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Child Development & Family Studies Major

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Child Development & Family Studies

13,215 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,335 Master's Degrees Annually
#37 in Popularity
$35,830 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Child Development & Family Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many human development and family studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 16,159
Bachelor’s Degree 13,218
Associate’s Degree 8,681
Undergraduate Certificate 3,967
Master’s Degree 1,335
Graduate Certificate 178
Doctor’s Degree 149

What Child Development & Family Studies Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to human development and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Human Development Majors

Human Development majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills for Human Development Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to human development:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities for Human Development Majors

As you progress with your human development degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Child Development & Family Studies Major?

People with a human development degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Childcare Workers 6.9% $23,240
Community and Social Service Specialists 13.2% $42,620
Farm and Home Management Advisors 7.7% $49,840
Home Economics Professors 8.6% $71,380
Nannies 6.9% $23,240
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 10.5% $29,780
Social and Human Service Assistants 16.4% $33,750

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development & Family Studies?

13,218 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
93% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Human Development and Family Studies runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #37 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2019, about 13,215 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 93% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of human development majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Human Development Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 579
Black or African American 1,495
Hispanic or Latino 2,317
White 7,707
International Students 203
Other Races/Ethnicities 917

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Human Development, too. About 1.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Child Development & Family Studies Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies made a median starting salary of $28,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,225 (25th percentile) and $30,300 (75th percentile).


Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a human development degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $34,410 to $52,700 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to human development. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Child Development & Family Studies Major  ( 34410 to 52700 )
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Some degrees associated with human development may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for human development careers below.

Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 5.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 25.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.1%
Some College Courses 6.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 11.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 14.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.1%
Master’s Degree 18.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 9.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.1%

Online Child Development & Family Studies Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,080 schools offered a human development program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 684 119
Certificate (1-2 years) 466 52
Certificate (2-4 Years) 16 0
Associate’s Degree 618 77
Bachelor’s Degree 47 14
Post-Baccalaureate 684 119
Master’s Degree 128 31
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 40 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Child Development & Family Studies Worth It?

The median salary for a human development grad is $35,830 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.


You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to human development.

Major Number of Grads
Food, Nutrition & Related Services 5,318
General Family & Consumer Sciences 3,753
Textile & Apparel Studies 3,476
Family & Consumer Economics 1,593
Housing 785
Human Sciences Business Services 477
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences (Other) 192
Work & Family Studies 0


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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