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Religious Education

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Religious Education Major

1,516 yearly degrees
#225 in popularity
$47,000 median salary

Religious education is a major that typically falls into the Theology & Religious Vocations category.

There are 22 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in religious ed, 96 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 64 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 20 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Religious Ed Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 900 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in religious education in 2017. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 54.1% of the graduates are women, and 45.9% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of religious ed majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 3.2%
  • Black or African American: 12%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.3%
  • White: 65%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.2%
  • Other Races: 8.4%
Religious Education Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in religious ed. About 2.2% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending religious ed majors to the U.S. are South Korea, Canada and Kenya.

What Will You Learn as a Religious Education Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to religious ed to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Religious Ed Majors

Religious ed majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Religious Education Majors

Skills for Religious Ed Majors

A major in religious ed prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Religious Education Majors

Abilities for Religious Ed Majors

A major in religious ed will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for religious ed Majors

What Can You Do With a Religious Ed Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with religious ed:

Careers Related to Religious Education
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Directors, Religious Activities and Education



Philosophy and Religion Professors



Religious Education Major Salary

Religious ed majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $47,000 to $82,000. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Religious Ed Major  ( 47000 to 82000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Religious Education Major Jobs

Some careers associated with religious ed 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 religious ed careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Religious Education
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Religious Education Programs

There are 96 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in religious education, with 21 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Religious Education Major Worth It?

The median salary for a religious ed grad is $47,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 21% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $161,600 after 20 years!

religious education salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: RichardF via License

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