. It is commonly divided into different forms: life, physical, and applied. To study the sciences means choosing either the broader disciplines like Chemistry and Physics or going gaining in-depth knowledge of specific subjects such as biochemistry or marine biology. Ultimately, you need to know where your interests lie and determine the career path is ideal for you.

By earning a Science degree in any field, you open a myriad of possibilities. A background in Science lets you become a chemist, biologist, geologist, physicist, and many more.

Science as a Degree

The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that employment of life, physical, and social science occupations are expected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is projected to create about 124,800 new jobs. The employment growth takes root from the increasing demand for experts in diverse fields of science, including positions in research, psychology, energy management, and environmental protection.

Students who will take up a science degree should know that this particular field of study involves a lot of hard work, critical and analytical thinking, and creativity. Here they will not only learn how to write and analyze but also to work and discuss with their peers and superiors. Their brains are challenged every day. They have to think of innovative ways to test their hypothesis, solve a problem, and come up with a conclusion.

Science degree holders are expected to contribute to the future of the planet and help improve the lives of people. Their years of study can lead to practical innovation, discovery, and developments in many industries. Others seek to develop their knowledge and understanding of people, nature, and the universe.

To forge a successful career in science, one should take an undergraduate degree that can best give them the necessary knowledge and skills they need to excel in their chosen field. Before they go to college, it is important to weigh what they are passionate about. Science has dozens of subfields, not to mention specializations, that it can be overwhelming to narrow down.

Other science occupations, due to their complex nature, requires a master’s degree. This includes jobs like an epidemiologist, microbiologist, mining engineers, and many others. 

Students who want to enroll in science and engineering degree programs rose to 45% in 2016. There is a significant increase in the proportion of first-year students planning to major in biological and agricultural sciences, contributing to the growth of science enrollees.

Types of Science Degrees

Before students can even think of starting a career in the sciences, they should first know the educational programs they will need to advance in their chosen field. Being a scientist takes years of study and hard work. It means they need to devote a great deal of time to academic pursuits.  Here is a summary of the types of degrees they will be expected to take up:

Associate’s Science Degree

A quicker, less expensive route to a career, an associate degree usually takes students 2 years to complete. In many cases, this type of degree allows students to transfer to a four-year program which will let them earn a bachelor’s degree. A lot of students, however, go straight to work. Chemical technicians and environmental science technicians are just some of the jobs that only require an associate’s degree.

While most of science associate’s degree can pose a challenge, they are designed not to be as in depth as a bachelor’s degree.

Science Bachelor’s Degree

Most entry-level jobs in the science fields require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major. The degree is usually an introduction to their chosen scientific field and gradually progresses to more specific topics. The course also introduces students to various scientific concepts, tools, and experimental techniques. It is a four-year degree that is meant to equip students with the right knowledge and experience.

Science Master’s Degree

As the first level of graduate study, a master’s degree usually requires a prerequisite such as an undergraduate degree. It typically covers 36 to 54 semester credit hours and awarded in many fields.

A master’s degree is your key to a higher-paying career and lucrative practice. Some scientific fields also require a minimum of master’s degree from their applicants.

Science Doctorate Degree

If students want to reach their full potential in their career path, it is always a good idea to sign up with a Ph.D. program. A doctorate is awarded to students who completed an original thesis with a significant contribution to their field of study. There are a lot of doctorate programs for most science degrees. A research degree, it is also the highest level of academic degree that one can achieve. For students to complete the doctorate, they need need to successfully defend a dissertation. This is where they can demonstrate their abilities for independent study.

Science Specializations

Taking up a career in the sciences requires you to choose a scientific field. This is one of the best things about the sciences. There are so many specializations that you can choose from and they all depend on your preferences and abilities.

Astronomy

In astronomy, students are tasked to gather data on the characteristics of planets, moons and other heavenly bodies. They are expected to develop, test and analyze data. They also need to compose scientific papers on their findings.  

Biology

For students who are interested in the study of life and living organisms, biology might be the course for them. As a biologist, they will be expected to conduct research on the underlying mechanisms that govern the function of living matter. The best thing about being a biologist is that they can choose the environment they want to work in.

Being a biologist is a specialized course that requires years of study. Students who are thinking of becoming a biologist should be ready to take up the necessary course and accreditation before they can get employed as a professional biologist.

They can also increase their chances of getting more lucrative employment opportunities by pursuing a master’s degree. If they want to teach in a college or university, it is better to pursue a Ph.D. 

Chemistry

Being a chemist is a highly specialized profession. This is where one conducts research and experiments on the properties of chemical substances. Students who dreams of becoming a chemist need a bachelor’s degree at the very least. As a chemist, they are expected to create useful compounds for established chemical products.

Since a chemist is a highly specialized profession, it takes around 4 to 10 years of college and graduate study.

Geology

A geologist studies the earth’s structure and the process that affect them over time. The geologists work is usually varied. Some geologist tasks can span from analyzing collected samples to conventional lab work.

Students who are thinking of becoming a geologist should strive to equip themselves with the right degrees and experience. Should they choose to follow the geologist career path, they can enter various industries such as engineering, mining and teaching to name just a few. They can also do research work for private companies and government organizations. 

Geography

Geography is the study of the earth’s landscape, places, and environment. As a geographer, they will study the physical and human geography. They may be able to specialize towards the end of their degree. These specializations include environment geography, resources geography, geographical information systems and migration and displacement.

The first step to becoming a geographer is to take up an undergraduate degree in geography. They usually cover the basic geographical concepts with study modules in the areas of environment, society, economy and research methods and development.

Once they finish their bachelor’s degree, they can seek employment in the private and public sector or further their knowledge with a post-graduate degree,

Environmental Science

Environmental Science encompasses the physical, environmental sciences and ecology. It gives students an understanding of the world as a whole. It also studies the resources and the effects of the growing population on the environment.

Students who want to take up an entry-level job in environmental science needs a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, or related fields. Further advancement in their chosen field is also made possible by signing up in graduate programs in environmental science.

Astrophysics

Astrophysicists is the study of physics, space and the physical worlds. Students who want to have a career in this field need to develop your skills as early as high school. They will also need to take advanced placement classes in mathematics and science. Once they do start college, they will need to major in astrophysics or at least major in physics with a minor in astronomy. 

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Science Degrees

The era of attending classes on campus is slowly changing. The advancements in technology means that students can now earn their degrees from the comfort of their homes. Universities and colleges have been offering the online option for many students all over the country for years now.

Science degrees are no exception. As long as they are accredited, they are quite similar to traditional university degrees in many ways. The curriculum is the same so students get to learn the knowledge and skills. Their glaring difference is the method of delivery. While classroom lectures are done face-to-face, online ones are delivered through the internet, in the form of lecture notes, webinars, videos, and other online-related medium that maximizes learning.

The beauty of doing a degree online is the flexibility it offers. Students can take their courses at their own pace anywhere. They just need to be careful and disciplined enough to finish the course on time or there will be additional costs.

Brick and Mortar science degrees, however, have the advantage of easy access to professors and other members of faculty whenever they need clarifications or advice. Group learning is also encouraged.

There are cases when online degree programs are a lot cheaper than traditional education. However, some high-quality universities can charge just as much for an online degree as its on-campus equivalent.

Ultimately, the choice between an online degree and traditional degree lies on the student’s lifestyle, financial ability, learning style, and preference.

Students who want more flexibility and less costly experience can choose online programs where they can considerably cut down on dorm and transport expenses. For students who enjoy the dynamics of a traditional classroom where they can interact and learn from and with each other, a brick and mortar degree sounds just right.

Financing Your Science Education

Students who are serious about earning a science degree should remember one thing—it will take a lot of time and cost a sizable amount of money. And seeing as most science programs are provided by top-ranked colleges and universities, they should ready themselves financially. Financing a college education can be a challenge.

Sadly, though, not many would-be scientist are blessed with the financial resources to pursue their desired courses. And because of this, some students borrow money from untrustworthy sources and eventually land themselves in a great deal of debt.

Some aspiring students are hindered by financial constraints. But as daunting as getting an education may be, it is still possible. They just need to look for the right financial options and aid. 

Luckily for many students who want to pursue a science degree, there are a innumerable university and government programs that offer grants, loans, scholarships and financial aid options. If they are really serious about getting a college and even a doctorate degree, they should explore their financial aid options in the best way possible. By doing so, they will be able to arm themselves with the right information and avoid financial pitfalls.

Here are some great financial aid options that they can take advantage of:

Scholarships

If they are looking for financial aid, students’ first stop should always be the scholarships. This is because scholarships were specifically made to help aspiring students to reach their full potential. And seeing as they are planning of taking up a science degree, they will have a lot of great scholarships to choose from.

The best thing about scholarships is that they don’t need to pay their loans back. The only setback to scholarships is the fact that they are merit-based. There is also a need to compete with a lot of other students. If they are interested in getting a scholarship, they should really make sure that their grades and extracurricular credits are up to scratch.

As for sources of scholarships you can reach out to private and public institutions. These scholarships can come from private schools or federal or state governments. The qualifications for these scholarships usually vary from one organization to another.

Some of the notable scholarships for different science degrees include:

  • United Negro College Fund/MERCK Science Research Scholarship Awards
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program
  • Hershey Company Tribal Scholarship-Tribal College Students
  • NextStepUSTEM Scholarship
  • Dr. Randy Pausch Scholarship
  • American Geophysical Union
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Science Foundation

Federal and Private Loans

Getting a scholarship can be very difficult. So, for students are not fortunate enough to find a scholarship, they can always try out federal aid and private loans.

Federal loans are loans offered by the federal government to help students or parents pay for a college education. The qualifications for a federal loan is to submit a (FAFSA) Free application of student aid form to the U.S Department of Education. The Department of Education will determine whether or not students are eligible for a loan and how much they or their family is required to pay towards the college bill.

In order to use a federal loan, they must be enrolled in a program offered by an accredited school. 

Aside from the standard FAFSA, there are 5 other types of student loans they should take a look at:

Subsidized Federal Loans

These types of loans are awarded based on financial need. They are regulated by the federal government and are usually acquired from credit unions and the federal government. They are based on the need of the student and are usually long-term.

Unsubsidized Federal Loans

This type of loan is also long-term and based on the need of the borrower. The difference of this loan from other loans though is the fact that the loan interest will be the responsibility of the borrower. These loans carry a low-interest rate and are best for students who don’t qualify for financial aids.

Federal Plus Loans

These types of loans are usually for parents whose children attend college with a full time or halftime undergraduate status. The interest rates are usually low and the repayment usually begins with 60 to 90 days upon disbursement of the loan or after the student graduates.

Federal Perkins Loans

This type of loan is very popular with both graduate and undergraduate studies. These are usually given to students who extremely need them and they have a very low interest rate. The interest is meant to start to accrue nine months after the students drop bellow half-time enrolment or graduation.

Private Loans

Students are also eligible for a private loan. A private loan can be obtained from banks, credit unions, or lending institutions to help cover college expenses. Private loans are usually offered directly to students. Which means it is the student’s responsibility to pay the loan. So if they are really thinking of taking a private loan, they should think things through because it may accumulate as time passes.

Student Grants

It is a well-known fact that a college degree can cost a small fortune. And there have been stories of college students who have gotten into debt because of irresponsible financing. In order to avoid spending a decade of their life paying for college loans, they will need to find a good college financing option. One great option is to try out for a student grant. A student grant is a technically free money given to students to help pay for college expenses.

There are many student grants and they can come from a lot of sources like private and public institutions such as associations, clubs, groups, colleges and local governments. The four main sources of grants are usually federal, state, college-specific and private programs.

Science Career Pathways, Information and Outlook

Starting a career in the field of science can be hard. It is an arduous process that can take years, and it may take some time before they can make a name for themselves or make a substantial contribution to their chosen field. But being a science graduate is totally worth it.

Most science graduates look at careers that use their specialist knowledge, which greatly depends on their specific discipline. Those who have a bachelor’s degree that tackles on natural science’s role in protecting the environment and human health find jobs as environmental scientists and specialists. They can earn as much as $71,130. Epidemiologists, on the other hand, can only enter the profession with a master’s degree. Their median salary is at $69,660.

According to BLS, students with degrees in life, physical and social science has a median annual wage of $66,070, much higher than the median age for all occupations.

Those who studied chemistry has an annual wage of $76,890 in May 2018. The employment outlook for chemists and materials scientists is looking good. It is projected to grow 7% from 2016 to 2026.

As for work environment, science graduates experience it differently. For example, microbiologists mostly work in laboratories and offices. They work full-time and work regular hours. On the other hand, zoologists and wildlife biologists does not only work in offices and laboratories but can also explore the outdoors where they spend considerable time gathering data and studying animals in their natural habitat.

The vast scope of science and its many different forms are the major reasons for its varied yet exciting careers. While most science occupations require them to explore and delve into the unknown, many of these are stable and lucrative.

Take a look at some occupational titles that science graduates will find most suitable for their education.

10 Most Common Science Occupational Titles

Biologist

Degree Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $72,220

Chemist

Degree Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $78,330

Zoologist

Degree Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $63,420

Chemical Technician

Degree Requirement: Associate’s degree

Salary: 48,160

Microbiologist

Degree Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $84,810

Biochemist

Degree Requirement: Doctoral or professional degree

Salary: $93,280

Forensic Science Technician

Degree Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $58,230

Biological Technician

Degree Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $44,500

Medical Scientist

Degree Requirement: Doctoral or professional degree

Salary: $84,810

Environmental Scientist

Degree Requirement: Associate’s degree

Salary: $46,170

Other Science Occupational Titles:

20 Highest Paying Science Careers

Associate Dean of Sciences

The associate dean assists the dean in managing administrative functions of the college of science. They plan college strategic initiatives.

Associate Dean of Sciences Salary: $132,000

Astronomer

A career in Astronomy is a highly specialized one, and not only requires one to have a bachelor’s degree but a master’s and Ph.D as well. Astronomers gather data on the characteristics of planets, moons and other heavenly bodies. They are expected to develop, test and analyze data. They also need to compose scientific papers on their findings.  

Astronomer Salary: $119,580

Certified Petroleum Geologist

They are responsible for studying and examining rock formations and mineral samples to identify new gas and oil deposits.

Certified Petroleum Geologist Salary: $102,500

Atmospheric Scientist

This type of scientists studies the weather and climate. They also examine how these conditions can affect human activity and the earth in general. Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree.

Atmospheric Scientist Salary: $94,110

Materials Scientist

Material scientists are responsible for examining the physical properties of manufacturing materials to develop new products or improve existing ones.

Materials Scientist Salary: $99,530

Biochemists and Biophysicist

These science occupational titles study the chemical and physical principles of living things and their biological processes.

Biochemists and Biophysicist Salary: $93,280

Geoscientist

Geoscientists are responsible for the study of the earth’s physical aspects, such as the composition, structure, and processes that will let them learn its past, present, and future. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.

Geoscientist Salary: $91,130

Geophysicist

Geophysicists draw from their knowledge in physics, chemistry, and geology to study the earth and its composition. They also explore its atmosphere, internal make-up, oceans, and other fields.

Geophysicists Salary: $90,100

Molecular Biologist

Molecular biologists usually study cell processes and codes in humans, animals, plants, or other living organisms. They make use of their knowledge of chemistry, cell physiology, genetics, physics, and many others.

Molecular Biologist Salary: $86,328

Food Chemist

The duties of a food chemist involve conducting research for the development and improvement and food and beverages. They need to perform tests using methods like merging synthetic and natural food materials.

Food Chemist Salary: 83,190

Nuclear Technicians

Graduates who want to work as nuclear technicians must at least have an associate’s degree. It is their job to assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and energy production.

Nuclear Technicians Salary: $79,140

Geographer

Geographers specialize in physical geography, human geography, and geospatial technology. They can find a lot of job opportunities in the government, with half of the geographers in the country working there.

Geographer Salary: $76,860

Chemists and Material Scientist

Chemists and material scientists deal with substances at the atomic and molecular levels. They analyze the many ways in which these substances work with each other.

Chemists and Material Scientist Salary: $78,330

Product Development Scientist

Product development scientist are instrumental in researching and developing new production processes for manufacturing systems to improve their overall efficiency and profitability.

Product Development Scientist Salary: $75,200

Research Scientist

Research scientists are responsible for setting up and carrying through experiments to broaden scientific knowledge in one particular area.

Research Scientist Salary: $72,400

Microbiologists

It is the job of microbiologists to learn more about microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites.

Microbiologists Salary: $71,650

Hydrogeologist

The study of location, movement, and quality of water formations below the surface of the earth are conducted by hydrogeologists. Their research is important for construction projects, aquifer protection, and the safe disposal of hazardous waste.

Hydrogeologist Salary: $68,000

Staff Scientist

Staff scientists are responsible for collaborating with and guiding their co-workers, overseeing projects and creating and reviewing procedures. Most of them are hired by a variety of technical, scientific, and government agencies.

Staff Scientist Salary: $67,300

Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist

Their job is to study the physical characteristics of the animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitat.

Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist Salary: $63,420

Conservationist

It is the responsibility of conservationists to help landowners and governments to find ways to protect natural resources such as soil and water.

Conservationist Salary: $61,310

Part-time Science Jobs

Lab Technician

It is possible for some lab technicians to work part-time. It is their job to collect samples, study and perform tests, and many others.

Scientific Advisor

Some companies and organizations hire scientific advisors on contractual basis. They can work part-time in providing scientific and technical support on projects that need their expertise.

Middle School Science Teacher

There are online schools that hire part-time teachers to help provide virtual education solutions for students worldwide. Science graduates can use their skills and knowledge in teaching them without having to commit to a rigid on-campus schedules.

Science Writer

Many science graduates can find part-time work as science writers for online journals, magazines, and the like. They focus on writing scientific, research-based articles for educational or promotional literature purposes.

Unique Science Careers

Firework Designer

Chemists are not confined to labs and food industries, concocting formulas for amazing products. They are also needed in a surprising yet interesting industry—firework making. Chemists are the ones who design fireworks using chemicals that emit beautiful colors when heated. Since the chemicals can be reactive and sometimes dangerous, this occupation requires a master’s degree or Ph.D. in chemistry.

Scatologist

In order to study animals including their habits and overall health, scientists study the animals’ excrement. This particular specialization is for scatologists. Their contribution to science lead to advances in human medicine.  

Fermentation Scientist

The process of fermentation made beer, wine, bread, cheese, and yoghurt possible. The study of how the microorganisms are used in the process are spearheaded by fermentation scientists.

Volcanologist

Usually a geology specialist, volcanologists are responsible in predicting the timing and severity of volcanic eruptions. This leads to proper evacuation plans for high-risk volcanic areas.

Forensic Anthropologist

Popular in crime dramas, forensic anthropologists combine two disciplines: forensic medicine and the social sciences. It is their job to help solve crimes by identifying and analyzing human remains that are impossible to be investigated through conventional means.

Storm Tracker

Investigating the science of storms, atmospheric scientists can venture into this highly unusual career that specializes in gathering data regarding severe weather occurrences, from hurricanes and tornadoes to thunderstorms and flash floods.

Travel Science Careers

Epidemiologist

Mostly made up of public health scientists, epidemiologists study the potential causes and patterns of human diseases and injuries. Their job requires them to travel to different locations in order to conduct studies and collect data.

Salary: $70,820

Environmental Scientist and Specialist

Since their work involves protecting the environment and correcting environmental hazards, environmental specialists and scientists need to go to different places for fieldwork and monitoring conditions.

Salary: $68,910

Hydrologist

Focusing their research on bodies of water, hydrologists are required to travel a lot as well, especially to locations along bodies of water. They need to collect samples, observe flooding patterns, and evaluate potential water-related projects.

Salary: $68,910

Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Biologists are responsible for studying groups and species of animals to learn more about their behaviors and habits. This kind of work requires them to perform their studies in the animal’s natural habitat. They sometimes need to travel outside of the country.

Salary: $60,520

Senior Physicist

Studying the various ways that matter and energy interact, physicists may need to go to different observatories, laboratories, or conferences. 

Salary: $114,870

Why should I earn a science degree?

The field of Science is one of the most exciting and multifaceted career paths. This is because the sciences give one a myriad of great opportunities ranging from discovering new scientific concepts to shaping the minds of the next generation. 

But as exciting and fulfilling as having a career in science can be, it is still quite an undertaking. Not only that, it also takes years of study to fully gain any form of competency in the sciences. So before one even thinks of starting a career in the sciences, it is important to prepared for the arduous years ahead.

Now the main question arises: should you try to earn a science degree? The answer is yes. This is because a career in the sciences cannot be built by a simple high school diploma. It is a field with vast disciplines that require superior knowledge and training. A degree in science will not only allow science graduates to help people with their research. It will also give them the chance to change the entire landscape of the sciences with breakthrough discoveries and findings.

In fact, scientists’ contributions extend beyond research and development to the world of business, industry, teaching, and even in the government. Some of them are forming their own companies and managing businesses. Others are venturing into law practice. Those who join the government are instrumental in formulating policies that are rooted in science. All of these sectors require their employees to have a bachelor’s degree at the very least and can sometimes demand more expertise by choosing those with master’s or doctorate degrees.

A bachelor’s degree in the field of science students you are interested in is their best ticket to a successful and fulfilling career. They will also be expected to have a master’s or a doctorate degree before they can think of advancing any further in their chosen field.

Students who are interested in a career in the sciences should be prepared to do a great deal of study and be ready to look for the best graduate school programs possible.

Earning a science degree is all worth it, especially if one looks at the future. It is hard to imagine a world without science. People from this field are responsible for many things that society and humans in general benefit from every day.

The compensation is also a lot better compared to other degrees. The median wage of many science occupations is more than $65,000 annually, a lot higher than the media wage for all occupations of $38,640.

Having a degree in the sciences will give graduates the boost they need when they start looking for employment. It is the norm for employers to check applicants’ educational attainment. It will also prepare them for their job, where years of learning and training from school can be finally put into practical use.

Who are the best for a career in the sciences?

As exciting as it many sound, not everyone can start a career in the sciences. The field not only need mental acumen, it also requires a great deal of hard work, dedication and perseverance. So before students jump onto this career, they will need to make sure that they have what it takes.

To have a career in the sciences, they must be willing to work long hours and conduct painstaking research work. They should be willing to sacrifice hours and hours of your time to reach their goals, from acing exams, conducting research and experiment, defending their findings, and expanding their knowledge on their chosen field.

One of the very first things students should consider when trying to start a science educational path is their interest and passion. When they want things enough, they tend to work for it. Students who want to major in science must have the desire to study the field and narrow down their interest into a specific specialization.

They must know which branch to take. If they want to be a volcanologist, they should tackle geology. If they want to be a microbiologist, biology is the way to go. But it does not end there. Science students must also have the constant thirst for learning. They need to be diligent in pursuing their passion. There is no time for slacking off when rigid coursework awaits.

Another constantly overlooked qualification for science majors are their inquisitive mind. Are they the type who enjoy exploring something new? Do they think out of the box? Their innate curiosity and inquisitiveness can help a lot throughout their journey in a science degree program.

Their minds need to constantly find new ways to look at things. They must know how to think critically. Aside from that, science majors must appreciate the world around them. They should have the ability to study the phenomena around them through systematic observation and experimentation.

What skills do Science students develop or enhance?

The purpose of education is to develop and enhance students’ knowledge and skills. It is no different when it comes to students taking up a science degree program. It is important for them to develop necessary skills that apply to any branch of science, from chemistry and biology to physics and geology.

Students need to focus on honing these skills because it is integral not only in helping them memorize the scientific method and other science-related type of learning but also letting them see how it works when applied. In science, there is a great need to gather and use knowledge and this can only be done if they have the primary science skills that make the task easier.

The first skill students should develop, and which is always emphasized in many schools, is the enhancement of their scientific literacy through investigative activities. This may involve planning, measuring, observing, analyzing data, designing and evaluating procedures and examining evidence.

Basic Science Skills

Observing

The most important basic science skill, the power of observation is something that every science student should learn and develop. Curiosity is innate in many scientists who often observe what goes on around them and question why. When observing, students use their senses for the purpose of gathering information and discovering something worth noting. Observing and gathering information is essential before one can proceed to drawing conclusions, as both of them can be used as supporting evidence for the latter.

Classifying

A skill built from observation, classifying allows students to separate and sort the data they have gathered. This is important in science studies because not everything students discover is the right answer. They need to be discerning enough to examine and weed out data that won’t add much to their cause.

Inferring

Taking an educated guess is a staple in many scientific cases. It is called an “educated guess” because before arriving to that stage, one has made use of observations. In inferring, students must be able to deduce and conclude based on the previous information they have gathered.

Quantifying

The ability to measure accurately is another science skill that every student needs. This means they should also be knowledgeable in mathematics, the language of measuring. Measuring is an indispensable skill in some scientific situations, like that in chemistry where students need to deal with all sorts of chemicals and materials in accurate measure in order to create a perfect concoction. Accurate measuring provide them with more data that they can use when making better inferences.

Forming Conclusions

In the field of science, conclusion is reached through careful reasoning and experimentation. It is a skill that science students need to develop in order to be more accurate. The outcome of their research and experiments relies on this.

Communicating

As in every other major, communication is an important skill. A good communication skill can help students translate their observation and inferences into oral or written form. Discoveries are meant to be shared with the science community and the world.

Accounting Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

There was a period in time where accountants wore green visors and used adding machines to get the job done. Today, accountants have swapped these for sophisticated technology that can be utilized anywhere, at any time.

Complex as the work may seem, accounting is all about extracting gathering, computing, and interpreting numerical data which businesses and organizations of all types and sizes across industries can’t do without. Individuals with an Accounting degree will find their skills useful in the government, non-profit organizations, and private companies.

Accounting appeals to students who are interested in business and investments. Holders of this degree find fulfillment in using their knowledge to reach the objectives of their own business or the company they work for.

Accountants are gifted in the mathematics arena. That said, this degree is for anyone; it’s not just for geniuses. If you are highly interested in accounting work and possess strong analysis and communication skills, you can always pursue the degree.

Accounting as a Degree

For you to become marketable, you need not only demonstrate a well-balanced understanding of Accounting but also act upon the current business climate. Aside from taking this major, consider taking a minor subject on History or Political Science as these programs tend to widen your perspective about the financial markets.

An undergraduate degree is composed of a 120-credit hour of elective, required, and specialized courses. Students usually earn their degree within four years of full-time study. Part-time students typically take longer ranging from four to seven years (depending on the limitations schools may impose to complete their requirements).

For students with a different degree, you can take a 30-credit hour program of accounting courses to earn your degree. This is a good alternative for working professionals who plan to change careers or enhance their knowledge of this niche.

To get an entry-level job as an accountant, a bachelor’s degree or similar is a prerequisite. In some states, accountants without college credits but with experience are already considered as professional accountants, but opportunities may be limited. Some use these entry-level jobs as work experience while earning their degree part-time.

Graduates with certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) usually have a higher job prospect. Graduate students may also pursue other fields such as Information Technology, Advanced Financial Accounting, Business Ethics, Economics, and Business Statistics to complement their accounting degree. It gives students the chance to diversify their portfolio for employers to find attractive.

Students pursuing a CPA licensure need to pass a national exam and other state requirements to get accredited. Students need to accomplish another 150 semester hour coursework on top of the usual four-year bachelor’s degree hence the necessity for discipline and grit for you to achieve this level. The CPA examination is categorized into four parts where you need to pass the exams one at a time. Once you’ve taken this path, you may also need to attend seminars and workshops so you can keep your license.

Types of Accounting Degrees

There are several options to explore if you’re planning to pursue accounting as a degree.

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSACC) covers technical and analytical methods in Accounting where you also get to touch on advanced mathematics. This is typically an entry point for those who plan to get into corporate accounting, governmental accounting, and accounting information systems.

In the U.S, higher job opportunities are experienced in several industries including accounting services. Students can choose the Bachelor of Science (B.S), Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (BBA), and Bachelor of Accounting (BAC).

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting (BSBA) is intended for students interested in the ‘number crunching’ aspect of businesses. Students get to learn about business practices and management on top of topics such as accounting, marketing, information technology, and business-society relationships.

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (BBA) is almost similar to BSBA with fewer math requirements. This may be ideal for students who are looking to learn the basics of accounting for businesses with a higher concentration of the curriculum focused on business-related topics such as economics and business law.  

The Bachelor of Accounting/Accounting (BAC) coursework is intended for students who have high mathematical and analytical skills. It’s usually considered an entry for those taking advanced degrees like a Master’s degree in Accounting or Business Administration.

Here are some basic accounting courses you’ll likely encounter:

  • Managerial accounting
  • Cost Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Financial Accounting
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

Accounting Specializations

Whether you’re going for an undergraduate or graduate level, you need to pick a specialization to narrow down your efforts and excel best the field that best suits you. In selecting your specialization, you need to be focused on an industry that you see yourself pursue in the future.

Forensic Accounting

This specialization prepares students to put to practice accounting methods in the realm of legalities and investigations. This type of specialization will usually require 150-credit hour coursework where you need to take the CPA after completing the program. From here, you need to take another exam to become a Certified Forensic Accountant (Cr.FA). You will encounter topics such as introduction to the legal system, corporate governance, fraud examination, and legal elements of fraud in your study.

Tax Accounting

For students planning to take on the corporate arena, taking a specialization in Tax Accounting will help them develop their accounting skill in tax return preparations for corporations, organizations, and private companies filed in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Here, you will encounter everything about income tax, individual income tax, corporate and business tax, state, local, and international tax as well as gift, trust, and estate tax courses. You will also encounter tax law and ethics.

Information Management and Technology Assurance

Aside from the basic accounting courses, students will be trained to use computer-assisted auditing techniques (CAAT). CAAT will help students derive accounting solutions used for organizations and big companies. You will encounter technical aspects of these accounting programs and learn computer courses such as flow charts, computer network theories, maintenance of information system, and data-flow diagrams.  

Environmental Accounting

This is an emerging specialization where students are taught to deal with company management and internal auditing of its books using sustainable solutions. You are expected to help managers solve problems focused on environmental implications and keep track of ecological assets. Just like CPA certification, students need to be a Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA) to becoming a legitimate environmental accountant. All CPEAs are regulated by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Financial Accounting

If you’re looking for job positions in a corporate company, you will want to take this specialization. You will encounter topics on corporate finance and reporting, economics, and management. Along with basic accounting courses, you will also understand federal regulations as well as documenting and reporting financial sheets communicated to the Board of Directors (BOD), shareholders, consumers, and the government, particularly the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.

Managerial Accounting

Complementing your accounting core courses, students will be taking management electives for this specialization. You will need to learn how to supervise accounting departments or do the accounting work aside from being the manager. You will be given a broader education on business-related courses necessary for advancing into leadership positions in a corporation (i.e., Chief Financial Officer) or public organizations. Common topics you may encounter include managerial control in hospitality operations and cost accounting and management control.

Sports Accounting

If you’re planning to ride the economic trend, specializing in sports could be your best choice. Statistica’s data showed that sports revenue amounted to US$11,974 million this 2019 YOY (year over year) and expected to swell to US$15,501 million by 2023. Students are taking this specialization on spectator sports business. You may be given a background on the dynamics and systems of a specific sport including how to manage salaries and bargaining agreements. This may serve as an entry point to take a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Sports Management.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Accounting Degrees

Several universities are offering various degrees, including graduate and Ph.D. levels, to help distant learners and working professionals study part-time through an online platform. In choosing the kind of platform to accomplishing your degree, it should be in line with your academic goals, personal fulfillment, and lifestyle.

For Accounting, some students may learn better if they’re in a classroom setting so they can discuss more unfamiliar topics. For some with mathematics acumen or necessary flexibility in earning their degree, an online class may be a good option.

The top factors to consider before deciding to enroll in the program include proper mindset, chosen specialization or field of interest, the best school and location, and adequate financing. Earning a degree in Accounting is no easy feat; it’s best to plan and research ahead of time!

Traditional Format (On-campus)

One of the primary reason students choose on-campus degrees is the community and college life. University life is something college students would not want to miss. So if you’re a freshman taking up an accounting degree in a physical school, this allows you to create networks and be part of the community. If you prefer to study with a group, learn more through interactions, and study with a group, going for a traditional school might be the right option for you.

Students learning in a physical class get immediate feedback during the study. In an online setting, you might not be able to get instant feedback mainly if lectures are pre-recorded. It may also be a challenge for students to raise questions for online classes since most of these lectures are structured with a time-limit (though you can reach them through a virtual portal). Teachers are also more likely to pay more attention to student queries in a traditional classroom setting compared its online counterpart.

There are often fewer distractions when you’re enrolled for an on-campus accounting degree. Your environment is set-up for learning conducive for focusing and studying. Classroom settings are also ideal for flowing discussions where you get an immediate response about a particular topic or discourse with other students which widens the debate for further investigation.

When you’re taking an accounting class, you’ll likely ask questions about the fundamentals, financial ratios, and accounting principles taught more clearly if it’s done through the visuals. Though an online class provides this, accounting topics can become complicated to those who are not mathematically inclined.

It’s not cheap earning a degree. Hence, you allot money and time to accomplishing it. When you’re taking a degree on-campus, you need to stick to a schedule. Currently, some universities provide hybrid classes where some classes may be done online, but practicums are done on-campus. For full on-campus courses, you will need to set aside a schedule so you can hit the targeted schedule for accomplishing requirements.

Online Campus / Virtual Classes

For the most part, online classes are intended for distance learners looking to earn a degree abroad (particularly in the U.S) or adults with work commitments.

Students prefer to take their classes online because of the convenience it offers. You’re not restricted to a specific number of days in attendance per week to accomplish tasks or sit in lectures. Online classes will only require your laptop (or desktop), a headset, and a stable internet connection. It won’t matter where you take your lectures provided that you take them accordingly since some schools set them every week. Taking online classes also cuts down costs for logistics and accommodations especially if your school is on a different state or country.

When you miss a class on-campus, your GPA score usually takes a hit hence the necessity to take your class promptly. An online campus is not restricted by this rule only that you take them weekly (for most schools). When there’s an emergency or overtime for work, this won’t be a problem on your end.

You will encounter people of different ages, race, and background when you take an online platform. This may also be an excellent platform to get connected with people from different parts of the globe.

Distant learners and out-of-state students also find this a convenient way to take their education further without giving up their current work or personal commitments.

Financing Your Accounting Education

Most of these online campuses have financial aid available to ease tuition fees for those seeking assistance. Whether you’re opting for a traditional or online degree, there are various ways to get financial help to pursue your education.

School grants are given as ‘free’ gift to eligible students. These don’t need to be repaid but require you to finish all the requirements stipulated in your program. Grants usually come with higher expectations like maintaining a particular GPA score to continue receiving the funds.

Loans are often the most suitable type of financial assistance. You can borrow money through the government (Free Application for Federal Students Aid or FAFSA), institutional loan, or bank loan. If you’re opting to go for FAFSA, you will be required to pay back the amount you loaned, but the government pays back its interest. With private loans, you may encounter certain restrictions and requirements with higher interest rates.

Most institutions also offer scholarships. The requirements for the application can range from outstanding academic accomplishments, sports, leadership, or arts. Private awards are given to exceptional students with an extraordinary level of skill or intelligence. A full commitment to excelling academically and earning a high GPA score are typically required of Accounting degree scholars.

Students who are already committed to work may opt to go for Work-Study programs that serve as an alternative to financial assistance. Students are allowed to find part-time jobs within or without their schools in exchange for their education through this program.  

Veterans and military personnel planning to take a new career path or enhance their skills set may want to look into Veteran Education benefits. Some schools with Yellow Ribbon or GI Bill programs provide financial help or credit transfers using your previous military courses, training, or experience. This may help cut down the time and money to accomplish your degree.

Accounting Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

According to BLS, accountants and auditors have an expected growth of 10 percent from 2019 to 2026. Enrollees in numerous U.S-based universities and schools have shown an increasing number of students taking this course. Furthermore, data showed increasing demand to hire accounting graduates from as early as 2000 where accounting firms are hiring accountants predominantly for skills in auditing, taxation, financial auditing, and assurance services.

While this career has a promising outlook, entry-level accountants work is not ‘glamorous.’ Routine tasks are expected. Eventually, you’ll get better at in time. What was taught in school may not always be applicable in the real-world setting so learn the trade fast to succeed in this industry. Expect things to be challenging at first but make the most to accumulate new skills as you along. Also, it’s expected that longer working hours happen during tax periods and yearly budgeting.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting may also get the opportunity to advance to senior positions such as supervisors, financial manager, internal audit manager, commercial vice president, top executive, and chief cost accountant. Accountants who excel in their craft often become partners with other accountants and create a private firm.

Critical thinking and efficient communication are two essential characteristics of accountants. They need to solve problems in a structured method and be able to relay it from technical to layman terms (especially if you’re working in a company where there are lots of clients and shareholders).

The annual wage for accountants (and auditors) are estimated around $70,500 as of May 2018 with finance, insurance, and company management as top paying industries. With cloud computing becoming fast staples in most companies, demand for accountants may be reduced unless he or she can efficiently wade through these types of technology.

10 Most Common Accounting Occupations

Tax Accountant

This is the most common route for accounting graduates. A tax accountant’s job is to look into financial records and taxes for an individual, private companies, corporations, or organizations. You’ll need to assess if the company is running efficiently and profitably. On average, entry-level accountants earn $42,650 per year. You should obtain at least an undergraduate in Accounting for this position. CPA credentials can boost your opportunities of landing better jobs and making more.

Tax accountants are categorized into public accountants, management accountants, and government accountants. In any of these, you need to have a strong foundational knowledge of taxation laws. You also have to be adept in dealing with financial disclosures.

Public accountants perform a broad spectrum of tasks aside accounting such as consultations and audits for individuals, corporations, and government entities. They conduct tax reform consultation and make recommendations for tax advantages, income returns, and similar tax matters concerning businesses and organizations.

To become a public accountant, you’ll need to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and have your financial reports checked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for annual and quarterly reports. A popular Public Accounting specialization is Forensic Accounting that involves investigating embezzlements and frauds and testifying in court.

Management Accountants are also known as private or corporate accountants. Though your function will be similar to that of a public accountant, the reports you’ll be making will be for internal purposes and not for public use. You will work on budgeting, costing, and performance evaluation. You will work closely with asset managers who set allocations for various securities for maintaining or upgrading business profitability.

Government Accountants examine and maintain government finances. They also audit private businesses or individuals to ensure that revenues from their taxes are allocated and used in accordance with the law.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The primary function of a CFO is financial management. This is a senior position where you will be managing risks, do financial planning, and keep financial records. You also assess cash flows, business performances, market opportunities, and risks. As CFO, you oversee the financial performance of all company departments, including IT, Human Resources, Accounting, and Finance.

A CFO’s reports are directly communicated to the CEO for evaluation and implementation of plans. Entry-level financial managers that are future CFOs earn an average of $99,500. Higher positions that involve corporate financials make $181,500 per year.

To become a CFO, you’ll need to have an undergraduate degree in Accounting with at least five years of relevant work experience.

Auditor

An auditor’s primary task is to check an organization’s financial sheets for accuracy and regulatory compliance. You will test and validate the consistency of accounting methods used by internal accountants. External auditors are tasked to check for financial information and techniques on behalf of another taxing entity or government agency. Internal auditors ensure the validity of their accounting methods and find ways to improve the organization’s financial situation.

To become an auditor, you will need to have an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance. CPAs have higher opportunities for job employment. On average, entry-level auditors earn roughly $43,650 per year. 

Controller

A controller’s primary responsibility is to manage Accounting department personnel. Being in a senior management position, the controller looks into the financial activities of the company and reports these assessments directly to the CFO. Some smaller companies combine the job of a CFO and a controller.

To become a controller, you will need to have at least an undergraduate degree in accounting. On average, controllers earn at least $74,000 per year.

Cost Accountant

Unlike a regular accounting job, a cost accountant’s task is to measure all costs needed to produce a good or deliver a service. You will determine the fixed and variable budget for these services and products such as overhead costs, R&D (research and development), equipment costs, depreciation costs, and marketing. The data will be used for budget allocation, financial projection, and expense evaluation. You will likely work directly with other senior accountants and develop strategies in reaching business goals for the company.

To become a cost accountant, have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting and relevant work experience. Entry-level Cost Accounting positions pay around $66,340 per year. 

Finance Manager

Financial managers assess and evaluate the financial health of the institution with a high capacity to foresee risks and opportunities in various industries. You should have an extensive background in statistics, analytics, and research as you will be planning for the direction for the company’s investments with long-term success in mind. You will be doing reports of these investigations and relay it to upper management for evaluation.

Financial managers need to have at least an undergraduate degree in accounting to be qualified. Entry level financial managers earn roughly $67,620 with senior positions earning you around $208,000 per year.

Forensic Accountant

This is a specialized field in Accountancy where the principles of Accounting and Law intertwine. As a forensic accountant, you will investigate unusual or suspicious financial activities of an individual, a private company, or an organization. Forensic accountants are specially trained in unearthing financial frauds. You will likely be hired by the government in tracking people and groups in question. In conducting the investigation, Forensic Accountants reconstruct details of the financial sheets and testify in court with these findings.

An academic background in Accounting or Finance and Law will get you the job. Forensic Accountants earn anywhere between $69,000 and $102,000 per year.

Certified Public Accountant

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can take on positions such as business consultant, public or private accountant, or auditor. You will be handling tax preparations, financial consultations, and corporate financial data. Because of their extensive training, CPAs are qualified for senior positions such as Chief Financial Officer or Financial Manager. The CPA exam is a four-part series that needs to be undertaken after graduating from accounting (whether as an undergraduate or graduate level). CPAs earn an average of $70,500 per year.

Accounts Payable Specialist

An account payable specialist does the work of a clerk but specializes in outgoing payments. You process payrolls and invoices, process check requests, give out payments, and keeping records of these payments. Considering the nature of the job, accounts payable specialists need to possess high attention to detail and comfortable using accounting tools or software.

An undergraduate Accounting is a prerequisite for entry-level positions. You will earn $34,500 to $44,500 per year with this job.

Bookkeeper

As a bookkeeper, you will sort through numerous financial accounts. You will document all transactions in the general ledger. You will create financial statements and other reports that are necessary for taxation or upper management information. Some bookkeepers do this on a per-project basis or as freelancers for small businesses and individuals.

To become a bookkeeper, you’ll need to have at least some certification or undergraduate degree in accounting. Bookkeepers earn $25,260 to $61,650 per year.

Other accounting jobs that may be suitable for you:

  • Staff Accountant
  • Accounts Receivable Specialist
  • Accounting Manager

30 Highest Paying Accounting Careers

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The CFO is a senior position in the finance department with higher authority and more responsibilities. CFOs are expected to be highly skilled and capable of taking on executive level tasks such as planning for the organization’s long-term financial advancement, reporting to other executives, and budgeting. CFOs are also tasked to oversee big data and use modern technology such as analytics and artificial intelligence. CFOs carry an MBA degree or any finance-related graduate degree, a CPA accreditation, and at least 15 years of relevant experience.

CFO salary: $371,548 per year

Finance Director

A Finance Director is directly under the supervision of a VP of Finance and works primarily with managers and employees in developing finance-related plans. You will have a lot of latitude experience in this level hence a rich learning field for those aspiring to become a CFO. You will be in charge of implementing financial policies, oversee financial tasks such as tax reforms, budgeting, and credit, and report to executives on the achievements and projections of these finances. To become a finance director, you will need to have at least an MBA or MAcc (Master’s in Accounting) for an entry-level position.

Finance Director salary: $180,277 per year

Vice President of Finance

As VP of Finance, you will lead and set financial plans according to the organization’s goals. Other tasks involve strategizing debt finance, managing budget, and evaluating the overall financial health of the company and communicating this to the upper levels. You may also need to negotiate for contracts and other investments for the benefit of the company. A VP of Finance position doesn’t usually require a graduate degree in Accounting but earning one or an MBA makes you better qualified for the job.

Vice President of Finance salary: $134,307 per year

Financial Manager

A financial manager heads the Finance department in maintaining the quality of outputs and credibility of financial reports. You will monitor staff accountants and other financial analysts. Working on a budget set periodically (e.g., quarterly or yearly), you will see about properly allocating budgets for projects and investigate in case that budget overshoots. Your reports will be sent to upper management.

