The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 24 years!

The Best Jobs for Philosophy Majors

Shot of a young woman studying in a college library

A philosophy major is one of the classic academic disciplines.  This broad, rich field reaches deep into history and critical thought, observing, recounting and questioning much of what has shaped society today.  This type of degree offers skills and knowledge that can fit into any career category, as it encourages reasoning, communication, and research–all of which can be highly valued qualities in the right position. So, what are the best jobs for philosophy majors? 

GetEducated has compiled a list of professions from the highest-paid entry-level jobs to the most lucrative the title of Philosopher has to offer.  All of the programs this article points to are online degrees in philosophy, which can be earned in flexible formats designed for nontraditional students.  Read on to learn more about earning a degree in philosophy and the work you can pursue with the right credentials.

Why Major in Philosophy? A Look at the Skills

As a graduate of a philosophy program, your myriad skills can be transferred directly to the professional world, but probably the most important are your basic intellectual skills: Critical thinking, problem solving, and synthesizing ideas. These intellectual skills are pursued through all philosophy classes, and can be applied to virtually any industry and any profession.

Philosophers have the ability to organize complex subjects into relatable, understandable systems. Philosophy can involve many different aspects, and the ability to combine and communicate a relatable, simple theory is crucial to a philosopher. For example, this skill can help large businesses with complex structures stay organized while maintaining a clear mission and drive.

To build these critical skills, online degrees in philosophy require rigorous research, class discussions, collaborative group studies, writing papers, and project presentations.

Highest-Paying Entry-Level Jobs for Philosophy Majors

The following lists are based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a section of the United States Department of Labor. GetEducated looks at the latest average salary as well as the median salary for the top 10% of the careers in philosophy to give an idea of what this career can bring.

This list also observes future expected growth, which is currently listed between 2020 and 2030. The average expected growth across the nation is 5-8%, so anything below this could be considered a declining career field.

#1   Market Research Analyst

Avg. Salary: $65,810
Typical Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Job Outlook: 22%

Monitoring and forecasting sales can be a difficult job, and with the research and analytical skills gained through a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, graduates are well equipped to meet these challenges. This type of career is found all through the national market, serving virtually any industry in any location. Most industries use market analysis, so these skills and experiences are useful virtually everywhere. A marketing research analysts’ goal is to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and make recommendations for future marketing.  The ones who reach the top 10% of the profession earn over $127,410 a year while enjoying a career that has an expected 22% growth.

#2   Writer

Avg. Salary: $67,120
Typical Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Job Outlook: 9%

While the vast majority of writers (64%) are self-employed, roughly a third are hired by organizations, including companies and nonprofits. Becoming a writer can include producing fiction and non-fiction books, copywriting for advertising, technical writing, or other professional purposes. The median salary is healthy, and the top 10% earn over $133,460. With an expected  9% increase in jobs, the career is now slightly above average projected growth, but earning among the highest average salaries can still be incredibly competitive.

#3   Advertising Sales Agent

Avg. Salary: $54,940
Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent
Job Outlook: 3%

Advertising sales agents sell advertising services for their firm or company. Essentially, their job is to explain to potential clients how advertising with a company or group, such as a website or streaming service, will help the client promote sales. This job only requires a high school diploma, but a philosophy degree can help sales agents work through problems, communicate benefits, and move ahead in what is currently a declining market. The median salary is above $50,000, and the top 10% earn over $124,030 a year. However, growth is slower than average, currently at 3% throughout 2030.

Best Jobs for Philosophy Majors

Now let’s look at the best jobs for philosophy majors that have lifelong career potential with high incomes.

Marketing Manager

Average salary: $141,490
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

Marketing managers help guide marketing campaigns designed to generate interest in a certain product or service. They may be required to budget, plan promotional activities, negotiate contracts, hire advertising creatives, or conduct market research. Near the end of a project, they may evaluate marketing efforts and analyze results while striving to meet the demands of specific clients. The job outlook sits at 10% expected growth, so you can expect a steady but competitive career, while the top 10% of earners in this field command salaries over $208,000.

