What To Do With A Philosophy Degree? 11 Best Careers for Philosophy Majors

Today, many people are still under the impression that a philosophy degree has no practical application and is only suited to becoming a professor at a university. This is, however, not the case. In fact, there are plenty of jobs you can have after receiving your philosophy degree. So you have that philosophy degree. What do you actually do with it? 

There are many options for what to do with a philosophy degree or philosophy-related degree, including teaching, counselling, and a few others. By understanding what your options are and what you’d enjoy doing most, you can narrow down your search and find the right career path for the life you want to lead.

Here’s some more information on what jobs you can have with a philosophy degree.

1. Become a Chaplain

 If you have a philosophy degree and are looking for an interesting career, then you should consider a career as a chaplain. A chaplain is a non-denominational minister who provides emotional, spiritual, and sometimes religious support to people who are ill or in crisis. 

Chaplains aren’t allowed to proselytize people, so they usually provide emotional support. Chaplains can be assigned to hospitals, community centers, schools, and law enforcement agencies.

The salary of a chaplain is largely determined by the position and location where he or she works. For instance, the median income of a university chaplain is $49,910, and the median salary of a hospital chaplain is $51,620. A chaplain who works in the military can make significantly more money, with a salary of $49,000, while prison chaplains have a median salary of $47,740.  

SEE: Why Philosophy is a Good Major

2. Be a Public Policy officer

Do you have a degree in philosophy? Do you feel confused and lost about what you should do with your degree? Are you interested in the inner workings of government and public policy? If so, then consider becoming a public policy officer. 

These officers work directly with the public to help them understand how federal and state policies affect their standard of living and quality of life. They also write up public policy proposals, do surveys and research, and gather information to help with decision-making.

The average public policy officer salary is around $70,000, depending on the department and location. A percentage of that salary may be deducted to pay into a pension plan. If you are working for the federal government, you will receive benefits like paid leave and health insurance.

3. Work as a Psychotherapist

Much like a medical doctor, a psychotherapist is a professional who is trained and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional problems. As a psychotherapist, you can help people with a variety of mental illnesses, such as depression. With your degree in philosophy, you will be able to assist patients in evaluating their own choices and life paths. 

Before you can practice psychotherapy, you usually need to complete an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, and a practicum and internship. Psychotherapists can work in many different areas, such as private practice, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, or psychology clinics. 

If a graduate chooses a career as a psychotherapist, they can expect to earn anywhere from $41,000 to $76,000 per year.

4. Consider Becoming a Counselor or mediator 

Let’s start at the end. Become a mediator or counselor if your passion and skills are facilitating dialog, listening well, impartiality, and breaking down barriers between people.

 There are many different levels and types of counseling. A counselor could work as a counselor in a school or as an adolescent or adult therapist in any number of settings. You could also be working on a crisis hotline. And there are many other types of counseling out there too. 

If you are a frugal person, then being a counselor is an excellent job to add to your resume. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for counselors and mediators is around $50,000. 

SEE: Learn how to make money as a career counselor 

5. Work as a Social researcher

Some people’s philosophy degrees are limited to the study of philosophers and the history of ideas. Others decide to make their knowledge relevant by using it for research into social issues, public policy, and teaching. You will ask people questions, observe how they react, and then find patterns in their answers. 

You can work for social researchers at a think tank, for an advertising company, or for a political research group. One example is the Pew Research Center. Having a job like this can be very exciting since you are always talking with people with different opinions and experiences.

In a field like social research, the average salary range is about $63,000 a year. There are, of course, some situations where the salary will be higher and others where it will be lower. Some entry-level jobs don’t pay over $38,000 per year. But if you remain diligent and work hard with your expertise, you can make more.

6. Become a Librarian 

A philosophy certification might make your resume stand out when applying for library positions. What’s more, some libraries provide their employees with opportunities to sharpen their philosophical skills. If you can get a job at a public library or a public school, then that is a good idea. 

You could also look into writing and editing. Develop your skills and put them on your resume. Though it may seem like a long way from philosophy to library science or from philosophy to writing, you should consider those other options as well. Remember to research the career path and the requirements for the job. 

Being a librarian is a rewarding job that requires hard work and education. The average salary for a librarian is about $61,000. 

7. Become a Lawyer 

Becoming a lawyer is an excellent way to take the skills you developed as a philosophy major and apply them in a practical setting. The American Bar Association estimates that there are about 1.3 million lawyers in the United States

Furthermore, this number is expected to keep increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that lawyers enjoy growing demand for their services as more people start to utilize this legal service.