As a financial manager, you are expected to have an in-depth understanding of accounting and financial, business, and economics concepts. This position typically requires at least five years of relevant experience. Highly competent financial managers hold a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) accreditation.

Financial Manager salary: $127,990 per year

International Tax Manager

International tax managers specialize in foreign regulations, cross-cultural backgrounds, business practices, and transportation and logistics. This position is crucial in pushing local businesses to a global scale. As such, international tax managers are experts in trade regulations both in the US and foreign markets. As more firms are merging and acquiring other companies abroad, global tax management becomes crucial. To be qualified for this position, you need to have graduate-level education in accounting, business, or international finance.

International Tax Manager salary: $104,740 per year

Accounting Software Developer

Accounting today is different compared to how it’s done in the Industrial Age. Individuals who have a flair for creativity, and are skilled in programming are fit for Accounting Software Development work. Equipped with knowledge in accounting tasks, your job is to create solutions for the accounting personnel to significantly reduce company expenses involving time and workforce.

Accounting Software Developer salary: $103,620 per year

Internal Audit Manager

Internal audit managers primarily evaluate the company’s finances. You will be in charge of risk assessment and compliance with the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. You keep the organization’s finance departments up-to-date with relevant laws and recommend strategies to adjust to new taxation and other financial rules. To become an internal audit manager, you need to have relevant working experience and an undergraduate degree in Accounting or Finance.

Internal Auditing Manager salary: $98,005 per year

Cost Account Manager

A cost account manager reports to the VP of Finance. You will run a specialized group that looks into the organization’s accumulated assets and liabilities. Businesses with extensive inventories, equipment, and multiple suppliers need a cost account manager for evaluation purposes. You will make reports and deliver results in controlling costs, increasing profitability, and creating strategies in managing the company’s resources.

Holders of an undergraduate degree in Accounting, Finance, or Business will be considered for this role. Individuals with a Master’s in Accounting or Business may be favored more than those without.

Cost Account Manager salary: $95,980 per year

Corporate Controller

Corporate controllers are given critical jobs in the finance department, particularly in big corporations. For smaller businesses, the corporate controllers are usually the CFOs. You are considered the “oil” in the system as you ensure that all financial matters are handled correctly. Your findings and reports will be used by top management to make business plans and projection.

Corporate controllers usually have Accounting, Business, or Finance degrees under their belt. Dual degree holders with CPA accreditation are better qualified for higher positions.

Corporate Controller salary: $95,829 per year

Assistant Controller

As “second-in-command” to the Controller, Assistant Controllers ensure that the finance department keeps up with procedures and practices. You will also evaluate reports and budget plans as you oversee employees in the department.

Entry-level Assistant Controllers need to have an undergraduate degree in Finance or Accounting with a leadership background.

Assistant Controller salary: $89,119 per year

Personal Financial Advisor

The number of personal financial advisors will rise by 15% until 2026. With more Americans getting wealthier, the job of personal financial advisors become even more critical. They are highly trained in wealth management to cushion clients against hard times. As a financial advisor, you will need to be knowledgeable in the financial market, accounting, and the law (for estate planning).

Build your credentials by becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). If you’re considering consultation work, you should establish credibility in the field.

Personal Financial Advisor salary: $88,890 per year

Accounting Manager

An accounting manager’s primary job is supervising accountants in that company. You will be doing the work of manager so a background in management will be essential in this case. As an experienced accountant, you will be handling reports on a weekly to yearly basis, check financial data for accuracy, and ensure that the accounting department is delivering results on time. You will need a master’s degree in accounting or finance to get this position.

Accounting Manager salary: $88,160 per year

Senior Financial Analyst

Senior financial analysts can work in any industry. Considering the company is a medium to big enterprise with a finance team, your task will be to check and create recommendations to help improve profitability and cut down expenses. You will be leading the group in strategizing with the people directly involved with the money flow of the company ensuring all allocated resources are maximized with minimal risks involved. You must have keen attention to detail, determined to check for errors and points of improvement, and directly report your finding with the VP of Finance, CFO, or director of finance. You will need a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting with relevant years of experience as a financial advisor to get an entry-level position.  

Senior Financial Analyst salary: $85,660 per year

Staff Accountant

A staff accountant is an entry point to gathering experience for this profession. You often work in a firm catering to specific industries and handle basic accounting tasks such as accounts payable and accounts receivables, budgeting, reporting, and handling profit-loss documents. You will be more familiar with how the accounting world works in real life scenarios and work (and learn) from individuals with years of experience in their field of expertise. An undergraduate degree in accounting is a pre-requisite for this job.

Staff Accountant salary: $83,000 per year

Accounting Professor

According to BLS, the demand for accounting graduates in the workforce is projected to be 10% until 2026. Accounting professors are those who provide up-to-date education to students who are on the path to becoming accountants themselves in the workforce. A graduate degree in Accounting with relevant work experience are typically required. Some professors are required to finish a doctorate program before being accepted in an institution to teach.

Accounting Professor salary: $77,419 per year

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Officer

All U.S financial institutions follow the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) of 1970 setting standards for recording money transactions and reporting signs of money laundering. An AML officer is highly knowledgeable about the law, banking transactions and regulations and skilled analysts in transactions dealing with terrorism-related dealings. AML officers have high levels of inquisitiveness and a good foundation for research and law. You will need to have years of finance-related work experience with a graduate degree in accounting (forensics background) or finance.

Anti-Money Laundering Officer salary: $77,400 per year

Information and Technology (IT) Accountant

The reality is that technology is becoming a staple in any company. Individuals with dual degrees in accounting and IT may find lucrative jobs as an IT accountant. You will need to be up-to-date on the latest technology and trends, investigate as to the kind of problem the finance department is facing, and create a solution using technology. Some IT accountants develop tools for specific companies or solve particular problems in the finance sector. If you’re a natural problem-solver, this may be the kind of industry you’d want to be in.

Information Technology Accountant salary: $77,150 per year

Budget Analyst

As a budget analyst, your task is to assess the financial status of the company and make recommendations in maximizing profits. Your in-depth knowledge of budgeting will help companies allocate money appropriately for more efficient spending. You will also be collaborating with the finance team in planning, improving, and monitoring budget and expenditure. An undergraduate degree in accounting, economics, and statistics is necessary for entry-level positions.

Budget Analyst salary: $76,220 per year

Spectator Sports Accountant

Sports are still America’s favorite pastime gathering crowds beyond its borders. From football to basketball, fans line-up outside stadiums to see their team win the game. The sports market is still moving on an uptrend with over 80 billion projection by the year 2022. Technology has also gotten some traction for sports fans through eSports. Spectator accountants may work under a company or per project basis. You will still do basic accounting tasks such as filing tax returns, preparing financial records, and have it reported to management, and recommend improvements. Most companies pick applicants with a graduate degree in accounting or business. 

Spectator Sports Accountant salary: $72,270 per year

Auditor

Auditors are those that check for financial records for reliability and accuracy. Depending on the institution, you could be working as an internal (company-based), external (third-party institutions checking other company records), government, and forensic. You will be tasked to evaluate a company’s financial sheets for frauds, making sure that taxes are observed accordingly, and economic methods and protocols are in accordance with law and regulations. Auditors must hold a bachelor’s degree in Accounting for entry-level positions. Those with CPA accreditation will find better job prospects.

Auditor salary: $70,500 per year

Compliance Officer

Following government regulations are crucial to any organization. A compliance officer’s main task is to help the companies comply on rules and regulation set for their industry by the government such as environmental regulations, maintaining professional business ethics in its dealings, and keeping personnel up-to-date with new laws being passed out. To become a compliance officer, you need to earn a graduate degree in business law or ethics with a dual degree or relevant education in accounting or finance.

Compliance Officer salary: $67,870 per year

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants are special ‘agents’ of the government in investigating financial anomalies whether that of a corporation or an individual. Some of the biggest frauds are done by skilled accountants who are good at ‘faking’ documents to make the company look profitable and dupe shareholders. This is a demanding job that requires accuracy, integrity, and extensive knowledge in accounting, finance, and business law. Entry level positions may require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Forensic Accountant salary: $65,667 per year

Government Accountant

Government accountants are those that work for a government agency. You may land an accounting job for a local, state, or federal agency. Your task will be to oversee procurements, evaluating contracts, and assessing budgets transacted for that specific agency. You should be knowledgeable of the fund accounting processes as these are budgets are already noted for particular government activities. A government accountant may require a bachelor’s degree in accounting as a prerequisite.  

Government Accountant salary: $63,000 per year

Risk Analyst

Risk analysts are good at weighing the pros and cons of individual ventures and investments. You will need to be exceptionally good in analyzing economies and taking risks when an opportunity is presented. As a risk analyst, you will likely work in a bank or insurance company. You will be assessing client information, interpreting financial statements for credit reports, and maintaining quality control for auditing. An undergraduate degree in Finance or Accounting is needed for an entry-level position.

Risk Analyst salary: $62,633 per year

Credit Analysis Manager

It’s a reality that businesses may often face unpaid credits from bills to suppliers. As a credit analysis manager, your task is to ensure the company pays or settles all credits on time. You will have to settle (or negotiate) all payments with specific entitles or corporation to prevent any overshooting of the set budget or going into court settlements. Credit analysis managers need to have an in-depth background of corporate law, businesses, and finance or accounting. Big companies prefer candidates with years of experience in management and a graduate degree in forensics, law, or management.

Credit Analysis Manager salary: $60,255 per year

Managerial Accountant

Managerial accountants are those that look into the internal accounts of the company, which includes payroll, budgeting, asset management, auditing, and statement receivables. You will be doing reports for these evaluations hence the necessity for relevant work experience as a pre-requisite for the role. You will be in a leadership position that lets you handle teams, monitor for quality control, and look for market opportunities. Essential pre-requisites are a bachelor’s in finance, business, or accounting, preferably with a Certified Management Accountant accreditation. However, a keen sense in the economy and market analysis will also give you an edge for this job.

Managerial Accountant salary: $59,282 per year

Tax Manager

Tax management is a specialized job in the finance department overseeing that all taxes comply. Tax managers make sure that all federal and state taxes are managed such corporate income tax, sales, and use tax. You will also be expected to file reports periodically stating your evaluations for government purposes. You will need to have an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance and some relevant experience in tax work.

Tax Manager salary: $54,440 per year

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers handle financial transactions between the company and the government. You will need to be familiar with accounting basics such as debit and credit and handling ledgers.  Bookkeepers are very attentive to the spending and profit of the business and usually coordinate with other personnel in the finance department. For small businesses, bookkeepers need to have a bookkeeping certification or an accounting background from work experience.

Bookkeeper salary: $40,240 per year

Accounting Clerk

Accounting clerks are responsible for keeping records of the business’ payrolls, receivables, and payables. Unlike bookkeepers, accounting clerks work for big companies. You should at least be familiar with the fundamentals of accounting and the use of technology, especially accounting software. It’s essential that you’re keen to learn and understand the tool used by the company to make sure that your tasks are done efficiently and on time. Entry-level accounting clerks only need to have a background in accounting or on-the-job training and a high school diploma. 

Accounting Clerk salary: $39,570 per year

Accounts Payable and Receivable (AP/AR) Clerks

The AP/AR clerk is responsible for looking into revenues and invoices (the AP and AR transactions going to and out of business). This job requires high attention to detail since you’ll be working on numbers, verifying information, and getting all payments and receivables on schedule. Clerks working in big companies may need to be highly skilled in data entry and research capabilities with strong organizational skill. You will need at least a bachelor’s in Accounting to land a job as an AP/AR clerk.

Accounts Payable and Receivable Clerks salary: $38,990 per year

Unique Accounting Careers

Corporate Entertainment Accountant

Consider this your ticket to ‘glamour’ land. Corporate entertainment accountants are CPA accredited professionals who work directly for movie studios and production institutions. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with famous movie makers, producers, and yes, the possibility of getting selfies with top celebrities in the movie and music industry. You will likely look into financial statements and work on budgets, the accuracy of embedded numbers, and royalty distributions, to name a few. While this work may have its perks, expect long working hours. On average, corporate entertainment accountants earn $55,000 per year.

Forensic Accounting

Considered the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ in the financial industry, forensic accountants unearth questionable financial statements whether for company verification or government investigation. You will likely work with government agencies in uncovering frauds and terrorist transactions. Forensic accountants have high attention to detail and critical thinking to solve embezzlement and other fraudulent methods. CPA accreditation and a background in finance, law, or accounting will land you a promising career in this field.

Entrepreneurial Accountant

Entrepreneurs in the U.S have been steadily rising and providing jobs for locals and abroad. From small to large businesses, entrepreneurial accountants are essential in helping these companies flourish and move forward in their endeavors. Just like an accountant, your task is to help companies in evaluating risks, finding opportunities, maximizing resources, and preventing unnecessary expenses. Pay for this type of job will vary, but those with certifications and work experience in a specialized field may earn better salaries.

IRS Agent

The Internal Revenue Service is an agency from the government dealing with taxes. Your job as an IRS agent is to ensure that these entities, whether private or corporation, pay their taxes accordingly, follow regulations, and pay it on time. An IRS agent goes after tax violators where it can get physically demanding hence the necessity for being physically fit for the job. You will also be trained for firearm use for safety purposes. To become an IRS agent, an accounting background will be an advantage.

Accounting Software Creator

Accounting software is widely used in various organizations, personal use, and corporations. An accounting software developer is a maverick in creating software solutions for number-crunching issues unique to these companies. You will collaborate with the finance team and investigate financial statements and reports. It is essential that you have a background in researching, programming, and accounting when you take on this role.

Nonprofit Organization Accountants

Accountants may find themselves lucrative and fulfilling careers in the non-profit organization sector. Accountants may find themselves working in organizations that deal with animal rights, saving the environment, or helping the homeless get a better chance in life. Some accountants use this platform to land higher paying jobs in the future. If you’re considering an enriched entry-level position as an accountant, this may be an excellent place to start. Better opportunities and salaries are given to those with CPA accreditation, graduate-level degree, or those with dual degrees.

Ballot Tabulator

While this is not a typical accounting job, ballot tabulators for significant awards are accountants. The Heisman Trophy, a prestigious football award, is tabulated by accountants from Deloitte and Touche. Accountants also do Oscars and Grammy ballot tabulations. Certain firms are chosen for this task and will require the firm to keep the results private.

Travel Accounting Careers

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) / Auditor

CPAs almost always have essential roles to fill in in every agency. CPAs are accredited accountants that have taken on a rigorous four-series exam making them valuable human assets for companies. If you carry this accreditation, you may be required to travel to verify financial records, methods, and accounting procedures for publicly-listed companies as an auditor. You may be required to travel from one state to another to observe processes and deliver evaluations. International travels are not far if you happen to work for big firms and look into foreign businesses outside the country.

Investment Consultant / Banker

As a consultant, your years of experience are valuable, and your insights will help businesses flourish with your recommendations. Investment bankers or consultants help companies in merging or acquiring individual companies. Some companies may be reaching out to you for consultation outside your hometown so frequent traveling may be necessary for this job.

Money Manager

The wealthy among nations have been growing. Money managers are those that manage securities and investment for their high profile entities. Experienced money managers are often called to fly out of the state or country for clients that need money manager to secure and trade investments to get better profit returns.  Money managers are those with fiduciary control over individual or corporate investments. In some cases, money managers are called portfolio or investment managers.

Bank Examiners

Just like auditors, bank examiners also monitor agencies except that they monitor loans, credit unions, banks, and savings. You will be required to evaluate banking practices and procedures within that organization and send reports to agencies asking for it. Bank examiners often travel outside the country to ensure the quality of bank practices and regulations are carried out of the same company outside its hometown.

Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) Analyst

Also called an M&A analyst, these individuals specialize in merging of businesses from America to that of nearby countries or states. Some local companies may take on international trades and do business outside the U.S hence the importance of this type of service. M&A analysts have a deep understanding of the global market to guide them in acquiring or merging with potential deals.

Software Developer

Accounting software developers is a specific industry for those that carry dual degrees in both programming and accounting. Some companies may offer developers to visit them in their hometown hence the necessity for frequent traveling. As an accountant developer, you will need to research into current markets, assess the needs of the company, and develop software to solve issues faced by the finance department. Some software developers may be asked to educate the accounting staff in using the program as well.

Fleet Manager

While this may be a unique career, fleet managers are in charge of selecting vehicles and ensuring all goods are delivered on time within established budgets. It’s the kind of job that requires critical thinking, use of software programs, and relevant experience in operations. While it’s not significantly number-crunching work, companies abroad may require you to fly out of the country and manage processes for their business. You will be handling profit-loss accounting using the software and see if there are emerging patterns to improve or minimize losses.

What qualities should I have to be a successful accountant?

Accountants are highly organized. Considering ‘organization’ is a key quality of an accountant, you need to have this ability because you’ll face piles of figures and data. When you have a good, reliable, and efficient system, you won’t have to waste time getting to the next step and get timely results.

Accountants pay high attention to detail especially if you want to specialize in forensics. It is a meticulous job where you need to pay close attention to erroneous and ‘suspicious’ figures.

A good accountant requires consistency since you’ll be dealing with a lot of numbers and computations. When you make a mistake, ‘overhauling’ your work could take a considerable amount of your time. Inaccurate results may cause shareholders to doubt the credibility and profitability of a company because of inaccurate computations hence leading to loss of support and opportunities. You need to be patient, pay attention, express commitment, and work hard.

Accountants pay high attention to detail especially if you want to specialize in forensics. It is a meticulous job where you need to pay close attention to erroneous and ‘suspicious’ figures. A good accountant requires consistency since you’ll be dealing with a lot of numbers and computations. When you make a mistake, ‘overhauling’ your work could take a considerable amount of your time. Inaccurate results may cause shareholders to doubt the credibility and profitability of a company because of inaccurate computations hence leading to loss of support and opportunities. You need to be patient, pay attention, express commitment, and work hard.

It’s also an accountant’s responsibility to know their clients and their goals. Aside from excellent number-crunching skills, you need to understand the sector and industry of your client or company. As an accountant, you bring value to your client’s business by giving them recommendations for them to grow, expand, and make the most of the market’s opportunities.

Some exceptional accountants have excellent communication skills. Your goal is to help your clients understand what the numbers represent and how they can improve it. When you were in school, you can easily communicate with your classmates because you speak the same “language.” But when you become a professional accountant, you need to disclose information into words understood by many.

Managing your time well is another characteristic of an accountant. Since you’ll be juggling multiple tasks, you need to be strategic in planning and executing those tasks. With a structured system is in place, you can effectively allocate time to research, analyze, and execute those plans according to your set schedules. Back jobs cost time and money.  Furthermore, clients will be happier when things are done faster and still get accurate results.

With technology becoming more dominant in the daily lives of accountants, taking a basic IT course might help give you an edge against other accountants. You will be faced with various applications and software hence the necessity to learn whenever you have the opportunity. Those who adapt faster will be given more opportunities to sharpen their skills so you can better perform in the job.

Professionalism goes hand in hand with ethics. Some businesses may get into a bind and feel that the best way out is to break the law. When you have strong values and work ethics, you can maintain the company’s sustainability and still follow the right strategies.

Flexibility is another crucial attribute of an accountant. Faced with rapid shifts in technology, constant learning is a must for you to keep updated with the latest tools. If there’s a learning opportunity, never miss the chance to do so.

What programs will best complement my Accounting degree?

Whether you’re getting a minor or another major, it all depends on the industry you’d like to pursue after graduation or if you decide to take another career shift.

Taking a minor in language may help you gain a new skill. Two-thirds of top executives speak at least two languages. Aside from cultural sensitivity, it also keeps you from misleading biases that may influence your decisions. This may also be an additional touch-up on your resume considering bi-linguists are better at mental juggling. It would also mean that you can negotiate with overseas business partners for expansions or joint ventures. Most of U.S companies prefer employees with dual languages mainly English and Spanish.

Multi-lingual CPA’s may find better opportunities as an account manager of an international company. It would also be a lucrative jump to start your private practice providing auditing, tax services, and accounting services to small business owners locally or overseas.

Taking a business administration will give you a better insight into law, communication, ethics, and marketing. Your education in international markets may also appeal to big corporations on top of your accounting acumen. Your skill will help businesses identify errors and improve outputs/profits, lessen the impact of losses, and pitch business ideas.

With two degrees under your belt, you can also do consultations hence giving you the freedom to work at your own pace.

Businesses today work inherently with technology. A computer information system degree will help you wade through the latest technology in creating accurate financial projections and insights. Data is a big thing in any industry across the board.  Accountants with an IT background may be looked on with more favor than those without.

Economics is another major that might complement an accounting degree. With the financial markets always on the constant move, economists with a mathematical background delve into deriving relevant results suitable for economies locally, nationally, or internationally. Your skills and knowledge will become an asset particularly in the government and private companies looking into international expansion.

If your passion is teaching, you may want to look into education. Obtaining an education major could help develop a framework for educating and persuading your audience. Your goal is efficiency, clarity, and relatability. By having these two majors, you will have broader job opportunities in the academic, research, and marketing industries.

If your field is into number-crunching and you’d want to know more about the financial markets, taking finance with your accounting degree would only make sense. Equipped with the fundamentals of accounting and finance, statistics, business principles, and marketing, you will have the ability to work in any industry in assessing and developing the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. You will have the ability to weigh in risks and make financial decisions to improve profits and minimize losses.

Almost similarly to finance is mathematics, Finance primarily deals with financial markets and investments. Mathematics tackles statistics and calculus needed for making financial summaries of the company’s funds. This will be a plus on your resume if you’re considering technical jobs in the finance industry.

How will internships work with an Accounting degree?

If you’re taking this course as an undergraduate, you may need a spring internship in the institution you are enrolled in. A bachelor’s degree in accounting serves as an entry-level platform for future accountants or preparation for higher education if you plan to pursue a graduate degree or Ph.D.

Internships are vital to helping students put to practice in real-world situations what they learned in school. As part of the curriculum, students need to gain enough experience necessary for professional accounting tasks.

To become a professional accountant, earn at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Taking an associate’s degree is not enough to cover all subjects necessary to prepare you for full-time accounting jobs. Typically, full-time students earn their degree in four years with around 120 to 150 credit hours to your degree.

Accounting programs usually consist of business, non-business, and business elements. For some schools, only those pursuing graduate level accounting will undergo internship.

Upon completion of an internship from a particular company, you will have an idea on the kind of tasks accountants do. If you happen to land an internship in a large company, there’s a higher tendency they will hire you after graduation. However, if you’re having a hard time finding employment, you will have enough connections during the internship to lead you to other job opportunities.

Internships have corresponding academic credits added to your degree. However, if your school doesn’t require you to do this, you can still apply for one on your own. This will be a plus on your resume or lead you to a job in the future as most employers find graduates who underwent internships more favorable.

Considering that accounting degrees are available online, internships may differ from those taken on-campus.

Students may take their internships from accredited institutions near home. This would be beneficial for students planning to practice their profession in their community.

Virtual internships may be available, but these are usually subject to school regulations. Online students who struggle with managing their time, especially with a course as part of their schedules, can serve as interns during work vacation days and the weekends.

Internships may also be a way to add credit to your requirements, but this may vary per institution. If your school doesn’t require you to take an internship and you’d want to, it is best to ask about credit transfer eligibility. Many academic institutions regularly present potential internship opportunities.

Virtual internships may be available and are suitable for those pursuing a specialization on technology. For this to work, you have to be self-reliant and comfortable with doing emails, Web conferences, and phone calls.  

How do I prepare for a CPA exam?

Prior enrolling in an accounting specialization, it’s best to check the passing rate for graduates taking the CPA exam. As this is considered an “enduring and rigorous” series of exams, taking some time to research will help you in the long run.

Students pursuing a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, employers are likely to give you better job opportunities considering your skill and knowledge. Aside from a better job (and pay), CPAs have rewarding careers with better options.

Accounting graduates planning to take a CPA exam (also known as the Uniform CPA Examination) further enhance your knowledge on this subject. Prior taking the exam, the National Association of State Board of Accounting (NASBA) stipulated that students need to accomplish all necessary education (bachelor degree as a minimum requirement) and internship requirements (if applicable). If you’ve only acquired a 120-credit hour program, an additional 30 credit may be necessary before taking the CPA exam.

To obtain the license, you need to take a four-part exam. However, you don’t take all four parts at once. A Content Specific Outline will be provided to guide you on what to expect for the exams. Exam tutorials and resources will be provided to help you navigate through the study course.

“One size doesn’t fit all” also applies to learning. While reading may work for some, some might find interaction a better approach. Every moment counts so optimizing your study method might help you get ahead of preparations.

Look for study materials or review centers offering CPA study courses. Some students prefer to study from accounting teachers, experts, and fellow reviewers in preparation for the exam. Check for passing rates. Ask for the program format for this four-part exam. Assess for money-back guarantee and return policies. Search for reviews and see what others are saying about the program.

Online shops such as eBay and Amazon may have some used review materials at a lesser price. If you’re opting to shop online, make sure that you’re getting the latest resources for this four-part exam. Set aside time for studying. Commit to 400 to 500 hours per month or 30 hours every week for the 16 weeks to stay on track and make the most of your time. Despite its similarities with Accounting tests, CPA exams cover a lot more material at less time to learn it all.

Get every opportunity you can to learn. There are audio materials available that you can listen during commute time or when you’re taking a walk. While you might not be able to absorb everything, you can get the most of your study time during these breaks.

If you’re contemplating of pursuing higher education, choose either from a graduate degree of the same program or a complementary one (such as Business Administration or Finance) after you finished all the exams. Though CPAs primarily work as public accountants, you also have opportunities to engage in business valuation, taxation, international accounting, and personal financial planning for private companies.

What are the benefits of earning a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential?

Many accountants are contemplating taking a CPA exam because of the opportunities it presents after getting licensed. The demands and commitment needed to achieve this is no easy feat hence the necessity to assess if you’re really up for the challenge.

You’re probably aware by now that this requires advanced education, most commonly combined with the undergraduate and graduate accounting program, as part of the preparatory stage. However, some students are taking this after fulfilling their undergraduate program for a smoother transition.

Other factors may include the respect and prestige you’ll get. CPA holders are often considered as the ‘elite’ group of accountants as they hold a high level of accounting proficiency and skills than those without.

According to AICPA, here are several reasons why taking the CPA exam might help you advance your career. With new compliance standards, booming healthcare industry, use of digital technology, hiring people for organizational fit and skills, and utilizing project professionals (one-time but labor intensive accounting tasks such as merger and acquisitions), CPA holders are likely to land lucrative careers where the demand is high, but the supply is low. Currently, the most in-demand jobs in the U.S market are controllers, senior financial analysts, managers, and general accountants, payroll managers, and accountants with more than three years of work experience.

On average, CPA holders in the U.S earn $56,000 per annum with entry-level positions ranging at $45,000 to $75,000 per annum. Licensed CPAs are also likely to make 10 percent more compared to those without the license. For some states, you will be required to get at least two years of accounting work experience to be eligible for the CPA exam.

During the first years of your work as an entry-level accountant, you will be exposed to various challenges and information. This is the best time to gauge and see which department you’re likely to excel so that when you take the exam, you’ll know which direction to take afterward. Some graduate students may be considering taking the exam (or are already studying for the CPA exam) during their 2nd to the 3rd year of work experience.

CPAs can either take public accounting or private accounting (or corporate/management accounting). Public accountants are likely to earn more than those practicing in the private sector. If you’re contemplating on public accounting, you can choose auditing or assurance, advisory, IT audit or assurance, and taxation. While the demands for this job may be challenging, public accounting generally promises with higher pay and better benefits than private practice.  

For private accountants, you may be required more than just a CPA license. Some companies need CMA (Certified Management Accountant), and CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) licenses to be eligible for the job. Entry-level positions for this practice include internal auditor, accounts payable, chief financial officer, financial analyst, and corporate accountant to name a few. Most graduates opt to practice in a private company since transitioning to more rigorous accounting work is easier.

If you are working for a larger company, expect a higher pay with more significant responsibilities. International companies such as the ‘Big 4’ accounting firms may provide exceptional benefits, perks, and privileges. But with smaller firms, employees are given more flexibility with access to management. Some CPA holders work for smaller firms to get more say on the benefits and possibly get higher positions as the firm grows.

Criminal Justice Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

Every country has a system that controls crime and imposes penalties on those who violate the laws of the land. In the U.S., it is known as the Criminal Justice system. It is a set of legal and social institutions for enforcing criminal law according to a defined set of procedural rules and limitations. This system is often divided into separate entities-the federal, state, and military Criminal Justice systems. There are also different systems that govern the crimes of adults and juveniles.

Within the Criminal Justice system, one will find significant subsystems consisted of one or more public institutions and their workforce, from police and law enforcement agencies, trial and appellate courts, and the prosecution and public defender offices to probation and parole agencies, custodial institutions, and the department of corrections. Each jurisdiction has its own set of sentencing guidelines commission.

Those who want to be a part of the Criminal Justice system can build their career by studying Criminal Justice. Often used interchangeably with criminal law and criminology, Criminal Justice refers to the interdisciplinary study of the police, criminal courts, correctional institutions, and juvenile justice agencies. 

Students who are interested in working in this field will be glad to know that the Criminal Justice employment outlook is looking good. It also compensates well. A probation officer, for example, can earn as much as $51,410 annually.

Criminal Justice as a Degree

An exciting field with many sub-fields, a Criminal Justice degree is the best choice for those applying for most sought-after jobs in the Criminal Justice system, from criminal investigator to a law enforcement officer.

The focus of your Criminal Justice degree depends on the type of career you want to pursue after college. Some courses tackle the Criminal Justice system itself, technology in forensics, corrections system, the court and its relation to law enforcement, and the Criminal Justice theories.

Criminal Justice students complete courses in Statistics, Psychology, and Criminology. Most programs let students choose their areas of interest. It can be in the paralegal studies; others aim to master forensic science. A Criminal Justice degree is also a good foundation for those who want to become a police officer and climb the ladder leading to positions like that of a detective.

Undergraduate and post-graduate degrees are offered to Criminal Justice students. Generally, the program curriculum focuses on preparing students to understand the ins and outs of the system and the institutions involved. Courses emphasize ethical concerns, social, and behavioral influences on crime and delinquency.

Students are expected to choose their preferred electives, which can build their career track specializations in different areas of Criminal Justice, including corrections, juvenile justice, law enforcement, legal studies, international justice, or management and administration. Some schools encourage practical experience. Hence they offer internship programs which place students in roles that involve navigating the justice system.

Some of the coursework that students can expect to learn in the Criminal Justice programs include:

  • Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice
  • Drugs and Society
  • Crime in America
  • Principles of Investigation
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Crime Prevention
  • Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Internship
  • Constitutional Law
  • Computer Forensics
  • Corrections
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Forensic Science

Students who want to take up a degree program in Criminal Justice are usually asked to submit their application form and other necessary documentation requirements to the university or college of their choice. Some are required to undergo placement testing before they can be admitted.

It helps if aspiring students have an interest in the aspects of the law, the psychology behind criminal behavior and the law enforcement agencies operate. This degree requires you to learn all of that and more, after all.

Criminal justice doesn’t just limit you to police work, however; the field includes forensic science and psychology, paralegal work, counter-terrorism, cyber-crime prevention, and information security.

Types of Criminal Justice Degrees

The field of Criminal Justice is becoming competitive. Qualified applicants take advantage of the growing industry. Many organizations and agencies prefer applicants with a college degree for many key positions. Having a degree in Criminal Justice is a definite advantage in this day and age, opening up a wealth of employment opportunities. There are several types of Criminal Justice degrees, and each has different benefits. Here are the different levels that you can choose from:

Most positions in the law enforcement field require minimum educational attainment. Usually, a high school diploma can suffice. However, times are changing. More and more agencies are now seeking applicants with an associate degree, at the very least. In an associate’s degree, students will be able to learn all about the fundamentals of law enforcement, court systems, corrections, theories of crime causation, and crime control policies. All of these can help them acquire fundamental knowledge on the Criminal Justice system and help navigate the complexities of law enforcement.

Associate’s Degree

This is where they learn Criminal Justice terms and examine relevant courses like the role of law enforcement, Criminal Justice policies, U.S. court and correctional systems, and forensic science fundamentals.

Bachelor’s Degree

The bachelor’s degree level, on the other hand, can be the best ticket to many different Criminal Justice positions, like those in law enforcement and private investigations. They can also work as probation officers, FBI agents, and as members of judicial courts. Just like in an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree program covers the basics of Criminal Justice, although in a more in-depth approach. Students can choose their specializations, such as law enforcement, legal systems, or corrections. They are also encouraged to acquire practical experience through internship programs.

Some of the topics they will cover include:

  • Justice system for minors
  • Courtroom procedures
  • Criminal parole and probation
  • Relationship between law enforcement, judiciary, and corrections
  • Social and Criminal Justice
  • Application of social justice principles

Master’s Degree

If you want to explore the depths of Criminal Justice more and develop expertise in a particular field, it is ideal for taking up a master’s degree. This degree level considers an associate’s or bachelor’s degree as prerequisites. Most graduates with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice go on to become officers in court or Criminal Justice instructors. Others choose the path of social work.

In this program, students focus on developing their research skills and theoretical knowledge. They look at illegal behavior more thoroughly, examining the factors that can influence it, mentally, physically, and socially.

Students can expect to cover the following topics in this program: philosophical and historical foundations of justice, applied statistics in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice analysis, forensic identification and profiling techniques, data analysis in criminology, and survey of criminology theories.

Doctorate Degree

Just like any other doctoral programs, a doctorate in Criminal Justice is most suitable for those who want to teach university-level Criminal Justice courses. It is, understandably, more intense and concentrated than a master’s degree program. Students deal with comprehensive exams, and complete a dissertation.

Some of the most common subjects for doctorate programs are criminal psychology, diplomatic relations, homeland security, and many others.

Criminal Justice Specializations

Individuals and agencies work together to fulfill their function in the Criminal Justice system. There is a wide range of specializations within the field, from the police and other members of the law enforcement organizations to the court system, caseworkers, and corrections officers. Those who are interested in building their Criminal Justice must examine their options. What stage of the system is most suitable for you? What is your interest in the Criminal Justice system?

If you want to follow a career that deals with investigating and prosecuting crimes, a specialization in that particular field can set you straight to your chosen path. Having a specialization can help you develop the required and relevant skills needed for a specific position. This will tailor your courses to your goals.

Corrections 

To gain a better understanding of case management the complex dynamics of addiction and offender treatment, a specialization in the corrections field can help students. This is where they learn all about the goals and philosophies essential in correctional interventions. It also helps them come up to sound decisions when it comes to criminal sentencing and penal sanctions.

Forensic Science

Crime scene investigation allows students to explore the sciences behind law enforcement practice and crime-scene investigations. This specialization, known as Forensic Science, focuses on defining the cause and manner of a person’s death. A forensic scientist may also be tasked to notify the victim’s next of kin, interview witnesses, and interpret crime-scene photography.

Homeland Security and Crisis Management

In this specialization, students will be able to work in developing a solid foundation in Criminal Justice that can help them dig deeper into crisis management, ethical issues, critical infrastructures, terrorism, and homeland security. They will learn the specific techniques for protecting critical infrastructures, intelligence gathering, and technologies that are essential in preserving the protection of the homeland.

This course aims to arm them with foundational knowledge across a range of discipline, from risk analysis, emergency plans, and strategic communications to national security and public policies that govern homeland security and risk management.  

Law Enforcement

The rewarding field of law enforcement allows students to explore the relationship between the police force and the communities they are serving. This specialization tackles the fundamentals of Criminal Justice, from police ethics and public policy to developing programs that empower communities in reducing crime. Students who specialized in this program will be able to create knowledge in police theory, law enforcement practice, and organization management.

Aside from positions in law enforcement, corrections, and other public fields, your Criminal Justice degree can also give you opportunities in social work and forensics.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Criminal Justice Degrees

Since the field of Criminal Justice is continuously growing, universities have been offering the program to allow students to build their chosen career. Whether you want to enter the police academy or become a private investigator, a Criminal Justice degree is a good investment. With the emergence of technology, it becomes even easier to acquire an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree for Criminal Justice. Students also have the option to earn it online.

But which is better, online or brick and mortar Criminal Justice degree?

For those who want discipline and interactive learning, they can go for a traditional Criminal Justice degree. This method of learning lets them interact with their classmates and develop teamwork. Many of the on-campus Criminal Justice programs are accredited. Some of the most acclaimed schools offering a degree in Criminal Justice include Rutgers University in Newark with a B.S in Criminal Justice. There are also the University of Iowa, West Virginia University, and George Mason University.

Those who are already working might find it hard to juggle their school and career. Fortunately, online degree programs are available for working adults who want to explore the field of Criminal Justice or further their education for better chances at promotions. Online degree programs are flexible and do not necessarily require their presence on-campus all the time. They can earn a degree at their own pace, too. Some of the notable online schools offering Criminal Justice degree programs are Arizona State University, the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, University of Louisville, and Ball State University.

Financing Your Criminal Justice Education

Federal student loans, which include direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, provide lower interest rates than private loans. Some loan plans are exclusive to Criminal Justice students and graduates, such as the NDSL/Perkins Loan Cancellation program that allows up to 100% loan cancellation for full-time law enforcement or corrections officers.

Scholarships and grants from schools, private companies, and the government are made available to Criminal Justice students. An example is the COAG (Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia) and Anderson Criminal Justice Scholarship.

Criminal Justice Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

There is nothing more exciting and equally daunting than deciding on your career path. The field of Criminal Justice is vast and varied. It can be challenging to pick the best one that is most suitable for your goals and qualifications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook between 2016-2026 for careers in Criminal Justice is growing 7% faster than average. As of 2016, there 807,000 number if Criminal Justice jobs.

It is also projected that jobs will be most plentiful for professionals who hold a master’s degree in a discipline with industry application. Graduates can seek positions in the local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. Some of the skills and training that they should hone include know-how in computer science, forensics, psychology, cyber crimes, accounting, and even finance.

Most Criminal Justice graduates enter the field of law enforcement and corrections. Others go on to become professors in esteemed universities while some choose to serve as social workers.

10 Common Criminal Justice Occupations

Unlike many programs in liberal arts and social sciences, the criminal justice degree program emphasizes real-world applications and is in demand by public and private sectors. Students under this degree program have extensive training as well as earn practical skills, allowing them to have the education and skills crucial to landing a career.

Obtaining a criminal justice degree can prepare you to get employed for several career opportunities within the field of criminal justice. While the most common or large population of professionals in the criminal justice field are police officers, there are numerous job options that you may want to explore from computer forensic specialist to FBI agent. Given the fact that there are several opportunities for you in the field, you can find the right career for you that will match your salary expectations, skills, interests, and passion. It is one of the best disciplines for people with a broad set of skills.

Professionals in the Criminal Justice field use their knowledge and training in sociology, political science, psychology, and criminal justice to establish successful careers in the industry.

The criminal justice field is a vast field. As a result, there are many professions to choose from. However, this list explores ten common criminal justice occupations, together with a longer list of related occupations.

Police Officer

Police officers maintain public safety and order, collect pieces of evidence from crimes, pursue and arrest people who commit crimes. They are responsible for the prevention, investigation, and report on suspicious activities. Police officers either work for the Federal, local or State agencies adhering to a strict code of conduct regarding their roles and responsibilities while maintaining the law and integrity of their police powers. An associate or a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or law enforcement is preferable by most private companies or public sectors. Several medical examinations, written and physical fitness tests, as well as training, are required for employment qualifications.

Starting Salary: $38,850/year

Security Guard

Security guards are sought after wherever there are properties and people to protect. They monitor and patrol establishments, buildings, residential areas, and other places to prevent or stop crimes, theft, or violence. A security guard may also monitor employees as they are in and out of the building, ensuring the safety of everyone in the company. The majority of them have high school diplomas and are employed immediately in entry-level positions. However, some pursue additional training and education, such as an associate’s degree to land a more top paying job.

Starting Salary: $28,963/year

Lawyer

Lawyers are advocates offering clients personal or business courses of action with the alignment of research, laws, and judiciary decisions. They represent parties in criminal trials advising their clients regarding legal rights and obligations. These people can specialize in a specific field of law such as criminal law, intellectual property, international law, or environmental law, among others. Lawyers earn a bachelor’s degree, study three years of law school to prepare for bar examinations and some licensing programs as a requirement of the practice of their profession.

Starting Salary: $74,980/year

FBI Agent

FBI Agents are one of the highest paid professionals in the criminal justice field. They are highly trained individuals who investigate spying activities, terrorism, cybercrime, public corruption, civil rights violation, crimes, and weapons of mass destruction. Before becoming an FBI agent, individuals must undergo extremely rigorous hours of training in academics, operations, firearms training, and case exercises. FBI Agents have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. There are numerous career opportunities that these professionals can start with, including Intelligence Analysis, Finance, and Accounting, Information Technology, Engineering, or Applied Science, to name a few.

Starting Salary: $56,980/year

Judge

Judges are influential decision makers, often having to make a conclusion or verdict based on the pieces of evidence presented during trial hearings. They are responsible for making sure that lawyers comply with the rules and leading trial procedures. Also, these people preside over court hearings, uphold the rights of individuals involved in legal processes, and manage legal proceedings. Judges are elected or appointed by the public or the government.

Before becoming a judge, they earn undergraduate studies of any degree; however, the majority of them hold degrees in business or commerce, economics, history, or political science. After receiving an undergraduate degree, they proceed with graduate studies by earning a Juris Doctor degree in Law, completing three years of study at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Prospective lawyers with JD degrees must pass the Bar Exam and later on work as attorneys before acquiring their judgeship. Lawyers must be appointed to become judges. Opportunities in continuing education are required on most judges throughout their profession to stay up-to-date with the fundamentals of law.

Starting Salary: $104,000/year

Probation Officer

Probation officers work with offenders who have served their time in prison for serious crimes, supervising people who have been released from jail and remanded to parole, demonstrating ethical behavior and compliance with the policies and conditions of parole. They help offenders join fitting support programs and treatments such as anger management or substance abuse. They enlist them to house assistance and vocational programs so that they can be employable. To become a probation officer, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, or any related field is required. There are additional training and certifications needed to become a probation officer such as firearm certifications or a valid driver’s license.

Starting Salary: $43,862/year

Corrections Officer

Corrections Officers supervise inmates who have been jailed and are being held for trial procedures. They are in charge of those who have been convicted of serious crimes and serving time in prison, penitentiary, or reformatory. They document inmates’ behavior and anything unusual during their shift, inspect all areas of the prison or institution, guard against prisoner escapes, and maintains order in the institution. Corrections officer can establish their careers with only a high school diploma. However, prospective candidates earn an associate or a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice to seek career advancement. In some federal sectors, corrections officer must obtain a bachelor’s degree or three years of professional experience in a related field.

Starting Salary: $42,000/year

Crime Scene Investigator

Crime Scene Investigators work at crime scenes, taking photographs, creating an illustration of the crime scene and jotting down detailed information about the crime scene. They investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence as well as collect tissue, body fluids, and hair from a crime victim. Crime scene investigators collect and analyze all the pieces of evidence in the objective of providing accurate information that will help in convicting the person of a crime. They are meticulous about details and able to prepare reports, forms, and written documentation about their findings. Prospective candidates must earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any related field such as chemistry or biology.

Starting Salary: $58,230/year

Forensic Scientist

Forensic Scientists help catch and convict suspects in criminal matters. They handle pieces of evidence from crime scenes for police departments for investigation. They collect pieces of evidence and analyze these in a laboratory and summarize their reports and findings in written documentation. Forensic scientists can specialize in biochemistry, blood spatter patterns, fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, or chromatography. They may find work in federal, local or state law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and crime laboratories. Also, they use laboratory facilities to analyze evidence collected at the crime scene to determine if certain substances and objects are related to the victim and the suspect. Forensic scientists usually hold a bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences or a master’s degree in forensic science. Employment awaits candidates who undergo extensive training on laboratory equipment use.

Starting Salary: $54,990/year

Criminologist

Criminologists work to solve the reasons behind the motive of the crime or predicts when the next crime will be committed. They use their understanding of psychology and human behavior in combination with knowledge and background of demographics and crime rates to untangle the root cause of criminal activity. They are a type of sociologist, working on preventing crimes and profiling types of crimes. Criminologists usually have a bachelor’s degree in criminology, psychology or sociology. However, a master’s degree in behavioral science or any related field is preferable by many federal and private industries.

