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Child Development & Family Studies Major

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Child Development & Family Studies

13,016 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,313 Master's Degrees Annually
#39 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 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 17,431
Bachelor’s Degree 13,027
Associate’s Degree 8,238
Undergraduate Certificate 3,903
Master’s Degree 1,313
Graduate Certificate 155
Doctor’s Degree 142

What Child Development & Family Studies Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, human development majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Human Development Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in human development should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • 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

human development majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

  • 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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with human development:

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?

13,027 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
92% Percent Women
37% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Human Development and Family Studies runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #39 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2018, about 13,016 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 92% 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 620
Black or African American 1,565
Hispanic or Latino 2,067
White 7,720
International Students 125
Other Races/Ethnicities 930

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Human Development, too. About 1.0% 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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to human development have obtained the following education levels.

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 2017-2018, 1,081 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) 676 121
Certificate (1-2 years) 478 55
Certificate (2-4 Years) 16 2
Associate’s Degree 619 77
Bachelor’s Degree 43 11
Post-Baccalaureate 676 121
Master’s Degree 122 30
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 39 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 5,451
General Family & Consumer Sciences 4,230
Textile & Apparel Studies 3,471
Family & Consumer Economics 1,673
Housing 701
Human Sciences Business Services 466
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences (Other) 104
Work & Family Studies 0


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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