However, law is a very difficult degree with a lot of competition. It’s important that you know why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve. If it’s because you love arguing, then go for it. If it’s because your parents expect it, think very carefully before going down this route. The median annual salary for lawyers is about $108,820.

SEE: Here are things you can do to make money as an online lawyer

8. Work as a College Professor

Being a philosopher means you love thinking about the world. Thus, it might be quite easy to specialize your philosophy degree into a more solid and practical career in education. College professors can share their passion with students on topics that they have never addressed.

You may have to teach classes on a range of topics – from literature, history, and cultural studies, to politics, law, and more. Your salary will vary greatly depending on your specialty and your institution. 

The average professor earns $60,000 to $90,000. This is a starting salary, so it increases with experience as you gain tenure. At some schools, you might make more than $100,000, while at others you might make much less.

SEE: Discover tips to make more money as a teacher

9. Consider becoming a Writer

Writing is a great option for philosophers. Writers are part of the most vibrant profession where present opportunities are growing daily. Writers help us shape our futures and look back on our past. They inspire us, teach us, and encourage us. In today’s world, if you can write well in one area, you can write well in others. 

University offerings range widely and include everything from technical writing to creative writing, reading and literature, to advertising and public relations. Some are choosing to move toward a blog or a regular column in newspapers, magazines, or even television. One philosopher who has managed to make a living through writing is Daniel Dennett. 

If you’re writing for an audience that is willing to pay for quality content, then you can easily make upwards of $3,000 per month. This number may vary greatly depending on the niche, but it’s important to remember that you don’t need to limit yourself to a single topic to succeed.

SEE: Discover tips to make make money as a writer

10. Work as a Human Resources specialist 

If you have a philosophy degree, your education can prepare you for many different careers. One of these options might be human resource management. Human resource management involves overseeing activities that affect employees and the workplace. 

They ensure the workplace is safe, that employees are well-trained and happy, and that companies are meeting their objectives. Whether it’s a small business or one with thousands of employees, this industry needs professionals who can interpret the legal precedents related to employment practices and other company policies. 

On average, you can earn $70,000, depending on several factors, such as your location, your industry, and your education level. 

SEE: Explore what human resources do

11. Become a Business Professional 

Business professionals work in many fields, such as finance, accounting, law, and many more. You could work as a business consultant or create a lecture series on personal finance. Another option is to work in a corporate environment.

Not only can you pursue a career in high-paying fields such as accounting and finance, but you also have the opportunity to transition into professions such as law, publishing, and medicine. 

You can make $40,000 to $50,000 per year with a master’s degree in philosophy. 

SEE: Here are some of the most profitable business ideas

FAQs

What exactly is philosophy?

Philosophy is the discipline of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. It is the study of at least two aspects of reality: the natural world around us, and the one within us. A philosopher is a person who studies and contemplates the nature of the world and its meanings. 

In a more practical sense, it is all about examining the questions, issues, and controversies that confront the human experience and offering possible solutions in the form of answers or advice. The nature of a philosopher’s job varies from person to person, and from situation to situation. 

Who are the typical employers of philosophers?

Philosophers fill a variety of roles, but in most cases, they work in education, business, or government. High school teachers and university professors are the best-known kinds of philosophers, along with administrators of colleges and universities. Some philosophers work with businesses to develop their ethical practices. And some philosophers study the philosophy of law and public policy.

How do you become a philosopher?

There is no set path to follow to become a philosopher. However, if you want to be a philosopher, then you must develop a questioning attitude and learn how to think for yourself. The easiest way to do this is to read lots of philosophy books. Lastly, if you would like to be a professional philosopher, you should earn a philosophy degree.

Final Thoughts 

If you have a philosophy degree, congratulations. You have successfully completed one of the most rigorous courses of study available to undergraduate students. With a background in critical thinking and logical reasoning, philosophy majors are prepared for many different types of careers tailored specifically to their skills and interests.

If you are interested in philosophy, you should become one. But don’t become a philosopher just to become a philosopher. What I mean is, don’t pursue philosophy because you want a career in it. Pursue it because you are passionate about it. Pursue it because you are curious and want to know more. Do it because you want to challenge yourself. Pursue it because you want to gain a deeper understanding of the world. 

You can also find information on your career prospects after graduating from a particular course on the website if you are planning to earn a degree. Click on the degrees page to learn more. I am sure you and some friends will find it useful. Share it with them.