Starting Salary: $43,487/year

Other Criminal Justice Occupations

Indeed, the field of criminal justice is broad; thus, there are several opportunities suitable for everyone’s interest and goals. It is an exciting field of study for people who have a specific set of skills. If you are interested to know other criminal justice-related professions, we have listed other occupations that will broaden up your horizon.

30 Highest Paying Criminal Justice Careers

The criminal justice field offers a wide selection of career opportunities. The federal, local, and state government agencies provide numerous job openings in the related field. Also, private sectors offer employment opportunities for prospective candidates. Some criminal justice job opportunities require a college degree, while some only require a high school diploma. However, salaries and career advancements are directly related to earning an undergraduate or graduate degree. Depending on your preference and passion, wages should not be the primary indicator of a fulfilling career in the criminal justice field. There are several factors, such as lifestyle, interest, work conditions, and work benefits.

Our list provides the top 30 highest paying criminal justice jobs, including their salaries and roles.

Lawyer

Lawyers have one of the most lucrative salaries in the criminal justice field. They can work anywhere either from small courts or in multi-district litigation. Some of them establish their law firms, while some work for large firms. They represent their clients in civil and criminal trials regarding their rights and obligations. To become a lawyer takes a lot of time and resources; however, the rewards are fulfilling and worth it. Lawyers can specialize in a specific field, including insurance, criminal law, international law, bankruptcy or environmental law among many other concentrations.

Lawyer Salary: $163,000/year

Secret Service Agent

Secret Service Agents dedicate their lives to protecting the lives of dignitaries and work in unraveling a fraud investigation for government sectors. The nature of their job mainly involves case investigation without compromising the safety and security of the majority. They have one of the most dangerous professions in the criminal justice field. Secret service agents are often involved in traveling for work assignments. Also, they learn protocols which revolve protection of the common good or government properties at the highest level. They undergo personal background examinations and may need to carry a weapon for their safety.

Secret Service Agent: $125,000/year

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigator

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigators usually investigates financial issues such as money laundering and fraud. However, when tax evasion becomes a deliberate act, the criminal investigator is sent by the internal revenue service criminal investigators to facilitate. These professionals must have familiarity with the techniques used in the forensic exploration of internet banking systems and automated systems. They must have the capabilities to analyze and interpret complex financial data.

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigator Salary: $115,871/year

Fingerprint Specialist

Fingerprint Specialists own magnifying lens that hovers fingerprint fragments that are essential in carrying out their specific roles and responsibilities. They can reconstruct the profile of criminals through the use of latest technologies, combining all the pieces of information or details to come up with written documentation that will serve as strong evidence to the perpetrators of the crime. Fingerprint specialists may testify in courtrooms during trial procedures.

Fingerprint Specialist Salary: $105,211/year

Judge

Judges lead trial hearings and ensure lawyers comply and abide by the rules and regulations of the court. They are responsible for making important decisions, creating a verdict based on the pieces of evidence presented during the trial. Judges start their careers as lawyers, allowing them to gain experience and practice their profession. Nominations from the public or government sectors are the way to become a judge after years of study and professional experience.

Judge Salary: $104,000/year

Customs Border and Protection Officer

Customs Border and Protection Officers inspect and screen individuals as well as inspect goods crossing in and out of the U.S. borders. They have good judgment and a careful eye for unusual or suspicious activities or physical appearances. Customs border and protection officers are familiar with the laws and regulations which cover what items are allowed to take in and out of the United States. Furthermore, they must be comfortable in questioning and apprehending suspicious individuals.

Customs Border and Protection Officer Salary: $91,000/year

Information Security Officer

Information Security Officers are firewall experts who know the assessment and protection of security systems for organizations. They are people who enjoy keeping up to date with the latest technological innovation in infrastructures and network security. Also, these people ensure the safety and security of the system and its compliance with specific standards.

Information Security Officer Salary: $90,041/year

Federal Protective Service Officer

Federal Protective Service Officers have a great sense and knowledge about federal buildings and facilities that require continuous protection and safety measures. They receive training to understand the vulnerabilities of building facilities and ensure safety from terrorist attacks. These people promote the safety and security of the building facilities, providing the installation and maintenance of security systems and fire alarms. Moreover, they organize emergency preparedness drills, create contingency plans, and employ a K-9 aided team to preserve the safety of establishments or specific areas.

Federal Protective Service Officer Salary: $89,000/year

Crime Scene Supervisor

Crime Scene Supervisors collect and gather pieces of evidence at a crime scene as well as supervise a team of crime scene technicians who work with them. They have extensive knowledge with the ins and outs of gathering evidence at the crime scene. They are knowledgeable with fingerprint lifting, and taking photographs of blood spatters for investigation. Crime scene supervisors write documentation and reports of findings created by their team. Also, they possess excellent communication skills as well as the ability to follow standards.

Crime Scene Supervisor Salary: $86,724/year

Immigration Enforcement Agent

Immigration Enforcement Agents are responsible for detaining and expelling foreigners who violate the laws and policies of U.S. borders. They protect the country by overseeing terrorist and drug smugglers. They process and transport individuals suspected of malicious transactions within their jurisdiction. There are times these professionals learn a foreign language.

Immigration Enforcement Agent Salary: $86,047/year

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents (ICE Agents) prevent smuggling activities of any kind between the United States and international borders. Often, they apprehend criminals who transport illegal guns or drugs in the country. Also, they control and prevent illegal migrants from entering the U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Salary: $86,047/year

Prison Warden

Prison wardens are responsible for overseeing the entire area of prison facilities operations. They must have an overview of the cost and maintenance of prison upkeep and maintenance as well as supervising on the grounds, cafeteria, and the staff. One of their responsibilities includes monitoring inmates who are released or detained. Also, they must have an in-depth understanding and background of psychology and excellent communication skills with a sense of order and integrity.

Prison Warden Salary: $80,558/year

Internal Revenue Service Internal Security Inspector

Internal Revenue Service Internal Security Inspectors see to it that no corruption, fraud, and anomalies within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They make sure that employees have a high level of integrity and honesty within the department. These people investigate misconduct or any illegal transactions involving people who are in the IRS, including corrupt employees and bribery. Also, they conduct a background check of all prospective IRS workers.

Internal Revenue Service Internal Security Inspector Salary: $73,000/year

Computer Forensic Specialist

Computer Forensic Specialists locates and investigates illegal activities and transactions that have taken place in digital settings such as laptops, computers, or mobile devices. They are meticulous people who can conduct reports and documentation that are important for interrogatory interactions. These people may interview criminals or showcase pieces of evidence during trial hearings.

Computer Forensic Specialist Salary: $70,035/year

Inspector General Investigator

Inspector General Investigators is to check and verify whether a particular set of processes within the government sector is fully compliant with ethical standards. They eliminate and correct all kinds of fraud and inefficiency in the governmental offices. Moreover, they verify financial records of departmental processes to ensure there are no discrepancies in the office.

Inspector General Investigator Salary: $69,000/year

FBI Agent

FBI Agents are highly trained individuals who have numerous responsibilities, working to protect and defend the U.S. in a multitude of probable capacities. They work against civil rights violations, violent crimes, public corruption, cybercrime, significant thefts, or terrorism. They are part of an organization that values integrity and commitment to the foundation. FBI agents are one of the few glamorized law enforcement positions in the country, maintaining its reputation and credibility at the highest level. The majority of them studied political science, criminal justice or engineering, while a few of them completed a degree in law.

FBI Agent Salary: $68,209/year

Drug Enforcement Administration Agent

Drug Enforcement Administration Agents evaluate evidence and collaborate internationally to stop dangerous criminals who supply the country with illegal drugs. They investigate massive criminal activities related to drug imports, and related crimes in the U.S. DEA agents facilitate drug intelligence programs and are accountable for criminal arrests. They have risky roles and responsibilities as they may work in dangerous or remote areas. A DEA agent’s job requires a bachelor’s in criminology, criminal justice, or any related field.

Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Salary: $65,000/year

Criminal Profiler

Criminal Profilers conduct interviews with the criminals’ family members or identify pieces of evidence gathered by the police department. They are often called by the police department to assist them in figuring out the person responsible for the crime or how it took place. Criminal profilers have the capabilities to break down basic data or evidence to establish personal or psychological profiling of the criminals and how the crime was committed.

Criminal Profiler Salary: $62,888/year

Customs Inspector

Customs Inspectors are people who quickly notice suspicious behaviors and telltale signs of individuals who smuggle in illegal weapons or drugs. They make sure that people and goods crossing the borders of the United States do not harm or pose any threats to the country. In exceptional cases, they undergo training to work with canine units to complete their roles and responsibilities. Moreover, they work with law enforcement agencies and Homeland Security.

Customs Inspector Salary: $62,252/year

U.S. Postal Inspector

U.S. Postal Inspectors evaluates and investigates incidents that involve the U.S. postal service. They check people who send illegal substances through the mail. If the letter looks suspicious, U.S. postal inspectors are not allowed to open it without a search warrant. U.S. postal inspectors must possess excellent analytical thinking skills and sincere interest in protecting the common good.

U.S. Postal Inspector Salary: $61,503/year

Criminal Justice Policy Advisor

Criminal Justice Policy Advisors work with senior officials within the government in preventing domestic violence or human trafficking. They provide assessment and counseling of employees regarding criminal justice policies on the federal, local, or state level. Criminal justice policy advisors assess old processes and develop new and improved programs to satisfy the needs of society. The majority of them have excellent verbal and non-verbal communication, providing solutions and recommendations through written proposals as well as the ability to see how the system works.

Criminal Justice Policy Advisor Salary: $61,452/year

Digital Forensics Examiner

Digital Forensics Examiners are interested in keeping up-to-date with the latest innovations and computer technologies. They trace criminal activities on deleted computer files. They are experts at knowing how to reveal and restore deleted or hidden files. Digital forensic examiners must be able to work alone and work long hours on a particular assignment. They often require education and certifications in computer and digital forensics programs or criminal justice.

Digital Forensics Examiner Salary: $60,618/year

Criminalist

Criminalists gather and assess pieces of evidence and clues related to the crime and put together the pieces of information to establish a report and findings. They must know how to interpret unique clues on DNA samples and traces of evidence in a discharged firearm. They rely on scientific approaches, not psychic abilities, to solve the mysteries involved in a specific crime. They need to have excellent communication and analytical skills.

Criminalist Salary: $59,926/year

Border Patrol Agent

Border Patrol Agents are dedicated to providing safety and security of borders from illegal migrants and terrorist activities. They must be familiar with different devices that track unlawful entry to the U.S. Border patrol agents’ primary role is to be vigilant and alert of any unwanted physical activities within the borders of the country. The majority of them are usually assigned in remote areas. Furthermore, they must be able to screen people while vested in firearms.

Border Patrol Agent Salary: $58,673/year

Classification Officer

Classification Officers determine the prison sentence of convicted individuals. They receive training in psychology and use their capabilities and understanding of human behavior when screening and interviewing inmates. Classification officers verify and assess prisoners’ records and background altogether in making assessments or profiling. They must have an excellent sense of judgment to assess and comprehend criminals’ records.

Classification Officer Salary: $57,471/year

Counter-Terrorism Analyst

Counter-Terrorism Analysts are experts in understanding and evaluating information that will uncover terrorist groups and activities harming the security of the United States. They have a strong background in cultural and anthropological aspects of terrorist groups threatening the country. Also, they present mitigation plans and excellent strategies to discover a series of developing terrorist activities. These people possess excellent logical skills and must be updated on international affairs as well as they often speak and understand multiple foreign languages.

Counter-Terrorism Analyst Salary: $56,000/year

Deportation Officer

Deportation Officers identify and subdue suspected illegal immigrants in the U.S. They know the rules and regulations which define an illegal immigrant status. Deportation officers also work with Homeland Security to make sure all related matters and paperwork are adequately handled. Deportation officers must have a few years of professional experience in the standard law enforcement field.

Deportation Officer Salary: $54,073/year

Crime Lab Analyst

Crime Lab Analysts have one of the most exciting jobs in the criminal justice field. They integrate the sciences and showcase their knowledge and capabilities in a forensics laboratory. They study and analyze pieces of data or information extensively from crime scenes to prove the innocence or guilt of people who are involved in criminal behavior. They produce written documentation based on DNA results or molecular biology. Also, some of them may provide their results or testify in court hearings.

Crime Lab Analyst Salary: $51,729/year

Criminologist

Criminologists have an in-depth understanding of psychology and human behavior with a background in demographics and crime rates to uncover the root causes of such action. They discover the mysteries why these crimes have been committed or predict when the next crime will likely to happen. Some of them work in the crime prevention field, understanding the crime based on psychological approaches or methodologies.

Criminologist Salary: $43,487/year

Correctional Officer

Correctional Officers are people who maintain peace and order within the prison facilities or detention establishments. They assign people who will be in charge of inmates within the jails. They monitor transactions and records of inmates’ visitors and related activities. They are always on alert for illegal activities and exchange of drugs and weapons within the facilities. People with vigilance are suitable for this position.

Correctional Officer Salary: $34,964/year

Part-time Criminal Justice Jobs

As a criminal justice degree holder, you have the countless opportunities and possibilities to get a career as a real-life counterpart of superheroes and crime-fighting guys in movies. In the real world, the criminal justice field can also offer job security.

If you are looking for extra income opportunities, apply for these part-time positions offered by private companies and government sectors:

  • Faculty Criminal Justice
  • Hospice Social Worker
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology Temporary Part-Time Faculty
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Case Manager Criminal Justice Field
  • Adjunct Instructor – Criminal Justice
  • Client Services Specialist – Criminal Justice
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Lead Organizer
  • Forensic Accountant/Auditor
  • Criminal Justice Records Management Systems Administrator
  • Evidence Technician
  • Criminal Justice Technician
  • Security Operations Manager
  • Field Investigator
  • Public Safety Assistant
  • Child Forensic Interview Specialist
  • Criminal Justice Clinician
  • Visitation Monitor
  • Part-Time Case Manager
  • Paralegal Studies Adjunct
  • Economist Adjunct
  • Adjunct Pool
  • Visiting Faculty, Criminal Justice

10 Unique Criminal Justice Careers

Criminal Justice careers are traditionally found in security departments, law enforcement agencies, courtrooms, and the FBI/CIA. However, there are unique and not commonly known criminal justice careers that you might find exciting to work. The majority of these professions required additional extensive training to be qualified, but earning a bachelor’s degree is a stepping stone towards a fulfilling criminal justice career.

Arson Investigator

Arson Investigators are partly detectives and partly fire investigators. They are people who arrive at the scene after a fire incident to identify the cause of the fire and identify whether criminal activity is involved.

Blood Spatter Analyst

Blood Spatter Analysts are people who locate and collect blood samples and study blood patterns to provide insights and investigative reports related to the crime. They take photographs, handle biohazardous content, write documentation, and testify in the trial procedures.

Polygraph Examiner

Polygraph Examiners operate lie detector examinations that hook criminals before asking that person a series of questions related to the crime. They conduct lie detector tests that measure the subject’s heart rate and other physical indicators of them telling the truth or otherwise.

Criminal Profiler

Criminal Profilers are detective workers who use their knowledge of psychology and criminology to help resolve crimes. They develop a list of traits and characteristics that suspects will likely have, enabling investigators to narrow down their search in the resolution of crimes.

Forensic Ballistics Expert

Forensic Ballistics Experts gather essential information and clues regarding how weapons such as guns were used during the crime. They provide details regarding bullet trajectory and penetration, describing how far the shooter was and on the exact location when the trigger was pulled.

Background Screening Expert

Background Screening Experts use research skills and methodologies to discover court records and find any crimes facilitated by the individual. They perform a more serious investigation on the background of the criminals.

Crime Prevention Specialist

Crime Prevention Specialists are responsible for developing crime prevention campaigns. They organize events that spread awareness about the safety of the target audience. For example, they go to communities and provide talks with children and the youth about staying safe and being vigilant against suspicious activities around their area.

Crime Scene Fingerprint Analyst

Crime Scene Fingerprint Analysts work in forensic laboratories using technologies to preserve, evaluate, and examine fingerprints.

Forensic Entomologist

Forensic Entomologists are equipped with the knowledge and training to examine the insects found in a crime scene and uncover clues. These insects provide relevant information about the time of death and whether the corpse was moved or not from a specific location.

Digital Forensics Expert

Digital Forensics Experts are highly-skilled and knowledgeable in extracting evidence from different digital devices.

Top Travel Criminal Justice Careers

There are numerous international career opportunities for criminal justice degree holders. Individuals interested in international criminal justice careers have the freedom to choose whether they work for the U.S. government or within an international organization such as the United Nations.

Why should I earn a Criminal Justice degree?

A Criminal Justice degree is not for everyone. It is most suitable for those who want to build their professional career as a protector of the community and an advocate of the ethical treatment of offenders. People who have a strong desire to serve their communities will fit right in this profession. The same is true for those who are curious about the way the Criminal Justice system works.

In terms of job outlook, being in the field of Criminal Justice is tantamount to ensuring that the law is upheld at all times. Quite commonly, undergraduates end up being pursuing corrections careers or law enforcement work. The forensics path, meanwhile, is for qualified individuals who has had extensive training in the field. Similarly, professors and criminologists are holders of a master’s degree or higher.

Acquiring a degree does not only lead to an easier path to employment, but it can also pave the way to promotions and ideal positions that can help shape your career for the better and contribute to your professional growth. In an academic atmosphere, the framework of your future career is taught, from theories to valuable skills.

As with other jobs, writing and filing reports are an essential skill that Criminal Justice graduates acquire.

Having a degree can also add confidence. Promotions are often done by examining one’s performance at work, but if everyone has an exemplary record, the best way to stand out is to have a distinguished educational background. An educated police force is an answer to the increasing complexity of police work.

Ultimately, the choice to pursue a Criminal Justice degree lies in your hands. It is crucial to weigh the options before you decide to jump into a four-year college course. If done right, a good education can set you up for success.

What skills do Criminal Justice students develop or enhance?

A field with plenty of opportunities, the Criminal Justice profession is not cut out for everyone. The right candidates must possess certain qualities integral to their line of work, whether it is in law enforcement, legal, corrections, security, or forensics.

The changing society and advancements in technology mean the Criminal Justice system needs to adapt to a more sophisticated approach when it comes to modern policing. And although it is a profession initially dominated by men, the Criminal Justice field is gradually opening up women.

So, what kind of men and women can easily navigate the Criminal Justice world? Take a look at some of these essential qualities that they need to develop and enhance.

Since Criminal Justice professionals are expected to maintain and uphold the basic ethical standards of society, they should adhere to it as well. They should not only have to be well-versed in the details of law but also have a good understanding of embodying the ethical standards that govern both the law and society.

For one, they must be aware of the difference between right and wrong and how they should apply this knowledge in a difficult situation. The public gives their trust in Criminal Justice professionals to uphold the law and do what is right, after all. By adhering to ethical standards, you are setting an example for your department or office.

Writing

Playing a huge role in the lives of many Criminal Justice professionals, writing is a skill that cannot be underestimated. Any job in the Criminal Justice system tends to rely on strong written communication skills, from creating reports to policy-making.  

A report can impact the outcome of a case. It is needed when one is trying to get approval for a warrant as well as proposals for funding. By explaining your findings from an investigation thoroughly and accurately in writing, you will be able to safeguard the truth and serve justice.

Research

Another proficiency that a Criminal Justice professional must possess is the ability to conduct research, including finding the right resources and assessing what you have gathered. Being in this profession requires you to deal with and utilize with various data and information that can be used to solve a case.

Patience

Since the Criminal Justice system is deeply rooted in government regulations and laws, there are bound to be a lot of collaboration with different agencies that can result in tons of paperwork. It is not uncommon to wait for weeks or even months before the case can go to the court. That is why patience is emphasized as a trait for Criminal Justice professional. Waiting, after all, is part of the job.

Empathy

Because being in the position of power requires you to come to decisions that can change lives, it is vital that you understand situations and their relation to human nature. Having empathy can help you do your job better because you are not only dealing with law and order but also taking into consideration the individual motivations and sufferings. This way, you won’t lose your humanity.

Are there additional requirements for a Criminal Justice career?

As one of the fastest growing fields, Criminal Justice is high in demand. However, it is not easy to enter the profession because of some requirements and limitations that not everyone can qualify for.

First, there is the age requirement for some areas of the Criminal Justice field. Many local and state law enforcement agencies stipulate an age qualification for hopeful applicants, requiring their age to be a minimum of 18 to 21 years. Those who choose the juvenile justice system must at least be 18 years of age.

For the FBI, agents must at least be 23 years old. Some agencies establish a maximum age for eligible applicants, just like the federal government which requires their employees to be not more than 37 years old.

Second, there is the height and weight restrictions. Law enforcement agencies require their employees to be at least 5’8’’. Most of the jobs in the Criminal Justice system have to deal with the physical that is why they must have proportionate height and weight. In short, they must meet the physical fitness requirements.

They are expected to perform strenuous physical activities like running at a fast pace and lifting heavy weight for a significant amount of time, all done without sustaining an injury. It is also essential for applicants to have sound hearing and vision capabilities to make them safer and more effective for their jobs. This might require them to take hearing and visual acuity and color perception tests.

There are grounds for disqualification as well, like noticeable deficiency of physical coordination, obesity, or other physical impairments that can hinder them from doing their job. Many of these requirements are there to ensure your safety and maximize your productivity as an employee.

The Criminal Justice system does not employ gender limitations. However, some exceptions apply, like in terms of correctional facilities that require only female workers to assist and supervise female offenders.

In the end, though, it depends on the agency or department you are applying for. That is why it is highly advisable for you to research the field or area you want to enter to check the qualifications and requirements. This will help you avoid wasting time and effort in applying for a job that has restrictions.

Social Work & Social Services Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

As one of the most exciting and rewarding careers, Social Work leads to a noble profession that contributes to society. According to the International Federation of Social Workers, “Social Work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.”

Upholding the principles of social justice human rights and taking responsibility are some of the tenets of social services and Social Work. Their duties run the gamut from conducting therapies and counseling to policy formulation and analysis, advocacy, and even political intervention.

As of 2016, there were 682,100 jobs in the field of Social Services & Social Work. From 2016-2026, the employment rate is expected to rise by 16%, taking several specializations into account. This, in part, is driven by the increased demand for healthcare and social services professionals.

Social Work as a Degree

To make it as a successful professional earn a degree in Social Work that delivers the right education and training. Typically, a Social Work program enables students to define and discover new methods that can influence human behaviors and interactions. You also explore the causes of social behavior and the changing social patterns.

Most Social Work programs are designed to provide students with skills in social advocacy. These include courses covering human behavior, research methods, psychology, and Social Work practices. Depending on the degree level, some Social Work courses can tackle clinical practice, behavioral treatment, adult psychopathology, and drug and alcohol abuse intervention.

Aside from the coursework within the classroom, students are also expected to gain hands-on experience through field practicum or internships, such as working with individuals and other groups from human services agencies.

In 2017, a survey conducted by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) found that there are 518 baccalaureate program offerings for Social Work, 255 for master’s programs, and 77 for Ph.D. programs.

Types of Social Work Degrees

Social Work degrees come in different levels: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Each degree level comes with a unique curriculum and coursework. They also vary in difficulty and the length of time it takes to complete the program.

Associate’s Degree in Social Work

An Associate’s degree in Social Work can be completed in two years. The courses typically consist of an introduction to the discipline for foundational knowledge of the practice. The subjects of focus include Sociology and Psychology. Unlike a bachelor’s, an Associate’s in Social Work degree does not qualify you for Social Work practice. They, however, enables you to take on human services and support Social Work positions. Social Work assistant jobs pay an average of $30,830.

Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

A Bachelor’s degree in Social Work usually requires four years to complete. It is commonly the basic educational requirement for many Social Work jobs as well as a minimum qualification for Social Work licensing and certification programs in most states.

This degree program prepares students for direct service positions with a curriculum centering on essential individual and family needs and support, social welfare policy, casework planning, and intervention strategies. Most bachelor’s degrees require at least 400 hours of supervised field experience.

Some of the most popular courses in a bachelor’s degree in Social Work include foundations of Social Work practice, micro human behavior in the social environment, research methods in Social Work, statistics for Social Workers, and diversity and oppression in a Social Work context.

Holders of a Bachelor’s in Social Work can take up the position of care consultants, child life specialist, child protective services worker, court-appointed special advocate, criminal justice Social Worker, or gerontology Social Worker.

Master’s Degree in Social Work

To increase your chances of landing better career opportunities in Social Work, earn a master’s degree. This graduate program gives them an excellent credential for securing top-tier positions such as a Social Work department supervisor or a professor.

What sets it apart from a bachelor’s degree is that a master’s program requires students to complete many courses focusing on research. They are also required to complete intensive fieldwork.

This advanced Social Work degree usually takes two years to complete. It is a useful degree for those who want to attain specific positions in Social Work, including clinical, policy, and administration jobs. Aside from the class work, they are also required to complete a particular number of supervised hours of around 900 in the form of field instruction or internship. Some schools might require students to master a second language.

A master’s degree in Social Work can equip students with the necessary credentials to become a certified Social Worker, clinical Social Worker, or a diplomate in Social Work.

Doctorate in Social Work

Focusing on research techniques and qualitative and quantitative analysis methods, a doctorate in Social Work takes around two to four years to complete. This advanced program is the terminal degree in Social Work and is designed to hone students for careers in leadership, educational institutions, and healthcare environments.

In this program, students focus on a narrow field of study and research. Ultimately, they should be able to present a well-researched dissertation, which is their ticket for graduation.

Those who have completed a doctoral program for Social Work can find opportunities as professors in accredited universities and executives within Social Work organizations. They can also take on positions that require them to conduct research and policy analysis.

Social Work Specializations

As one of the most diverse professions today, Social Work has several specializations available for those who earned the degree.

Some Social Workers, for example, specialize in child welfare and spend a lot of time dealing with children in foster homes and juvenile courts. Others devote their time and energy in caring for older members of society.

It can be overwhelming to choose one specialized area of Social Work, especially if one’s goals and interests are not yet clear. In our goal to help aspiring Social Workers, we feature some of the most common specializations:

Child and Family Social Work

In this specialized area, students are taught how to deal with children and family members who have been abused, suffering from mental or physical illness, exhibiting behavioral problems, or experiencing stress. They are expected to learn how to ensure the safety of children of all ages within their family units.

Social Workers who specialize in this field provide a variety of services, including providing therapy for individual children or work with their families to secure resources. It is also part of their jobs to conduct training, serve on interdisciplinary teams, and testify in court.

This specialization involves various work settings. The most common is in government agencies, schools, residential care facilities, social service agencies, and adoption agencies.

School Social Work

For this specialization, Social Workers often serve as a liaison between students, families, teachers, and administration. They ensure there is seamless communication between all parties which can then result in better individual services for different student needs.

Social Services Social Work 5

School Social Workers provide crisis intervention, personal and academic counseling, assessments, and sex education, all of which are integral in ensuring students have a fruitful academic career.

Practitioners in this specialized area are required to obtain a master’s degree. Students who wish to take up this specialization are expected to complete specific coursework in school Social Work. In their internship, they may be required to interact with school personnel and parents and provide direct services to students.

Clinical Social Work

This area of specialization requires an advanced degree like a master’s in Social Work. Most types of Clinical Social Work involve tackling mental health, psychological disorders, relationships, and family problems.

Clinical Social Workers are responsible for diagnosing, creating treatment plans, and providing counseling services to clients of all ages. They are also expected to give counsel to new or at-risk parents or testify on behalf of children and adolescents in child abuse court cases.

They can be assigned across a variety of settings, including substance abuse facilities, juvenile detention centers, prisons, nonprofit organizations, and mental health centers.

Elder Care Social Work

A typical job in many state and public agencies, Social Work for elder care involves assessments and evaluations for the elderly, counseling, and advocating for older adults suffering at the hands of their family members or caretakers. Social Workers specializing in this area can act as counselors or therapists.

Students who are interested in this specialization can use their bachelor’s degree or higher to be qualified. There are also specialization classes and undergraduate internships that can equip them with the right education and experience to work in this kind of setting.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Social Work Degrees

Aspiring Social Workers have several options to get their degree. It can be done the traditional way by attending a brick and mortar school, or the flexible method of online learning. The advancements in technology made the latter possible, with many colleges and universities offering online degrees in Social Work these days. This option gives distance learners the chance to earn their degree at the comfort of their home and their own pace. The flexibility it affords them is a great help especially for those who are juggling their family and career responsibilities along with obtaining a good education.

Online Social Work Degree

The most advantageous aspect of completing a degree online is that it offers more flexibility. Students can schedule their classes in the most suitable time, allowing them to pursue their careers while advancing their education.

What’s more, you can complete the program at their own pace, unencumbered by the need to attend on-campus classes. With a high-speed internet connection, you are set to go.

As for the cost, online programs, in general, can be cheaper than traditional ones. There are a few universities that offer Social Work programs at $15,000 per year. Thankfully, financial aid options are offered to students who wish to earn this degree online in the form of loans, grants, and even scholarships.

Since online Social Work degrees are flexible, the program length varies depending on the pace of the student. Generally, bachelor’s degrees can take as much as four years to complete, while graduate programs in Social Work can be completed within 2-3 years.

Just like the on-campus programs, the curriculum online offers courses that focus on providing communities with social support services and dealing with Social Work issues. It is possible for some schools to require internships.

Online programs take a lot of self-discipline to complete, as students are expected to take charge of their own academic experience. They have assigned online advisers that can guide them and answer their questions. But most of the time, they navigate on their own.

Some of the best schools offering Social Work degree programs online include the University of Utah, University of North Dakota, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Walden University, and the University of Southern California.

Brick and Mortar Social Work Degree

Still the most popular choice of many students, on-campus Social Work degrees poses a lot of advantages.

For students who thrive in the classroom environment, earning their degree in a brick and mortar format is the ideal route. They can learn more effectively through direct contact with their professors while forming connections with their fellow students.

Many state and public universities offer Social Work programs that are cheaper. It is possible to find a program that costs only around $10,000 per year. Highly competitive programs in prominent universities, however, could cost up to $30,000 annually.

The good thing about that though is the fact that many financial aid options are readily available at their disposal. Most colleges and universities offer low-cost student loans and scholarships that can considerably lighten many students’ financial load.

Since most campus programs adhere to specified schedules, completing the degree program usually takes four years for bachelor’s degrees and two to three years for graduate studies. Students, however, have the option to study full-time or part-time.

Campus programs curriculum still tackles Social Work and its many facets that can prepare students for their chosen career. It can be easier for students because they have access to their professors and other faculty members when they need to discuss issues regarding materials and such. Their professors are also there to keep them on track through providing rigid class schedules, minimizing the possibility of slacking off and enabling them to complete the degree right on time.

The most notable schools offering on-campus programs include the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Financing Your Social Work Education

Earning a degree is a worthy investment. Social Work degree programs are no different. They can help students navigate their career path in the field of Social Work, providing them with golden opportunities and maximizing their rewards. It is not so surprising to find, however, that financial constraints can hinder many aspirants from reaching their goals.

Financing one’s education is challenging. College is expensive. Thankfully, many educational financing options are available for earning the Social Work degree on-campus or online.

Many universities have a list of scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial aid options available for their students. Students should explore the full range of funding opportunities at their disposal and submit the necessary application and requirements on time.

Scholarships

Often considered as financial rewards and the best form of financial aid, scholarships do not need to be paid back. However, the caveat is that they are mostly merit-based, meaning students can only avail of it if they are qualified. Most qualifications are based on academic performance.

The state and federal governments grant scholarships. Many such opportunities are also offered by private and nonprofit organizations and even academic institutions. These scholarships can vary from institution to institution.

The American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work awards students who excel in professional development through their original clinical practice papers. There is also the American School Health Association Scholarship which is available for applicants who major in Social Work, whether it is for undergraduate or graduate studies.

Federal and Private Loans

The most widely available financial aid option, student loans from the federal government and private institutions are pretty accessible to most universities and colleges in the country.

Federal loans require students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Loans from private institutions have their own set of rules and qualifications as well, often accessible through credit unions, banks, and loan or savings establishments. These loans come with fixed interest rates.

Loan Forgiveness Programs

Once students graduate, they can make use of loan forgiveness programs for Social Workers such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program. In some instances, these programs require Social Work professionals to be employed full-time in their public service jobs.

Social Work Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

Social Work majors share the common desire to help others. Their career path leads to providing social services to the needy, from children and families to the elderly population.

They may provide services like advocacy and crisis response. Some Social Workers specialize in child, family, and school while others focus on healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse. Clinical Social Workers also evaluate and treat behavioral, mental, and emotional conditions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 680,000 Social Workers employed in the United States as of 2016. The majority of them specialized in helping children and families or worked in schools while the smallest percentage worked as a criminal justice Social Worker and forensic Social Worker. By 2026, Social Work jobs are expected to grow to more than 790,000.

Social Work graduates with a bachelor’s degree can work in most Social Work fields, but if they want to take up specific positions like clinical Social Work, they will need to have a master’s degree and two years of post master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. They are also required to acquire a license in the state where they practice.

As of May 2018, the median annual wage of Social Workers was $49,470, but it can go lower or higher depending on one’s specialization and location.

10 Common Social Work Occupations

Child Welfare Social Workers

One of the most common social worker occupations, Child Welfare Social workers are responsible for investigating cases of child abuse or neglect. Their findings determine whether the child should remain in the home or move to a safer place temporarily or permanently. They also provide support services to families, including child care, substance abuse treatment, parenting classes, and family counseling. In many cases, Child Welfare Social Workers witness in court and testify on a child’s behalf.

Although this profession requires a lot of time and effort because of limited resources and a usually demanding caseload, being a Child Welfare Social Worker is a fulfilling job.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $47,000

Direct-service Social Worker

Primarily addressing the different cultural, social, health, and environmental issues for individuals and families, Direct-Service Social Workers have valuable contributions to society. They work in different settings and offer various services like child welfare, a shelter for the homeless, local community development, and even rehabilitation program for the youth. They aim to help families and communities become functioning members of society and learn the art of self-sufficiency.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $68,300

Gerontology Social Worker

When people reach 65 years old, they are considered part of the aging population in the country. They are expected to represent 19% of the population by 2030. Gerontology Social Workers ensure that the seniors get the support and resources that allow them to freely and independently pursue their interests and enjoy activities. It is their job to understand the mental and physical challenges of the aging population. They help the elderly avoid scams and abuse, get long-term care, obtain end-of-life planning, and combat depression and grief. They act as the liaison between the seniors and family members. It is also possible for Gerontology Social Workers to deal with doctors, caregivers, medical centers, and nursing homes.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $60,000

Public Health Social Worker

Patients who need support when it comes to medical care can turn to public health social workers in hospitals, wellness centers, emergency rooms, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and hospices. Their job is to ensure that patients are aware of their rights to public health. They help with paperwork and decision-making and set dialogues with clients, caregivers, families, and other medical personnel.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $59,960

Mental Health Social Worker

Many individuals suffer from a wide array of mental, behavioral, and emotional problems. It is the job of Mental Health Social Workers to assess and diagnose mental disorders as well as develop treatment plans. Most Mental Health Social Workers serve in psychiatric hospitals, community health centers, hospitals, and private practice.

Educational Requirement: Master’s degree

Salary: 76,020

Hospice Care Social Worker

People who are at the end of their life due to severe and terminal illnesses need palliative care. Hospice Care Social Workers help clients and their families move through illness and death with compassion. They also help patients navigate the practical and emotional issues that come with the demise of a loved one. Hospice Care Social Workers fill out an advance directive for patients, assist with funeral arrangements, and assess the emotional needs of both the patients and caregivers.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $49,746

Research Social Worker

Research Social Workers primarily oversee social changes and uphold progressive social policies. They are responsible for exploring and compiling the best field and clinical practices, assessing governmental and administrative policies, and publishing their findings. It is also part of their jobs to write grants, conduct demonstration projects, analyze census data, develop papers, testify at hearings, and deal with the media and policymakers.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $64,750

School Social Worker

Children with personal issues tend to rebel and mess up in school. School social workers help parents and teachers listen carefully to these students and help them overcome their troubles. Most of these students have problems at home that lead to negative emotions like pain, frustration, embarrassment, anger, and insecurity. These can translate to inappropriate behaviors at school, which can interfere with their learning.

School social workers help troubled children with their educational requirements and offer behavioral interventions.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $44,380

Substance Abuse Social Worker

The main job of substance abuse social workers is to help people with addictions and patterns of substance misuse. They typically work in rehabilitation centers, juvenile, and foster care facilities, health care centers, and community service agencies. They provide counseling and sequential crisis interventions.

Substance abuse social workers have a lot of patience and compassion. They aim to help their clients attain long-term recovery.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: $43,250

Veterans Social Worker

This type of social workers offers services for veterans and their families. This includes advocacy, benefits assistance, medical referrals, bureaucratic navigation, and mental health therapy. The latter involves depression, PTSD, and drug and alcohol addiction.

Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree

Salary: Salaries based on the military system of rank and time in service.

Other Social Work Occupations include:

30 Highest Paying Social Work Careers

Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

As consumers become more and more particular with how corporations are giving back to the community, corporate social responsibility is now a significant consideration of many companies in the private sector. Graduates of social work and their skill set will be a valuable addition to any company venturing into CSR projects that cover issues like health education, sustainable livelihoods in far-flung communities, and ending human trafficking. Funding and budgeting (and consequently, compensation) for social workers in corporate fields are also less of a concern thanks to resources provided by big corporations, as compared to those working in the public sector.

Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Salary: $94,000

Social Work Academic / Professor

Working in academic institutions is also a well-compensated option for social work graduates, even though it involves further education and a somewhat long climb up the academic career ladder. For many colleges and universities, a master’s degree and a doctorate will be necessary to even get into the entry-level position of assistant professor. Aside from developing social work curriculums and courses, holding classes, and mentoring aspiring social workers, constant research and publication is also a major part of the job.

Social Work Academic / Professor Salary: $85,000

Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologist positions usually require specialization through a master’s degree and a licensure examination, but it is one of the highest-paying opportunities for social workers. Speech pathology involves the diagnosis of speech disorders, such as in children with cleft palates or stroke survivors with impaired verbal abilities, and the development and execution of individualized treatments that will enable patients to communicate better and more comfortably.

Speech Pathologist Salary: $74,000

School Social Worker or Counselor

School social workers or counselors aim to support the emotional and mental well-being and development of students through school programs, one-on-one counseling for students’ various concerns, or intervention in issues like bullying or even conflicts between students and teachers, to name a few. They are also expected to guide high school students in college applications and scholarships. School social workers or counselors are also responsible for referring students to psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, or other mental health professionals for cases that may need more serious intervention. Note that some schools may require a master’s degree or even a doctorate for this position.

School Social Worker or Counselor Salary: $71,000

Veteran Affairs (VA) Social Worker

Social workers can also explore working with veterans and their families, as well as homeless veterans, which have become a pressing issue in recent years. As many veterans experience depression and post-traumatic disorder after returning from their deployment, VA social workers create programs for their treatment and counseling. They also recommend support groups or other methods to improve their mental, emotional, and physical health. They also support veterans in areas like financial or housing assistance, processing of benefits, or help during hospitalization, especially for elderly veterans.

Veteran Affairs (VA) Social Worker Salary: $69,400

Employee Assistance Program Counselor

Companies tap externally contracted social workers or create an in-house group to lead employee assistance programs. These programs ensure the mental and emotional well-being of their employees and improve their productivity and performance at work. Employee Assistance Program Counselors provide support to employees dealing with issues that can affect their work performance, such as marital problems, health concerns, financial difficulties, work stresses, and substance abuse. They also educate and advise employees on benefits or other forms of assistance for specific situations.

Employee Assistance Program Counselor Salary: $68,895

Non-profit Organization (NPO) Executive Director

Being the executive director of a non-profit organization means ensuring the execution of strategies toward its goals. Reporting to the organization stakeholders or Board of Directors, an NPO Executive Director also leads all marketing efforts and explores fundraising opportunities. Majority of their workload will most likely focus on fundraising for their chosen community or sector. Executive Directors represent the organization in the media and the public.

Non-profit Organization (NPO) Executive Director Salary: $64,200

Social Science Researcher

Social science researchers contribute immensely to the development of social work as a profession. They ensure that practices in social work are up-to-date. They look into the current and changing needs of various communities or groups. They gather and analyze data on areas where social work is prevalent, such as healthcare, education, and gender, through methods like surveys, face-to-face interviews, and case studies.

Social Science Research Salary: $63,500

Housing and Community Development Director

Both private and government sectors have worked together in recent years to improve housing for the homeless and people living in poverty and, in turn, improve the health and safety of these people by getting them off the streets. Housing and community development directors lead housing programs that aim to end homelessness in a community. They develop processes and qualifications for those who intend to avail of free or subsidized housing.

Housing and Community Development Director Salary: $61,000

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Usually requiring a master’s degree in Social Work, licensed clinical social workers conduct diagnostics and evaluations of patients’ emotional and mental health and provide therapy and other courses of treatment for these patients. They also assist in connecting patients to specialized professionals who can further support them manage their specific issues. As indicated in the job title, acquiring a license by passing a national examination is necessary, while other requirements vary from state to state. Salary rates increase substantially when a clinical social worker is fluent in another language, especially in Spanish, as there is a higher demand for social workers within low-income Latino communities.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker: $60,150

Substance Use and Recovery Treatment Counselor

For patients who aim to achieve sobriety from drug or alcohol abuse and other addictions, substance use and recovery treatment counselors are a crucial part of their journey. Counselors work with people struggling with addictions and provide them with treatment, resources, coping techniques, and support groups that can help them in their recovery. Substance use and recovery treatment counselors also work to educate friends and family members of recovering addicts about addiction and how they can support loved ones as they move towards sobriety. Employers include public and private hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and even prisons and juvenile detention centers.

Substance Use and Recovery Treatment Counselor Salary: $60,000

Medical Discharge Planner

Medical discharge planners develop healthcare and support plans for patients who are about to be discharged from a hospital setting. It is the goal of discharge planners to ensure that patients remain in good health through recommended practices and follow-up services after their hospitalization. Discharge planners do not develop these plans alone, as they are required to work closely with the patient’s family members, doctors, dietitians, etc., to ensure holistic and medically sound recommendations for the patient’s recovery and improvement.

Medical Discharge Planner Salary: $58,600

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers specifically support people who are dealing with major illnesses or diseases by providing services and resources (e.g., doctors, specialty hospitals, medical equipment) suited for their health issue or condition, providing valuable information on their rights as patients, or by assisting them in securing funding or finances for their medical bills. Overall, healthcare social workers communicate closely with their patients to determine their individual needs and find ways for those needs to be met.

Healthcare Social Worker Salary: $57,000

Clinical Coordinator

Clinical coordinators are in charge of managing the everyday operations and other administrative aspects of a variety of healthcare facilities. They must work to ensure that industry standards and government regulations are consistently met and hire appropriate and qualified personnel. Managing the facility’s budget is also part of their responsibility, as well as keeping patient records and ensuring the availability of equipment and medication. Social workers interested in becoming clinical coordinators may first need experience in a clinical or healthcare setting to qualify for the position.

Clinical Coordinator Salary: $56,460

Social Policy Analyst

Social policy analysts, as is apparent in their name, analyze existing or even upcoming legislation and policies on public health, poverty, crime, homelessness, etc. created by the government and determine if they are appropriately implemented. They also look into policies’ effectiveness through various methods, including analysis of data, and recommend changes or courses of action if needed. Social policy analysts can also serve as consultants when policies are being drafted, as part of their job is also to find solutions to pressing social issues and not just analyzing existing solutions. They can also go into promotion and awareness of social service programs among the community and through the media and other channels.

Social Policy Analyst Salary: $54,800

School Counselor

School counselors are required to have at least a master’s degree in school counseling. Trained in child and adolescent psychology, they closely work with students so that they can help them enjoy a safe learning environment and, therefore, excel well in school. Although they usually meet with students individually, they also organize group sessions, workshops, and school assemblies. School counselors are in charge of designing, implementing, evaluating, and enhancing comprehensive school counseling programs. When stressful incidents happen in schools, such as the death of a fellow student or a disaster, they are usually the ones who conduct crisis intervention to students.