Lawyer

Average salary: $126,930
Required Education: Professional degree

Being a lawyer involves communication, problem-solving, research, and organization, usually done behind the scenes, to reach the best conclusions for their clients. Lawyers will often have to present facts in written form, which means the ability to write clearly is crucial. Legal matters can be complex, but a philosophy degree helps you navigate the cognitive complexities of the industry. Through dedication and service, the top 10% of the profession can expect a salary over $208,000 and enjoy an above average 9% career outlook through the year 2030.

Sales Manager

Average salary: $132,290
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

By setting goals, providing direction, and developing new staff members, sales managers support the sales of various products and services. They can be found in virtually any industry that has something to sell. They often develop sales plans, assign territories or assignments, coordinate training, and perform many other management-level tasks that help the sales process. Sales managers may travel on occasion, but often stay in the office to perform their work. If you excel in this career and make it into the top 10%, you can expect a salary over $208,000 and a job growth of roughly 7%, which is right at the national average.

Political Scientist

Average salary: $125,350
Required Education: Master’s degree

In this career, you will study and communicate the origin and development of political systems, which will include research and analysis. The BLS says that 48% of political scientists work for the federal government, while over a quarter work for professional, scientific, and technical services. The top 10% in this field enjoy salaries over $170,800, and the career will experience 9% growth, which is just above the national average for all careers.

Best Buy: Master of Arts in Political Science from Sul Ross State University

View More Political Science Master's Degrees

Human Resources Manager

Average salary: $121,220
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

Large companies and organizations need people who can organize and plan recruiting efforts to bring in the best possible candidates. They also need professionals who can assist with training and ensure that the people who are hired are fully equipped to meet the needs of the organization. A philosophy major connects how the ability to work through issues and communicate to new hires can be essential for this career field. With an expected growth of 9% and the top 10% in the field earning over $208,000, a career in HR can be both stable and lucrative.

Economist

Average salary: $108,350
Required Education: Master’s degree

While the daily tasks of an economist largely involve mathematics, it’s not uncommon for this career to involve a large dose of humanity and philosophy, making it a great option for someone with an online philosophy degree and a penchant for interpreting data. In this career, you will research economic issues, advise businesses, and analyze data using mathematical models. The job outlook is decent, with an expected growth of 13%, much faster than the national average. The pay for the top 10% is over $198,230 making it a lucrative career choice once you have the necessary training and experience.

GetEducated Sponsored Pick: Master of Science in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University

School Principal

Average salary: $98,490
Required Education: Master’s degree

The leaders and often the face of schools, principals coordinate curriculums, oversee teaching agendas, and provide leadership for staff. Daily work can include everything from lesson development to budgeting for future semesters, so a master’s degree in a related field is required. An online philosophy degree is a great educational start to this career, which can bring over $152,500 for the top 10%.

Popular Pick: Master of Education in Educational Leadership from William Carey University

View More Educational Administration Master's Degrees

College Professor

Average salary: $80,790
Required Education: Doctorate in chosen field

If you are extremely passionate about philosophy and would love to teach this subject, a career as a college professor might be right for you. In this career, you’ll teach others seeking philosophy degrees, which can include planning lessons and developing educational plans. You must also have a doctorate or at the very least a master’s in the field, and you’ll have to maintain a strong understanding of the discipline to have one of these jobs in philosophy. The top 10% earn over $180,360 a year, and demand for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow by 12%.

Psychologist

Average salary: $82,180
Required Education: Doctorate

Psychologists study and interpret and communicate the processes of the human mind. A few degrees prepare a student for the complexities and details of this field. Although philosophy looks outward while psychology looks inward, the degree will give you base skills to move into this career. Psychologists will conduct studies, make observations, research behavior, and test patterns that help them understand the human mind. They may also work one-on-one with clients to help improve mental health. A doctorate in psychology will be required. The top 10% in this field have a salary over $137,590 and enjoy a competitive profession with 8% expected growth.

Best Buy & Popular Pick: Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology / Developmental Psychology from Liberty University

View More Psychology Doctorate Degrees

Arbitrator

Average salary: $66,130
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

By facilitating dialogue among parties, arbitrators help resolve conflicts outside of the courtroom. They may be called upon to clarify issues or concerns, or conduct initial meetings to establish the disputes, which requires excellent communication and thoughtfulness. Communication is essential in this career, as you will have to talk with people on both sides, interview witnesses or experts, and obtain information about the issues being disputed. If you work your way into the top 10% of this field, you can expect to earn over $131,210 a year while enjoying a career with an expected 10% growth.

