Types of Degrees Religious Studies Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many religious studies graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Religious Studies Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, religion 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 Religion Majors
Religion 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.
- Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
- History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Skills for Religion Majors
When studying religion, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Religion Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a religion student include the following:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
What Can You Do With a Religious Studies Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with religion:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors||10.4%||$74,440|
|Philosophy and Religion Professors||12.3%||$71,890|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of religion majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||358|
|Hispanic or Latino||379|
Students from other countries are interested in Religion, too. About 1.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
How Much Do Religious Studies Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in religion have a median salary of $25,050 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $23,150 (25th percentile) and $29,175 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in religion, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Religion majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $82,420 to $85,450 (25th to 75th percentile). 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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Religious Studies
Some careers associated with religion require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for religion careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.1%|
|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.||2.2%|
|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.||0.7%|
Online Religious Studies Programs
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 722 schools offered some type of religious studies program. 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)||28||4|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||18||2|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||55||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||3||1|
Is a Degree in Religious Studies Worth It?
The median salary for a religion grad is $82,420 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 107% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $850,400 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Religious Studies
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to religion.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Other Philosophy & Religious Studies||285|
|General Philosophy & Religious Studies||219|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Sowlos under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
Featured Philosophy and Religious Studies Schools
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