School Counselor Salary: $56,170

Hospice Care Social Worker

Hospice care social workers have the difficult job of making the end-of-life process as smooth a transition as they can. Their work is mostly to coordinate care within hospice facilities. They are in charge of providing hospice services that give patients the best possible care, including the arrangement of medical services as well as the availability of emotional, psychological, and spiritual care. Hospice care social workers provide talk therapy and other counseling services whenever they meet their patients personally. They mostly work with terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

Hospice Care Social Worker Salary: $68,377

Military Social Worker

Military social workers undergo a specialized training that enables them to learn the qualifications needed to work with military clients. Their main purpose is to assist members of the military, veterans, their spouses, their children, and the support staff whenever they have trouble living their daily life. The difficult challenges in the military that require the help of a social worker include deployment anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and re-adjustment to civilian life. The responsibilities of military social workers include care for military personnel and their families, the connection of military members to programs, and communication with other members of the military.

Military Social Worker Salary: $53,689

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors help their clients cope with emotional, psychological, and even dependency disorders. Some examples of the struggles they encounter and help with are drug and alcohol addiction, marital and family problems as well as stress and anxiety. The usual duties of a mental health counselor include outpatient mental health services, mental health assessments, counseling, referrals, and intervention services. They process paperwork and documentation, following the federal and state guidelines. Mental health counselors usually treat routine mental health problems, but they also face serious mental health illnesses.

Mental Health Counselor Salary: $43,300

Marriage and Family Therapist

The role of marriage and family therapists is not an interaction with only one individual but the relationships of the people within the marriage and family units. As families are usually a diverse and challenging subject to handle, marriage and family therapists employ various psychological techniques and tools to help the families and couple under their wing. One of these methods is cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a conventional therapy method used among clients. A marriage and family therapist encourages clients to discuss their emotions and experiences. The professional guides them in making decisions and helps develop strategies to improve their behavior.

Marriage and Family Therapist Salary: $48,790

Certified Addiction Counselor

Certified addiction counselors help rehabilitate drug or alcohol dependents/addicts. They identify the behaviors related to their addictions and counsel their clients in either individual or group settings. They also conduct crisis counseling sessions or introduce the tools needed to start over. Their work environments include rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and private organizations. Other than directly helping their clients, they also speak with the family member who is affected by the addiction if their clients. They teach prevention programs through community outreach as well.

Certified Addiction Counselor Salary: $45,000

Corrections Social Worker

Corrections social workers assess and evaluate the inmates in the facility. They conduct interviews and psychological tests of the inmates and their families to analyze their tendencies, intelligence, and behavior. This enables Corrections Social Workers to create a rehabilitation plan for the inmates. Other than interviews and tests, they also usually conduct programs such as educational programs that help ready the inmates for when they return to society. In general, corrections social workers help the inmates survive the difficulties in prison and prepare them to go back to the community once they are free to go.

Corrections Social Worker Salary: $53,360

Child Welfare Social Worker

Child welfare social workers make sure that their clients’ well-being is socially, physically, psychologically, and emotionally sound. They are mostly found working for government-run agencies that focus on child welfare. However, they can also be seen in non-profit community organizations, foster care, and adoption or child advocacy agencies. Their responsibilities include regular home visits, protection of children from abuse, neglect, and maltreatment, investigation of allegations of such abusive behavior, and assessment of a parent or guardian’s ability to provide care. Child welfare social workers must also be thorough as they are in charge of complete documentation of their case files and the performance of other administrative tasks.

Child Welfare Social Worker Salary: $53,950

Education Outreach Coordinator

Education outreach coordinators provide domestic violence prevention and early intervention work. They conduct activities in the youth and service providers, community outreach, and public education. Some of their essential duties include educating and training adult professionals on teen violence through workshops and seminars, researching violence found in the home as well as in the different youth sectors, and developing materials for volunteers and community members whenever there are outreach programs or community events being organized.

Education Outreach Coordinator Salary: $40,655

Community Organizer

Community organizers are in charge of organizing and managing members of a community. The sample organizations that they are mostly a part of faith-based organizations, grassroots campaigns, fundraising groups, or political lobbying groups. They either work indoor or outdoor, but their job mainly demands high levels of interaction with others and the community as a whole. They conduct discussions, meetings, training, and welcome activities for recruits. Their duties include organizing public awareness campaigns, building support systems and rapport among the community and its leaders, and recruiting new members to the organization.

Community Organizer Salary: $40,304

Housing Support Specialist

Housing support specialists are in charge of providing collaborative intensive coordination and client’s needs assessment to grant-funded clients. They are the ones who give support service strategies to clients who have had struggled in the past because of homelessness, mental health challenges, and housing instability. Their ultimate goal is to ensure health, mental health, housing, and job stability to their clients. They determine their client’s needs by conducting outreach and assessment to provide useful referral services. They also help their clients further through intensive case management and development of goal-oriented service plans.

Housing Support Specialist Salary: $51,000

Adoption Counselor

Adoption counselors provide assistance and support to birth parents, adoptees, adoptive parents, and foster families during the adoption or foster care process. Their primary purpose is to help the parties involved in the adoption or foster care situations by giving the members the counseling and emotional support they need to get through it. Whenever there is a newly formed family because of adoption, adoption counselors make sure that this new family is adapting well. Not only that, but they also check on the birth parents to make sure they are coping well with the separation from their child. They also provide information, counseling, and support to adults who were adopted as children.

Adoption Counselor Salary: $49,647

Youth Social Worker

Youth social workers play a crucial role in the youth welfare system. Their primary purpose is to protect children from situations and people that can bring them harm. They are always available for prevention and intervention when it comes to protecting at-risk children against abuse or neglect. They ensure the children’s medical needs, mental health, and need of a safe home. Youth social workers need to possess empathy, patience, an organized mind, self-awareness, and other personal skills vital when dealing with at-risk children. As the point person for their clients’ (the children’s) case plan youth social workers, need to monitor the progress after interventions and services are done.

Youth Social Worker Salary: $41,530

Street Outreach Social Worker

Street outreach social workers help people with mental illness or are undergoing homelessness to have access to housing, social services, and health. They need to possess primary case management and assessment skills. These skills are usually acquired through post-secondary education, experience in psychiatric/mental health services, or other community programs. The primary duties of street outreach social workers include supporting the homeless individuals in the community. They also find ways to develop and maintain relationships with the community and find ways to improve the services they provide. It is also part of their responsibilities to secure the records, reports, and statistics needed for the maintenance and function of their programs.

Street Outreach Social Worker Salary: $53,950

Child Advocate

One of the primary purposes of child advocates is to secure the social and psychological well-being of children under their care and their families. Child advocates usually work under the criminal justice system, and they are in charge of cases of abuse and neglect. Ultimately, they work with the courts and authorities to make sure that their client, the child under their care, is provided with the best attention that he or she deserves. The main responsivities of child advocates include assessment of the state of the child and his or her family, making sure that the child’s needs, medical, and social history are adequately documented and communicated, being on top of things regarding the child’s case within the state adoption database, and being present in all the court hearings.

Child Advocate Salary: $42,405

Part-time Social Worker Jobs

Social Work Case Manager

A social work case manager conducts assessments of clients and their families. Based on these assessments, they will be able to identify the needs and arrange, coordinate, and monitor several services from different providers to serve the clients. Provides may include state and local social service agencies as well as nonprofit organizations. Some of them hire social work case managers part-time, an opportunity that many social work graduates can take advantage of.

Social Work Case Manager Salary: $25,000

Housing Counselor

There are opportunities for part-time housing counselors. This job involves conducting financial capabilities and pre-purchase housing counseling and credit counseling services. They assist clients who are planning to buy a home by providing education, guidance, and referrals tailored to clients’ circumstances. They also develop action plans that can help clients achieve their housing goal.

Housing Counselor Salary: $40,000

Child Care Social Work

It is possible to work part-time in daycare centers, nonprofit organizations, and local community centers that cater to children as recreation assistant or camp counselor. This job does not require too much effort and is perfect when you are trying to further your education.

Child Care Social Work Salary: $20,000

Teacher Assistant

Teacher assistant positions are often offered as part-time jobs. It is their job to assist the teachers in grading and classroom duties as well as help kids with their lessons. This position is common in elementary and secondary schools.

Teacher Assistant Salary: $25,000

10 Unique Social Worker Careers  

Community Service Manager

Known for its promising employment outlook, the field of community service is a lucrative career for many graduates of social work. As community service managers, they are expected to coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They are also responsible for directing and leading staff who provide social services to the public. They can work in a variety of social and human service organizations, dealing strictly with children, older adults, veterans, and the homeless. They must recruit, hire, and train new staff.

Salary: $70,530 to $109,990

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors play a crucial role in their clients’ lives. They work with individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol throughout the various stages of their recovery process. They evaluate each client to determine the background and severity of their addiction and help them plan out their road to recovery. It is their job to teach them the mechanisms to a healthier behavior that can replace their dependence on drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse counselors are often found in mental health and substance abuse centers or hospitals.

Salary: $44,630

Probation Officer

Not your typical social worker, probation officers supervise people who are sentenced to probation by the court. They are responsible for guiding the offenders in their rehabilitation process. Usually, they work with assigned clients, prepare detailed reports for the court, investigate offenders, and provide the information to the judge. Sometimes, they are also tasked to conduct random drug tests, monitor their clients’ whereabouts, and interview the people closest to their clients like the family and friends.

Salary: $53,020

Forensic Social Worker

Closely connected to the legal system, forensic social workers apply social work theories to real-world issues faced by the legal system. Social workers in this field apply their knowledge to questions and concerns on the law or legal policies. They deal with both the criminal and civil cases, which can include termination of parental rights, juvenile, and adult justice services, corrections, and mandated treatment. It is their job to assist individuals of all ages with cases such as child custody, juvenile arrest, elder abuse, divorce, civil disputes, and imprisonment.

Salary: $56,300

Bereavement Counselor

Bereavement counselors help people who are dealing with grief from the loss of a loved one, relationship, home, or jobs. For them to go through the grief process and reach the point of acceptance, bereavement counselors are there to counsel and comfort individuals who are suffering from loss and help them cope with the grief that comes with it. Unlike other social worker fields, this job requires bereavement counselors to obtain a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate.

Salary: $69,061

Group Home Worker

Those who have acquired a bachelor’s degree in the field can find job opportunities as a group home worker. This type of work does not explicitly involve social work. Even unlicensed workers are qualified to assist the residents of a group home. They help with daily interactions, transport arrangements, and counseling.

Salary: $21,250

Program Coordinator

Program coordinators are expected to ensure that a diverse population is provided with quality services. It is their responsibility to coordinate, participate in, and monitor the activities and functions of a social services program. Unlike social services managers, program coordinators deal with larger and more complex applications. It requires a flexible work schedule.

Salary: $48,530 to $60,663

Adoption Counselor

Adoption counselors help adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive families to understand and cope with emotions that come with adoption. They usually offer counseling sessions and give talks to schools or other professionals like caseworkers and guidance counselors. Parents who are considering adoption may ask the help of adoption counselors. The latter is also there during the period of transfer between the birth and adoptive parents.

Salary: $37,897

Social Policy Analyst

Some social workers found their calling in government agencies and consulting firms as social policy analysts. It is their job to ensure the policies intended to counter pressing social issues like hunger, poverty, and diseases are run efficiently. They examine these social problems by gathering data. They are also expected to propose plans that can help fix those problems.

Salary: $82,100

Crisis Intervention Counselor

Often trained as mental health professionals, crisis intervention counselors help people who are in distress. It involves dealing with people who are in danger of harming themselves or others. They support those who are undergoing crises like terror attacks and natural disasters. It is their job to help their clients deal with grief, loss, and bereavement. They may work in a variety of settings, from mental health clinics to humanitarian aid organizations.

Salary: $40,000

Top Travel Social Worker Careers

Military Social Worker

It is common for active military service members to face social, emotional, psychological, and familial challenges. It is the job of military social workers to help them manage these difficulties by providing counseling and support to the servicemen and their families. Because most active military personnel move around from base to base, it is expected that military social workers get to travel a lot for this kind of job. They are often under the medical and mental health departments.

Salary: $50,159 to $82,858

Clinical Social Worker

A specialty practice area of social work, clinical social work focuses on assessing,  diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental emotional, and other behavioral illnesses. Clinical social workers usually offer individual, group, or family therapy. To qualify for the job, they need to be licensed or certified at a clinical level. For clinical social workers who want to work abroad, they can volunteer for non-profit organizations, especially those specializing in helping out immigrants, refugees, and trafficked youths. A knowledge or sometimes fluency in a foreign language might be required.

Salary: $51,528 or more

International Social Worker

A lot of international organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children, among many others, need social workers who can offer their services abroad. While their work is similar to that of domestic social workers where they get to deal with individuals, communities, minorities, and impoverished, international social workers are often required to take international studies and language as additional skills. They learn about the country of their destination and gain a better understanding of the complex issues.

Salary: $37,000 to $80,000

Why should I earn a Social Work degree?

The field of Social Work is one of the most rewarding experiences. This occupation contributes significantly to the betterment of society, from fighting social injustice to alleviating suffering through counseling and working on solutions.

Students seeking to build their career as Social Workers wonder if obtaining a degree in the field is worth the investment. The simple answer is YES! Social Work requires specialized training and a specific set of skills. Students can gain a base of theoretical knowledge through academic discipline, which is valuable when they need to make difficult decisions.

Most Social Work entry-level jobs require a minimum of bachelor’s degree or a related field like Psychology and Sociology. This undergraduate degree allows students to obtain the fundamental knowledge and foundational skills that are integral to Social Work.

Many universities combine academic classes and lectures with practical experience in social organizations, institutions or care facilities. They are introduced to different types of Social Work, from working with children and families to people with physical or mental disabilities.

With a degree, students will be able to build their knowledge and skills to help them prepare for the real world. It is an excellent credential that will enable them to work in different social services organizations.

Other specific areas like clinical Social Work require a master’s degree, and most graduate schools need an undergraduate prerequisite. If students need to be licensed by the state, they might also be required to earn a master’s degree first to be eligible. A master’s degree can also prepare them best for leadership and direct practice roles.

Earning a degree will give Social Workers better employment opportunities and higher starting salary grades. It also ensures they receive the necessary training that can hone their skills and competencies to become competent Social Workers.

Highly sought-after Social Workers have outstanding credentials that can give them the means to enter key leadership positions and advance their careers. Most of the time, the jobs available to them and opportunities for advancement depend on their educational attainment.

Putting it into perspective, one can look at the pay gap between social and human service assistants who only acquired a high school diploma or associate’s degree and a Social Worker who earned a bachelor’s degree. The latter can earn as much as $46,890 per year as opposed to the former’s median pay which is only around $31,810 per year.

To maximize their potential, it is a good idea to earn a degree in Social Work and consider further education in the form of graduate studies.

Who is best fit to earn a Social Work degree?

Not all people are suitable for a career in Social Work. This field can be demanding and complex. Many people suffer from burn out and disenchantment. Before jumping into this career track, students need to find out whether they would make an excellent Social Worker.

To become a Social Worker, aspiring students must understand the nature of their work. It involves hard work, commitment, and sacrifice. They are responsible for protecting vulnerable people from abuse, neglect, and harm.

They need to know the characteristics of a good Social Worker to help them become more effective at their jobs. Generally, Social Workers must possess the following: compassion, listening, and organizational skills.

Since Social Workers often deal with people who struggle in life, compassion is a valuable trait in feeling a sense of empathy for those who need help. They will feel empathy and understanding that will enable them to help their clients address the issue and find solutions.

Listening is another fundamental skill for many Social Workers. They can only help their clients more effectively if they listen and understand their clients’ situations. Each person has a different need that requires a tailored solution.

Of course, most Social Works require superb organizational skills. Social Workers have to deal with a large caseload, with some handling more than 20 cases at once. Being organized can help Social Workers manage their time and energy so they can provide the necessary services for their clients.

Social Workers can also use these skills:

  • Communication skills, both written and oral. Social Workers have to keep notes on cases and interview their clients to help them become better.
  • Perceptiveness. Many find it hard to express themselves. Being able to observe their body language and social clues can help Social Workers provide better services.
  • The power of persuasion. Most Social Workers need to coax and convince their clients to take action.
  • Emotional resilience. Social Workers have to provide emotional support to their clients, but it can lead to burnout. To survive in this field, you need to withstand emotional demands and know how to step back when needed.
  • Good teamwork. It is common for Social Workers to liaise with other professionals and take part in meetings and conferences. Foster good relationships with other people to make the job easier for you. Seek support and direction from your supervisors and colleagues.
  • Endurance. Apart from the daily stress that comes with the job, a heavy workload is one of the biggest challenges Social Workers face. Many of them deal with irregular work schedules, mainly because their services may be required during emergencies. Increase your physical stamina to endure and overcome the hurdles of the job.

How can one apply for Social Work degree programs?

Before one can enter the school of their choice and enroll in a Social Work degree program, there are steps that they need to go through. The application and admission process can be overwhelming for many but knowing what they need to do can help a lot in increasing their chances of being admitted to a reputable institution.

High school students who already made up their minds about pursuing a career in the Social Work field can prepare early on. There are classes that they can take in high school that can help them get ready for college-level courses needed for a bachelor’s in Social Work. They can give careful attention to subject areas like communication, psychology, and language. Math and science are also important.

Accredited Social Work programs have a rigorous set of standards that aspiring students must meet. Generally, students need to review their GPA, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and volunteer experience. Most schools also require students to meet the program’s outlined objectives that they can demonstrate through their statement, references, and admission interview.

Interested students can increase their chances of admission with a high GPA. Most schools require a GPA of at least 3.5.

For those who aim to be admitted to a master’s degree program, it is vital to earn an undergraduate degree from an accredited school. Just like a bachelor’s degree, a statement of purpose and letter of recommendation are required. The application process might assess a student’s commitment to Social Work values, sensitivity, and experience in the field. Many accredited master’s in Social Work programs favor applicants with volunteer or professional work experience.

Although the process varies in each learning institution, students should keep in mind that there are application deadlines they must strictly adhere to. Most schools set February as the application deadline for fall term and November for spring. Although some universities can still accept applications after the deadlines, students might not be given priority consideration for merit scholarship awards.

Many schools are now giving students the convenience of accomplishing their application forms online, although offline supplemental materials like transcripts and letters of recommendations might need to be delivered via mail or in person.

Business Management Career Guide: Salary and Info

It is necessary for all sorts of business structure, big or small, to have competent managers. These managers play an essential role in the sustainability and profitability of an organization. Whether you are a high school graduate or an entrepreneur, pursuing a business management degree is worthwhile. The knowledge and skills obtained while earning this degree through either traditional or online schools can go a long way to almost any industry.

Business Management Hub 1

Students who embark on the journey into becoming capable business managers in their interest can do it through different types of specializations offered by various schools. These specializations enable the students to customize their studies and help them get to know the right field for them. They get exposed to different business theories and gain competence in the areas of leadership, legal business, marketing, human resource and more. There are hundreds of schools that offer multifaceted business management degree programs. What you learn in the classroom will help you explore your areas of strength.

Are you a people person with high regard towards leadership roles? Do you take the lead and possess leadership qualities? Do you plan to start your own business? Business Management may be the right program for you!

Business Management as a Degree

Business Management is one of the most popular majors among all academic degree programs. This degree program encompasses a wide range of specializations and career track. A business management major can help you prepare for a wide variety of roles in any industry. According to Data USA, there were 326,808 total business degrees awarded in 2016. Locations with the high number of degree recipients are West Frankfort, IL, Schaumburg, IL, and Dayton, TN and places with the highest concentration of degree recipients are Tempe, Az, New York, NY and San Diego, CA.

The education you’ll obtain from learning Business Management will equip you with necessary management procedures and tasks, and fundamental management skills applicable to almost all sorts of career fields.

Types of Business Management Degrees

An Associate’s in Business Management is the basic level of degree one can earn in two years. It provides a foundation of business theory and skills needed for business operations. Typically, this degree requires 60-70 credits to finish. Some of the courses required are Principles of Marketing, Introduction to Business, Financial Accounting 1, Business Law, Business Ethics, and Introduction to Human Resources. Depending on the institution, some associate degree programs are offered with specializations in Marketing, Operations, or Finance.

A Bachelor’s in Business Management takes four years for full-time students to complete. This degree emphasizes on students gaining a foundation of the aspects of the business world. Its major requirements include Accounting, Management Information System, Leadership and Ethics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, and Economic Principles. Courses must reach from 120 to 124 credit hours for most schools and an internship or research project is necessary.

A Master’s in Business Management helps students develop expertise in Business Management after completing a bachelor’s program. Pursuing this degree usually takes two to three years with full-time study. Core courses include Strategic Planning and Marketing, Operations and Project Management, Managerial Statistics, International Management, and Human Resource Management. A capstone research project or a master’s thesis project is also required. While there are schools that offer master’s in business management, most institution offer business management programs through MBA or Master’s in Business Administration. This degree requires 30 to 60 credit hours.

The Doctorate in Business Management degree is the highest level of education for a Business Management program after a master’s degree. Students may choose to enroll in a Ph.D. program in Management or a DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) which typically takes 3-5 years to complete. The first two years are spent on coursework like Organizational Analysis and Behavior, Introduction to Research Methods, Probability Theory, and Applied Behavioral Research, to name a few. The faculty then helps or works with the students to initiate research.  Students have to complete data analysis for their dissertation at the beginning of the third year and independently continue research for the rest of the term.

Business Management Specializations

The broad range of career options for business management graduates makes it the very reason why most institutions offer specializations for every business management degree level. Here are some of the specializations of business management, but are not limited to:

Accounting

Accounting focuses on the study of public accounting and examination of tax accounting, auditing, financial and managerial related problems.  This specialization is designed for business students who do not hold an accounting degree in accounting but want to explore careers in the accounting field. Some of the courses may include Auditing, Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Corporate Taxation, and

Managerial Accounting

Managerial Accounting students may sit for CPA examination depending on the courses offered by the school.

Finance

Finance allows students to learn financial analysis by collecting financial information and preparing recommendations for financial and investing decisions. Courses in this specialization may comprise of relevant areas in finance like Financial Management, Investment and Portfolio Management, Risk Management, and Financial Modeling. Students also explore techniques in creating financial forecasts, international finance, and solve business issues by using principles of finance and accounting.

Marketing

Marketing is designed to provide students with the essential skills and knowledge in strategic planning, marketing research, and analysis, product policies, marketing organization, and other marketing related topics. It emphasizes the importance of creativity and strong analytical skills. Students explore courses in Retail Management, Sales Management, Advertising Management, Marketing Strategy, and Marketing Research.

Economics

Economics enhances students view and a solid understanding of the macroeconomic and microeconomic variables. It also allows students to learn and develop an intensive analysis of economies using statistical tools and data of the business environment. This specialization strengthens the correlation between economics and finance. Generally, coursework in International Economics, Financial Institutions & Markets, Managerial Economics, and Market Structure are required for this specialization.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management focuses on entrepreneurship on high technology ventures, the development of new business opportunities and leadership skills necessary to deal with the challenges of innovation. Courses covered are New Ventures Financing, Social Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and Banking, and Venture Capital & Private Equity. This specialization is perfect for students who either want to start their enterprise or enhance their leadership or managerial skills for an existing business.

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management lets students learn more about the selection process of business personnel, application of foundational human resource skills, and management of talent or employees. This specialization is excellent for students who want to focus on people-centrist leadership. Human Resource Management, Compensation Administration, Current Issues in Human Resource Management, Human Resource Technology Management, Leadership, Training, and Development, and Strategic Staffing are required to pursue this concentration.

Management Information Systems

Management Information Systems addresses the management of the use and impact of information systems in organizations. With the fast-changing world of business, globalization and information systems have now played a more critical role. This specialization is ideal for students who are interested in the cutting-edge technology that modern companies use in business decisions. Courses help students focus on digital business transformation through data and techniques that help in managerial decisions. These courses include Research Methods in Information Systems, Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods for Business, Business Systems Analysis, Telecommunications & Networking Concepts, and Database Management Systems.

Operations Management

Operations Management focuses on topics like production control, quality management, supply chain management, quality control, and developing of good and services. Students are equipped with the business intelligence and practical problem-solving skills necessary in managing organizations. These are achieved through taking courses like Foundations of Operations Management Research, Operations Management & Quantitative Techniques, Project Procurement Management, Topics in Inventory Management, and Stochastic Models for Research in Business and Management.

International Business

International Business delves into business management topics that cover international marketing, finance, economics, and organizational management. Courses in this specialization will help students broaden their understanding of business management across borders and cultural boundaries. Some of the courses offered for this concentration may cover Global Comparative Management, International Economics, International Business, International Marketing, International Entrepreneurship, and International Business Law.

Project Management

Project Management undertakes specific projects and tackles different techniques and strategies of all the aspects of its completion. Students learn how to manage diverse teams, complete projects on time and budget, and utilize appropriate methodologies in directing the success of business projects. A student may take up courses like Foundation of Project Management, Project Procurement Management, Project Management Strategy, Advanced Topics in Communications for Project Management, and Program and Project Portfolio Management.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Business Management Degrees

As the evolution of online learning continues to expand, prospective students should look for and enroll in accredited institutions. While brick and mortar business management degrees are still present, an online format offers equivalent courses, so nontraditional, continuing and adult learners experience and learn the same quality of education with that of the traditional form. Brick and mortar business management degrees give a classroom environment where you can directly interact with the faculty/professors and peers. Several student activities are all in front of you for you to choose from.

The online version helps anyone who wants to have the college experience while not being on-campus at all. The ultimate challenge of being an online student of a business management degree program is the ability and consistency to manage your own time and be able to follow course schedules and meet deadlines at your own pace. Online students can work and study at the same time. Classes are guided by its respective advisers, and online participation is done through live video conferences. Also, schools ensure online students are provided with technical support ready to assist them anytime.

Students’ (of brick and mortar Business Management degree) only leverage against online format is the opportunity to interact with students vis-à-vis which is essential in honing interpersonal and communication skills in the business industry.

Financing Your Business Management Education

The cost of earning a Business Management degree depends on the level of education you want to pursue. One significant factor that determines tuition rates is the student’s residency. Nowadays, there is no escaping from the fact that college tuition is expensive. According to Data USA, the median out-of-state private tuition for a business degree is at $27,220 while the median in-state public tuition is at $6,330. But before you decide to keep back from getting into college because of its cost, know that there is about $130 billion available Federal student aid for the fiscal year 2019 (as per the Department of Education). This includes $30 billion in Pell Grants and $99 billion in student loans. An estimate of over 11 million students can take advantage of these financial aid resources.

There are two types of financial aid: merit-based aid and need-based aid. Merit-Based aid is awarded to students by a third-party organization or the institution itself based on their merits and not based on their financial need. Need-based aid is for students whose family or one’s income and contribution couldn’t cover the total college cost.

Scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study are other types of aid. Scholarships, which do not require repayment, are awarded by individual institutions and private organizations. Like scholarships, grants do not require repayment.

Grants, on the other hand, are offered by the federal and state government and other service institutions. The federal government offers the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Federal and state government also offer loans which must be repaid with interest. Another type of funding is private loans which are provided by banks.

Lastly, the work-study program is for students who can work in federally funded jobs while enrolled with college courses.

Most schools let you explore your financial options and provide the necessary application information for financial aid.

Business Management Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

Graduates of business management degree program leave the school prepared to join the workforce in a variety of industries. As reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Business Management degree holders can fill the following positions:

  • Accountants and Auditors examine financial statements and compute taxes, prepare tax returns, and ensure taxes are paid on time. They inspect accounting books and systems ensuring they comply with laws and regulations. The demand for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 10% until 2026. Median pay is $70,500 per year.
  • Administrative Services Managers oversee the maintenance needs, facilities management, and handle the acquisition, distribution, and inventory of equipment and supplies. They also supervise building operations, planning and management, communication and facility functions. Employment for administrative services managers is likely to grow 10% up to the year 2026. The annual median pay for this occupation is $96,180.
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers analyze the demand for products and services and direct business strategy for advertising. Their goal is to create an interest or influence consumers to purchase products and services of a department or an organization. These managers have to oversee that the campaign or advertising budget and materials are estimated and evaluated. The annual wage for advertising and promotions managers is $117,130 while marketing managers earn $134,290 yearly. Employment for this field of occupation is expected to grow 10% in the coming years.
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers are responsible for monitoring and implementing the compensation and benefits for the company. They have to oversee salary structure, merit increases, insurance, and pension plans and devise appropriate base pay for every job position in the company. The job outlook for compensation and benefits managers is expected to grow 5% within the next few years which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. They are paid $121,010 annually.
  • Financial Managers execute a solid business plan for the company by overseeing financial reports and investments, developing strategies and advising senior executives in making long-term and short-term decisions for the company. They look after the overall financial health of the company and have to stay up-to-date on new technological software and advances useful in the improvement and maintenance of the company’s financial reports and operations. The projection for financial managers’ employment will be at 19% until the year 2026. This is much faster than the average of all occupations. Median pay is $127,990 per year.
  • Financial Analysts primarily work for financial managers. Financial analyst duties and responsibilities usually overlap with those of the business managers, but the latter has to call for the final decision making. Financial analysts collect, monitor and study data to analyze the financial status of the company. Making comparative and cost analyses through operational data is one of the essential duties of financial analysts. There is an 11% projected growth in the next seven years for employment, and the median annual salary is $85,660.
  • Human Resources Managers ensure the Human Resource department or team carries out its functions and tasks. They plan, organize and control activities in the department. Developing and analyzing the company’s evaluation program, maintaining the company’s handbook on policies and procedures, and overseeing recruitment, new employee orientations and employee relations counseling are some of the duties of human resource managers. The projected growth rate for the employment of human resource managers is 9%, and the median yearly salary is $113,300.
  • Industrial Production Managers oversee that the production processes and activities run smoothly. They also supervise in reducing production cost when necessary, decide which machine and equipment to utilize in the production, and monitor schedule and anticipate problems of production. Their duties require regular contact with employees and partners in the production or supply chain. The median wage for industrial production managers is $103,380 per year.
  • Market Research Analysts mainly study market conditions and examine potential sales of products and services. They create visuals of market trends and present studies to clients or marketing management. They are typically hired by public or private sectors to make recommendations. A much faster growth of 23%, more than the average for all occupations is expected for market research analysts. Median annual wage is $63,120.
  • Project Managers are the point persons for a particular project of an organization. Project managers plan, monitor and report on the project while acting as the intermediary between the upper management and the operations team who executes the project. Time management, documentation, issues and risks management are some of the responsibilities of a project manager.
  • Public Relations managers oversee the creation of media content, strategy, and releases of an organization’s public relations. They maintain and forge relationships with media men, journalists, and influencers in any business sector whether for-profit or non-profit. They also manage and brief press officers and organize press conferences. Public relations managers’ employment growth is at 10%, and the median pay is $114,800 per year.
  • Sales Managers typically lead a group of sales professionals or directly, a sales team. They supervise the organization by directing and setting goals, train and motivate sales team members, work with customer complaints, analyze data and records about sales trends, and devise strategies in expanding client or customer base. Employment growth is projected at 7%, and the median annual wage is $124,220.
  • Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents are responsible for checking federal, state and local taxes which an individual or an organization owes. Reviewing tax returns, tax audits and tax payments and recognizing tax fraud are included in their duties. The median annual wage for tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents is $54,440.
  • Top Executives are the authoritative leaders responsible for managing the overall operational activities and oversee the organization’s budgetary operations. They also work with other senior management positions in establishing departmental goals, procedure, and policies. Projection of growth for top executives is 8% up until 2026. Median pay is $189,600 per year.
  • Training and Development Managers ensure every employee in the organization is well-trained and does their job effectively and efficiently. They help design and develop training schemes to enhance the knowledge and skills of officers, employees and newly hired members of the organization. Employment for training and development managers is forecasted to grow by 10% within the next seven years. Their annual wage is $111,340.

Top 10 Business Management Occupations

Business Manager

An indispensable part of any business, big or small, business managers are responsible for overseeing and supervising a company. They manage the day-to-day operations in a business or organization. Their specific tasks include administrative services, human resources, policies and procedures, and accounts. It is the business manager’s job to direct the activities of workers as well as ensure that every department is on track to meet its financial goals.

Salary: $71,715

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Sales Manager

The head of the sales department or team, sales managers have to set sales goals and how to achieve them. They develop training programs and work strategies that can help in improving the sales team’ records.

Salary: $135,090

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Operations Manager

Operations managers oversee the different operations in the company. They are responsible for managing the daily operations of an office, department, or company through formulating and implementing policies as well as directing particular projects. Their job is similar to that of the business managers. However, the responsibilities of operations managers are confined to the processes and production aspects alone. They have more specific tasks, like increasing the efficiency of the production machine of the company.

Salary: $100,410

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Financial Manager

The role of a financial manager is to oversee the financial health of an organization. Their tasks include preparing financial reports, directing investment activities, and developing strategies and plans for their company’s long-term goals.

Salary: $127,990

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Marketing Manager

To spark the audience’s interest in products and services, marketing managers are needed in any business or organization. Their duties extend to advertising, promoting, and marketing their offerings by planning programs that can foster awareness and trust in their brands. They usually coordinate with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Salary: $132,620

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Management Analyst

Often referred to as management consultants, management analysts are the ones responsible for proposing ways to improve their organization’s efficiency. It is their job to advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable. This advice often leads to reduced costs and revenue growth.

Salary: $83,610

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Top Executives

When it comes to devising strategies and policies that will help the organization meet its goals, top executives are needed. They are the ones who plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities within the company.

Salary: $104,980

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Compensation and Benefits Manager

It is the job of compensation and benefits manager to plan, develop, and supervise programs that will compensate employees. They set the pay and benefits structure and determine competitive wage rates for various compensation plans. It is also their responsibility to prepare a program budget and make sure that it stays within the budget.

Salary: $121,010

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Purchasing Manager

The duties of purchasing managers include overseeing the work of buyers and purchasing agents. They are responsible for buying products that the business will either use or resell to the customers. Their tasks extend to negotiating contracts with suppliers. 

Salary: $114,130

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Training and Development Manager

In every business or organization, it is vital to plan, direct, and coordinate programs that can enhance the knowledge and skills of employees. This will help the latter become more productive and play an essential role in achieving the company’s goals.

Salary: $111,340

Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Other Business Management Occupational Titles:

30 Highest Paying Business Management Careers

Chief Executive Officer

Chief executive officers are in public and private-sector industries. They are mainly responsible for the planning, coordination, and management of company operations. They are the ones who make sure their company has the right goals, and they meet those goals within the set timeline. They are leaders in the business industry who earn great respect from the people working inside and outside their company, organization, agency, or corporation. Although CEOs have the management position in the company, they still have to answer to a board of directors. They are vital for their companies’ success, so they need to be highly qualified, with a master of business administration degree and stellar work history.

Chief Executive Officer Salary: $194,350

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers create and implement strategies like marketing campaigns and brand identity to achieve the target sales of a company within the given marketing budget. Marketing managers are also responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the strategies employed. They keep track of competitor data and market trends to ensure that the company’s products or services remain competitive or attractive to its target consumers. External or internal designers or design companies are also a close collaborator of marketing managers to properly execute their vision for the company’s brand, product, or service.

Marketing Manager Salary: $137,400

Sales Manager

A sales manager is tasked to lead a group of sales professionals within a company. They hire and train salespeople and assign goals for them to meet based on the company’s targets. Sales managers also come up with sales plans that to reach or improve profits, gain or retain customers, and improve the selling strategies of their salespeople. Excellent communication skills are necessary, as they function as trainers and mentors for their sales team, and because it may also be the responsibility of sales managers to handle dissatisfied customers.

Sales Manager Salary: $126,040

Business Development Manager

Exploring new opportunities to expand a business or organization is one of the critical roles of a business development manager. They look into potential new markets, partnerships, or clients or even new products and services to offer to grow the company and increase revenue. They are expected to initiate contact with various people or organizations who can help the company venture into new waters. Advertising campaigns, frequent attendance in industry functions, cold calling, and other innovative forms of networking are expected from business development managers to create interest in the business.

Business Development Manager Salary: $123,396

Financial Manager

Organizations hire financial managers to receive financial advice on their business plans and decisions. Financial managers are in charge of managing budgets, preparing financial reports, and recommending both short- and long-term steps to be taken based on the financial performance of the company. They are in charge of the overall financial health of the company, which can be through monitoring cash flow and looking for opportunities to reduce costs. They maintain significant relationships with external contacts like auditors and banks. Financial managers must also keep track of government-mandated obligations like taxes and changes in the country’s systems to avoid penalties or irregularities.

Financial Manager Salary: $121,750

Risk Manager

Risk managers identify and prepare for possible financial risks that a company might encounter. Some may also cover risks to other aspects of a company, such as its security, operations, or even its reputation. They are then responsible for implementing plans that can either prevent these risks or mitigate them to ensure that losses are minimal. 

Risk Manager Salary: $111,963

Supply Chain Manager

Efficient and timely procurement of parts or materials for a company’s product is the responsibility of supply chain managers. They are the company’s middleman for suppliers and service providers, negotiating deals and contracts that are beneficial to the company. Supply chain managers then oversee the manufacturing, storage, delivery, monitoring, and inventory of products. As they also handle large numbers of staff involved in the production and distribution of products, they must also implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safety measures within the workplace. Constant innovation and improvement of processes within their warehouses is also expected to improve productivity and product or service quality.

Supply Chain Manager Salary: $109,320

Economist

Economists study market trends, conduct research on various areas that can affect the economy (e.g., politics, international trade, and relations, population), and use the data to recommend a course of action for clients, companies, or government agencies that may be affected. A strong background in statistics is crucial, as economists study trends and data that can span decades and extensive sampling populations. If they are under a government office, they may also be expected to share their reports and analyses to the public in a way that can be understood by a lay audience. Business management degree holders with a major in economics can pursue this path, and later take on a master’s and doctor’s degree in Economics, which is required for higher-level economist positions.

Economist Salary: $102,490

Actuary

Mainly working in the insurance industry, actuaries are people who assess risks and their financial consequences. They work with data on events like accidents or anything else that may involve a financial loss, and use that data to predict how much an insurance premium should be now for the company to be able to cover the economic cost of that future event. Actuaries can also be employed in the pension and healthcare provider industry.

Actuary Salary: $101,560

General and Operations Manager

General and operations managers handle the administrative, personnel, and purchasing services of a company. They are expected to utilize the company’s material and human resources by creating policies, attracting talents, evaluating staff performance, and running operations smoothly, among many others. General and operations managers cover a diverse set of responsibilities, and the focus of their work may vary from company to company.

General and Operations Manager Salary: $99,310

Corporate Investment Banker

Investment banks, private equity firms, and companies that provide financial services hire corporate investment bankers to make use of their expertise in areas like mergers and acquisitions, investing in stocks, bonds, etc., and venturing into Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Corporate investment bankers help companies raise their capital by issuing debt and selling equity and ensure good deals for those in the business of buying and selling companies.

Corporate Investment Banker Salary: $98,173

Business Analyst

Business analysts are problem-solvers for companies and their stakeholders. Their work entails frequently communicating with the important people in the organization. They work toward resolving the organization’s financial issues. These solutions usually involve the use of new technology and systems within a company, and thus, many business analysts become part of Information Technology (IT) departments. They are also tasked with introducing and implementing these solutions among the involved employees.

Business Analyst Salary: $94,881

Management Analyst

Companies hire management analysts to evaluate their existing procedures for managing the organization and improving or designing new processes for smooth and efficient operations. Management analysts can also recommend organizational changes, especially in cases where there are redundant or unnecessary positions. These changes are then monitored closely by management analysts, along with the client, to determine if they are effective. Most management analysts work on a contractual, per project basis and are sourced from consulting companies.

Management Analyst Salary: $93,440

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are vital to a company, as they are tasked with predicting the economic impact or outcome of business decisions that they plan to undertake. Financial analysts can make these predictions by collecting and studying large amounts of data about the market, the economy, and even past financial decisions of their company. Financial analysts’ recommendations then come from their analysis of that data. They also study the performance of a company’s various investments and look into the viability of other investment opportunities.

Financial Analyst Salary: $84,300

Business Advisor

Business advisors can either be self-employed professionals or employees under a company and usually specialize in a particular field (e.g., start-ups, IT industry). Business advisors work with their clients to grow a business in aspects like funding, networking, and navigating the industry. They assess various plans under marketing, sales, etc., and recommend changes if needed. In other words, business advisors provide all the support required by a company, especially a new or struggling one, to grow. Business advisors are expected to have in-depth knowledge and expertise to be able to guide their clients in their industry of choice.

Business Advisor Salary: $71,168

Account Manager

Account managers handle certain clients on behalf of an organization and build strong, long-term relationships by ensuring that the clients’ needs and satisfaction with the product are met consistently. Clients are usually assigned to only one account manager for the duration of the working relationship. Account managers work closely with other units in the company that can influence the clients’ experience (e.g., manufacturing, logistics) and act as the middleman when concerns arise from the client. Being up to date with industry trends is also a must, as clients’ needs may also change with the times.

Account Manager Salary: $64,361

Compensation and Benefits Manager

Compensation and benefits managers plan their company’s compensation packages. They are part of the Human resources department, and together, they account for and distribute personnel salaries promptly. They are also responsible for providing monetary benefits for qualified employees. These benefits include insurance packages, retirement plans, bonuses, and other benefits the company can provide. When employees are ready to retire, they deal with the compensation and benefits manager for their retirement package. Those who suffered accidents can also consult them for their insurance policy.

Compensation and Benefits Managers Salary: $126,900

Public Relations and Fundraising Manager

One of the primary responsibilities if a public relations and fundraising manager is to raise funds for the company or organization he or she is working for. These managers are also responsible for their company’s public image. They run brand marketing events, PR campaigns, and fundraising campaigns. They produce and manage media releases that appeal to their target market. They are also experts in brand crisis management.

Public Relations and Fundraising Manager Salary: $123,360

Entrepreneur

“Entrepreneur” is a general term for anyone managing their own business. Their “salaries” are primarily based on the nature of such company. Entrepreneurs are mostly graduates of four-year business courses. However, there are also entrepreneurs who never earned a degree but have amazing business minds. Although most entrepreneurs manage their businesses, they can also manage other people’s business enterprises. They are the ones who plan, develop, and execute strategies. Entrepreneurs must be able to plan strategically and be highly skilled in financial matters.

Entrepreneur Salary: $10,000–$1 million or more

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors need to earn a bachelor’s degree in either of the following fields: economics, business, finance, accounting, mathematics, or the law. If they have degrees in more than one of these fields, then that gives them a higher chance in this line of work. Having an excellent command of such areas gives them the educational advantage to succeed in this career. Their responsibilities to their clients involve managing their client’s monetary investments, whether it’s a short- or long-term duty. They also offer their knowledge of state and federal taxes to help their clients maximize their finances. They recommend setting up goals for the ultimate purpose of securing retirement savings, pensions, investments, and insurance. Personal Financial Advisors also help their clients manage their debts.

Personal Financial Advisor Salary: $90,460

Agents and Business Manager

Agents and business managers need to have earned a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing. These types of managers represent performers, artists, and athletes. Their primary responsibility is to market the abilities, talents, skills, and potentials of their clients to prospective employers and production companies. Their duties include contract negotiations, career planning, research, and financial planning. As the vital link between the client and their employers, agents, and business managers are on top of their client’s schedules, tours, and other events. 

Agents and Business Manager Salary: $113,890

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information science as well as work experience of at least five to ten years. The job titles mostly attached to computer and information systems managers are chief technology officer (CTO), chief information officer (CIO), IT director, or IT manager. They are in charge of supervising computer-related activities in the company. That’s why CEOs or the board of directors choose master’s degree holders with more than ten years of work experience. Their duties include analysis of technology needs, execution of computer and information systems, and ensuring system security. They are also responsible for the other IT professionals within the company.

Computer and Information Systems Manager Salary: $120,950

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a human-resources field such as psychology. That is the minimum requirement, but most HR managers have master’s degrees with years of experience working in the field. Their primary responsibility is to be the liaisons between the management and the employees. Although one person can be fully capable of fulfilling the tasks of an HR manager, large companies, corporations, or organizations appoint specific HR managers for recruitment, staff management, training, and development, and other employee-related programs within the company—forming sub-departments within the organization’s human resources department.

