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Religious Education Major

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Religious Education

819 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
586 Master's Degrees Annually
#172 in Popularity
$46,980 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Religious Education Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many religious education graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 819
Master’s Degree 586
Doctor’s Degree 81
Associate’s Degree 30
Graduate Certificate 16
Basic Certificate 5

What Religious Education Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to religious ed 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 Religious Ed Majors

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

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  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills for Religious Ed Majors

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

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities for Religious Ed Majors

As a religious ed major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Religious Education Major?

People with a religious ed degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 7.1% $40,810
Philosophy and Religion Professors 12.3% $71,890

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Education?

819 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
54% Percent Women
28% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 819 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in religious education in 2018, making it rank #172 in popularity. Roughly 54% of the graduates are women, and 46% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Religious Ed Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 26
Black or African American 98
Hispanic or Latino 76
White 532
International Students 18
Other Races/Ethnicities 69

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Religious Ed, too. About 2.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Kenya
  • Papua New Guinea
  • China

How Much Do Religious Education Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that religious education students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $23,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $22,350 (25th percentile) and $33,100 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to religious ed.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $46,980 to $82,420 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to religious ed. 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 Religious Education Major  ( 46980 to 82420 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with religious ed require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 3.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 42.1%
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. 0.3%
Master’s Degree 11.5%
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. 0.3%
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. 0.2%
Doctoral Degree 35.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.0%

Online Religious Education Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 148 schools offered some type of religious education 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) 8 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 7 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 22 9
Bachelor’s Degree 8 3
Post-Baccalaureate 8 0
Master’s Degree 64 20
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 13 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 4 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 3 0

Is a Degree in Religious Education Worth It?

The median salary for a religious ed grad is $46,980 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 18% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $141,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to religious ed.

Major Number of Grads
Theological & Ministerial Studies 18,745
Biblical Studies 4,645
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 3,145
Missionary Studies 1,655
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,378
Sacred Music 454

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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