High School Teacher

Average salary: $62,870
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

High school teachers are an important part of our society as a whole as well as the lives of young students. They teach academic lessons and many of the philosophy skills, including communication and research, can be applied to the field of teaching. You’ll need a teaching license and training, but the top 10% in this field stand to earn over $102,130 a year. The job outlook, which stands at 8%, is consistent with national averages.

Editor

Average salary: $63,400
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

You will compose plenty of writing as a philosophy major, which makes you a prime candidate for a career as an editor. In this job, you will plan, review, and revise written content, which can come from numerous sources, including professional authors, companies, and government agencies. Tasks may also include the development of story and content ideas, or the general guidance of creating articles and other written content, so editor’s jobs are involved in both the front and the backend of the articles. The overall career is expected to grow 5% in available jobs, but the top 10% in the field can earn over $126,800 a year.

Historian

Average salary: $63,110
Required Education: Master’s degree

Working as a historian can mean working as a teacher, a curator for museums, historical societies, and employees of research organizations. Depending on the type of employer, the work can include gathering historical information, interpreting historical sources, tracing historical events, and communicating historical subjects to the public, which could make it one of the most ideal jobs in philosophy. The top 10% in this career earn over $116,340 and the expected job growth is 5%, giving the career a competitive level of stability.

Best Buy & Popular Pick: Master of Arts in History from Missouri State University

View More History Master's Degrees

School & Career Counselor

Average salary: $58,120
Required Education: Master’s degree

Counselors work with individuals to identify skills and help them determine which career path would be most suited to their interests and abilities. Counselors may help guide someone to a career or to the right education, but they will always focus on advancing the success of the people who come to their office. With a strong median pay and an expected job growth of 11%, this is a great option for many philosophy majors. If you are in the top 10%, you can expect a career salary over $97,910.

Popular Pick: Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University

View More Counseling Master's Degrees

Selling Your Skills as a Philosophy Major

So, now that you know the best jobs available to philosophy majors, how can you actually take the skills you’ve gained and use them to land the job? How can you convince employers that your education was not just a leisurely stroll through books and thought, but a useful training that can actually be used to improve their organization? It starts by narrowing down your experience and giving clear examples. 

Start by identifying your transferable skills that you gained during a degree in philosophy online. While most, if not all, of the skills you learned during your studies are transferable in some way, you’ll likely find that communication and research are the two skills that best apply to professional businesses and organizations. 

Employers often need people who can clearly and accurately convey company messages and goals, and philosophy majors, who spend hours taking abstract thought and turning it into concrete ideas, can provide this service. Emphasize that because of your bachelor in philosophy you can communicate effectively and provide reliable support for company communication. 

Research can also be applied to a business, non-profit, or government agency.  Organizations need employees who can help identify potential revenue sources, unfulfilled needs, or opportunities to expand their mission. As a philosophy major, you’ll understand how to find this information and how to ensure the resources are reliable and accurate.

Whenever possible, relate your skills with examples of action, especially examples from real-world experiences, such as internships or other jobs. While there is value in classroom experience, employers often want to see that your skills have been used in settings that closely reflect their company or organization.

Continuing Education

Finding the right educational path after earning an online philosophy degree will largely depend on your goals for the future. Many of the careers listed will require more education and training than just a bachelor’s degree, so consider earning an online philosophy degree master’s or PhD before pursuing the higher up careers. 

For example, if you want to be an attorney, you will need to attend law school; if you want to be a school principal, you must pursue a master’s degree in a related field, such as teaching.

There are many excellent philosophy PhD programs. This would be a good education choice if you want to become a professor of philosophy at the college level, which is one of the best jobs for philosophy majors.

Begin Your Online Education Today!

GetEducated is here to help you find the right schools for your goals, schedule, and budget. With extensive resources, we are the trusted authority for reliable information on online colleges!

Related Resources

Browse Now

Search Over 1,600+ Schools with 30,000+ Degrees