Human Resources Manager Salary: $99,720

Health Services Manager

Health services managers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in health services, healthcare management, care administration, public health, or public administration. However, most companies choose to appoint those who have master’s degrees with years of field experience as health services managers. They are in charge of heading the operations in medical facilities, clinics, or health departments. The duties of health services managers include employee supervision, schedule planning and management, record keeping, and budget management—among others. They are also known in the medical and health services industry as healthcare executives, health care administrators, or healthcare managers.

Health Services Manager Salary: $88,580

Administration Services Manager

Administration services managers are needed so that the everyday operations of their client’s business can run smoothly. They are in charge of facility management tasks, materials scheduling, as well as other organizational areas in their company or organization. The primary duties of administration services managers include allocating office space, updating equipment, supervising business-related operations, ensuring that contracts are being followed, preparing transportation services, supervising support services, grounds maintenance planning, and schedules, security system implementation, and many others. They are appointed so that administrative works are managed and executed efficiently, ensuring the maximum performance of the company or organization.

Administration Services Manager Salary: $94,020

Promotions Manager

One of the main goals of promotions managers is to increase the sales of their company, organization, or client. Their main task is directly related to advertising. They are the ones responsible for designing promotional materials for their company, including posters, events, and social media content—among other strategies. They also plan and execute advertising campaigns that often run for months and demand a large budget form the company. Since these ad campaigns are often expensive, promotions managers need to ensure that the company will get a welcome return on investment. It is also their responsibility to study the results of their campaigns and analyze the factors of their success or failure.

Promotions Managers Salary: $106,130

Elementary, Middle and High School Principal

In general, the responsibility of a school principal is to ensure that things run smoothly in the educational institution they are managing. Their specific duties are varied and often require patience and excellent people skills. Their primary responsibilities include management and supervision of the teachers and student body, staff evaluation, and campus safety and security. Their more community-based responsibilities include dealing with the parents, representing their school to the public, and being the school’s spokesperson to their community. Their salaries often differ depending on which district or city they are in. Principals who work in schools within small rural areas or large regions in the town often receive lower salaries than those who work in schools within affluent suburban neighborhoods.

School Principal Salary: $94,390

Lodging Manager

Employees are required to earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in hospitality or business administration before they are qualified to be lodging managers. Generally, lodging managers are responsible for the smooth management, safety, and steady profit of their lodging establishments. They need to tend to their guests in the most professional way, making sure that all the amenities they provide are working correctly. One of their primary duties is to hire and fire employees and workers. When there is not enough staff, sometimes they are also responsible for advertising campaigns for their lodging establishment as well as planning and executing interior designs.

Lodging Manager Salary: $49,720

Food Service Manager

Food Service Managers often work in restaurants, hotels, school cafeterias, entertainment establishments, large companies, and any other organization, where someone needs to take care of the food services for a large number of people. Food service managers are tasked to make sure that the dining facility they are managing is running smoothly and efficiently. They are responsible for preparing the food items as well as supervise the employees under their management. Their duties include inventory management, employee work schedules, event and catering schedules, handling of customer complaints, paperwork, and training new workers—among others.

Food Service Manager Salary: $69,654

Property, Real Estate & Community Association Managers

The minimum requirement for a property, real estate, and community association manager is a high school diploma with one to five years of work experience in the field. Although most employers go with candidates, who have certification and license. Their primary responsibility is to supervise and manage the operations of residential and commercial properties. Their duties include buying and selling property, renting property, hiring and supervising ground staff, and other property maintenance requirements. Community association managers are also known as property managers, homeowners’ association managers, leasing managers, and resident managers.

The property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager Salary: $163,600

Part-time Business Management Jobs

Teacher Assistant

Some schools hire Teacher Assistants to help out teachers in reinforcing lessons through reviewing materials with students one-on-one or in groups. Teacher assistants are also known as teacher aides, paraprofessionals, and education assistants.

Teacher Assistant Salary: $13,130

Assistant Managers

The most part-time assistant manager supports the manager with daily store operations. They also assume the manager’s duties in his/her absence. Sometimes, assistant managers help out in responding to customer queries. Most of the time, they set out to accomplish tasks assigned by the manager in an accurate and timely manner. This includes delegating daily workload to employees and ensuring shelves are stacked with new merchandise.

Assistant Manager Salary: $17,450

Retail Sales Associates

Retail sales associates ensure that retail stores are operational. They assist with customers’ query and sales. Sometimes, they are also requested to take charge of restocking inventory and operating the cash register, if necessary.

Retail Sales Associates Salary: $23,400

Management Analyst

Most management analysts can find part-time work in firms that need someone to improve their operations, maximize profits, and increase efficiency. They are the ones who talk to vendors, executives, and clients to examine the strength and weakness of the business and help the decision-makers improve the situation.

Management Analyst Salary: 41,000

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts are integral in developing an operational budget and evaluating spending practices. Some small firms hire part-time budget analysts to consult with managers and decide on necessary funding. They are tasked to compile this data into a comprehensive budgetary plan.

Budget Analyst Salary: $38,110

10 Unique Business Management Careers

Real Estate Appraiser

Business Management graduates can find an unusual yet satisfying job in appraising properties. Their business and people skills can be put into good use in this kind of situation, allowing them to prepare reports on a commercial or residential property’s value.

Real Estate Appraiser Salary: $49,540

Contract Negotiator

In this job, contract negotiators serve as the mediator between two businesses. They help design contracts that are agreeable to both parties. While some companies employ in-house negotiators, many businesses also choose freelance consultants that can help them draft contracts.

Contract Negotiator Salary: $68,840

Credit Counselor

Through their negotiation and communication skills, credit counselors work with clients to sort out their financial issues. Their job entails gathering information to assess the financial situation and determine an individual’s ability to pay creditors. They help in negotiating debt with creditors, set up repayment plans, lower interest rates, and negotiate late fees.

Credit Counselor Salary: $42,110

Market Research Analyst

It is the market research analysts’ job to study the latest products on the market and help companies determine which ones will be successful. They also establish the kind of buyers for the products and set the market prices.

Market Research Analyst Salary: $60,300

E-commerce Web Developer

Most business management graduates may not expect to find a job as a web developer, but if they have the coding and graphic design experience, they can combine it with their business management skills to create and maintain an excellent e-commerce site. Their developer skills can build upon their business prowess to give them a definitive edge over many competitors.

E-commerce Web Developer Salary: $66,100

Event Manager

If one does not feel like managing a business, managing an event is the next best thing. It is also exciting, especially for those who have social skills. Event managers are responsible for planning events, parties, and company meetings.

Event Manager Salary: $45,810

Public Relations Specialist

Most companies hire public relations specialists to help them plan public events, set up interviews and improve the public face of the company. They serve as the liaison between the employer and the clients or the public. They are responsible for establishing a good relationship with news media, consumers, local communities, and even the government.

Public Relations Specialist Salary: 61,980

Loan Officer

Loan officers help clients deal with financial milestones like paying for a college education or buying a new house. They can find positions in a variety of settings, from commercial banks and credit unions to mortgage companies and car dealership. The best loan officers have excellent interpersonal skills and know how to advise, evaluate, and authorize loans to people and businesses.

Loan Officer Salary: $73,670

Fundraiser

Commonly employed n nonprofit organizations like educational institutions and health-research foundations, fundraisers are tasked to bring in money by making cold calls, writing grants, and organizing fundraising events.

Fundraiser Salary: $56,840

Social Media Manager

Business management graduates who have mastered the use of digital technology can find many job opportunities in the digital marketing field. With their background in marketing, they will be able to help increase brand awareness among consumers through the use of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They should be able to create effective marketing campaigns and give direction to writers and other marketing teams.

Social Media Manager Salary: $56,770

Top Travel Business Management Careers

Business Consultant

Consultants are indispensable to many companies. They are responsible for fixing problems within the organization. Since clients are usually spread across the globe, being a business consultant affords many business management graduates with travel opportunities.

Retail Buyer

Those who are in the retail industry can avail of travel opportunities as they hop from branch to branch and oversee store inventory. They also have a chance to travel all over the world when they attend vendor meetings, trade shows, and conferences that are essential in many business decisions. It is quite common in the fashion industry as well as e-commerce and department retailers.

Construction Manager

As someone who oversees the process of new commercial and residential buildings, a construction manager can sometimes manage multiple projects in various cities. Because of this, they spend considerable time traveling from one project site to the next and make sure that requirements and goals are met.

Management Analyst

Management analysts often travel to clients’ offices and working with them to improve their business processes. Some companies are situated abroad so this will afford them a lot of opportunities to travel internationally. It is the management analysts’ job to examine financial records, observe personnel at work, and meet with them to discuss business. Entry-level positions would typically require at least a bachelor’s degree; some companies prefer graduates  with a master’s degree.

Public Relations Manager

Combining a lot of traveling with work is a common occurrence in a public relations manager’s life. They often assist clients with projects for promotion and image building purposes, including writing press releases, developing procedures for media inquiries, and creating advertising and promotional campaigns. Most of the time, public relations managers need to travel to another city or country to meet with clients.

Is Business Management right for me?

Generally, graduates of an associate degree in Business Management may well be qualified for entry-level jobs. Positions could be executive assistant, sales assistant, or sales associate. The list above more likely requires either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree depending on the qualifications from the company. Doctors of Business Management focus on conducting in-depth research and land teaching careers in prestigious universities and colleges.

When considering a college program, you must first reflect on your reasons and goals. If you’ve been thinking about getting into the business world, then it’s probably the right track for you. Business management presents a wide array of choices. You have to be sure of your choice or decision and whether it matches and aligns with your personality or not. You also have to envision your career. Get to research and know what the best program is for you.

If you have people skills, are a good leader, and enjoy conversations with different people, Business Management is the right program for you. If you enjoy multi-tasking, Business Management exposes you to careers that let you do that.

What are the admission requirements for a degree in Business Management?

Earning a business management degree begins with the admissions process. One has to research the admission requirements for each prospective school. Typically, applicants must meet prerequisites like test scores and submit admissions materials. Although there are schools that don’t require them, application fee/s should also be considered. At present, schools have come up with easy access to the application for admission online through their website or the Common Application.

Often, online program applications differ from that of on-campus programs because they come on rolling bases. Applicants are assessed through a first-come-first-served basis until classes reach their maximum seats. They also impose “technical requirements” as specifications of student’s operating system, internet connection, soundcard, hard drive space, processor, to mention a few.

To be considered for admission, here are some of the standard entry requirements (per degree level):

First-year applicants for an Associate’s degree in Business Management are required to submit high school or a General Education Development or General Education Diploma (GED) transcript. If you have attended another institution, an official college transcript is required.

First-year applicants for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management may need to submit a completed application for admission, official high school transcript, SAT/ACT results, personal essay and letters of recommendation. For transfer students, the same application materials are required with the official college transcript and a transfer essay prompt.

Applicants for a Graduate degree in Business Management need to submit a completed application, official transcript from each undergraduate or graduate institution they have attended, a personal essay or statement, resume or CV, letters of recommendation, and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.

What are the top qualities and skills can I acquire from earning a Business Management degree?

These qualities, skills, and traits are necessary for becoming successful in the business management field:

Consistency. A good manager should demonstrate consistency to give guidance to organization members or employees. By being consistent, you can ensure higher levels of productivity, increased levels of comfort, and promote employee understanding. In turn, your people understand, respect, and stand by you as their manager.

Excellent leadership skills. Being in the Business Management level requires you to be a leader who possesses good interpersonal skills and influence others toward reaching organizational or company goals. A good leader must also possess decisiveness. This translates to makes good judgment and well-informed decisions.

Competitiveness. Capable managers don’t just seek to beat the competition; they strive to learn from them. They set goals and build persistence within the team using techniques that lead to those goals that help individuals in the organization grow professionally while promoting social intelligence that is essential to fostering great work relationships.

Solid communication skills. A good leader must promote effective communication. They meet different types of individuals at any organizational level. The clarity in expressing ideas and information, listening skills, and visibility make an excellent communicator. Employees feel comfortable, and confusion is reduced when there is good communication within the organization.

Professional integrity. Honest and ethical, a Business Manager is expected to do the right thing for the right reasons. If you continuously examine your motivations before making managerial decisions and you value the rules that the company or organization lives by, you make a great Business Management professional.

What is a typical Business Management coursework?

The undergraduate Business Management program has one of the most comprehensive coursework. Its coursework typically incorporates a broad group of interdisciplinary topics. Depending on the institution, the curriculum is designed to provide hands-on or practical learning and discuss issues in subjects that are related to your specialization.

The program will likely include the following:

Principles of Accounting presents the accounting cycle, financial statements, the theoretical framework of the accounting, the role of accounting in costing, investment decisions and financial environment. Future managers are trained to use tools in achieving financial health of the company including income statements, cash flow, balance sheets, and retained earnings statements.

Business Ethics introduces moral principles, ethical issues related to business, law, business activities, and social responsibility. This also tackles the diverse environments of businesses.

Principles of Marketing is all about the fundamental principles in business, product and services, customer behavior, pricing, channels of promotion, and distribution. It is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of different business decisions concerning marketing strategies.

Human Resources Management covers principles and systems of effective management of human resources in an organization. It includes techniques in administrative issues, selection, planning, job and performance evaluation, labor organizations and managing the diverse environment of a workplace.

Managerial Economics provides basic concepts of microeconomics and macroeconomics which deals with subjects like scarcity, supply, and demand, competitive market conditions, opportunity cost, and economic growth.

Organizational Behavior and Development studies individual and group behavior in an organization. This also covers diversity, leadership, decision making, and corporate design and development. Students will also learn strategic planning, conflict in management and dealing with individual differences in a team.

How significant is a master’s or doctorate in business management?

Pursuing a graduate degree in business management leads to real career success. An undergraduate degree may get you to in-demand jobs, but earning a master’s or a doctorate can help you excel even more. In graduate studies, you’ll learn in-depth research.

A flourishing business needs to know what the market needs and this is where vital research comes in. Another importance of getting into graduate studies in business management is the fact that it can lead you to discover and explore the finer points of data analysis. A business may mainly be about making a living, but when you are an expert, you know there are more patterns and intricacies to help the company reach its goals and become truly successful.

Besides gaining highly desirable skills, getting a graduate degree brings forth excellent job security and higher earnings. MBA or doctorate holders can expect to get salaries which are twice as much as a regular college degree. The opportunity to consort with a strong business network is another advantage of having a graduate degree. The connections you’ll make will give you an even greater overall picture of the business world.

Law Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

The practice of Law is essential to the democracy of the United States of America. It is rooted in the country’s proud history and is an integral part of maintaining the rule of law within the territorial bounds of the nation. Law, in the U.S., is a professional academic field and is equivalent to a graduate degree. Law schools in the country require applicants to hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university.

Law schools in the United States grant Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree that full-time students typically finish in three years. Part-time students can complete law school in four years. Legal education in the country is known to be distinctly different from the rest of the world. All law schools in the country follow the Socratic method, which remains to be central to modern law teaching. Through this method, Law students are trained to analyze and present their arguments to various legal issues by using debate as to the main form of academic discussions. It is an active learning process that professors To this day, Law professors consider the method to be the best tool in preparing skilled, critical, and ethical legal professionals.

The American Bar Association (ABA) is the voluntary association of both lawyers and students that oversees the legal profession across jurisdictions. After years of studying Law, J.D. degree holders need to take and pass the Bar exam to become full-fledged lawyers and practice Law.

Law As a Degree

A Law degree is often called a gateway to many career opportunities, not only in the legal field but also beyond the legal profession. Studying Law gives you the skills to become an attorney or build a career beyond lawyering. You can venture into politics, economics, business, education, or diplomacy. Yes, studying and finishing the degree comes with numerous rewards, but it is a complicated process. The coursework is intimidating, and the hours spent reading and preparing for class can be solitary. Knowing all these, it is crucial that you weigh whether Law school is the right choice for you. Below is an overview of the classes you will be taking in the four years pursuing a career in law.

During your first year, you will take the required set of courses, including Legal Writing, Statutory Construction, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Contracts, and Torts, among others. Additional degree requirements may vary from one Law school to another. Some schools add mandatory experiential courses to test student’s ability to prepare legal documents, and research.

As a second-year student, you will focus on various activities which will expose you to the day-to-day court setting. You will take Law Review, participate in Moot Court, court visits, and other extra-curricular activities that will allow you to practice. It is vital that you gather practical experience as you will be looking into internships as you move towards your third year. These internships will most likely lead you to a full-time job after graduation.

Lastly, during your third year in Law school, you are given more freedom to choose elective courses. You may select from International Law, Antitrust Law, Intellectual Property Law, or Immigration Law. It is the final year for full-time students and is often spent on finding employment. Most importantly, your third year will center on reviewing for the Bar examination.

Before you can engage in the legal profession and solicit clients, you need to be admitted to the Bar. The Bar exam is the definitive test to determine whether you are qualified to practice law in a specific jurisdiction. However, you may be required to take the examination set for that state before you can practice law. Failing to comply with these leads to an unauthorized practice of law, which is illegal and is punishable under the Rules of Court.

Types Of Law Degrees

It is worth noting that Juris Doctor (J.D.), though the basic law curriculum, is not the only law degree offered in the United States. It is essential that you understand the required skill set in your career choice. A J.D. degree will prepare you for the Bar and will give you the necessary academic and practical knowledge to pass the exam. Once you seek career advancements, other law degrees will provide you with the legal knowledge, skills, and expertise that will prove useful in any field. The first step in exploring the different law degrees is having an overview of the curricula, admissions requirements, and outcomes. These factors will aid you in deciding what type of law degree best fits your objectives.

Legal Certificate Programs

Legal Certificate Programs allow students to earn certification featuring courses that are general and offering basic legal knowledge, or more specific courses that explore in an area of interest.

Juris Doctor (J.D.)

The fundamental law degree, Juris Doctor, is the primary requirement and the first step in pursuing a career as a practicing lawyer. It is the ABA that determines and sets the curriculum for all law schools in the country. A J.D. degree from any of the ABA-accredited law school ensures that the program focuses on all aspects of U.S. law. This includes procedural law – criminal and civil procedure, preparing them for the tedious legal processes in litigation. Emphasizing on the tools and strategies useful in the courtroom is an effective technique in producing seasoned lawyers. Passing the Bar exam is the main goal in law school. Failing to pass the exam means you cannot practice the law.

To enroll in a J.D. degree program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year academic institution. Along with the application, submit your LSAT or GRE scores. It is customary for law schools to require letters of recommendation and a personal statement, and hold a personal interview.

Master of Laws (LLM)

Master of Laws (LLM) is specially designed for legal professionals who hold a law degree. The master’s degree is the avenue by which lawyers or legal professionals specialize in a particular area of law. LLM students have the opportunity to develop their expertise in the legal subject that want to focus on. Among the top specialties are Tax Law, Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, Environmental Law, and Human Rights Law. The LLM curriculum allows students to handpick their electives covering advanced legal courses.

To secure admission to the Masters of Law program, you must have earned a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited institution. You need to submit an updated résumé, personal statement, and the necessary number of letters of recommendation. An interview is always expected for admission to any graduate program. When you choose to become a full-time student, you can finish the degree in a year. Part-time students, on the other hand, takes two years to complete the degree.

Master of Legal Studies (MLS) or Master of Science in Law (MSL)

Master of Legal Studies (MLS) or Master of Science in Law (MSL) is a graduate law degree designed for the non-practicing law profession. This degree best fits nonlawyers who seek to have an in-depth understanding of legal concepts and procedures. Because of the variety of legal topics included in the curriculum, MLS/MSL degree holders are assured to hold advanced positions in their field. Courses may cover areas in regulatory compliance, contracts, administrative law, negotiation theory, and legal writing. It is a 16 to a 28-month graduate program that will provide students with strong foundational knowledge in every aspect of law.

Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)

Dispute resolution remains as a convenient legal tool in conflict resolution. The Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree is a practical graduate degree program for legal professionals. It provides valuable negotiation, mediation, and arbitration knowledge and skills in conflict management. MDR curriculum follows the 16 to 28 months coursework, focusing on key strategies in dispute resolution. After completing the program, you will come to learn that amicable settlement is proven effective in resolving conflicts. Additionally, you will gain proficiency in negotiating complex transactions. Alternative dispute resolution does not only facilitate fair compromise, but it also ensures that every party’s interest is taken into consideration.

MDR is an ideal graduate degree for working professionals who are in business management or leadership roles. Conflict resolution is valuable in the workplace. Position yourself at an advantage by earning the degree. Since this is a non-J.D. degree, a bachelor’s degree will suffice. Additional requirements will depend on your school of choice.

 Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Considered the highest and the terminal degree in Law, the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is designed for legal professionals who are investing in advanced legal education. SJD students must have completed both their J.D. and LLM degrees to be admitted to the program. The curriculum goes against traditional law classes, as it requires students to conduct legal research. They are encouraged to attend symposia and have one-on-one consultations with professors. Under the program, SJD candidates will further their legal expertise to qualify as a professor of a scholar of Law.  The degree will make you an Amicus Curiae, or “Friend of the Court,” providing your expertise when the Court needs advice. Completion typically takes two years for full-time students.

Law Specializations

Under the extensive areas of law, there are various areas wherein you can choose to specialize on. This will answer the dreaded question of what type of law do you wish to practice after you finish your degree and pass the Bar. It is crucial to have an overview of each of the specialty areas in Law.

Here are the major areas of Law as a degree:

Admiralty or Maritime Law

Admiralty or Maritime Law regulates all economic transactions, including property disputes involving both land-based and marine trading. This area of Law consists of statutes, case law, and jurisprudence centered on disputes involving navigable waters. Hence, all issues and factual scenarios that are maritime will fall under Maritime law. Maritime jurisdiction is an important part of state sovereignty. Therefore, our founding fathers formulated laws governing jurisdictional water lines. This includes waters that are utilized for interstate and foreign business and commerce.

Specializing in Maritime Law will expose you to cases such as commercial accidents resulting from perils of the sea and perils of the ship. Individuals seeking damages from injuries or hazardous material spill may engage the legal services of an attorney who specialized in the area. According to The Maritime Law Association of the United States, you can also apply your expertise in cases of piracy in national or international waters as it is considered a crime against humanity. Jurisdictional limitations do not apply.

Bankruptcy Law

United States Bankruptcy Law aims to protect individuals and organizations’ property rights when they have no sufficient assets to pay their debts. It works by giving insolvent debtors a fresh start by liquidating what is left of their assets to satisfy the debt. They are given an option to create a repayment plan that is reasonable and consistent with Federal and State laws. An individual or an organization may file for bankruptcy and hire a seasoned Bankruptcy Lawyer from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and comply with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Business or Corporate Law

Corporate Law deals with the formation, operation, administration, dissolution, and all other legal aspects of businesses and corporations. This branch of law is closely linked to commercial and contract law that governs the inception of corporations. Since a corporation takes the nature of an artificial or juridical personality, it needs legal representation through Corporate Lawyers. Generally, these attorneys, who are members of the Association of Corporate Counsel, take charge of mergers, acquisitions, internal reorganization, and intra-corporate disputes. An in-house counsel takes full responsibility for all legal matters concerning the corporation.

Civil Rights Law

Civil Rights Law is rooted in the plight to protect the civil liberties of both individual and organizations. These rights are injected in the legal system to ensure that people enjoy equal protection and equal rights without prejudice to any divisive factors. Civil Rights Lawyers, who are members of the Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association, safeguard the people from overly intrusive conduct of the government and other agencies. Since government actors are precluded from making arbitrary actions, civil rights law affords due process to every person. Lawyers practicing in the field take discrimination cases, unfair practices, and other cases involving torts and damages.

Criminal Law

Criminal Law is the system of laws and legal rules that aims to maintain public safety by criminalizing illegal acts sanctioned under the penal code. The Criminal Code is to safeguard the public by deterring wrongful acts which violate life, liberty, and property. Individuals who have committed unlawful conduct face incarceration, payment of civil damages, and other penalties. American criminal justice system is a complex and adversarial set of legal maxims. Specific crimes require particular expertise to defend and liberate the innocent and punish the guilty.

Prosecutors and District Attorneys represent the state and ensure that justice is served. On the other hand, Criminal Defense Lawyers represent the accused. Both of these legal professionals make sure that the case is handled fairly, and justice is approximated in favor of the victim.

Entertainment Law

Entertainment Law is a subset of Intellectual Property Law that centers on the rights and royalties involved in performing arts. As detailed by the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers, this branch of Law covers all forms of media, including motion pictures, music, television, cinema, and athletics. Entertainment Lawyers dominate the legal field as information technology changed the landscape of media consumption. As a specialty area, lawyers who focus on entertainment law must keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations in the entertainment field.

Environmental Law

Environmental Law combines the salient features of the state, federal, and international laws about the environment. Members of the National Association of Environment Law Societies aim to protect and preserve our natural resources from abusive practices. This objective is in line with the concept of intergenerational responsibility, giving importance to the welfare of future generations. Environmental laws regulate acts such as pollution, global warming, land disputes, natural resources management, and littoral use. Legal professionals who specialize in environmental law represent non-profit, non-government organizations that forward traditional changes in the practice of international law.

Family Law

It is in the interest of the state to preserve the sanctity of marriage and the family. Family Law is a body of laws, statutes, and case precedents that govern the legal relationship and responsibilities about domestic relations. Legal matters between individuals within the family can be futile. Cases that fall under area include divorce, adoption, legitimacy, child abuse, civil unions, domestic partnerships, and marriage. Family law cases typically call for the services of a Family Lawyer.

Healthcare Law

Healthcare is central to every functioning society. Health Care Law is federal and state legislation involving the United States health care system and delivery. It covers all areas of healthcare, including mental health, health insurance, patient protection, health reform, and emergency health care. Most importantly, it ensures that every citizen has access to affordable, quality health care. Specialists in Health Care Law oversee every step of health care policy design and implementation.

Immigration Law

Immigration has become a highly sensitive issue in the United States. With the call to protect US citizens from illegal immigrants, Immigration Law has become litigious in recent years. As an area of law, it governs immigration policy, detailing the legal means and steps to acquire lawful residency. Immigration Lawyers assist their clients at all stages of immigration and naturalization based on the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This does not only grant lawful entry to persons seeking naturalization; most importantly, it protects American sovereignty.

Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law involves an extensive federal and state legislation that protects all kinds of intellectual creation. This includes original works, including writing, music, drawings, paintings, photography, and film. Intellectual Property Laws protect the rights of writers, inventors, and businesses from the moment of creation, or upon the requisite application. Legal professionals in the field of Intellectual Property Lawyers often take an area of expertise – trademark law, copyright law, or patent law. In the age of digital reproduction, Intellectual Property Lawyers are very much in demand, according to the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

International Law

International Law is a proud product of years of international dispute resolution and compromise agreements. It sets the standards of international conduct between state actors and various international organizations. International Law is composed of two branches – Public International Law and Private International Law. Public International Law pertains to the affairs and dealing involving sovereign nations. While Private International Law, a part of Civil Law, governs the legal disputes involving a private individual who crosses international boundaries.

The successful practice of International Law requires an extensive background on comparative law. International law is an interdisciplinary field that touches various aspects of common law and civil law systems across sovereign states. You can find an overview of the subject matter in the American Society of International Law.

Labor Law

Labor Law is social legislation that aims to protect both the laborers and the capital. It provides an avenue where social justice can be approximated through the establishment of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Workers and employees are protected from the arbitrary actions of their employers. This includes matters involving wage and compensation, discrimination in the basis of sex, age, gender, disability or race, and harassment. Attorneys who specialize in Labor Law ensure that abusive acts of employers are checked by proper representation. They represent individuals, unions, regulatory agencies under the government, and even the employer. Employers can also fall victim to labor disputes as employees may also commit arbitrary actions against their employers. Justice is afforded to both sides, as it is sworn duty of every lawyer.

To learn more about State Labor Laws, you can visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Real Estate Law

Property law is a central subject in the U.S. legal system. The Real Estate Law in the country involves ownership of land, as well as construction permanently attached to it. It encompasses construction, property, development, and litigation, as well as rights accorded to tenants and landlords. Real Estate Attorneys often find employment in both residential and commercial transactions. They review contracts, planning, and government permits necessary for real estate development and ownership.

Tax Law

Tax Law is a dreaded subject in Law school but is a dynamic field of specialty in the legal profession. The field deals with both domestic and international transactions that require the expertise of Taxation Lawyers. Tax legislation is often changing due to the various factors that affect local, state, and federal tax laws. Due to the complexities of fiscal policy, tax law needs to adapt to these changes. Taxation law experts thrive in this environment and engage in continuous education to acquire relevant knowledge and skills in taxation. Among the primary responsibilities of a Taxation, Lawyer is ensuring the legalities of economic transactions, while reducing financial liabilities. Learn more about U.S. Taxation in the link provided.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Law Degrees

Studies reveal that a significant number of graduate students are millennials. Millennials are those belonging to a specific age cohort and those who are born between the years 1982 and 2002. This demographic shift will continue to persist every year, as they maintain to be the nation’s most educated generation. The millennial generation is mostly college-educated, landing a job right after graduation. But despite the job security, a college education brings, a graduate degree promises an even higher economic payoff.

Earning a master’s degree, a doctorate or a law degree will bring in more profitability and satisfaction in one’s career choice. With the increased popularity of online education, a graduate degree is easily within anybody’s reach. A Law degree is no exception to this technological advancement. Being so career-minded, college graduates seek to earn a Law degree online. Aside from the convenience and flexibility, it is significantly cheaper than attending traditional law schools.

However, you must take the necessary precaution when pursuing an online law degree. Here are a few reasons why:

No Accreditation

As of this writing, no law school has been granted accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA). In the United States, no law school that offers a fully online J.D. degree have passed the Standard 306: Distance Education set by the Department of Education and the ABA. Earning your J.D. degree via distance learning will limit your ability to practice your law in various states. Some online law schools may allow you to take the California Bar Examination. If you are a graduate of Concord Law School or Abraham Lincoln University School of Law, you are eligible to take the Bar exam in limited jurisdiction.

As compared to brick-and-mortar legal education, you are assured that the curriculum follows the standards set by ABA. An ABA-accredited J.D. degree program will build your credibility and open your doors to many opportunities. Earning the degree from a traditional setting and with ABA accreditation will prepare you to surpass the Bar examinations. Legal education ensures that every law graduate in the United States meets or exceeds the expectations of the legal profession.

No In-Person Interaction

To be a competent legal professional, you need to be able to master the art of argumentation. As mentioned earlier, law schools in the U.S. follow the Socratic Method, which puts debate at the center of academic interaction and discussion. This is not supported in an online law degree. Coursework is handed out per week, and students are free to complete the necessary assignments depending on their availability.

Whereas in a classroom setting, law students are trained to respond to the oral debate, which is a testament to their wit and preparedness. During law school, being able to interact with diverse groups of individuals will improve your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with the layman. You will find yourself building long-term relationships with some of the most conscientious people. Through this experience, you will learn that there is pleasure in interacting with people coming from all walks of life.

No Clear Career Prospects

Since online law degrees are not ABA-accredited, there are no bright career prospects after graduation. According to Data USA, the projected job for growth for lawyers, & judges, magistrates, & other judicial workers 8.01% within the10-year period. With this, career prospects for online law degree holders are limited based on credentials due to the non-ABA law degree.

Financing Your Legal Education

Attending Law school is a serious commitment. It requires a substantial financial risk as you invest for tuition fees, books, lodging, and travel. Fortunately, there are funding options and financial assistance programs to help you pay for your legal education.

Scholarships and Grants

As a testament to the country’s commitment to providing an accessible and affordable educational system, scholarships and grants are available to all students at every academic level. For the lack of a better term, these are “free money” handed by the Federal or State government, and non-government organizations to fund the law education of deserving students. These are awarded based on the need or merit of a student, or both. It does not need to be repaid.

Private law schools award scholarships and grants. Independent organizations also confer scholarships. These include organizations such as local bar associations, fraternities and sororities, social clubs and groups, religious organizations, and business conglomerates. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awards a special scholarship for students seeking to pursue a law degree.

Bear in mind that the availability of these financial aids is limited. It is vital that you do your part by researching the best option and turning to your school admission and financial aid office. The mostly merit-based application for these types of assistance is highly competitive. Show that you are academically qualified by presenting proof of your academic performance. Shortly after admission, you can expect an award merit money.

Some law schools award financial aids on need-based condition. Before you process your requirements, you must confirm with your las school what materials are necessary to qualify for the grant. Of course, there is always an added assurance when you send your application early.

Federal Loans

Federal loans are either Direct Subsidized Loans, Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Direct Plus Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans. These programs are under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. When you avail of any of the programs, the U.S. Department of Education becomes your creditor.

At least half-time at a participating law school will make you eligible to apply. While Direct Subsidized Loans is only available to undergraduate students, the Unsubsidized Direct Loans are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. In applying for Unsubsidized Direct Loans, applicants need not show proof of financial need. To apply, you must first complete and submit a completed Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You law school will aid in determining the amount of grant, or your financial aid package.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal government grants law students to borrow up to a total of $20,500 under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program. Students can borrow the same amount per academic year from the U.S. Department of Education. As takes the nature of a loan, it will start accruing a simple interest the moment the grant is disbursed. It remains as such during the entirety of your attendance in law school.

You will start paying your loan six months after your graduation. The six-month grace period may be availed and with a flexible repayment plan. When finances become tough after the grace period, the repayment plan will be adjusted based on your household income. Also, you can avail of the payment relief or forbearance. Most importantly, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is qualified to be included in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Direct Grad PLUS

The Direct Grad PLUS are loans granted to graduate or professional students designed to pay for expenses not covered by financial aid. Law students with no standing adverse credit are eligible to borrow from the program. However, if you have adverse credit, you may be given preference when you apply with an endorse or co-debtor. Endorser of the applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, and with no adverse credit of their own.

The loan amount awarded to successful applicants is equivalent to the school’s Cost of Attendance (COA). However, grants from other financial aid will be deducted from the total amount of the Direct Grad PLUS award. The interest follows the same terms as that of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The flexible repayment plan is available to students who availed of the loan. While you are still enrolled in school, repayment is deferred.  

Law Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

Legal professionals are at the forefront of justice and equity in the country. They provide advice, represent individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies from the foul image of injustice. Lawyers aid their clients to resolve legal issues and disputes that may arise in any situation. As a career, it serves as a multi-entry opportunity to extensive career choices. Today, there are 974,000 lawyers, & judges, magistrates, & other judicial workers that make up the judicial system of the United States. With an 8.01% and a national average of 7.4% estimated job growth, more legal professionals are expected to join the workforce. Demand for legal services will continue to expand as various state actors venture into legally binding transactions.

Alongside the projected job growth, employment in the field will be highly competitive because of the rising number of students completing their legal education each year. In fact, according to the ABA’s National Population Survey, there are a total of 1,338,678 active lawyers in 2018. However, various Law specialty areas are worth exploring. Among the top specialization is Tax Law, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Securities Law, and Criminal Law. In 2018, the annual average salary of a Lawyer was estimated to be $120,910, with an average billable hour of $58.13.

To be an attorney or a legal professional, you must prepare to invest an entire seven years of full-time study

10 Common Law Occupations

Legal education is a valuable investment. After graduating from law school, various career opportunities are available to J.D. degree holders. The list contains the ten most common law occupations for J.D. graduates and legal professionals.

Lawyer

Lawyers, also referred to as Attorney or Counselor, are legal professionals who mainly advocate for their client’s cause and rights. They represent individuals, corporations, and even government agencies on different legal issues. Through negotiation, lawyers advise their clients to reach an amicable settlement to avoid litigation. Lawyers who represent the accused are called defense lawyers. Law firms employ the services of lawyers to oversee the legal concerns of various clients.

Becoming a lawyer typically takes seven years of full-time study beginning from high school. Under the current ABA mandate, aspiring lawyers need to complete a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited law school. Law schools in the U.S. require a particular LSAT score to be admitted. While in Law school, students may choose to specialize in an area of choice. Upon completing three to four years of law school, prospective lawyers need to pass the Bar exam. You can begin your legal practice once you get admitted to the Bar, and earn $120,910 per year.

Corporate Lawyer

Corporate lawyers primarily ensure that every corporate transaction is done legally and within the bounds of the corporation’s by-laws. They stand as corporate counsel on various legal and technical issues. Corporate lawyers represent the company in proceedings which require legal knowledge and expertise. When the corporation is exposed to legal disputes, they gather and analyze the evidence presented to come up with a strong defense.

To succeed in corporate law, you need to specialize in at least one of the following areas: Tax Law, Contract Law, Accounting Law, and Securities Law. It is best that you choose to concentrate on an area that emphasizes corporate law. You can earn $65,323 up to $169,604 a year when you pursue a career in the field.

Patent Lawyer

Patent Lawyers work in companies and are tasked to assess and analyze the patentability of various products or inventions. They also ensure that all standard protocols are followed to protect the products against infringements. Importantly, they guide and advise their clients who may be an individual inventor or a corporation during the entire process of their patent application. It is essential that they are apprised with the existing patents to avoid litigation in infringement cases. Patent lawyers value research as a means of providing clients with clear and indisputable claim to their inventions.

As patent lawyers, you must be highly trained in critical aspects of intellectual property rights. In 2018, data showed that the average yearly salary for the position is $134,729. Some employers require the place to be filled by a licensed attorney who has a background in the sciences. Knowledge in engineering or biology may set you apart from the rest of the employment pool. A specialization in Intellectual Property Law may be a requirement in some industries.

Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Law is unforgiving. It is made for lawyers with a strong sense of justice pursue a career as Criminal Lawyers or Defense Counsel. They defend individuals, organizations, corporations, and businesses in the criminal charges filed against them in various court jurisdictions. Criminal lawyers ensure that their clients get their day in court. They investigate the case by conducting interviews, research, depositions, and gather evidence in favor of the client. Constructing a strong defense based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the goal of every criminal lawyer.

In some cases, they negotiate a plea deal with the plaintiff or the complainant. This is a means of allowing the defendant to enter a guilty plea to a lesser offense. Plea bargaining is sanctioned by law and is encouraged to unclog the court dockets. Criminal Law requires expertise and years of experience. You need strong written and oral advocacy skills when arguing in front of a judge and a jury. Once you persuade the judge and the jury to enter a not guilty verdict or acquittal, you win your client’s case. This will lead you to an annual income of $114,290.

Tax Lawyer

Taxation Law is a complicated subject, so organizations and corporations or individuals secure the services of a Tax Lawyer. Lawyers who specialize in taxation act as a representative of their clients in dealing with various tax agencies and comply with federal, state, and local rules in filing tax returns or tax legislation. Tax lawyers remain informed of the changes in taxation law, which may affect their client’s business or current economic standing. Having a technical and analytical skill set, such as strong mathematical and accounting skills will prime you for the specialization. Practicing tax law is not easy, so the job promises a steady increase in annual earnings and benefits. Recent data shows that a Tax Lawyer can earn $100,055 per year.

Real Estate Lawyer

Real Estate Lawyers assist their clients in various dealings within the market, both commercial and residential real estate. Real estate transactions involve several complex legal documents, which requires the expertise of real estate lawyers. Lawyers in the business oversee and review contracts and other relevant documents. They oversee issues that may require the application of legal knowledge. These may include zoning, permits, property development concerns, questions with tenants, and neighbors. More importantly, real estate lawyers make sure that all legal documents comply with the Real Estate Standards Organization or RESO mandates.

To be a successful real estate lawyer, you must be keen and meticulous on every detail, especially in drafting contracts. Real estate lawyers are not limited to office works as they also represent their clients in court. Earning a specialization in Property Law will allow you to develop your background leading to an annual salary of $82,868 or up to $166,811 per year.

Family Law Attorney

Family law is a broad and complex field. It is also referred to as Matrimonial Law or the Law of Domestic Relations in the United States. The need for legal interventions in marital affairs often entails disputes among spouses or family members. Family Law Attorneys play an essential role in settling custody arrangements, marriage arrangements or prenuptial agreements, domestic abuse, or divorce. Other parts of family law also include requirements for marriage, legally adopting a child and marital property relations. You can specialize in family law and practice as a Family Law Attorney and develop your potential in the field. An annual salary for a seasoned family law attorney may earn up to $123,500.

Personal Injury Lawyer

Damage caused by one to another through fault or negligence entitles the injured to receive compensation. In cases of physical or psychological harm suffered by a client, Personal Injury Lawyers make sure to represent their client’s claim for damages. Frequently, the injured party requires the legal assistance of a lawyer who specializes in the field of torts as they are incapable of forwarding their claim. This field of law falls under Tort Law or Torts and is a part of Civil Law. Personal injury lawyers interview both parties, evaluate the case, and develop case-specific strategies to secure their client’s claim. Top earners in torts work for big law firms, while those who are employed in non-profit organizations receive a lesser salary. The average annual salary earned by a personal injury lawyer is $78,053 and could go up to $151,359.

Civil Rights Lawyer

Civil Rights Lawyers ensure that the American people continue to enjoy the freedoms they are entitled to. They defend civil rights, as well as the fundamental liberties of the public. A typical civil rights case requires civil rights lawyers to protect their client who is facing discrimination, displacement, or any form of abuse — a more sensitive area of practice in cases brought against law enforcement.

Civil rights law demand a strong sense of advocacy and passion for truth and justice. For civil rights lawyers to thrive in the area, you must specialize in a particular area where you are most passionate about. This area of specialty is not among the top-paying careers in law, but it assures an annual salary of $88,057.

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Healthcare is an exciting area in both medical and legal terms. Having the proper legal knowledge and licensure, as well as the passion for healthcare is the first step into a specialty in medical law. Medical Malpractice Lawyers function as consultants for health care professionals and medical institutions in building case theories. They especially become useful in malpractice lawsuits brought against any of the health care professional employed in the medical field.

As a field of legal practice, medical law is a combination of intricate areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and health care law. Medical lawyers work in hospitals or medical clinics, while others defend victims of medical malpractice. Having the appropriate specialization will secure your position in the field and obtain an $86,520 annual salary.

30 Highest Paying Law Careers

In recent years, the demand for legal services in the United States is in the rise. Here are the Top 30 Highest paid law/legal careers.

Chief Legal Officer

Chief Legal Officers are general counsels that lead the legal department for companies. As principal lawyers, they are responsible for overseeing every legal aspect of a business or law firm. They take the lead role in every legal battle that the corporation may face. Every part of all statutory provisions goes through them to ensure that everything aligns with the mission of the company. Chief legal officers do not only protect the image of the institution they represent, but they also put primacy on ensuring the judicial order in each case.

Most importantly, they provide strategic guidance and consultation to the members of the upper management on legal issues. To qualify as a chief legal officer, you must have a law degree and passed the bar examinations. As a prerequisite, you must specialize in Corporate Law.

Chief Legal Officer salary: $201,285

Law Firm Partner

A Law Firm Partner takes the lead role in facilitating everyday affairs in the law firm. Partners are typically joint owners of the firm and mainly perform administrative and corporate functions. They are directly involved in supervising the firm’s legal, organizational, technical, and logistics teams. Also, they ensure that the law office remains compliant with state, federal, and local regulations. These highly-skilled and intuitive legal professionals design and implement policies to improve productivity and compliance. To become a law firm partner, you must need a law degree from an accredited law school. You must also pass the bar examinations of the state of employment. Years of experience as a lawyer will put you an advantage when securing a job in any law firm.

Law Firm Partner salary: $185,138

Corporate Lawyer

Corporate Lawyers are those engaged in legal processes related to the formation, operation, and governance of a corporation or corporation-like entity such as a limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or alliance. Their duties include guiding their client in establishing a new corporation. They make sure that this new corporation and even the current corporation adhere to all relevant federal, state, and local regulations. Moreover, they are also responsible for providing advice and planning related to corporate mergers, acquisitions, and other large-scale strategic deals. To begin a career as a corporate lawyer, you must have a juris doctor degree and membership in a state bar (typically the state in which the corporation operates). Experience up to ten years in handling cases involving corporate law is required.

Corporate Lawyer salary: $177,799

Law School Professor

Law Professors are legal professionals who teach in the academy. They perform advisory roles and conduct lectures in some of the ABA-accredited law schools in the country and beyond. The work of law professors combines research-based coursework, writing, and teaching. Proper instructions encourage critical thinking among students while developing their persuasive temperament in delivering arguments. They may issue and grade homework, assign reading, and deliver presentations to the class. Law school professors are lawyers licensed to practice law within the state where they teach. To be a law professor, a doctorate in Law is required. To enter academia, you must be a seasoned legal professional or at least have experience within the educational system.

Law School Professor salary: $135,721

Judges, Magistrate Judge, Magistrate

Judges, Magistrates Judges, and Magistrates preside over court proceedings in federal, state, and local courts. Judges are magistrates that work with criminal and corporate law. Magistrates, on the other hand, preside over cases involving municipal law, pre-trial hearings, small claims cases, and misdemeanor trials. They deal with different circumstances, but they have similar duties. Primarily, they evaluate arguments and motions by opposing parties to see whether or not the case should proceed to trial. Because they make legal decisions based on the evidence presented, they must study case precedents, be aware of changes in these precedents, review facts related to the case on hand and review other legal documents brought before them. Judges, magistrates judges, and magistrates decide cases by taking into account the facts of the case and the type of law that is relevant to it.

The position must be filled by practicing lawyers who either prosecute or defend a case. Depending on the jurisdiction, they are either appointed or elected to the position by popular vote. Judges who want a job in higher courts are either elected or appointed by governors or presidents.

Judges and magistrates salary: $133,920

Patent Lawyer

A Patent Lawyer is responsible for the company’s existing patents as well as its patent applications. They make sure that they adhere to standard protocols and patents are defended against infringements. Patent lawyers are tasked to analyze all current company products to ensure that they do not infringe upon existing patents. They remain relevant as marketability of innovative products remains in the rise, especially in the technology-driven industries. For one to be a patent lawyer, you must have a law degree and must have passed the bar examinations in the state where the company is located. Companies look for lawyers that are educated in specific industries like engineering or technology related fields. Among the top earners in the area have prior experience in intellectual property law or has an academic background in the sciences.

Patent Attorney salary: $130,00

Senior Attorney

A Senior Attorney is the person who manages and supervises a team of lawyers. He is may either be a partner in a firm or a high-level specialist retained by a law firm of sizable employees. The senior attorney directs the preparations of the team in representing a client. They also represent the team when meeting with the legal representatives from the adversarial side of a case. In court, the senior attorney takes the lead in presenting his or her team’s information and arguments. You must possess a law degree from an accredited university law school. Additionally, you must be a member in good standing of the bar association or accrediting organization with jurisdiction in the area.

Senior Attorney salary: $127, 647

Lawyer

Lawyers are legal professionals who have been admitted to the bar and are therefore licensed to practice law. They apply their knowledge of the law in specific situations and advise their clients regarding their legal rights and responsibilities. Lawyers are welcome to specialize in various areas of law, such as contracts, human rights, international trade, and criminal law. To qualify as a lawyer, you must complete an undergraduate degree, and obtain a law degree. To pursue a legal practice, you must pass the bar examinations administered by the state where you choose to practice.

Lawyer salary: $120,910

Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicator, Hearing Officers

Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicator, Hearing Officers oversee legal procedures for local, state, and federal offices and courtrooms. They generally work for the government and are responsible for deciding claims for benefits that it offers. Their responsibilities may also include reviewing evidence, documentation, and determining rulings. In preparing for hearings and determining conclusions, they do legal research, analyze policies, laws, precedent, decisions, and regulations. Administrative law judge, adjudicator, or hearing officer typically have a master’s degree, and some have obtained a Ph.D. or  M.D. You must also pass the U.S. Office of Personnel Management exam, professional orientation to qualify for employment in the field.

Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicator, Hearing Officers salary: $117,190

Intellectual Property Lawyer

Intellectual Property Lawyers are licensed legal professionals who deal with issues related to patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. Popularly called as IP lawyers, they act as firm advocates for their client’s right and obligations when it comes to intellectual property. They value the intellectual creation of all forms and swear to protect and preserve any products under their care. To be an intellectual property lawyer, you must have completed your law degree as well as pass the state’s bar examination. To represent a client before the U.S.  Patent Office, the attorney must give the Patent Bar Examination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Intellectual Property lawyer salary:  $100,553

Trial Lawyer

Trial Lawyers are those that regularly represent a party in a trial. They argue for their client’s case and study the circumstances by examining all the necessary evidence. In addition to this, they also research laws and analyze relevant judicial decisions to strengthen their client’s case. All lawyers must be admitted to the American Bar Association to practice law. Passing the LSAT as well as the bar examinations is essential. Before an aspiring trial lawyer takes the bar examination, he or she must have earned a law degree from an accredited school. After that, a trial lawyer needs to figure out what bar examination they have to take. Majority of the states use the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). Some states use the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). States require trial lawyers to re-apply when practicing law in another state.

Trial lawyer salary: $99,424

Government Attorney

Government Attorneys work within specialized areas of law. They represent the interest of local, state, or federal government bodies in legal proceedings. Moreover, they may be associated with those who assist in creating or enforcing legislation and regulations in a given jurisdiction. Government lawyers may also serve as aides who help craft legislation and regulations. To gain employment as a government attorney, standard qualifications are necessary. Most people in this position have prior work experience with the government or educational background in public policy.

Government Attorney salary: $87,872

Employment and Labor Lawyer

Employment and Labor Lawyers help clients with labor issues. This may include wages, pension, and benefits, unlawful termination, workplace safety and injury, family leave, unions, labor laws and regulations, sexual harassment, discrimination in the workplace. Specializing in Labor Law, they are equipped with the legal expertise to address any issue that may affect their client. They may represent the employer, the employee, or a group of employees, job applicants, unions, interest groups, and businesses. Among the possible actions is defending or filing a suit against other parties impinging on their rights. After getting a Bachelor’s degree, you must get a law degree and take the bar examinations. Once you pass the bar examinations and is licensed to practice law, you may proceed to specialize in Labor law.

Employment and Labor Lawyer salary: $86,416

Family Law Lawyer

A Family Law Lawyer is a professional hired to guide clients on custody, divorce, and adoption. They help clients achieve an optimal resolution through a settlement processor to represent them in court before a family court judge. Within Family Law, you can further specialize as a Divorce Lawyer, Domestic Abuse Lawyer, or Child Support Lawyer. To work as a family lawyer, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree, as well as three years of legal education. In addition to a J.D. degree, you must secure a state licensing before your legal practice.

Family Law Lawyer salary: $80,882

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal Defense Lawyers represent their clients in court. They argue their client’s case in front of a judge, prosecutors, and jury. As defense lawyers, they emphasize the Constitutional right of the accused to be presumed innocent unless the contrary is proved. Criminal lawyers are willing to settle their case in and out of court to ensure a favorable result for their client. A criminal defense lawyer must hold a juris doctor degree and must have been admitted to the Bar. Usually, employers prefer those who graduated from an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school. Experience in criminal law is always given preference. While in law school, invest in internships or volunteer positions in public defenders or prosecutor’s office to make a good impression.

Criminal Defense Lawyer salary: $80,144

Mediator

Mediators are practicing lawyers and are sometimes former or aspiring judges. They help resolve conflicts between disputing parties through negotiation and dialogue, which is done outside out of court. To lessen conflict, a private, confidential hearing which is less formal than a court trial. Mediators ensure that negotiation is neutral and unbiased; they act as a third party, not representing any side of the dispute. A mediator must be an attorney, a former or aspiring judge. Some states require that a mediator undertake a course in mediation and confidentiality agreement.

Mediator salary: $79,082

Litigation Support Supervisor

Litigation Support Supervisor generally provides day-to-day supervision and guidance to the litigation support staff. They manage and review litigation, as well as the support team members, processes, and policies involved in the litigation proceedings. Litigation support supervisor primarily oversees quality control and completion of all documents necessary for litigation. To get employment as a litigation support supervisor, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. This is one of the few legal profession that does not require a law degree or admission to the Bar.

Litigation Support Supervisor salary: $77,114

Associate Attorney

Associate Attorneys are responsible for completing legal tasks, including drafting of contracts, filing cases into the court dockets, and apprising clients with the status of the case. They conduct legal research for cases, attend court proceedings, and provide accurate analysis and advice on future legal actions. When necessary, they complete and deliver essential documents to courts as needed. Like the other attorneys, they also give legal advice to their clients. As a crucial part of their role as lawyers, associate attorneys are expected to respect confidentiality agreements. A law degree and license to practice is a requirement for this position.

Associate Attorney salary: $72,204

Immigration Lawyer

An Immigration Lawyer assists clients who wish to immigrate to another country for work and residency. They present cases in court representing the local, state, or federal government. They assist with navigating through the complex legal requirements for applications for citizenship and work visas of non-residents. An immigration lawyer must possess a degree from an accredited law school, and have passed the bar examinations of the state of employment.

Immigration Lawyer salary: $66, 432

Litigation Support Specialist

Litigation Support Specialist tasks involve collecting and storing information related to litigation, including electronic records and hard copies. They also create, maintain, and update document databases and workflow for documentation. As a specialist within the law firm, they are vital in ensuring data security, especially from a security breach. You can secure employment as a litigation support specialist with just a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Litigation Support Specialist salary: $61,500

 Legal Administrator

A Legal Administrator is someone who works in a law office, ensuring that all operations run smoothly. They are in charge of accounting duties at the firm, such as forecasting, budgeting, and variance analysis. Typically, legal administrators must track the law office’s expenditures, which includes carrying out of billing and collections as well as reporting taxes. This job also involves supervising a team, so duties such as hiring/carrying out evaluations and discipline are necessary. Legal administrators are holders of bachelor’s degree in business administration or finance. This is a specialty area, so technical skills are an essential requirement.

Legal Administrator salary: $60,150

Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediator

An Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediator is a legal professional who uses a collection of processes referred to as alternative dispute resolution. A mediator is one who helps people settle disputes without going through the court system. Requirements to become an alternative dispute resolution mediators vary by state and by the industry. Some states require experienced lawyers. However, many do not even stipulate that one has to have a law degree. To become a mediator, attend training or obtain relevant experience. Education, licensing, and certification requirements vary.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediator salary:  $55,125

Litigation Paralegal

A Litigation Paralegal has several essential duties in the litigation process. They handle documents, and on a day-to-day basis, they must organize, coordinate, and file necessary documents for the attorney to access. Litigation paralegals handle several legal tasks under the supervision of attorneys. They prepare materials needed to present to the court; they conduct research and prepare for depositions. The educational requirements to become a paralegal vary. They may gain their experience from on-the-job training and advance professionally over time. However, to be a litigation paralegal, the legal community deems it necessary to obtain a paralegal associate’s degree or paralegal certification.

Litigation paralegal salary: $54,272

Real Estate Paralegal

Real Estate Paralegals prepare the documentation necessary in any case, including real estate purchases or sale closings. Their task may include reviewing amendments, leases, subleases, or purchase assignments. They work with lawyers to complete pending purchase agreements and create closing checklists for all real estate sales. A real estate paralegal must be prepared for the real estate career world. The job often requires experience as a paralegal along with associate’s or bachelor’s degree, as well as a certificate.

Real Estate Paralegal salary: $50,265

Court Reporter

A Court Reporter is an officer of the court who create written transcripts to record spoken communications within a court proceeding. These transcripts are crucial as they serve as the records for all the aspects of the trial. To become a court reporter, attend a technical school or vocational training geared specifically to this career.

Federal court reporters must at least possess four years of experience as a reporter or as a court reporter or combination thereof. You have to pass the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR). There is a preference for applicants who possess Realtime certification from the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) or a software or hardware used to produce real-time transcripts in the courtroom.

Court reporter salary: $50,096

Members of Congress

Members of Congress are elected officials of the government whose duties include representation, legislation, constituent service, and educations. They also engage in political and electoral activities. To be a member of Congress, you must be elected by their given electoral college. The Constitution requires that a US Senator must be 30 years of age, citizens of the United States for at least nine years, and residents of the states from which they are elected.

On the other hand, it is provided that members of the House of Representatives must be at least 25, citizens for seven years, and residents of the states which send them to Congress. States may set additional requirements for election to Congress, but the constitution gives each house the power to determine the qualification of its members.

Members of Congress salary: $50,000

Legal Secretary

Legal Secretaries perform secretarial tasks that are specific to the field of law. Their jobs involve preparing legal documents, such as summonses, motions, and subpoenas. Apart from regular secretarial duties like answering phone calls and email, filing, creating, and maintaining the schedule of lawyers, they also conduct legal research. Legal secretaries typically have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the legal field. Some employers, however, will accept candidates with significant prior experience in place of a degree.

Legal Secretary salary: $42,065

Immigration Paralegal

Immigration Paralegals are those who work for government agencies or for firms whose legal focus is on immigration law. They work with immigration attorneys to help clients in citizenship or deportation proceedings. Immigration paralegals are key personnel in maintaining the sanctity of U.S. citizenship. To become an immigration paralegal, you need to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. You may also want to learn about immigration law to gain a head start into this specialty.

Immigration Paralegal salary: $49,134

Paralegal

Paralegals work at the forefront of affordable assistance both for their employers and the public. They help create equitable access to legal aid and perform legal support services to attorneys. Primarily, they provide professional service by creating legal documents as well as filing them in court. Paralegals also accompany lawyers to see clients and or to go to court. The job requires an associate’s degree or certificate in paralegal studies. Some employers require that you have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field as well as previous experience in working as a paralegal.

Paralegal salary: $45,841

Legal Administrative Assistant

A Legal Administrative Assistant provides support to lawyers and paralegals through conducting research, filing cases, handling correspondence, and other legal duties. They need to have a solid knowledge of various legal principles and terms. As part of the administrative department, they maintain a high level of confidentiality in all matters of the case. Legal administrative assistants are essential in ensuring a quick turnaround, especially in sensitive situations. To be a Legal administrative assistant, you must have an associate’s degree in business or related field.

Legal Administrative Assistant salary: $48,764

10 Unique Law Careers

The legal career is vast. Legal professionals may opt to go into non-traditional jobs that are for law-trained professionals. Here are the top 10 unique legal careers.

Associate Director Of A Bar Review Corporation

Passing the bar examinations is a requisite to practice law. Because the bar exams is an ordeal, bar review corporations exist to help law students hurdle the Bar. Associate directors of bar review corporations is a non-traditional job for someone who is trained in the legal profession. The duties of this career involve sales promotion, management, and administration. To be an associate director of a bar review corporation, you must at least have a law degree. Someone who is self-motivated and someone with excellent interpersonal skills is also preferred. One of the leading bar review centers in the U.S. pays their directors an average annual salary of $138,000.

Law Professor

In the study of law, Law Professors are active players. If you have a passion for both the law and teaching, then you should consider being a law professor. Even though this position is not a traditional law career, it is one of the highest paid with an annual salary of $135,721. Because the field is hyper-competitive, you should start building your portfolio.

Healthcare Marketing Director (Private Healthcare provider)

Employers prefer Healthcare Marketing Directors to be holders of a law degree. Their duties require legal knowledge, knowledge of legal terminologies. Since they create, implement plans for hospitals and medical facilities, they must behave sufficient understanding of the applicable laws. Employers also require banking experience. Background in public finance, bank trust experience, and marketing experience is helpful in this job. Annually, healthcare marketing directors earn $86,141.

Associate Publisher (Legal Monthly Newspaper)

An Associate Publisher works in a legal monthly newspaper or law journals. They are responsible for promotions, advertising, selection of editorial features, and legal writings. For this position, familiarity with law firm practices, conference and corporate sales are helpful. The difference between a traditional associate publisher and an associate publisher in a legal monthly newspaper is the subject of focus. An associate publisher in a legal monthly paper focuses on editing and proofreading legal publications. In applying for this job, employers prefer someone who has a legitimate network. On average, the annual pay of an associate publisher is $75, 536.

Legal Recruiter

Legal Recruiters are human resource personnel working within the justice system. These professionals help other legal professionals land a job. They also help lawyers succeed in a challenging market. Your job is to connect professionals and employers. Legal recruiters connect with possible clients and endorse them to law firms. On average, a legal recruiting manager earns an annual salary of $71,041.

Law Firm Administrator

A Law Firm Administrator offers administrative support in a law office. They manage schedules and coordinate appointments and meetings with clients and various stakeholders. For this position, you assist attorneys and paralegals by preparing reports and keeping track of legal correspondence. You make sure to supervise the support staff and maintain legal management systems. Law firm administrator earns an average annual salary of $67,707.

Law Librarian

Law Librarians are people who are generally fascinated with the literary aspect of the law, the organization of the legal code and documentation. With their expertise, they usually work with lawyers, law clerks, paralegals, and other legal and business professionals. They find employment in various institutions such as a law firm, law library, court, a government organization, or even in a corporate setting. Master’s in Library and Information Science degree holders is given preference in a highly technical profession. Law librarians are tasked to analyze, organize, and research information needed by their employer. In a year, a Law Librarian can earn an average of $60,547.

Civil Rights Investigator

If social work appeals to you, you might want to become a Civil Rights Investigator. A civil rights investigator applies the law to investigate reported discrimination cases against individuals. They investigate charges filed by applicants for state employment. Their duties include pre-investigative activities, investigative planning, technical report writing, dispute resolution, and other related tasks. Typically employed by the government, they have an average annual pay of $53,854.

Paralegal Instructor

A Paralegal Instructor is a professional who has gained high proficiency and expertise in paralegal work. They train student paralegals to become competent and certified in paralegal work. Lawyers are welcome to venture into the field of paralegal instructor. For this job, the duties involve typical duties of professors; these include teaching courses, grade papers, and develop course programs. Unlike a law professor, a paralegal instructor is not required to publish in law journals. They can teach at a community college and earn an average annual pay of $49,879.

Law School Career Counselor

Any ethical school offer career counselors to guide students navigate within their field of choice. Law schools are no exception. Law School Career Counselors give students direction and help them prepare to land a job after they graduate from law school. Their role is not limited to these. They also administer personality, interest, and aptitude tests. A master’s in Counseling or a related field is required for this position. They must also have been engaged in relevant licensing and documented time in supervised practice. To succeed in this position, a knack for researching information about clients is essential. In a year, a law school career counselor earns an average of $43, 389.   

Top Travel Law Careers

Corporate Lawyer

Corporate Lawyers are specialized lawyers that primarily take on legal cases involving corporate law. Many large corporations have officers across the country, as well as internationally. Due to the broad scope of the business, you are required to travel when you handle casework. To embark on this career, you must obtain a law degree and be admitted to the bar. The average annual salary of corporate lawyers is reported at $169,604.

Judge

Judges are lawyers that are elected or appointed to their positions. They oversee legal proceedings. The conduct hearings, analyze evidence, decide cases, and they also make legal opinions. Most of the work is conducted in the court of their offices. However, they often travel to courthouses across their respective state or country to conduct trials and hearings. To become a judge, you must first be an experienced practicing lawyer. You must also have the support of politicians and be elected or appointed to the position. On average, a judge may earn $145,605 per year. However, judicial compensation may differ based on the judge’s jurisdiction.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer is attorneys who argue the case of their client in front of a judge, jury, and or prosecutors. They must be licensed to practice law and may be required to travel to make appearances in various courts where they have cases. They may represent clients in federal courts. Their average annual pay is $80, 116.

International Trade Lawyer

International Trade Lawyers are those attorneys who focus on international trade. They are required to travel domestically and internationally as part of their scope of work. To become an international trade lawyer, you must be a qualified lawyer. Your legal focus must be on areas on import, export laws, customs law, and trade and compliance regulations. The average pay of international trade lawyers is $79,160 a year.

International Human Rights Lawyer

International Human Rights Lawyers are attorneys who specialize in the area of Human Rights Law. They focus on protecting the rights and freedoms of people, both nationally and internationally. They may work in a firm, government agency such as the United Nations. This career is highly international. Because of the nature of their job, human rights attorneys are often required to travel both domestically and internationally to work on cases. To be a human rights lawyer, you must first earn a law degree and pass the bar examinations. It is also recommended to gain experience within a law firm or government agency during your studies and secure an annual salary of $69,785.

Paralegal

A Paralegal is someone who provides support to lawyers. Their work involves legal research, maintaining casework, organizing files, drafting legal documents. Paralegals occasionally travel for legal analysis or in preparation for their trials. An associate degree or certificate in paralegal studies is needed if you want to be a paralegal. Some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Paralegals receive an average annual salary of $50,410.

Court Reporter

A Court Reporter is someone who prepares transcripts of legal proceedings. They are highly trained legal professionals who are capable of converting spoken words into stenographic notes for archival use. Their role involves traveling to different court locations, whether in-state or nationally. To become a court reporter, you must have the experience as a freelance reporter or a court reporter. Receiving a certification from the NCRA, and a certificate of merit from the National Shorthand Reporters Association is preferred. The average yearly salary for court reporters is reported at $50,096.

What does Juris Doctor or J.D. degree entail?

A Juris Doctor or J.D. degree is the typical law degree that law students pursue once they enter law school. In the United States, a J.D. degree is considered the highest education that is made available for students of law and in the legal profession. Additionally, it is a professional degree which will prepare you for the State Bar Examination. Passing the Bar is the key to practicing law in your state. You can obtain the degree by enrolling in any of the American Bar Association (ABA) accredited institutions. Those who want to earn the degree must be a holder of an undergraduate diploma. Of course, any degree related to the law will give you, and once you begin law school.

Most law students take Political Science or Business-related and Social Science majors in college. These courses encourage critical thinking and rational thought. They will not only prepare you for the rigors of the profession, but they will also place you at an advantage. Having a solid foundational knowledge and skills involved in the complexities of social science is necessary for your journey in law. Since lawyers need to be analytical and rational decision-makers, having an excellent research and communication background will help you succeed in your legal practice.

Once you graduate from college and take the LSAT, you are now eligible to apply to the law school of your choice. The Juris Doctor degree program will vary from one Law school to another. They may differ in the length and courses available. However, the ABA has set standard guidelines that legal institutions are required to comply with. Average time of completion is set to three years of full-time study, while part-time students may require longer completion time. After earning a J.D. degree, you will be qualified to take the state bar, and ultimately, obtain your license to practice law. 

The Juris Doctor degree exposes law students to holistic coursework, allowing them to become well-rounded legal professionals. More importantly, students develop a strong and in-depth understanding of the United States legal system, laws, and legal orders. General courses are integrated into the curriculum, but will heavily focus on core courses. Among the basic courses under the J.D. degree are the following:

  • Civil Procedures
  • Criminal Procedures
  • Constitutional Laws
  • Contract Law
  • Agency, Trust and Partnership
  • Torts
  • Taxation
  • Courtroom Procedures
  • Criminal Law
  • Civil Law
  • Property and Real Estate Law
  • Civil Law
  • Public Law
  • International Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Business Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Law students are also expected to complete an internship or practicum. Educational institutions, especially law schools, emphasize the need for on-the-job training. Aside from exposing students to the realities of their chosen profession, they also gain relevant insight as to how they can better perform once they graduate. Internship requirements will give them practical hands-on experiences, those that are not available within the four corners of the classroom. Also, law students gain valuable connections during this period. These connections can lead to exclusive career opportunities that will jumpstart your career in the legal field.

How much will a Law Degree cost me?

Earning a J.D. degree and passing the Bar Exam is a dream for many. This would mean that they will become an Attorney, the coveted title that will set them apart from the rest. As a Lawyer and a member of the Bar, you are seen as a symbol of high ethical and moral standards. People give you respect as you embody the legal system. You exercise candor, while only taking calculated risks, especially at work. Once you land your first job, you will typically receive an average annual salary of $151,026. While the 6-digit income might come as a great motivator, we must first discuss the cost of legal education.

The cost of law school, including tuition, board, and lodging, and other fees is expensive, more so in top-ranked institutions. In the U.S., there are public and private Law schools that offer the same Juris Doctor (J.D.) curriculum. According to the data pooled by the US News, the national average annual tuition and other fees at a private law school are $49,095. This data is taken from the 2018-2019 academic year. This rate is $8,400 higher when compared to the average annual out-of-state tuition for public law schools. Whereas, when compared to the in-state tuition and fees, private law schools cost $21,500 more.

These data is overwhelming, yes, but this is the reality of venturing into Law school. It is wise that you begin researching and comparing law schools. You will learn that tuition may vary from one law school to another. When choosing what school to enroll in, you must consider the passing rate or performance of their Law graduates in the last three years. External factors such as starting salaries, employment rate, and the current job statistics in the legal profession are things to consider as well.

Fortunately, there are various student loan programs which you can avail to finance your legal education. With lenient repayment plans and generous grace period, you can finish law school with minimal financial damage and escape insurmountable debt.

What should I prepare for Law School to get a Law Degree?

When choosing a law school, it is essential that you consider everything. Keep in mind the specific field of study you want to specialize in as well as the career prospect in that field. Most importantly, consider your desire and eagerness to finish the degree because Law school is tough. Among the many things to prioritize, here are the two most essential factors in your admission:

  • Your undergraduate performance

The ultimate determiner as to what law school you can get in is your undergraduate performance. This is also the first step in evaluating your chances of being admitted to your chosen Law school. Make an honest evaluation of your records and begin there. Limit your application to places where you can qualify. You have to remember that this is the most critical criteria in law school admission. To ascertain that you get admitted to your dream law school, you need to prepare as soon as you enter high school.

While in High School, take courses that will hone and develop your writing skills. Writing is a critical skill in the legal profession. Make sure that you get well-rounded course credits in high school, which will also prepare you for your college education. Enroll in classes that emphasize research and writing, especially persuasive and critical essay. As a law student and later on, as a legal professional, your work will revolve on communication. It is best that you invest in courses and activities that will boost your confidence in communicating with others. Also, consider enrolling in sociology, political science human behavior, history, and psychology, as well as science and math. An impressive academic record will always go a long way.

  • LSAT score

Aside from your undergraduate point average or GPA, your Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score can make or break your admission to any law school. Admission committees rely heavily on an applicant’s LSAT school. However, your LSAT score is only a part of the first of the two-step process in law school admission committees follow.

Initially, the committee will evaluate both your LSAT score and GPA. The assessment will be based on the schools targeted median range of first-year students. The median range can go anywhere between the 25th and 75th percentile, depending on the school. To check your chances of getting into a given law school, you can verify through the schools’ ABA Standard 509 Information Report or the school’s “509.” The school’s 509 will reveal the specifically targeted range of the law school. You can quickly check this information as it is available through the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions. Of course, you can always Google the name of the law school’s 509.

Although your LSAT scores are not entirely decisive of your law school admission, getting a score above the 75th percentile will boost your chances. After the committee verifies your records, you will then be placed under a category. There are three categories in total – presumptive admit; presumptive deny, and everybody else.

The second step of the two-step category will determine your fate. In this critical step, the law school admission committee typically reviews each applicant. Generally, those who are categorized under the presumptive admit will get in. Consequently, those who get presumptive deny will be usually denied admission. However, these categories will work in reverse when a piece of compelling information regarding an applicant is made known to the committee. Everybody else’s not belonging in either group lies in the middle. This is where the committee deliberates the application of each aspiring Law student.

Why specialize in Law School?

Specialization, much like in undergraduate studies, is available in Law school. Choosing a concentration or specialization in Law school is optional. The specializations include Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Environmental and Natural Resources, Health Care Law, Immigration Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Taxation Law. The number of specialized classes will depend on your law school. Additional units may be required for you to take and complete to earn the concentration. These upper-level classes include experiential learning opportunities for you to comply with fully. While some schools do not impose additional courses, but only recommend them. In both cases, however, an academic advisor will be available at any time. When you fully comply with the educational standard set for the said specialization, you will receive a special notation.

Your specialization will be reflected on both of your diploma, transcript, or you will get recognition during graduation. These factors will all depend on your law school’s academic standards. This is only one of the benefits of having a concentration. Choosing to concentrate in a specific area of Law will hone your skills as well as your legal knowledge in said area. Engage in the field of the law that you enjoy and is passionate about. Gain industry-specific legal expertise and experience to attract as many law firms as possible. Having a specialization will give you a competitive advantage among the rest of your peers. The legal market is competitive; you might as well invest in a specialty area to begin strategizing your career. Most importantly, you will receive unique employment opportunities both in and out of law school.

When you specialize, you are free to go deeper into a subject. You will also have direct access to various innovation and development in the area. Law school specialization will set the stage towards becoming an authority in your field of choice.

If you are currently undecided with regards to a specific legal concentration, you will have three years in law school to explore your options. Pay attention to your classes and the pertinent extracurricular activities that will encourage you to move forward with the specialty. You will have plenty of chances to discover your specialization. Your law school will hold legal clinics or legal aid programs which will prove useful during your decision-making process. However, if you are not yet decided on declaring a major, you are not required to choose a concentration.

Psychology Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

Psychology is a broad degree that involves the study of the human mind and how it behaves. It is aimed at understanding and resolving some of the most complex problems that humans face in their daily lives. By exploring into the relationships and interactions, psychologists are able to discover new ways for people to overcome issues and improve how they live in an increasingly challenging world.

Professions related to Psychology are as diverse as human behaviors, varying from clinical researchers and counselors to criminal profilers. A degree in Psychology offers an excellent foundation and introduction to the fundamental discoveries of human life, such as how our brains or mind interact and behave.

In exploring human behavior, studying how people think and communicate, and identifying how people learn, psychologists utilize a specific set of methods. They conduct research on small or large groups, target populations, and individual clients. They perform lab experiments, evaluate school examinations for learning disabilities, and assess clients on-site. They assist clients suffering from trauma, substance abuse problems or mental health problems. The majority of research psychologists work in academic institutions or government sectors. Psychologists may pursue a specific concentration that provides fulfillment in their work depending on their professional goals.

Psychologists are employed in different fields and possess many applicable skills in other industries. They are categorized into two basic types: practitioners and researchers. Practitioners work with clients who experience numerous difficulties including addiction, depression, or anxiety. Their primary objective is to remove emotional and mental obstacles that hinder them from living their best version of themselves. Most practitioners have a graduate degree, but bachelor’s degree holders land practitioner jobs as well. On the other hand, research psychologists rely on scientific methods to conduct research, gather data, evaluate results and create findings. Doctorate degree holders are best suited for professions involving research Psychology.

Psychology as a Degree

Psychology degrees are available in all levels and prepares students for numerous career opportunities. Students who want to earn a degree in Psychology must carefully choose what they want to learn and gain from their education in order to align with their academic and professional goals.

Becoming a professional psychologist requires educational training and background. It can take up to ten years to finish this degree, pick a specialization, earn certifications, and gain enough clinical experience to establish a successful practice in this field.

Psychology students may select an area of studies that is a sub-field of the discipline such as developmental Psychology, mental health, and clinical Psychology. Students have the opportunity to participate in practicum or clinical hours and independent research or capstone projects related to a specific area of study in Psychology.

Prerequisites

Does the human mind fascinate you? Are you interested to explore how we relate to one another? A Psychology degree may be the best option for you!

High school graduates can prepare and earn for a Psychology degree program by enrolling in courses related to the field such as Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, and other sciences.

Psychology students who are interested in an associate degree program acquire the basic skills pertaining to patient care, clinical procedure, patient communication, diagnostic abilities, and general Psychology. The credits earned with a Psychology associate degree can be utilized toward an advanced study by taking a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or eventually a Ph.D. degree in Psychology.

Depending on the level of education completed, Psychology graduates land in entry-level career opportunities or higher job positions. You may also pursue advanced studies. Students are typically required to take clinical practicum courses before completing their Psychology degree program.

Types of Psychology Degree

Associate Degree

An associate degree is an undergraduate-level degree that typically takes two years to complete and is offered at community colleges or career institutions. It is usually the first step towards earning a bachelor’s degree and provides foundational knowledge in Psychology before pursuing more advanced studies.

While an associate degree does not provide much career opportunities compared to the bachelor’s degree, it provides an essential overview of basic principles and methodologies of Psychology and the credits earned can be transferred to a four-year program. Working as a psychiatric technician or rehabilitation work is one of the few possibilities with an associate degree in Psychology.

Psychology associate degree includes the following courses:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Developmental Psychology

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree provides undergraduate-level studies that typically takes four years to complete. Most Psychology degree programs require students to complete a set of coursework such as core Psychology classes, Psychology electives, and concentration courses to strengthen and develop students’ analytical thinking, critical thinking, organizational and communication capabilities.

Bachelor’s degree students gain research experience and enhance their abilities to analyze data and pieces of information. Aside from the minor subjects such as mathematics, sciences, and sociology, a bachelor’s degree program includes common courses such as:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Biology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • History of Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Statistics
  • Social Psychology

Bachelor of Science vs. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

There are two types of bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). Both degree programs provide the basic concepts of Psychology before exploring different branches of the field.

A Bachelor of Science in Psychology emphasizes the scientific aspect of the field, such as developmental or cognitive Psychology, neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, clinical Psychology, as well as the neuro-biological processes and the mechanics of the human brain.

A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program tackles foundational knowledge in emotion, cognition and analytical reasoning. Statistics are required for both degree programs. Students develop their skills in critical thinking, technical writing, and research.

There are more job opportunities in Psychology for those who earned a master’s degree or a doctorate degree. However, a bachelor’s degree is a solid stepping stone for further graduate studies in the field. Students who have this degree can establish careers in marketing, teaching, sales, and childcare.

Master’s Degree

Similar to the bachelor’s degree, students can earn either the Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology. It usually takes two to three years beyond the bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree. Both degree programs are offered online, exploring into several paths based on the students’ interest and academic goals. The Master of Arts is a more holistic approach as a liberal arts degree and provides training and learning for students to become licensed practitioners or counselors. The Master of Science is more on the scientific approach and students who choose this category go on to proceed with Ph.D. programs.

Students who complete a master’s degree have more career opportunities. They can find job prospects in government sectors, mental health services, and business industries. Some of them are employed in colleges and universities, with limited and highly competitive opportunities.

Graduate students usually take the following common courses:

  • Field Placement Course
  • Neurobiology of Drug Addiction
  • Thesis
  • Graduate Research Methods and Academic Writing

Doctoral Degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.)

A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) is a doctoral-level of study that can be earned in five to seven years of graduate study. This degree program takes a more research-oriented approach, excluding applied training and theoretical training.

There are several concentration areas to choose from. Depending on the students’ choice, the specialization they will take must be aligned with their professional goals and aspirations. If you are interested in psychotherapy or establishing your own private practice, a Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology is a suitable choice for you!

On the other hand, if you are interested in working in research fields or teaching, a Ph.D. in experimental Psychology, social Psychology or developmental Psychology are better choices for you.

  • Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) deals with a more extensive approach to the professional practice of Psychology. Those who graduated with a Psy.D. in counseling Psychology and pass the mandatory licensure examinations are eligible to diagnose and provide treatment for people with mental health disorders, provide psychotherapy and perform psychological examinations.

Like the Ph.D. in Psychology, this degree can be completed in four to seven years of graduate study. Students undergo extensive training in relevant topics including performing psychological assessments, conducting clinical examinations and interventions and diagnosing mental illness.

Both doctoral degrees have a curriculum that is integrated with a supervised practicum and internship in a clinic setting. Internships are a full-time position that must be completed in one year, while the practicum involves part-time work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Once students have completed their practicum and internship hours along with the required coursework, they can review and take the national and state licensing examinations.

Psychology Specializations

Upon choosing a college or university for a degree in Psychology, you must also consider the concentrations related to the Psychology degree programs that are available. The right specialization can help you establish in a specific field after earning your degree.

  • Quantitative and Measurement Psychology

Quantitative Psychology is a vast field that generally works with the study of Psychology dealing with statistics, researching, the mathematics of psychological processes and data analysis. Psychologists under this field are usually holders of a doctoral degree, working as program analysts and statistics or psychological measurement.

  • Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral Psychology deals with the study of how our mind and behavior interact. This study of Psychology provides an understanding of why humans act, behave, feel and think the way they do. Moreover, this field utilizes a scientific and objective approach in dealing with stimulus-response behaviors.

  • Sports Psychology

Sports Psychology deals with the study of the physical and psychological benefits of an active lifestyle and explores how mental factors affect the performance of an individual. This field revolves working with athletes and Olympians to overcome mental hurdles and improve performance through specific techniques.

  • Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology primarily deals with the assessment and treatment of mental illness and other known abnormal psychiatric problems of the mind. This area of study is suitable for people who are comfortable working hands-on and with different patients. It is a specialization offered in graduate studies with the opportunity to train in clinics. In addition, plenty of fieldwork, clinical hours, practicum hours, counseling centers or even hospital work is mandatory for this area of Psychology.

  • Social-Personality Psychology

Social-personality Psychology revolves primarily in identifying social beliefs, attitudes, and norms that influence a wide variety of interpersonal behaviors. Psychologists under this concentration are usually found in academic institutions, testing centers, and even advertising agencies. Consulting firms and market research companies are also one of the workplace settings for this type of specialization.

  • Cognitive and Perceptual Psychology

Cognitive and perceptual Psychology is all about human thinking, decision-making, memory, perception, and judgment. It studies how people gain knowledge, communicate or comprehend and how the human mind copes with the realities of life. A Ph.D. degree is required to become cognitive and perceptual psychologists. Earning a license is optional; however, it is a plus especially if you are working in the clinical profession or consulting firm.

  • NeuroPsychology

NeuroPsychology is a critical field of study that aids doctors in understanding how problems in the brain happen and how it reacts and recovers. Neuropsychologists are important for patients undergoing brain surgery and in the recovery stage. They identify and provide medication for brain-related illnesses and injuries and recommend the right type of treatment through the aid of high-end technology.

  • Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology is essential in helping and guiding people to cope with life problems, accepting them to realize their core strengths and giving them an understanding of their psychological well-being. Counseling psychologists are experts at identifying the differences in human behavior and traits.

  • Industrial Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychologists improve the quality of the workplace and increase work productivity within an organization. They use a psychological approach and research techniques to resolve issues in the workplace, ensuring people that they are in a healthy working and social environment. Some of their main responsibilities include creating new work processes, improving company policies and counseling sessions for employees or members of the organization.

  • Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology deals with human psychological development. The human development consists of prenatal, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood and old age. As such, this vast field of Psychology leads to various career opportunities such as school counselor, behavioral therapist and rehabilitation counselor among others. There are many academic institutions that offer a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology.

  • Health Psychology

Health Psychologists study the psychological developments in healthcare together with the social aspects affecting them. The objective of this field is the prevention of physical and psychological sickness and health education. Professionals who work under this field of Psychology are found in hospitals, academic institutions, health care clinics or private companies, specializing in oncology, pain management and women’s health to name a few.

  • Engineering Psychology

Engineering Psychology puts an emphasis on the behavior and capabilities of humans as they relate to the use of technology or operational systems. The work of engineering psychologists typically involves research, software development or product design with the goal of creating products and resources operate more effectively and offer accessibility in the modern world of consumerism.

  • Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychologists must have the awareness and willingness to learn about the cultural and social issues in the community, adaptability, strong observational skills, patience and genuine passion for resolving crimes. They work with lawyers and detectives as well as evaluate the mental capacity of a crime suspect for testimony in the law. A Ph.D. or PsyD degree and a license are required in working as a forensic psychologist. Law enforcement agencies, law firms, correctional facilities, and forensic hospitals are among the common workplace of forensic psychologists.

  • Research Psychology

Research Psychology involves extensive research and application of the scientific approach for exploring how the human brain works as it conveys to the treatment of mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorders. This field of study narrows down and maps out the complexities of the human mind. Research psychologists must possess critical thinking skills and effective communication skills as they advocate for research work.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Psychology Degrees

There are several schools that offer the Psychology program in the traditional format, but many of them now deliver the online equivalent of the degree for students’ and working adults’ convenience.

Online and traditional learning formats are basically the same – the set of coursework, medium of instructions from professors, assignments and paper works. The difference lies in the convenience and flexibility that distance education offers for busy working adults.

Online accelerated degree programs are suitable options for students who want to obtain their degree quickly. Programs vary depending on the school, but it typically involves a transfer of credits from prior education or professional experience, passing examinations that waive certain courses or allowing students to take intensives which help them earn credits in a shorter length of time.

If you’re contemplating attendance in an online Psychology degree program, remember that in-person attendance may still be required to complete specific coursework such as laboratory and clinical requirements. Consider also that a master’s degree or doctoral program in Psychology requires fieldwork for practicums and internships.

Before enrolling to an online program, students should take into consideration the following important factors:

  • Accreditation
  • Licensure
  • Quality of Internships
  • Student Support

Financing Your Psychology Education

There are numerous varieties of financial aid resources available for prospective students seeking degrees in Psychology. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps the government determine the assistance a student is qualified to receive. This aid can be granted in the form of work-study programs, grants or loans. You can opt to apply for loans through private institutions and banks.

You can qualify for scholarships based on academic merit or other specific criteria. They are given either through your school or by external organizations. If you are enrolling in a master’s or doctoral degree, one of the best ways to finance your education is through fellowships. Provided to full-time students, these financial grants are either long-term or short-term and usually comes with additional stipends and benefits.

Ph.D. in Psychology students are most likely to be granted at least partially waived tuition fee to assist in teaching or research assignments. However, waived tuition fee or remissions are not common for Psy.D. students since these programs don’t focus on research and teaching. The good news is that Psy.D. students can still find scholarships, fellowships and work-study programs that can help them cover their educational expenses.

Psychologists also gain eligibility for student loan forgiveness. They can relieve a portion of their student debt through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, provided they meet certain criteria. As such, having direct loans, securing full-time employment in government agencies or tax-exempt non-profit companies, and making at least 120 qualifying payments are required to qualify for the program. Several states have run their own student loan forgiveness programs with a varying set of criteria.

Psychology Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

According to the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities for Psychology-related fields are expected to grow by 19 percent through 2024. This growth is faster than average for all occupations. There is an expected number of over 17,000 social and human service assistant jobs to open up until 2022. The majority of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree, such occupations include community coordinator, mental health technician, advocate and family support worker among others.

Employment of counseling and school psychologists is expected to grow 14% in the next ten years. One of the factors that drive employment growth includes greater demand for psychological services in educational institutions, mental health centers, and hospitals.

School psychologists are important to work with students especially those with learning disabilities, behavioral issues and special needs. Schools rely on them for help in the assessment and counseling of students. School psychologists study how factors both internal and external affect learning. Once they have explored such factors, they work with teachers and administrations in order to find ways and improvements in education. Employment in this occupational title may be limited because it is contingent on local and state budgets.

The demand for clinical or counseling psychologists will continue to increase as people need to ask for help to psychologists to cope up with their mental health problems. In addition, these professionals must provide services and support to the aging population, helping older people deal with the mental, emotional and physical changes. Their services are needed for veterans or the military suffering from war trauma, survivors with related trauma and for clients with autism.

Industrial-organizational Psychology employment growth is projected 6 percent over the next ten years. Companies will continue to ask for the help of industrial-organizational psychologists for employee screening, selection, and retention, improve workplace morale and increase efficiency and productivity in the organization.

Most Common Psychology Occupations

In this list, we have rounded up the 10 most common Psychology occupational titles

Clinical Psychologist

Starting Salary: $56,762 – $84,000/year

Type of Degree: Doctoral Degree

School Counselor

Starting Salary: $33,902/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Psychiatrist

Starting Salary: $219,526/year

Type of Degree: Doctoral Degree

Social Worker

Starting Salary: $53,950/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Neuropsychologist

Starting Salary: $102,627/year

Type of Degree: Doctoral Degree

Forensic Psychologist

Starting Salary: $60,000/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Starting Salary: $78,473/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Engineering Psychologist

Starting Salary: $48,000 – $75,367/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Health Psychologist

Starting Salary: $97,740

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Marriage and Family Therapist

Starting Salary: $49,170/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Other Psychology Career Options

The following occupational titles are just some of the several Psychology-related career opportunities that you might want to explore. Some are directly related to the Psychology field, while others require additional certification or training in different specialty areas.

Are there any of the Psychology-related careers highlighted above spark your interest? Are you still exploring other options that align with your professional goals and aspirations? Depending on your professional aspirations, the type of degree that you earn will make a good impact on your specific career. Some jobs will only require an undergraduate degree, while some require advanced studies.

30 Highest paying Psychology Careers

Psychiatrist

Being a psychiatrist is one of the high-paying jobs in the Psychology field. They are known as medical doctors who treat patients with mental illness or mental health problems. They specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the patients’ mental health issues.

Psychiatrist Salary: $216,090/year

Industrial-Organizational Psychiatrist

The expertise of industrial-organizational psychiatrists is essential in the workplace. They apply principles of Psychology to human resource management and retention, sales, marketing, and administration. Due to the intensive training they undergo, these professionals are primarily responsible for addressing complex issues that affect the overall productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Industrial-Organizational Psychiatrist Salary: $102,530/year

Geriatric Psychologist

Geriatric Psychologists specialize in providing psychological services to elderly people. These professionals help the elderly as they face depression that either comes with aging or a side-effect of invasive medical treatments. As part of their vocation, Geriatric Psychologists must pass the GeroPsychology Examination facilitated by the American Board of GeroPsychology (ABGERO).

Geriatric Psychologist Salary: $99,900/year

Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychologists are the key people who assess, identify and study human behavior, emotion, and cognition. They are responsible for providing diagnosis and treatment to human neuropsychological disorders. The majority of them work with medical doctors, brain surgeons and healthcare professionals in the assessment of patients with mental dysfunctions.

Neuropsychologist Salary: $96,000/year

Military Psychologist

Military Psychologists are Psychology professionals who assess the mental state of active and inactive military personnel. They devote their time to assisting military service personnel cope with war experience, trauma or even stress. They conduct examinations on how to better prepare the military personnel for war or armed combat. Military psychologists have additional mandatory military-based training as part of their professional role.

Military Psychologist Salary: $93,180/year

Engineering Psychologist

Engineering Psychologists are one of the most innovative people in the fields of Psychology. They focus on the examination of human connection and interaction with technological systems and software applications. In addition, engineering psychologists develop innovative workplace process and techniques for employee productivity and efficiency in an organization. The majority of them work in academe, research facilities, government sectors, and development facilities.

Engineering Psychologist Salary: $92,320/year

Counseling Psychologist

Counseling Psychologists are people who analyze how individuals interact and operate as a single unit and within a group. They address the emotional, psychological and social aspects that occur in different stages of human development. They can work with different clients of different ages.

Counseling Psychologist Salary: $81,330/year

Social Psychologist

Social Psychologists analyze human behavior, emotions and apply psychological approach when studying people in various leadership style, social perception, and group behavior. They collect data to examine how a person would interact with certain stimuli in the future. Social Psychologists recognize that individual behavior can be easily impacted by group dynamics.

Social Psychologist Salary: $79,460/year

Genetic Counselor

Genetic Counselors tend to have one of the most highly motivating career choices in the field of Psychology. They put an emphasis on personal connection with their clients and patients. The work they perform mainly revolves around the client’s psychological and emotional well-being. As their patients undergo life-changing decisions, genetic counselors facilitate decision-making or even reduce their patients’ mourning, grief or guilt when they are faced with strong emotions.

Genetic Counselor Salary: $77,480/year

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologists provide assessment and treatment to patients suffering from a variety of behavioral, emotional and mental disorders. They undergo years of intensive study and clinical experience so they can apply their extensive knowledge in treating patients with mental disorders. They conduct tests, interviews and other clinical or psychological procedures to formulate treatment plans.

Clinical Psychologist Salary: $76,040/year

Experimental Psychologist

Experimental Psychologists use the scientific approach in studying human behavior and thoughts. They focus on learning and innovating experimental techniques and methods. The majority of them are engaged in private research as well as public organizations. Experimental psychologists actively partake in research work focusing on a variety of subjects such as mental disorders, personalities and cognitive functions in human beings among others.

Experimental Psychologist Salary: $75,000/year

Corrections Psychologist

Correctional Psychologists play a vital role in providing sound mental health to support inmates through psychological methods. Their role is mainly aimed towards diagnosis, treatment, and supervision of public offenders. They are employed in rehabilitation facilities, giving therapy sessions and counseling for inmates. They have one of the most rewarding vocations in the field of Psychology.

Corrections Psychologist Salary: $69,280/year

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and Community Service Managers are in-demand in various organizations or companies to administer the complexities of working with specific demography. They are considered the movers within the community and society. These professionals can easily communicate effectively from all walks of life such as adults, children, elderly, military personnel, veterans and people with mental health problems. They create a lasting impact on society, working together with non-profit organizations and private companies.

Social and Community Service Manager Salary: $64,100/year

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychologists usually have an intensive educational background, which involves the completion of a doctoral degree. They assess the mental state of people who are exposed to crimes or people who commit delinquency. They analyze and study the criminal mind, with the primary objective of developing data in profiling divergent behavior.

Forensic Psychologist Salary: $61,489/year

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Teachers work with children who have developmental, emotional, physical and mental disabilities. They teach lessons with various subjects to students with disabilities. Special Education Teachers stand as a counselor and emotional support for their students with special needs. They usually meet with the parents of their students for collaboration in order to have a reliable support system for the child.

Special Education Teacher Salary: $58,980/year

School Psychologist

School Psychologists work within the academic system to provide diagnosis and treatment to children with behavior and learning problems. They collaborate with teachers, doctors, school administration as well as the parents to help children overcome emotional, academic, learning and social challenges.

School Psychologist Salary: $58,360/year

Psychology Teacher

Psychology Teachers prepare and teach lessons such as counseling, ethics, history, and social sciences. They educate and mold the new generation of psychologists for an extensive learning experience. These people are working in research and engaging in writing academic papers on behalf of the educational institution or organization they work. The majority of them are connected with the academic system; however, some are involved with research and clinical work.

Psychology Teacher Salary: $57,200/year

Career Counselor

Career Counselors provide help to people in finding their value and understanding their goals and aspirations. They evaluate their clients’ abilities and goals to create a career plan for future success. They also develop their clients’ interpersonal skills as well as the ability to establish a professional network. Career Counselors help their clients overcome behavioral and social challenges to improve their performance and productivity in their careers.

Career Counselor Salary: $55,410/year

Sports Psychologist

Sports Psychologists focus on topics such as athletic performance and motivation. They are interested in the psychological aspects of athletics and sports. Sports psychologists use their expertise and knowledge of Psychology to assist athletes to perform better or help them recover from sports-related accidents or injuries.

Sports Psychologist Salary: $55,000/year

School Counselor

School Counselors play an important role in assisting students at different levels of education, from elementary to college in the American education system. They help students enhance and improve their academic and social skills to communicate with their classmates and peers. They create a welcoming and supportive community for students, collaborating with school administration, teachers and parents.

School Counselor Salary: $54,650/year

Exercise Psychologist

Exercise Psychologists work with athletes to maintain their overall well-being and boost their performance. They analyze their patients’ fitness and help them improve their vigor. These professionals make sure that their patients’ fitness goals are achieved, especially on the components of strength, flexibility, and endurance. In addition, they assist patients with heart conditions and other chronic health problems.

Exercise Psychologist Salary: $49,090/year

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are commonly known as family therapists. Students who are interested to become MFTs must have a master’s degree as a preferable type of degree along with two years of supervised clinical work. The majority of their work revolves on research which focuses on the significance of a family system in addressing family issues. They are skilled therapists who must have the expertise and knowledge in understanding and identifying the challenges of interactions that can cause issues in the family.

Marriage and Family Therapist Salary: $48,790/year

Social Worker

Social Workers are considered one of the noblest professions in Psychology. These people have the passion and heart for serving others. They readily help people deal with challenges in their lives. They provide therapy sessions and counseling to individuals or a group of clients who need assistance in dealing with behavioral, emotional and mental issues.

Social Worker Salary: $47,980/year

Recreational Therapist

Recreational Therapists create activities which include arts & crafts, animals and exercise to aid recovery for their patients. They mostly work with individuals or a group of people in medical centers, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals, providing treatment to people who have experienced physical, psychological and emotional trauma. One must have a bachelor’s degree to be able to apply for this career.

Recreational Therapist Salary: $47,680/year

Behavior Analyst

Behavior Analysts specialize in counseling that emphasizes the prevention of abusive behavior and behavior modification. They create intervention programs and develop treatment plans to treat their clients’ problems such as abusive behavior resulting in violence, alcoholism and addiction; emotional health issues; and mental issues. They provide support to their clients who undergo treatment for behavioral changes.

Behavior Analyst Salary: $44,160/year

Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors provide a support system and quality care for their patients to make informed decisions regarding their daily lives. A strong sense of compassion and dedication to serving the vulnerable and mentally challenged individuals are one of the most important responsibilities as a mental health counselor. They provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment to clients with mental illness. Others are involved in the treatment of complex mental health problems such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression.

Mental Health Counselor Salary: $43,300/year

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselors work one-on-one with patients who are suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. They provide family or group counseling as part of their profession. They mainly work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and private clinics with chemical dependency programs. In some cases, they work directly with patients who are suffering from a crisis or who have experienced trial procedures. These people collaborate with licensed psychologists, physicians, social workers, and family members in order to provide the best assistance for their clients.

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary: $38,120/year

Psychiatric Technician/Aide

Psychiatric Technicians are healthcare professionals who are focused on giving therapeutic care and support for their patients. They work under the supervision of doctors, registered nurses and psychiatrists, ensuring their patients get the best possible healthcare. These people work towards the emotional stability of the patients under their supervision. Furthermore, they ensure the well-being and safety of developmentally disabled patients and elderly people experience cognitive dysfunctions. There are several online schools that offer an associate, bachelor and certificate degree in psychiatric technology.

Psychiatric Technician/Aide Salary: $29,330/year

Social Service Assistant

Social Service Assistants work with patients or clients who need an additional support system and special assistance. These patients include individuals with developmental delays, children, families and elderly. Their daily tasks involve determining eligibility for social services, helping in daily care, monitoring patients and collaborating with other professionals to facilitate treatment plans and programs for their patients.

Social Service Assistant Salary: $28,200/year

Victim Advocate

Victim Advocates are people who provide emotional support, empowerment and uplifting support to victims of crime. They advocate the rights of people involved in trial procedures. They work primarily with witnesses or victims all throughout the trial procedure. They file paper works on behalf of the victims, ensuring support to them under their care. Victim Advocates usually collaborate with people from politics, government, and law and they can use it as an opportunity or stepping stone for establishing careers in those fields.

Victim Advocate Salary: $20,830/year

Always remember that salaries can vary significantly due to factors such as your place of work, your type of employment, and your experience. Consider learning more about the many career pathways and check the current job market.

But while salary is one of the most important considerations for choosing a career, it shouldn’t be your primary deciding factor. After all, job contentment, lifestyle factors, and career security, all equally play a vital role in your career.

Part-time Psychology Jobs

If you are someone who is looking for additional Psychology jobs for added income or to finance your education, there are a number of academic institutions and private companies or organizations who hire part-time Psychology-related careers. Remember, the majority of these positions require a certain type of degree in the eligibility of the position.

  • Online Psychology Instructor
  • Online Psychology Facilitator
  • Online Telemedicine Psychologist
  • Part-time Researchers
  • Part-time School Psychology Clinicians
  • Online Personality Theories and Counseling Models Instructor
  • Part-time Psychology Adjunct Online Faculty
  • Staff Psychologist
  • Online Admissions Advisor
  • Psychology Part-time Faculty
  • Director of Planning and Development
  • Transition Services Director
  • Educational Testing Assessor
  • Associate Director of Training
  • Learning and Development Specialist
  • Research Psychologist
  • Life Coach
  • Behavioral Health Provider
  • Behavioral Health Director
  • Psychology Intern Pool
  • Social Worker
  • Online Qualitative Research Assistant
  • Housing and Health Liaison
  • Psychology Consultant

Unique Psychology Careers

Typically, you might think that psychologists revolve only with patients or clients, teaching at universities, conducting research work or employed in administrative positions; however, psychologists work in many unexpected work environments and unexpected topics.

In this list, we have some of the most interesting and odd jobs in the Psychology-related program:

  • Parapsychologist
  • Circus Psychologist
  • Psychologist & Filmmaker
  • Rocket Science Strategist
  • Google Psychologist
  • Media Psychologist
  • Science Writer
  • Violent Crime Resource Specialist
  • Associate Pastor
  • Computer Usability Engineer
  • Senior Human Performance Investigator
  • Market Researcher
  • Director of Internet Product Development
  • Threat Assessment
  • Health Science Administrator
  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Analyst
  • Cancer Risk and Prevention Program Director
  • Internet Marketing Analyst

Travel Psychology Job Opportunities

While the traditional set-up or workplace of a psychologist may be someone who is stuck behind a computer or clinical facilities all day seeing different patients every day, in contrast, there are many Psychology careers that offer frequent travel. As a result, the psychologists visit their patients and not the other way around. Few of them even travel abroad as the job requires.

  • Environmental Psychologist

These professionals resolve conflict and challenges between people and the environment they live in. He or she can work as a consultant for private companies or government sectors. Studying how poverty affects the community, develop a new water treatment plant for the improvement of the community or re-engineering workplaces to improve productivity are some of the roles as an environmental psychologist.

  • Military psychologist

A military psychologist is usually deployed to a battalion or in a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan. He or she is readily available to provide mental help and support for enlisted soldiers and commanders. He or she is responsible for screening, evaluation, and military-based education through a psychological approach.

  • Forensic Psychologist

A forensic psychologist typically visits prisons or jails in her state or nationwide. He or she is responsible for conducting an evaluation of prisoners awaiting trial, analyzing issues such as the competency to stand trial and mental capabilities. In addition, he or she travels to different courts in the country in which inmates are being engaged to present findings.

  • Sports Psychologist

A sports psychologist usually works with a team, travel inside and outside the country during competitions or might have the opportunity to attend to an Olympic athlete. He or she works with the athlete, providing him counseling and coaching sessions to help them overcome obstacles and providing support and motivation to boost their performance and self-esteem during competitions.

Are there any licensures, certifications or registrations for Psychologists?

Licensure is mandatory in all states and U.S. areas for all Psychology profession that directly involve client supervision and contact. As such, all states in the U.S. license psychologists who sit down directly with their patients and administer assessment and examination or conduct therapy sessions. In the majority of the cases, licensing examinations is dependent on earning a doctoral degree.

A license in Psychology is the culmination of the years of hard work and dedication to your degree. It indicates a level of expertise and passion to the field and is suitable for the most dedicated doctorate-prepared psychologists. The objective of the licensure examinations is to ensure credibility to the community, providing assurance that the license holder has been fully assessed through advanced studies, administer clinical hours in a pre-doctoral practicum or internship, mentoring during a fellowship program and a final assessment by a state licensing authority.

There are a few things to consider before becoming licensed through your state’s board of Psychology:

Identify if you need to become licensed.

This state licensing requirement is not applicable to all professional psychologists. If you do not provide counseling services or even conduct therapy sessions, you would not necessarily need to be licensed. For example, if you work in the university, in research laboratories or in private companies as an industrial-organizational psychologist, you do not need to pass a licensure examination. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) provides concrete information whether you would need to be licensed or not through the Handbook of Licensing and Certification Requirements for Psychologists in the U.S. and Canada.

Meet Degree and Practicum Requirements

There are certain education and practice requirements as indicated by the state’s licensing board.

Doctoral Degree in Psychology

A doctoral degree can either be a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology or a more practice-based Doctor of Psychology (PsyD.).

Some states require individuals for licensure to obtain a doctoral program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA), while others only require an internship to be accredited by the same accrediting institution without requiring a doctoral program.

APA-CoA accreditation includes the following:

  • Doctorate Degree in Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology
  • Internship Credentials in Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship Courses

There are several states that recognize doctoral programs accredited by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.

Supervised Practicum Hours

All U.S. states require candidates to accumulate a specific number of supervised practicum hours, a part of it should be taken during the post-doctoral level. Practice hours may range from 1,000 to 4,000 hours depending on the particular state’s licensing requirements.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programs

Post-doctoral fellowships are periods where candidates undergo supervised or mentored training. They are good opportunities for graduates to gain the necessary skills to become psychologists. Also, it provides graduates to highly specialized in their chosen concentration of Psychology.

Apply to the State Board of Psychology for a Psychologist License

Once you have completed the required doctoral degree and practicum requirements, you can now apply for state licensure through the State Board of Psychology in your area. Before taking the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), candidates must first log the licensure application process.

  • Licensing expense range from $500 to over $1000, which already includes examination fees, licensing fees and application fees. The state licensing board will need the following requirements for processing your application:
  • Doctoral Degree Transcript of Records: Internship and Post-doctoral Fellowship Program Information with Total Hours of Completion and Supervisor Signatures

Take the Examinations

After the approval of your logged application, you must take the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Board’s Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology.

The following are the concentration areas covered by the EPPP Tests:

  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Behavioral Biological Basis
  • Cognitive-affective Behavior
  • Ethics, Legal and Professionalism
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Growth and Development
  • Treatment, Prevention, and Supervision
  • Social and Cultural Behavior

Maintain License

Psychologists who are now licensed must renew every two to three years as adherence to the state board regulations. There are conditions for license renewal such as the completion of continuing education hours. The APA has an organization through the Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP) that provides opportunities for continuing education, seminars, workshops and conferences.

Take Board Certification in a Specialized Area

The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) grants certification in several specialty areas of Psychology in the following areas:

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology
  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • GeroPsychology
  • Group Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Marriage and Family Psychology
  • NeuroPsychology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • School Psychology

Board Certifications are one of the most credible proofs for psychologists to represent themselves as reliable specialists in their field.

What should I consider when enrolling in an online school for my Psychology degree?

Distance education has become more and more popular and preferable because of the convenience and flexibility it provides especially for students who are busy with their personal and professional obligations. As such, there are more colleges and universities that offer online courses and degrees for their students.

There are a number of online Psychology degrees being offered by schools, but does it mean it is the best option for your liking? Is earning an online Psychology degree suitable for you? Before enrolling in an online Psychology program, you must take into consideration a few factors including your academic goals, type of degree, accreditation status and cost of attendance.

Accreditation Status

Online undergraduate and graduate Psychology degree programs may be granted accreditation status by the American Psychological Association. In addition, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is the organization that manages the accrediting agencies in the U.S. It is important to obtain an online Psychology degree from an accredited academic institution in order to be assured that your Psychology degree will be recognized by other educational institutions and will be taken seriously by potential employers. In addition, earning a Psychology degree from an accredited school will allow you to avail financial assistance as a means of support for your educational expenses.

Time Management

Distance learning can either be asynchronous (studying online and interacting with an instructor at a different time) or synchronous (studying online and interacting with the instructor at the same time). As such, obtaining an online Psychology degree requires effective time management skills. Your eagerness and dedication to stay on track and catch up with the learning materials will play a critical role in your success.

Accessibility and Knowledge of Technology

As a minimum requirement, earning a Psychology degree online needs the capability to have basic computer skills and learn new technologies or platforms. You should be able to send emails, browse the web, email attachments, access files from shared folders and other essential tasks. Instructors may integrate unique technologies that may be new to you such as accessing blogs, podcasts, online videos, and wikis.

Academic and Professional Goals/Aspirations

Before you consider obtaining an online Psychology degree, explore the coursework that is offered by your chosen online school. Does the university offer the type of specialization you prefer? Are there any prerequisites to enrolling in graduate studies? Doing these will help you determine the right type of Psychology program for you.

Characteristics of a Good Online Psychology Program

The American Psychological Association (APA) has designated a team to investigate the challenges and demands of online Psychology programs. In general, all online Psychology degree programs must meet these standards:

  • Faculty Support
  • Accessibility
  • Library and Learning Resources
  • Student Services and Support
  • Facilities and Financial Assistance
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Curriculum and Instruction

Fully Online Doctoral Programs are not Accredited

The Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association has prohibited accreditations for doctoral degree programs that are offered completely online. Distance learning for taking up some set of coursework is allowed; however, doctoral programs require sufficient in-person attendance and interaction between students and instructors.

What are the skills required to become a Psychologist?

Psychologists undergo extensive study and training in emotional, behavioral, cognitive and social processes by interpreting and observing how people relate to other people and the environment. Moreover, they also learn and develop important skills as they go along the way in obtaining their degree.

Trustworthiness

A psychologist must be honest and trustworthy and ensure their patients that they can be trusted with their problems and issues. They should treat their patients’ profile and issues with the utmost confidentiality.

Patience

A psychologist must be patient enough to withstand longer periods of research work and in dealing with individual patients. They understand that they will spend lots of time with some patients or clients before substantial results can come up.

Open-Mindedness

A psychologist is open to new learning and new discoveries along the way, despite these might challenge their ideals or thinking. He or she is tolerant of all kinds of people with different mental states and personalities.

Knowledge of Regulations & the Law

A psychologist is familiar and knowledgeable with state laws and regulations that control the industry. They know how to practice their profession within the boundaries set by the law.

Interpersonal Skills

A psychologist must be able to work well with varying groups of people such as their patients, clients, and their colleagues.

Ethics

A psychologist has a strong sense of morals and ethics in keeping their patients’ or clients’ session private and confidential. They are aware that their work can have a significant impact on their patients.

Emotional Stability

A psychologist must be able to handle his or her emotions and stress that may arise especially if they are dealing with distressed clients.

Compassion

A psychologist is able to empathize with their patients’ pain, grief, and other difficulties. They put their patients at ease and make them feel comfortable in opening up their emotions.

Communication Skills

A psychologist must possess excellent written and non-written communication skills and can communicate effectively with different groups of people.

Interest in Continuing Studies

A psychologist never stops learning. He or she is open to continuing education opportunities to keep updated with new research and methods as well as other developments in the field of Psychology.

Why should I earn a Psychology degree?

An online Psychology degree does not only provide students the opportunity for personal growth and development, but it also opens up several career opportunities.

You love learning about Psychology

The most basic reason to obtain an online Psychology degree is simply the love and passion for Psychology itself. If you look forward and enjoy discussing Psychology subjects, spend your free time exploring different Psychology websites and love learning new developments about Psychology, then earning a Psychology degree is an excellent choice for you.

You enjoy the many specialization choices in Psychology

One advantage of earning a Psychology degree is that you can choose a career path that is in sync with your career aspirations and passion. A student who enjoys working with children can specialize in school Psychology or developmental Psychology while another student who is interested in the world of solving crimes and fascinated by understanding criminal minds can earn a Psychology degree with a focus on forensic Psychology.

You can have what it takes to impress potential employers

Having a Psychology degree can be an excellent way to prepare for a wide range of career pathways. Skills such as effective communication, data analysis, understanding human behavior and the ability to relay complex information are highly praised by potential employers.

You can pursue graduate studies

Obtaining an undergraduate degree in Psychology can be a practical stepping stone for further advanced studies. Several students opt to earn a master’s or a doctorate degree in Psychology, while others choose to pursue a different field such as education, humanities or sociology.

You can do what you love: making a difference in people’s lives

If you have the passion and heart of helping people, earning a Psychology degree can be a way to achieve that aspiration. Psychologists along with therapists, counselors and social workers spend much of their time and energy providing help to people overcome their challenges, boost their full potential and improve their well-being. Despite the profession can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, it can also be very uplifting and fulfilling.

You spend each day learning more about yourself and others

Earning a degree in Psychology helps you learn how people behave in certain ways; learn more about your actions, emotions, and personalities; and understand the human brain and how it interacts and affect thinking. It is also one good opportunity to learn more about yourself and perhaps improve on some aspects of yourself.

You get all the lessons in a challenging yet fun and rewarding career

Psychology opens up unique challenges that can also be fulfilling no matter which area sparks your interest. If you love to solve complex or theoretical problems, earning a Psychology degree is a suitable choice for you. Psychologists focus on helping people resolve their emotional issues or creating solutions for real-world challenges.

Who are the best people for Psychology?

Choosing a college degree is relatively easy, so how will you know that a Psychology degree is the best fit for you? Psychology is one of the most in-demand degrees for students nowadays, but it isn’t meant for everyone.

If you are considering to pursue a Psychology degree, there are some aspects you should consider. If you are the type of person as described below, then you are good to go to obtain a Psychology degree with your preferred specialization.

People who enjoy working with others

The majority of graduates in a Psychology degree will work in the human services industry. With that being said, most of your time will be working face-to-face with people to change their destructive behavior or to teach life-long skills. If you love to work with different people from all walks of life and enjoy helping them, a Psychology degree is an excellent choice for you. However, if you love the field but are not interested in dealing with mental health services, you can opt for consulting, researching and teaching professions.

People who can cope up with stress

Dealing with distressed people on a daily basis can be both fulfilling and exhausting at the same time. You are prone to frustrations as well as being burnout from time to time. Therefore, people who can effectively manage their stress and mental health despite dealing with other people who have emotional and mental challenges are the best fit for a Psychology degree. There are courses that are readily available in stress management and counseling which is a great deal of help for professionals with work-related rigidities.

People who can manage to take up graduate studies

If you are planning to eventually take up graduate studies, then a Psychology degree is one of the best choices for you. Undergraduates of this field may have limited job opportunities and salaries can be lower. For example, if you want to become a clinical psychologist, you must possess a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. from an accredited college or university. With a graduate degree, you can explore several professional opportunities with lucrative earnings or income.

People who love to work in their area of interest

If you are a student of Psychology, it is essential to choose a specialization or set of coursework that is well-aligned to your educational and professional goals and interests. Psychology offers several areas of study that you can choose. For example, if you love working and helping the elderly, you can take up Geriatric Psychology in your coursework which will provide you a solid background that will help you in your future career in dealing with the aged. On the other hand, if you prefer working with athletes and travel around during sports competition, a sports Psychology specialization is an excellent field for you.

Counseling Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info 

Do you have a genuine desire to help others? Counseling might be the ideal degree and job for you. The many facets of Counseling include education, rehabilitation, and relationships. Students are also taught to diagnose mental health, deal with substance abuse, and evaluate behavioral disorders. To be admitted for entry-level positions in this field, you should earn at least a bachelor’s degree. For private practice, you should acquire a license and a master’s degree.

Most of the time, a counselor works and interacts with various patients in a one-on-one or group setting. This work ordinarily includes long meetings, interviews, and discussions. The main objective is to assess the issues that the patient is facing and decide on the appropriate treatment or alternatives. A counselor should be firm and sympathetic but also determined to aid patients in conquering their psychological and behavioral challenges.

A counselor’s responsibilities include researching and analyzing a patient’s experience and conditions, determining the availability of help and support from the family or the community, and gathering ideas from different counselors and therapists. All these enable a counselor to adequate provide care at all levels.

Counseling as a Degree

The initial step to becoming a counselor is to acquire a bachelor’s degree, although an associate’s degree in the field also leads you to entry-level career opportunities. You are allowed to study a subject you prefer before proceeding to pursue a master’s program. A degree in Psychology or Human Services establishes a robust framework for further study.

The next stage is to enroll in a Council for Accreditation of Counseling, and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) licensed program and obtain a master’s degree. CACREP certified programs adhere to the rules and guidelines set by the Council that is headed by a team of counseling specialists. The significant advantage for students is that these programs meet the prerequisites set by the state licensure board. Some CACREP programs are accessible in the U.S. in both on-campus and online formats.

Most graduate degree programs take two years to complete, provided that you go on full-time study. The courses include Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, Research, and Counseling Methods. After acquiring a master’s degree, counselors should obtain directed clinical experience, as may be required by the academic institution.

A graduate with a secondary school recognition and authentication training may look for employment in the Counseling field, yet they may face restrictions about his or her obligations, tasks, and capacity to help patients or clients. Most employers require an applicant to have a master’s degree in a related field to become a counselor. An advanced degree (alongside licensure) is a necessity for private practice. Doctorate in Counseling or a related field enables a person to handle research, work in universities and colleges, or take over organization obligations. It is the highest level of instruction that a specialist can obtain.

Types of Counseling Degrees

Counselors must gain a four-year college degree, and commonly a master’s degree, to start their training. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is worthy to enter the required master’s program a while later. If you have officially earned a bachelor in psychology or a related field, your studies will be an advantage while pursuing your master’s degree. A doctorate is not required for this level of specialization; however, some individuals seek one in the wake of working in the field.

Associate Degree in Counseling

An Associate’s degree in Counseling, which takes two years to complete, prepares students for specific entry-level positions. If you aspire to be a counselor for the abused or neglected, choose the courses that are relevant to the job, such as ethics, liquor, alcoholism and medication abuse, clinical composition, as well as drugs and conduct. Finishing these courses will allow you to understand the individual on a level that will enable you to determine the right treatment.

The types of job or career you can carve out with an Associate’s in Counseling differ from a Bachelor’s, as the latter gets better pay, a more extensive range of responsibilities, and more opportunities for career advancement. As such, Associate’s degree holders would typically pursue a bachelor’s.

Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling

Specializing in Psychology for your bachelor’s degree lets you pursue Counseling with ease, but most Counseling degree programs present a mix of the sciences courses. If the research aspect of Counseling interests you, consider graduate school.

Examples of Major Courses

  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Human Behavior and the Environment
  • Survey of Social Problems
  • Counteractive action and Crisis Intervention
  • Human Services and Social Policy
  • Case Management in Human Services
  • Human Services Delivery
  • Statistics

Master’s Degree

There are numerous types of master’s programs accessible in Counseling, contingent on your desired degree—regardless of whether it’s a Master of Science, Master of Art or Educational Specialist—and specialization. Options incorporate general Counseling, Counseling psychology, marriage, and family treatment, school Counseling, restoration Counseling, craftsmanship treatment, and others.

A master’s degree will take somewhere in the range of two and three years to finish. This degree offers a mix of learning and hands-on involvement in classroom settings.

Examples of Core and Major Courses:

  • Prologue to Addictions and Substance Use Disorders
  • Spousal & Child Abuse
  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethics
  • Counseling Theories & Practice
  • Vocation Development and Counseling
  • Research Methods
  • Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling
  • Diagnostics, Assessment, and Treatment
  • Psychopathology and Counseling
  • Marriage Therapy & Family Therapy
  • Crisis &Trauma Counseling
  • Counseling Tests & Appraisals
  • Human Sexuality, Aging, & Long-Term Care

You’ll also need to complete lab work and a clinical internship, as well as pass examinations to meet accreditation and licensure requirements. Some Counseling jobs require a master’s degree, a license to practice, and at least 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Master’s in Counseling

Master’s in Counseling programs include:

Master’s in Counseling with specializations include Community Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling Psychology, Career Counseling, and Marriage and Family Counseling

  • Master of Science in Counseling Studies
  • Master of Science in Professional Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Counseling

Doctorate in Counseling

A doctoral degree isn’t necessary for you to become a professional counselor, even though you may pursue it to raise your chances in making it in the scholarly community.

Here are the Doctorates in Counseling:

  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology
  • Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology
  • Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) in Counseling Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy: General Family Therapy

The coursework for a Ph.D. in Counseling may incorporate classes on cutting edge studies of clinical assessment, singular Counseling practice, family treatment, and research designs.

Regular doctorate programs take around five to seven years of focused study and research. Students undergo a supervised internship, take comprehensive exams, direct research, and compose a dissertation. Contingent upon the school, some Ph.D. programs don’t require a master’s degree but typically require additional academic credits from non-master’s degree holders.

Counseling Degree Specializations

Counseling refers to a field that consists of various opportunities in all Counseling subfields. Counselors may also aid their clients utilizing approaches in these fields:

  • Debt Counseling
  • Child Development Counseling
  • Eating Disorder Therapy
  • Grief Counseling
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy

Here are the popular specializations of Counseling:

School Counseling

School counselors take on advisory work in public or private secondary schools. Their duties involve assisting secondary school students in excelling in school, aiding them in planning for school, and urging them to take an interest in extracurricular activities that will help improve both their social and personal lives. Most school counselors need a graduate-level degree in School Counseling or a related field and have a state-issued qualification.

Career Counseling

Career counselors provide individuals the direction they seek in deciding on their ideal careers and planning for them. Usually, this involves full-time work. Employers for this particular position are located in career centers, universities, colleges, and government organizations. There are also career counselors who do private practice.

Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counselors handle emotional and psychiatric disorders. A master’s degree and state license are requirements to become a mental health counselor. Clinical experience is also required, along with passing examinations needed for training.

Marriage Counseling

A marriage counselor is an unbiased evaluation and assistance to couples in resolving their marital problems. Distressed couples seek the assistance of a marriage counselor to salvage the relationship. A few pastors, churches and religious groups also advise couples to seek marriage counseling before their wedding. Marriage counselors work all day in health centers, faith-based organizations, and similar settings. This is a fast-rising specialization with excellent prospects for future employment.

Recovery or Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation counselors work in youth direction organizations, senior’s centers, and restoration centers. One of their fundamental roles is to assist individuals with disabilities in adjusting to their environment. They also deal with people seeking help with recovering from personal ordeals and getting back on their feet with new career pathways and own endeavors.

Online versus Traditional Counseling Degrees

Counseling students can choose to study on-campus or online. Both formats educate students with vital skills for the assessment, treatment, and observation of their patients’ conditions. Both formats feature similar courses, such as counseling techniques, human advancement, and psychopharmacology.

Traditional Counseling degrees typically require students to take an internship. Some academic institutions consider credits for work experience in this field.

The online Counseling degree possibly comes with a minimal residency prerequisite for one to two weeks while in the program. You can also opt for the hybrid format that blends on-campus and online coursework.

Numerous schools offer online undergraduate Counseling degrees to students searching for flexibility and convenience as they pursue their educational and professional goals. Online colleges and universities providing Counseling programs typically emphasize reinforcing the self-motivated, working professionals with flexible scheduling in a convenient, accelerated format.

If you want to earn a degree in Counseling, whether online or on-campus, the first step is to decide on the level of degree you would want to work with. The most widely recognized degrees in Counseling for every level are Bachelor’s (B.A. or B.S); Masters (M.A., M.S., or M.Ed.); and Doctoral (Ph.D. or Psy.D.). You also need to select the program type that is of great interest to you based on the individuals you will be working with, the workplace, or the salary range.

Financing Your Humanities Education

Considered a prominent major for adults, Counseling is highly preferred by students of various age groups coming from a wide range of backgrounds and social status. Whether you are a new college student attending a traditional school or a distance learner deciding to pursue the degree, a common concern is financing your education. Thankfully, there are several types of financial aid for you.

Grants

For bachelor’s degree students, Pell grants are most accessible. The federal government funds the Counseling studies of qualified students. Another needs-based government program is the FSEOG that may be limited in terms of availability for each qualified student. Because grants do not require repayment, they are perfect for those who are eligible.

Loans

Students studying Counseling at the master’s or doctorate level can turn to subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. Subsidized loans are regarded as need-based in which the federal government pays the interest. Unsubsidized loans are accessible for all students, and the interest is paid periodically.

State and University Financial Aid

Many academic institutions offering Counseling as a degree run their scholarship programs. Master’s and doctorate student scholarships are granted based on the degree specialization.

Scholarships from Private Organizations

Various types of organizations and businesses offer scholarships. A considerable number of them require students to meet the specific criteria they set.

With the broad range of financial aid forms and scholarships available in colleges and universities, students who are determined can become the professional counselors they have always wanted to be.

Counseling Salary and Job Outlook

Counseling offers a wealth of career pathways. Counselors and therapists can choose from numerous areas of specialty in different work settings. Their salaries depend on a number of factors including specialization, level of experience, designation in an organization, and type of employment.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in 2026, job opportunities for substance abuse counselors, social disorder counselors, psychological wellness counselors, as well as marriage and family counselors, will rise by 20%.

The demand for counselors in schools and workplaces will be up by 11 percent in 2026, while the job outlook for recovery counselors will see a 10% increase.

According to BLS, “instructive, direction, school and professional counselors” earned an average of $56,040, while the top 10% earners in the same profession made $86,610 on average in 2015. Licensed psychological wellness counselors received an average yearly salary of $42,840.

Here are other professional counselors’ average yearly earnings:

  • Emotional wellness Counselor- $42,840
  • Recovery Counselor- $34,670
  • Substance Abuse Counselor- $41,070
  • Marriage and Family Therapist- $49,170
  • School and Career Counselor- $54,560

Regularly, counselors who work in neighborhood or state government agencies are paid the highest counselor salary, followed by workers in hospitals and residential facilities. Counselors doing private practice earn even more.

10 Common Counseling Occupations

Counseling is one of the most fulfilling careers in the industry in terms of taking good care of people’s wellbeing and mental health. Counselors are professionals who are trained to help people who have specific difficulties in different aspects of their lives, including career difficulties, marital problems, or financial difficulties. They provide stress management plans, new habits, and skills development that help their clients overcome issues and improve their lives.

Everyone encounters problems and stressors of daily lives. There are times people solve their problems without someone’s help; however, some people need professional help, especially if it’s too overwhelming or complex to handle on their own. People sometimes need to seek help in dealing with their struggles – and this is where professional counselors come in.

A counseling degree opens up several career opportunities for those people who have the passion and interest in helping other people. A counselor can work in a variety of settings, including healthcare facilities, educational institutions, churches, rehabilitation facilities, or private companies, among many others. Depending on their preferences, some concentrations will be suitable for everyone in the counseling field. In this list, we summarize the top ten most common counseling occupations.

School Counselor

School Counselors would spend time with students to talk about different issues in their educational lives, including peer pressure, academic performance, family relationships, and career decisions. These people collaborate within the school administration to provide support and foster academic success, personal and social development. They ensure that students remain prepared and well-adjusted for future endeavors. Generally, the majority of school counselors start their careers with a bachelor’s degree in Counseling, Psychology, or Education. They are encouraged to earn a master’s degree in School Counseling or Education Psychology.

Starting Salary: $45,094/year

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselors or also known as licensed mental health counselors work with individuals, families, or groups in a clinical setting. They serve several roles in any members of the society or organization. They address behavioral, emotional, mental, and social difficulties; helping people explore better alternatives to unhealthy ways of dealing with the struggles of daily lives. Also, licensed professional counselors help people move past trauma, heal addiction, deal with grief and sorrow, discover how to interact with other people, and live their lives to the fullest even with mental challenges. A master’s or doctoral degree is required, as well as the completion of supervised clinical work.

Starting Salary: $46,250/year

Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselors provide guidance and support system to students. They administer and evaluate aptitude tests and other assessments; collaborate with students to identify negative patterns and attitude and find more positive alternatives; discuss career goals and aspirations, and assist with the ethics and discipline of students. They are employed in primary and secondary academic institutions, while some are found in career centers or job-placement facilities. Before practicing their profession, prospective candidates must earn a master’s degree in school counseling; however, some organizations allow graduates to provide counseling services without earning a master’s degree. Also, they are required to completing internships or practicums before completing their degrees.

Starting Salary: $45,094/year

Career Counselor

Career Counselors provide consulting, counseling, and coaching to their clients, helping them explore their strengths and interest. They prepare them for the start, career change, or career advancements. Career counseling can help direct people in the right path when it comes to establishing their professional journeys so that they will be fulfilled and happy with their careers. They require their clients to take an IQ test, aptitude examinations as well as answering questionnaires regarding their interests and passion. Also, they work in employment and staffing facilities, private companies, and social services offices. The majority of career counselors start their professional journey with bachelor’s degrees.

Starting Salary: $53,370/year

Marriage and Family Counselor

Marriage and Family Counselors help couples reconnect and improve their lives and their children. They work with different kinds of couples with diverse background and families to repair their relationships between both parties. They often see similar problems in most couples and families that they encounter. The goal of marriage and family counselors is not mainly to cease arguments, but to foster an open line of communication between married couples and other family members. As a result, they will learn to discuss issues effectively with the help of these professionals. Marriage and family counselors go into business ventures, or some establish their private firms. Generally, they start their careers with a bachelor’s degree.

Starting Salary: $49,170/year

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselors help people overcome and conquer dependencies on substances that are detrimental to their well-being if abused, such as drugs and alcohol. They work in several organizations and provide professional counseling support and services, focusing on helping people stop drug-seeking behaviors through behavioral and medical treatment programs. They work with patients, facilitating clinical assessments that identify the course of treatment plans. Substance abuse counselors gather as much information that will be shared with an interdisciplinary team such as doctors, nurses, social workers, or psychiatrists for further assessment and recommendations. To become a substance abuse counselor, earn a master’s degree, and certifications that validate your skill.

Starting Salary: $41,070/year

Spiritual Counselor

Spiritual Counselors focus on a person’s spiritual side. They guide and provide counseling services to individuals on a variety of aspects – whether spiritual or not. They provide counsel with individuals who have depression and anxiety. Some people need guidance or help in discovering their spiritual or religious beliefs. This is where the help of spiritual counselors come in. Spiritual counselors help people reach a state of awareness or self-realization. Also, they let people realize how interconnected they are with the rest of the universe. The majority of spiritual counselors work in places of worship or other religious organizations.

Starting Salary: $49,647/year

Life Coach

Life Coaches provide help to people in changing their lives. They help clients rethink their choices, providing more fulfilling ventures. They create solutions, assisting patients in resolving their issues that are hindering them from achieving success and happiness. Life coaches guide patients toward greater fulfillment and control of their own lives. Patients learn the art of listening to their hearts, gain a greater appreciation for their capabilities, and boost their self-esteem or self-confidence. Life coaches must have a passion for serving their clients, understanding that their clients’ achievements are also their success. They must have excellent communication skills and empathy.

Starting Salary: $35,000/year

Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation Counselors treat patients with emotional, mental, physical, or social issues so that they can regain their power and live as independently as possible. They facilitate every disabling situation and work with all types of disability such as disabilities caused by war, behavioral and emotional disabilities, or those health-related disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. They are mental health professionals who work with disabled people to develop skills, overcome feelings of anxiety and depression, and find resolutions to problems such as mobility, employment, transportation, and chronic pain, among others. Rehabilitation counselors often find work in physical therapy clinics, nursing homes, traditional hospitals, and assisted living institutions.

Starting Salary: $44,203/year

Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors work mostly with individual clients, families, or groups of people based on mental health issues and treatment programs. They provide help with individuals who suffer from anxieties, depression, addiction, grief, or low self-esteem. They are trained to deal with people holistically, treating the person as a whole – body, mind, and spirit. Mental health counselors understand the role of personalities and traits and how these factors help or hinder conditions such as anxiety and depression. These people enjoy working with people as well as having a passion for guiding them in creating positive changes in their lives.

Starting Salary: $42,590/year

Other Counseling Occupations

Indeed, the counseling profession is a rewarding and vast field to venture; thus, there are numerous professional opportunities suitable for everyone’s passion and aspirations. It is an excellent option for people who have the heart and passion for helping others live their lives, creating a positive impact on them. If you are interested to know other counseling-related professions, we have listed other occupations that might spark your interest.

30 Highest Paying Counseling Careers

The counseling field offers a variety of professional opportunities for everyone. Traditional hospitals, mental health institutions, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, or aided housing facilities are the most common environment of the counseling industry. Also, private sectors offer employment opportunities for prospective candidates. The majority of the counseling occupations require a college degree, extended hours of clinical practicum or internships, and certifications. Salaries are directly related to having an undergraduate or graduate degree. For some with a burning passion for the job, wages are only a secondary factor for fulfillment. Lifestyle, interest, work conditions, and work benefits are just some of the aspects that influence prospective candidates’ preferences while exploring career opportunities.

Our list provides the top 30 highest paying counseling occupations, including their salaries and roles.

Conflict Resolution Counselor

Conflict Resolution Counselors help bring together who conflict. They help them both parties look at all sides of the argument and reach a level of resolution without resulting to further damages or litigation. They help parties examine their current positions and guide them to decide a mutually beneficial outcome to the conflict. In the corporate field, mediators resolve problems with employees that may impact business productivity and success. In the right setting, they help reduce time and cost during trial procedures, especially with marital and family difficulties.

Conflict Resolution Counselor Salary: $69,060/year

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselors provide different kinds of support services to their patients. They are highly trained professionals who provide emotional, mental, and physical care for people suffering from anxieties, abuse, addiction, and depression. LPCs work with individuals, families, or groups of people, providing treatment that aligns with their difficulties. They work either in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, or community health organizations.

Licensed Professional Counselor Salary: $65,270/year

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are professionals who work with people with severe and permanent disabilities that impact their personal and professional lives. They work with these patients and develop their abilities to help them live more active lives and secure gainful career opportunities.

Vocational Rehabilitation Salary: $58,343/year

School Counselor

School Counselors work mainly with students’ educational endeavors ranging from academic performance, career selection, social adjustments, and development. They help students remain in a well-adjusted environment so that they are prepared for their future life.

School Counselor Salary: $56,310/year

Career Counselor

Career Counselors provide consulting, coaching, and counseling to individuals so that they can discover their interests and passions. They help their clients prepare for gainful employment, career change, professional advancement, and development. They conduct aptitude tests, personality exams, and other testing fundamentals to help their clients towards a more fulfilling and rewarding career.

Career Counselor Salary: $56,310/year

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers provide learning and instructions to young students in basic subjects like reading and writing, preparing them for future schooling or education.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher Salary: $53,980/year

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Teachers work with students who have learning disabilities as well as physical, mental, and emotional difficulties. They integrate general education subjects to students with mild and moderate disabilities. However, they teach the fundamental skills of communication and literacy to students with more complex disabilities.

Special Education Teacher Salary: $51,780/year

Marriage Counselor

Marriage Counselors help married couples manage and cope up problems and challenges involving their marriage life. They conduct helpful dialogues to facilitate a more peaceful and understanding series of communication for couples, assisting them on how to resolve their conflict without resentment and further damage.

Marriage Counselor Salary: $50,090/year

Family Counselor

Family Counselors often help families discuss a variety of issues. They open lines of effective communication between family members, enabling them to discuss topics and argue more effectively. They help children feel more secure, loved, and comfortable in their homes despite the challenges that arise.

Family Counselor Salary: $50,090/year

Social Worker

Social Workers help people solve and manage their problems in their daily lives. They work in child welfare and human services agencies, community development corporations, mental health clinics, hospitals, and settlement houses.

Social Worker Salary: $49,470/year

Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers gather data and discuss health concerns within the society or community. They formulate health programs and preventive care to improve the lives of everyone involved in the community in terms of their health and overall well-being.

Community Health Workers Salary: $46,080/year

Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselors are commonly found in a school setting; however, they do not primarily work with helping students on their development. They also work with young adults with professional advice and help students of different ages and background to adjust socially in the school environment.

Guidance Counselor Salary: $45,094/year

Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans of common mental health issues. They work with individuals of all ages that are having challenges in managing their mental health. They conduct cognitive behavior therapy, counseling, trauma-based therapies, and psychotherapy.

Mental Health Counselor Salary: $44,630/year

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselors provide counseling and support to people who are working through substance abuse such as drug abuse or alcoholism. They create lifestyle changes and treatment plans for their patients, enabling them to live healthier lives.

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary: $44,630/year

Behavioral Counselor

Behavioral Counselors help people of different ages in developing more socially-acceptable habits that can increase their capabilities to progress and live their lives normally.

Behavioral Counselor Salary: $44,630/year

Child Abuse Counselor

Child Abuse Counselors have rewarding professional lives that provide help to victims of severe child abuse, rebuilding and regaining their trust, self-esteem, and happiness. They identify, analyze, and treat symptoms of child abuse, providing essential therapy to help the child overcome their awful or traumatic experience.

Child Abuse Counselor Salary: $43,990/year

Depression Counselor

Depression Counselors deal with patients who have emotional, mental, and physical difficulties that are caused by depression. They provide a diagnosis of the root cause of depression as well as provide necessary treatment or medication.

Depression Counselor Salary: $43,990/year

Pediatric Counselor

Pediatric Counselors use special techniques and methods to analyze and provide treatment to young children in need of help and support. They provide guidance and intervention that is important for children who have experienced general difficulties, safety challenges, and traumatic life events in their lives.

Pediatric Counselor Salary: $42,190/year

Grief Counselor

Grief Counselors are licensed therapists who assist individuals manage and cope up their grief and sense of loss after the death of a loved one. They help clients deal with grief as they continue to live their lives and be productive members of a community.

Grief Counselor Salary: $42,190/year

Geriatric Counselor

Geriatric Counselors provide diagnosis, analysis, counseling services, and treatment to the elderly. They are experts and knowledgeable of common mental health issues that are known to impact the elderly community or seniors. Also, they help seniors who live in residential facilities and nursing homes live fulfilling and comfortable lives.

Geriatric Counselor Salary: $42,190/year

Veteran Counselor

Veteran Counselors provide help to the veterans and military with a myriad of emotional, social, or mental health challenges that can happen in patients who have experienced combat. These professionals help their patients examine and identify the root cause of their issues and guide them to adjust to a more traditional life by assisting them in managing and treating the problems.

Veteran Counselor Salary: $42,190/year

Pastoral Counselor

Pastoral Counselors work within the religious communities and are a product of the belief that therapy and healing can be combined with faith and science. They tend to the emotional and physical needs of their congregations, helping followers with numerous afflictions such as abuse, anxiety, depression, substance issues, and family issues.

Pastoral Counselor Salary: $40,580/year

Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation Counselors treat patients with physical, emotional, social, and mental issues so that they can live their best lives independently. They undergo training and education to help patients understand, manage, and cope up their disabilities.

Rehabilitation Counselor Salary: $35,630/year

Social and Human Service Assistants

Serving the community, Social and Human Service Assistants provide family support in the psychology, social work, and rehabilitation fields. They collaborate with social workers, and they assist their clients in finding benefits or community services.

Social and Human Service Assistants Salary: $33,750/year

Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teachers care and educate children ages 5 and below who have not yet enrolled in kindergarten. They teach motor, language, and social skills to young children, preparing them for kindergarten education.

Preschool Teacher Salary: $29,780/year

Transformational Counselor

Transformational Counselors provide healing and treatment through spiritual healing, self-improvement, and life purpose. They integrate traditional psychological knowledge with alternative healing methods to help patients find a greater sense of purpose, passion, excitement, and peace.

Transformational Counselor Salary: $28,200/year

Teacher Assistant

Teacher Assistants work under the supervision of teachers to provide students additional attention and instruction.

Teacher Assistant Salary: $26,970/year

Spiritual Counselor

Spiritual Counselors help patients who have suffered spiritual dissatisfaction and crisis, enabling them to get in touch with their spirituality, understanding what is bothering them and overcoming these issues. These professionals integrate an in-depth understanding of psychology with spiritual beliefs behind their patients’ difficulties so that they can live happy and gratifying lives.

Spiritual Counselor Salary: $26,110/year

Recreation Worker

Recreation Workers work with groups in fitness and recreational facilities, summer camps, nursing care institutions, and other settings, designing and leading activities such as sports, arts and crafts, music and games that activate people’s healthy lifestyles.

Recreation Worker Salary: $25,060/year

Childcare Worker

Childcare Workers attend to the necessities of children including bathing, overseeing them, feeding and dressing them. Also, childcare workers help younger children prepare for kindergarten and assist older children with their studies and assignments.

Childcare Worker Salary: $23,240/year

Part-time Counseling Jobs

As a counselor, you have numerous career opportunities to share your knowledge, skills, and passion for helping the community around you. If you are looking for new professional pathways to gain extra income or benefits, some jobs are readily available for part-time positions in traditional hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, private firms, and other organizations. The occupations listed below are provided on a part-time basis.

10 Unique Counseling Careers

Counseling occupations are typically found in traditional hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes or academic institutions. However, with a little creativity and passion, you can transition successfully to a career that is related to counseling, but different enough to keep you going. These professions might require learning a new set of skills or additional extensive training to be qualified, but earning a bachelor’s degree is more than enough to start.

Writer

Writers get to share their knowledge, observances, and opinions about the world. They are self-driven, creative, and hardworking individuals who share insights about the counseling field through blogs, scholarly journals, or self-help websites. They have technical knowledge of mental health subjects with complicated terms and concepts which can be translated for the ideal audience. Also, they can write for professionals with a general understanding of the subject.

Nanny

If you’re a counselor who has a passion for working with childcare, a nanny is a suitable occupation for you. This is for you if you are the best babysitter in your neighborhood, and you love being around children. They are considered proxy mothers who get to work round the clock and go home at the end of their day.

Consultant

Consultants can be experts on a specific target audience, especially in a therapeutic setting. As such, you can explore business ventures or join a consulting firm. If you have the talent of the right marketing and branding, you can work with people, companies, and agencies that would benefit from your expertise.

Talk Show Host

If you have a degree in counseling or a related field, excellent communication, and personal skills might be one of the best assets you have. Whether it’s radio broadcasting, television or podcast, talk show hosts understand how to keep the conversations going, ask numerous questions, and manage their guests.

Administrator

Counselors who love administrative work and management might be suitable to work as administrators. They can work in non-profit organizations, traditional hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, testing centers or outreach communities, showcasing their organizational skills, leadership skills, and mission.

Entrepreneur

Nowadays, the demand for mental health services and support is increasing due to the complexities of lifestyle. If you take advantage of the internet, you can establish your own online business catering to the self-help industry. You can publish e-books, create webinars, and develop podcasts that talk about a specific problem for a target audience.

Art Therapist

If you have the creative talent and creative passion of helping people, a career as an art therapist may be the perfect fit for you. They are people who withhold their judgment while showing a deep appreciation for the healing power of arts. They help people of different ages and background find healing through artistic expression.

Music Therapist

Music Therapists use their passion and therapy training to help others find healing, recovery, inspiration, and solace through music. The healing powers of music can be a simple form of remedy for people who are suffering from mental health issues.

Speech Writer

If you are a counselor with excellent communication skill or gifted with words, consider working as a speechwriter. In this job, you help individuals express their ideas better through speech writing.

Yoga Instructor

There have been studies that yoga can transform your life for the better. Perhaps, it heals people from their emotional and mental struggles as well as improve posture. Yoga instructors have a passion for sharing their wisdom in improving physical and psychological health and well-being.

Top Travel Counseling Careers

There are several travel career opportunities for counseling majors. While the majority of these professionals are in companies or clinical settings, some of them have the chance to travel for work. If you love to meet people from different walks of life and culture, you can consider a counseling career that involves a lot of travel.

What are the advantages of earning a Counseling degree?

The opportunities for counseling work are extraordinary in the present market. As a result, new counselors can opt for many professions. There is a wide range of fields for Counseling degree holders, and all of them offer fulfilling and exciting opportunities that pay well.

Counseling is a profession that is required in many sectors. The specialization you choose should complement your interests and strengths. Whether you choose to be a counselor for the military or a counselor for children, you should take on a Counseling career that you know will be fulfilling to you as you help others.

A Counseling degree leads to a career that contributes to society by changing lives. The significance of this work can’t be overstated. A stellar example is counseling abused kids. This job may be one of the hardest, but nothing compares to the work that counselors do to free these innocents from the burden of their past. In the same manner, counseling couples to save their marriage can be quite challenging, but it is also fulfilling.

What specific skills do Counseling degree students need to enhance or develop?

Before pursuing a Counseling degree, it is essential to know whether you have soft skills, referring to your inborn personality and character traits, that are necessary to feel satisfied by the work and to provide the most efficient assistance to the general population that one serves. Here are a few traits and skills that a competent counselor should possess:

Curiosity. As a counselor, you need to have a desire to learn more about other individuals in detail. Without a genuine interest in people, you can’t be relied on to assist them and provide the help they need.

Self-reflection. How you think, act, and demonstrate yourself as a counselor has a significant effect on the nature of care you can give to clients. A competent counselor must honestly and precisely assess themselves to discover better ways of interacting in with others.

Listening. The objective of all counselors is to understand the person they are interacting and working with in a very personal way. As such, a counselor needs to be an active listener.

Accessibility with limitations. Every counselor must exhibit a delicate harmony between being physically available and emotionally accessible to their patients without going beyond personal or professional boundaries. Counseling sessions are fundamentally a dynamic interaction between the patient and the counselor.

Adaptability. A one-size-fits-all strategy for Counseling doesn’t work. The best counselors are those who can readily adjust to the patient’s experience, personality, and struggles while taking into account the external factors associated with the case.

Humor. Counseling is an intense and awkward process for everyone involved. A counselor should know when to inject humor to lighten the mood and keep the focus away from the depressing or frustrating circumstances. You should do these without trivializing the patient’s concerns, fears, and issues.

What are the accreditations and certifications for the Counseling profession?

In the field of Counseling and therapy, the type of licensure you acquire depends on the program you completed. The primary accrediting bodies for Counseling are the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA).

It is always suggested that you notify your state licensing board to confirm that the coursework you completed complies with the requirements in your place of work or professional practice. Conditions can change by state and based on the area of specialization.

What can you do with a degree in Counseling?

Generally, counselors take on jobs in:

  • Open and private clinics
  • Confinement facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Restoration centers
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Government agencies
  • Social service organizations

In many cases, a master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology, or Social Work is required by companies and organizations. The most common counseling work includes:

Training Counselors work with K-12 students or in a school setting to help students achieve personal and academic success.

Restoration and Recovery Counselors help individuals who have disabilities get back on their feet through training.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors deal with patients’ issues concerning alcoholism, drugs, eating disorders, and more.

Health & Wellness Counselors seek to improve the emotional well-being of individuals, families, and groups by addressing depression, stress, and low self-esteem.

Doctors in Counseling usually work in or associated with social services organizations and private companies. Counselors with a Ph.D. may also choose to:

  • Instruct at the university or school level
  • Supervise research
  • Publish research work
  • Guide other counselors

How do I advance in my counselor career?

In terms of professional advancement, Counselors who have become instructors have an edge over their peers because of their training and experience. Many of them become also move into administrative roles in other sectors.

Licensure and accreditation, which the National Board for Certified Counselors and the National Certified Counselor (NCC) grant, is a significant factor toward professional advancement in Counseling.

To obtain a license to practice, comply with all the requirements that may vary by state. Generally, counselors undergo supervised training and experience in the field for a year or two to be eligible for licensed practice.

Language Career Guide: Salary and Degree Info

The Language or Linguistics degree presents a wealth of opportunities—and it mainly gives you that great advantage if you have a keen interest in learning different cultures. In this modern era, where practically every important company or organization has a global presence, the possibilities that await you are endless.

Most college students who study foreign languages become translators, foreign language teachers, and interpreters. However, language programs nowadays are diverse and different from what was thirty years ago.

Graduates fill essential positions throughout the global economy, using their languages and capabilities that come with them to keep the world moving forward. Today, it’s almost impossible to do business and negotiations without solid intercultural communication skills and another language or two. Language majors have become attractive in the job market, not because of their second or third language, but because of the skills that come hand in hand while learning the language.

Considering the global setting applicants who can speak languages beyond their native tongue are likely to become assets.  Here are the top career paths of Language degree holders.

  • Travel and Tourism

In the travel and tourism industry, your language skills can make you the right candidate for the job. You may spend a few years studying your chosen country and its language, travel to that place, fall in love and then make a living out of it by helping others learn the country and its culture. Entry-level positions on cruise ships and hospitality industries can be a good starting point.

  • International Aid and Development

Language majors can work in different aid organizations and NGOs around the world to help make an impact on humanity or society. These organizations must be managed by people who have an overview of the realities of the communities they work in. As a result, this requires knowledge of the local language and culture. Volunteering programs are readily available across the globe, or big organizations like the UN Development Program can be an option for language majors. The proven ability to work and operate with people across a multicultural setting and socioeconomic barriers is a must.

  • Marketing Jobs

With the majority of the brands going global and phenomenal, the help of multilingual marketers can make a difference. Global businesses can benefit from multilingual marketers and writers who know how to tailor their message to their clients or audience. Big companies cannot survive without people who speak the local language of their target market. With this, language majors have the skills to understand cultural value systems and purchasing capabilities, and most of all, speak the language of the people they are targeting.

  • Language Majors and Educators

The world of education is one of the best starting points for language majors. Whether an individual teaches English in Southeast Asia or Japanese in a European country, the possibilities are rewarding. Language majors make great educators since they studied the foreign language and culture in depth, which makes them better prepared to understand the challenges faced by the societies they immersed. In addition to being a foreign language teacher, policy makers, educational administrators, and curriculum designers need to have an in-depth understanding and analyze trends in their social and cultural contexts. As a result, a language degree is an excellent option to start.

  • Journalism Jobs

Few professionals who will be readily prepared for these types of industries are those who have language majors in university. The field of journalism will not progress without reporters who speak the language. The real advantage is the ability to understand and engage with the people they encounter. CNN and BBC have dedicated teams with everything from production to editorial jobs composed of culturally aware and linguistically talented individuals.

Language as a Degree

Language as a degree is crucial in the modern global market. At the Bachelor’s level, students take on a variety of courses to ensure effective multicultural communication and cross-cultural competency. In many universities and colleges, the Bachelor of Languages programs promote cultural immersion. Students may also integrate other courses such as international affairs, political science, history, or literature. Language degree graduates land careers in the private and public sectors, with teaching, interpreting, translating, healthcare, tourism, research, and journalism, as the most common jobs.

While many job opportunities require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s, graduates with an Associate’s in Language degree can become interpreters, translators, and proofreaders depending on their skill.

On the other hand, some Language majors have a deep appreciation and passion for language and culture. They never have to stop learning even after graduation. Few of them work in universities, scientific institutes, or even think tanks. As a result, they finish their Ph.D. in Languages that would entail three to seven years of education.

According to the Modern Language Association (MLA), Spanish, French, American Sign Language, German, and Japanese were the top five languages enrolled by the majority of students in 2016. The survey further reveals that students also prefer to study Italian, Chinese, Arabic, and Latin.

Types of Language Degrees

Some people are fluent in multiple languages. However, a formal education—the Language degree in particular—does more as it builds superior listening and communication skills, enhances cultural awareness and appreciation, improves comprehension of contextual vocabulary and slang, promotes attention to detail, and point to distinctions in communication. The majority of translators and interpreters obtain a bachelor’s degree, although the training requirements vary. A degree in the chosen language helps develop a strong foundation of learning of the culture and literature of the speakers.

Students are encouraged to choose the right mix of electives when enrolling in a language degree. It must have a blend of cultural study and language courses. The language degree program improves research and memorization skills that will be beneficial for translations or in working with communications, deadlines, and reporting.

There are language classes designed for specific environments such as the workplace. With this, students learn proper pronunciation, grammar, conversational style, and word usage. Specialized courses that are available online can teach students the essentials they will need to work in their professional careers such as human resource management, business, law, healthcare management, and fire science.

Furthermore, there are ways to demonstrate proficiency in another business language if he or she is already working through language certificates. Also, a master’s degree is a good option for people who prefers working as a conference interpreter or in other technical areas such as finance, engineering, or localization.

Language Specializations

Many people love learning foreign languages, but some find it difficult to imagine their lives after graduation. With globalization booming nowadays, the ability to connect foreign cultures have evolved. The love of language doesn’t have to be a challenging endeavor. There are a variety of specializations of language degrees for language enthusiasts.

  • International Studies

Students who have a deep passion for traveling and culture should consider an International Studies major. Aside from language learning, they will become a student of a specific culture as they enhance their skills and knowledge in the worldview in an age of globalization. International studies major usually pursue international business career opportunities.

  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Native English speakers who enjoy learning languages can consider a TEFL major. They learn different teaching techniques that are aligned with language learning as well as classroom management, pedagogy, and lesson planning.

  • Language Studies

If a person prefers a specific language, Language Studies is an excellent choice. This program typically requires a cultural immersion or staying in the country of the chosen style, so it’s a unique opportunity to broaden horizons and get to know the culture immensely.

  • Linguistics

If a person has a curious mind and a deep passion for language, he or she is good to go towards being a Linguistics major. As such, linguistics majors are interested in language development by studying the concepts and foundations of language – how language is acquired, changed, or structured that allow people to communicate.

  • Linguistic Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropologists love to study endangered, dead, and modern languages to get an understanding of how the concept of language shapes and influences social movements, belief systems, and ideologies. This degree is suitable for people who enjoy learning the language for social instead of the technical aspect.

Language Education: Online or Traditional?

The majority of academic institutions offering Language programs have integrated platforms for hosting virtual classes, assignments, coursework, research papers, and project works. Also, students can meet their professors and classmates throughout the online program. They take quizzes, access learning materials, and participate in activities as relatively similar to the on-campus counterparts. Online bachelor’s degree programs typically need 120-credit hours as completion of the program.

Language-specific degree programs are readily available online such as 100% online programs in the Spanish Language that are ideal for students who do not have the time and resources to attend traditional education. It is one of the best choices for busy working professionals seeking to learn a new language without compromising their personal and professional obligations.

Traditional Language Education can be earned through traditional colleges and universities, vocational and trade schools, or even private establishments. There are times the workplace offers employees the opportunity to learn a foreign language through partnerships or collaborations with a private company that provides language education. Also, there are language cafes that offer rates and packages that allow individuals to choose a specific language and the learning materials and schedule that come with the package.

Students under the traditional learning format have the opportunity to travel to the country of their chosen language as part of the cultural immersion. Therefore, it is an exciting opportunity to learn a new language and study their culture with firsthand experience. Four-year language degrees consist of cultural study, language courses, electives as well as the opportunity to further advance to the master’s degree option.

Students must consider in enrolling in an accredited and high-rated educational institution such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Earning a language degree from accredited colleges and universities provides better job opportunities than non-accredited educational institutions.

Financing Your Language Education

Whether it’s an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree, there are several ways to finance students’ language education. The financial aid application and system for an online language degree is now similar to that of a traditional on-campus degree equivalent.

Loans

Students may borrow money for their education. They may apply through their college or university financial aid department or in local banks. Students may also obtain from the government, which is considered to be more favorable since interest rates are lower compared to private institutions. Furthermore, they may apply for a loan through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Grants

Grants are considered gift aids since they do not need to be repaid. They are often awarded to students who have low personal or family income as well as students who have disabilities. There is a minimum grade point average (GPA) to be maintained for the student to continue qualifying for this type of financial support.

Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded to students due to many specific reasons. They are based on academics, hobbies, sports, academic achievements, or even in the field of arts. Private companies provide scholarships to students who meet their eligibility requirements. They are similar to grants since they do not require to be paid; however, the majority of awards need students to maintain an academic standing, a minimum GPA, or a commitment to sports or organization.

Work-Study Programs

This type of financial aid provides students the opportunity to earn money for their educational expenses while attending school.

Financial support system varies from one online school to another. Each school has a dedicated team who readily help students make their way to support their studies financially. As such, it is best to check with the chosen school for the complete list of aid being provided.

Language Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

There are several career opportunities that make use of the skills earned while studying in a language-related degree program. Language skills are highly preferable nowadays in the times of globalization and can be used in almost all professional careers, specifically in businesses that trade internationally. Diverse professional pathways await language degree majors in several fields such as diplomacy, international commerce, intelligence gathering, non-profit organizations, education, literature, information technology, international relations, and journalism, among others.

The most common job opportunities directly related to a language degree include the following:

  • Translator
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Interpreter

However, there are other careers that language degree majors can establish successful careers with their language and cultural skills and studies such as the following:

  • Tour Manager/Operator
  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Patent Examiner
  • Detective
  • Sales Executive
  • Diplomatic Service Officer
  • Logistics/Distribution Manager
  • Private Tutor
  • English as a Foreign Language Teacher (ESL)
  • International Volunteer

Work environment varies per position; however, the majority of the interpreters work in conference centers, courtrooms, schools, and meeting rooms. Additionally, some people work for translation and interpretation companies, private clients, or individual establishments. With the rising times of technology, many translators work remotely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a projected 18% change in employment from 2016 to 2026 for interpreters and translators, an above average growth rate compared to other occupations. The average growth rate for such occupations is 7%. They earn $24 per hour or an annual rate of $49,930. The presence of non-English speakers in the United States and globalization has significantly impacted the employment growth rate, increasing the number of job prospects in the coming years.

10 COMMON LANGUAGE CAREERS

Translator

A translator is responsible for the conversion of concepts from the source language to a target language. Translators compile terminologies to be utilized for verbal translations and renditions and to relay the tone and style from the original language. They ensure that oral messages are rendered precisely, quickly, and clearly for a logical and meaningful conversion. A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to pursue this career. The median annual salary for translators is $46,120.

Interpreter

An interpreter serves as a bridge for effective communication between two parties. They generally work during state functions or international meetings to help heads of countries agree. Interpreters are usually present in beauty pageants, the Olympics, church conferences, and the like. They help people understand a speaker’s language for effective communication. They are also responsible for assisting proceedings. Despite the platform or crowd size, the central goal is to bridge two languages for easy understanding and effective communication. They are generally placed on the spot and convert to the target language impromptu. A bachelor’s degree is needed at the very least to enter this career. The median annual salary for interpreters is $41,905.

Brand Specialist

Brand specialists are being hired by known brands like Google, and their main job is to communicate in foreign markets. Their role is to interact with customers to properly serve the product enhancements of various brands on the market. A bachelor’s degree in the Language qualifies you for this job. The median annual salary for brand specialists is $56,074.

Classroom Teacher

Classroom teachers interact with students and help them become comfortable in a classroom setting. They teach students according to what they have prepared in their lesson plans. They mentor language learners to enhance their communication skills. A bachelor’s degree and a teaching license are both required. The median annual salary ranges from $45,504 to $50,026.

Flight Attendant

A flight attendant generally ensures the safety and comfort of passengers all the time. One of their primary responsibilities is to guarantee that the emergency equipment is functional. They also ensure the neatness of the cabin at all times and that there is sufficient supply of food and beverages. Top airline companies typically look for flight attendants who can speak foreign languages. A bachelor’s degree is required. The average annual salary for flight attendants is $74,737.

Online Tutor

Online tutors generally work in a flexible environment. They need to have a laptop, a headset with a built-in microphone, and a stable Internet connection for work. Online tutors plan their teaching schedule, market their skills, and interact with students as they conduct web-based classes. Online language tutors make sure that they are up-to-date regarding cultural references and trends, and they also study other languages for expansion of their knowledge. A high school diploma is enough to win this job. The median annual salary of online tutors is $23,345.

Recruiter

Recruiters handle the communication with employees in various business around the world and the hiring of the ideal individuals for a particular job. They also design and implement the general recruitment strategy, source and attract eligible applicants through databases, social media, and the like. They also conduct interviews and filter candidates for open positions. An associate or bachelor’s degree are considered the minimum requirements to pursue this career. The median annual salary for recruiters is $55,380.

Journalist

Journalists are responsible for researching, writing, editing, filing, and proofreading news stories, feature articles, and articles for television and radio or for magazines, journals, and newspapers, both in print and digital formats. Fluency in the English language is vital for journalists. A bachelor’s is the minimum requirement for this career. Journalists have a median annual salary of $39,565 to $45,845.

Public Speaker

Public speakers deliver speeches and seminars to a live audience in an interactive manner. They work in several fields of study and specialize in various areas like finance, health, technology, or motivational speaking. The minimum requirement to pursue this career is a bachelor’s degree. The median annual salary for a public speaker ranges from $41,206 to $107,984.

Language Blogger and YouTuber

Language bloggers and YouTubers need to have extensive knowledge about one or multiple foreign languages aside from having a passion for it. Bloggers move freely and can work anytime and anywhere. Language bloggers aid learners in learning a foreign language, and they can also sell various products or services online. They generally make money out of advertisements or affiliate links, which may attract several visitors. Language bloggers and YouTubers need to have language proficiency and possess excellent writing skills. The minimum requirement for this type of career is a high school diploma. The median annual salary for language bloggers and YouTubers is $41,206.

30 Highest Paying Language Careers

Ambassador

An ambassador also needs to know at least two foreign languages aside from his native tongue. They can work as support officers, administrative specialists, IT professionals, customer executives, and logistics. A bachelor’s is the minimum requirement for this career.

Ambassador Salary: $124,406 to $187,000

Local Product Manager

A local product manager is responsible for rolling out products from fast food chains and other companies, and this includes product research and development, marketing, and labeling. Local product managers need to understand the sensibilities of people in a particular country and guarantee to achieve the goals of the company.

Local Product Manager Salary: $83,500 to $113,886

Flight Attendant

A flight attendant provides routine services and responds to emergencies to guarantee of online travelers. Most of the time, they are required to speak a foreign language aside from their native language daily. They constantly travel from one state to another or another country, and this is the reason why a language course or degree is essential for them.

Flight Attendant Salary: $74,737

Voice Over Artist

A voice-over artist needs to speak and write well in another language since they are usually hired in movie production companies and television networks. Through a language degree, voice over artists write subtitles and do voice-overs for documentaries, films, and series. Voice over artists and subtitles are essential for the film to be understood and appreciated on an international level. Words are translated into subtitles along with the actors’ sentiments. Voice-overs are most appropriate for those who are highly competent in spoken language and have excellent diction, pronunciation, and grammar.

Voice Over Artist Salary: $72,084

International Sales and Marketing Manager

An international sales and marketing manager produces goods and acts as a marketer for buyer-to-buyer dealings. Through language skills, managers become stronger salespeople who are experts in the negotiation of deals in terms of cross-border businesses. Opportunities become open in terms of export and import sectors for international sales managers who can speak in a foreign language.

International Sales and Marketing Manager Salary: $65,296 to $78,329

Technical Writer

A technical writer is responsible for determining the information needs of various users and in creating documents to aid people in understanding numerous types of technologies. Reports can be utilized on multiple platforms like paper and online resources. The job growth of technical writers is 10%.

Technical Writer salary: $61,448 to $69,850

Creative Copywriter

A creative copywriter uses the strategy of transcreation. Generally, bilingual copywriters are responsible in the recreation of a brand’s image in foreign markets, not only through the translation of text but also through guaranteeing that it relays brand identity effectively. This career entails practical communication skills, a high degree of creativity, and knowledge of advertising strategies and practices.

Creative Copywriter Salary: $60,296

Journalist

A journalist has a wide range of tasks. Most of the time, they travel and help people narrate real testimonies or stories. This is the reason why they are required to have competent foreign language skills.

Journalist Salary: $58,839

Public Relations Specialist

A public relations specialist handles effective communication through written text. They are responsible for writing and editing articles to help in molding the public image of companies. The job growth is at least 6% and is expected to be steady, and this makes it one of the top jobs for English majors.

Public Relations Specialist Salary: $58,360.

Librarian

A librarian assists patrons in terms of research and is responsible for teaching classes on information technologies and organization of library materials. They also handle the implementation and development of databases or researching new books to be added to a library’s collection. A master’s in Library Science is the minimum requirement needed to be able to enter this career, and it should be complemented by an English degree.

Librarian Salary: $57,680

Brand Specialist

A brand specialist is capable of communicating in foreign markets for the assistance of company clients and customers. This is for the enjoyment of improved services from the company’s services and products.

Brand Specialist Salary: $56,074

Social Media Analyst

A social media analyst obtains both the original language, the nuances and colloquialisms of the target language. Social media is an essential aspect of effective marketing. Therefore, social media analysts design engaging content and determine its effect in foreign markets. Social media analysts need a high level of expertise in two or more languages, SEO knowledge, data analysis strategies, and strong writing skills.

Social Media Analyst Salary: $55,579 to $63,722

Lead Coordinator

A lead coordinator assists developing nations around the world and serves non-profit organizations. In some countries, English is not considered the official language. Comprehending a foreign language helps in the advancement of one’s position in the organization due to the ability to communicate with people being assisted.

Lead Coordinator Salary: $51,430 to $60,864

Community Representative

A community representative is involved in the development of online games and provides support during events. They must be familiar in foreign languages and may engage with international communities for interaction in terms of online games. A bachelor’s degree is required in this job.

Community Representative Salary: $48,042

Events Coordinator

An events coordinator plans, organizes, promotes, and executes meetings. Event coordinators are responsible for the supervision of activities related to events. They monitor the budget, the catering services, the facilities, the entertainment, and matter that are essential to ensure the event’s success. This career is ideal for detail-oriented language specialists who enjoy working on several projects simultaneously and are comfortable in front of an audience.

Events Coordinator Salary: $46,936

Translator

A translator renders written text to a specific audience. Translators convert thoughts, words, and intent into the target language. It is one of the most sought-after occupations in languages.

Translator Salary: $46,120

College Lecturer

A college lecturer needs to be multilingual because of the increasing number of students who take language classes yearly. Since globalization has led to the rise of Internet technology, most college and universities now have faculty members for various language studies. College lecturers need to be fluent generally in English to be able to impart knowledge and skills to their students. A master’s or doctorate is required for university lecturers of assistant professors who want to be promoted.

College Lecturer Salary: $44,443 to $73,360

Interpreter

An interpreter serves as a bridge between two diverse languages for an agreement to occur between heads of states, groups, or organizations. Their workplaces include international conferences, beauty pageants, sports arenas, company meetings, media houses, tourist centers, and organizations where their skills are required to help the audience understand the speaker’s language.

Interpreter Salary: $41,905

Unique Language Careers

Game Translator

An in-game translator is what companies such as Nintendo search for, as their main job is to translate game instructions and details from English to Japanese or other languages. A certification or a bachelor’s degree is at least needed to enter this career aside from proficiency in at least two foreign languages. Experience can also be gained through various workshops and training. The median annual salary for a game translator is $46,120.

Livestock Auctioneers

Livestock auctioneers usually speak at a very rapid pace while selling cattle, pigs, and sheep at auction. This is the principal reason why there is a need for fluency in English and foreign languages. Their fast-paced manner of speaking brings thousands of dollars every minute. The median annual salary of livestock auctioneers is $33,240.

Master Sommeliers

Master sommeliers are certified wine experts in restaurants. There is a great need for them to have excellent foreign skills since they need to extend their knowledge not only on the history, laws, and culture but also of the languages of various regions. Sommeliers require several years of study and passing of exams as well. They handle many vineyards in countries such as France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, the United States, England, South Africa, and Australia.

YouTuber or Podcaster

Podcasters or Youtubers reinvent and incorporate their personalities in the language videos and podcasts that they create. Podcasts are generally ideal for those who are fond of audio anonymity or would like to share real, actionable content on videos that are informative for listeners. YouTube focuses on posting educational videos as content while podcasters deliver lessons while their listeners work, study, or do household chores.

Travel Language Careers

Language careers that involve international travel opportunities include the following:

Foreign Service Officer

A foreign service officer gets a chance to work abroad. Foreign service officers work in consulates and embassies globally, where they represent countries on diplomatic missions. Aside from language proficiency, they need to possess the right skills to ace written exams and oral evaluations. They need to pass conduct medical reviews and security clearances as well. The median annual salary of a foreign service officer is $83,325.

Tour Guide

Tour guides accompany groups of people from the home country to a tour on another country or around a particular area you are most familiar with. Tour guides also need to be familiar with the language of the tourist destination. The median annual salary of a tour guide ranges from $29,413 to $31,854.

Cultural Advisor

Cultural advisors handle various training sessions, business negotiations, the establishment of international marketing strategies, as well as translation and interpretation. They are also responsible for the building and strengthening of the relationship between an institution and its global clients, partners, or employees. Cultural advisors should possess linguistic and cultural knowledge aside from practical managerial skills, sociability, and subject matter expertise.

International Sales Manager

International Sales Managers handle businesses and help them in buying and transporting products to their target market. Such products include furniture or parts that are usually exported or imported to design automobiles. Most international sales managers travel globally, and being knowledgeable with different languages is most helpful in dealing with various business owners and governments. Sales managers typically possess a bachelor’s degree, but for those working in the international market, sales managers should earn a master’s or doctorate.

International Lawyer

International lawyers work together with businesses and clients. They guide them in terms of legal paperwork as that of contract, government investigations, and court proceedings. They specialize in laws that are specific to certain countries. They are needed for companies with businesses worldwide, and this is the reason why they travel most of the time. International lawyers also need to be knowledgeable in terms of U.S. business law and the laws of foreign countries for aspects such as export and import of goods. Lawyers should earn a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law. The median annual salary of international lawyers is $118,160.

Overseas Teacher

An overseas teacher helps in the enhancement of an individual’s skills in English, computers, and other technical areas. Overseas teachers possessing additional language skills may work for private companies, U.S. federal facilities, or foreign governments. They also work and interact with organizations to meet expectations in terms of lesson plans that adhere to the objectives of the topics. A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement to teach outside the country, but a master’s degree is required in some companies aside from teaching in higher learning institutes. The median annual salary for an overseas teacher is $45,163.

Flight Attendant

A flight attendant travels from one city or country to another, and they serve flight patrons for different airlines. They are responsible for the assistance of passengers in terms of seating, demonstration of safety instructions, and serving of meals and snacks during flight. Flight attendants may be involved both in international and domestic work, and those who are assigned on international flights are required to speak a second foreign language. Certification must be obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The minimum requirement to pursue this particular career is a bachelor’s with work experience in Customer Service.

Interpreter

An interpreter works in various settings like schools, hospitals, courtrooms, meeting rooms, and conference centers. Others work at translation and interpretation companies, private organizations, and clients. Some interpreters are self-employed and who work remotely as well. They may also work full time during regular business hours.

Why should I enroll in a Language Degree Program?

Enrolling in a Language Degree program brings exciting and new experiences. You should consider majoring in the program if you are very passionate about learning a specific language. It is crucial to have an in-depth passion and interest since learning a new language requires hard work to become fluent in it. In addition, majoring in a specific communication is a practical idea if you plan to have a career in language-related fields. If you wish to be a translator or interpreter, make it your goal to speak the language fluently by attending Language courses.

With a Language degree, you can communicate effectively with other people from different cultural backgrounds. You can also become potential business partners and conduct negotiations, which will be beneficial for both of you. This is an excellent advantage to have in the workplace, and perhaps you might be paid higher in the long run. Furthermore, it is one of the exceptional skills to have when applying for job prospects to help you stand out from other applicants.

If you want to work and live in a different country, particularly the specific language you’ve chosen, a language degree program is a better option. There are some jobs in your target country that requires fluency or knowledge in the local language. Although some do not require such an arrangement, knowing the local language can boost your credentials as it implies you will be able to adapt quickly in the culture.

Moreover, if you love double majoring, a language degree program is a suitable choice. You are an excellent job candidate if you combine your language major with a major in a different field, such as political science, education, STEM, business, or international relations. This double major set-up provides a comprehensive set of skills you can apply in a variety of careers and industries.

Who are suitable for Language Degree Programs?

Language Degree Programs are suitable for people who have a natural passion and interest in learning a foreign language. As mentioned, learning a new language is challenging and requires a lot of time and effort. Therefore, people who have the patience and perseverance in mastering the language is an ideal candidate for language studies. Earning your language degree does not necessarily mean you will master your chosen language all at once. It takes a lot of years and perhaps on-hand experience before you will finally be fluent in speaking the language.

Students who want to immerse and get to know the culture related to the specific foreign language can significantly benefit from earning a language degree and if you are someone who wants to teach English abroad, such as in Southeast Asia, earning a TEFL is an appropriate option for you. Not only you will be able to speak freely to the locals in their language, but you will also learn to adapt to their culture and learn a new language. Also, you will have the opportunity to live in a foreign country while working.

Some people have a deep sense of appreciation for history and art. With a language degree, it will provide you in-depth knowledge and strong foundational background regarding the history, culture, art, cuisine, or even music. This learning will help you become a tour operator or an independent tour guide for people who love to learn and immerse in the specific language you study. Also, you can apply for jobs in museums, in schools and in research centers that provide an environment that will foster and practice your skills and knowledge on a specific foreign language.

Becoming an interpreter and translator provides opportunities for people who love to travel and work at the same time. With the rising trend of remote working, you can take advantage of this work environment by applying for jobs as language translators and interpreters. There is an increasing number of foreign companies and private establishments that need foreign language translators. For example, you can work as an English translator for a French company without leaving the comforts of your own home or even working around the world.

The field of entrepreneurship and start-ups can make use of a language degree. By getting to know the culture and language of your target audience or country, it is easier to market your business forward if you have a background and understanding of the local language. You will know what strategies will work, market behaviors, purchasing powers, and market trends of that specific country. You could be a step closer to your business partnerships with a language degree program.

What skills do Language Degree holders develop?

Learning a new language enhances your life in many ways you least expect. If you are open to learning a foreign language, discovering all the critical skills you develop along the way can add up extra motivation and encouragement to start.

Boost Your Memory

It is not surprising that learning a new language requires a lot of memorization of new phrases and words. Mnemonics and Spaced Repetition Systems are two main techniques that serve as a backbone of a language learner’s study program. Mnemonic pertains to retaining information through association. On the other hand, SRS prompts you to remember information you usually forget. As a result, the pieces of information are quickly retained in your long-term memory. With SRS, something triggers you to remember the elements on the periodic table, the capitals of the countries in the world, or medical terms.

Improve Listening Skills

Listening is not solely one of the core skills for language learning, but it is also an essential skill in life. As such, having excellent listening skills is essential regardless of what language you are speaking or learning, and can help you communicate effectively with different people. Foreign language learners tend to have better-listening skills and sharper memories than their monolingual counterparts.

Learn How To Be Open-Minded and Sociable

A vital factor in practicing a new language is to interact with and meet new people. One way to become fluent at a specific language is speaking with native speakers. You don’t have a significant number of people in your network who are native speakers in your chosen language of study. Chances are, you will have to get out and meet new friends or people who can speak the language to help you become a better speaker. Meeting language partners for language exchange is meeting anyone from different background, ethnicity, principles and, way of life. The skills of being open-minded and friendly are directly related to other aspects of your journey.

Improve Problem Solving Abilities

Language learners have greater flexibility, enriched problem-solving skills, and enhanced order thinking capabilities. The more you are exposed to solving language problems, the more you will excel at solving other problems in different aspects of your life. Furthermore, you learn new ways on how other people and cultures solve their problems, which helps you gain a new perspective in life.

What does it imply to study Language Studies?

If you have a natural passion and interest in languages, you can use this to open up or pursue several career opportunities in politics and international trade. On the other hand, you can provide help in other language communities in your area to gain full access to services and opportunities.

There is a difference between a Linguistics degree and an Arts & Humanities degree in Language major. Linguistics focuses on the technical aspect of language; therefore, linguists learn the concept of language itself – sentences we use and pronunciation or the way we make sounds to specific words. It implies understanding linguistic structures and comprehending on how similar or different one language is to another language. Finding a pattern and having the ability to describe, compare, and identify linguistic phenomena is one of the wonders in linguistics study.

Language degree holders choose a specific language to study and become fluent as well as study their culture, which will lead them for numerous job opportunities around the world. Languages are multifaceted systems ranging from many aspects. When studying a new language, you may be become more efficient in some set of skills depending on factors such as your motivation to study the language and your background knowledge.

Proficiency in a specific language means an in-depth knowledge of the language that enables you to communicate, express yourself, and understand others. Language proficiency leads to improved skills in listening, writing, reading, and speaking.

Knowledge of things such as literature, food, cultural developments, music, and political history where the language is used is essential to appreciate and master the language successfully. It means being able to adapt to their culture, knowing the idioms, expressions or phrases, understanding and developing jokes or perhaps discover the history that has left the deepest scars of the present state.

The ability to translate and interpret is probably the most advanced level of getting to know a specific language. This aspect requires speaking fluently using the correct gestures to extensive knowledge of the culture of the language you choose. Being someone’s interpreter or translating a culturally conditioned sense is a professionally and personally complex process. As a result, a few people truly learn to master these skills.

Are there any Language Certifications or Licenses that I need as a Language Degree holder?

For interpreters and translators, there is no universal type of certification required by potential employers. However, there are a variety of exams you can complete to take your proficiency to a marketable degree. For example, the American Translators Association provides a rigorous type of certification for its members. On different cases, the federal courts have certification requirements for Spanish, and Haitian Creole interpreters and almost all state and municipal courts endorse their forms of the certification examination. For court interpreting, the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators require a special type of certification.

The U.S. Department of State has three- parts of examinations for interpreters namely conference-level interpreting (international conferences), simultaneous interpreting, and simple consecutive interpreting. They do not necessarily mean certification, but successful completion of these tests adds up to your credentials indicating you have the adequate skills to work in the related field.

If you are interested in teaching ESL/EFL, there is no single certificate, degree, or license that authorizes a person to teach ESL/EFL in all fields or other parts of the world. Job requirements and employer-specific requirements vary from one job to another. Generally, the minimum qualification to teach English in communities across the globe is a bachelor’s degree and some TESL or TEFL certification. However, the requirements depend on the place where one is teaching. Some companies require being a native speaker to teach a specific language; however, there are exceptions where they generally do not require such, especially if you are fluent in that particular language.

An introduction to ESL teaching is integrated into some certificate programs. There are two categories of certificate programs, namely independent certificates, and graduate certificates. Both types of certifications require the applicants some bachelor’s degree, but some individual institutions have program-specific prerequisites to complete the certification examination. Graduate certifications are taught in colleges and universities and take about two to four semesters for completion. A master’s degree is a good option once completed since the credits are often applicable to advancement. On the other hand, independent certificates usually take about two to six weeks of completion that solely focus on different methods for language teaching and practical training.