Career Information for a Degree in Behavioral Sciences

Degrees in behavioral science typically cover psychology, sociology, counseling and anthropology. Find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for behavioral science graduates.

Essential Information

An individual needs at least bachelor's degree to utilize a behavioral science degree. This program, an interdisciplinary major, prepares one for a career in behavioral science. Several specializations are available, including ethnic studies, community health and teaching. Most graduate degree programs require an internship.

Career Health Services Manager Human Resource Specialist Social Services Manager
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Job Growth (2012-2022)*19%21%21%
Median Salary (2013)*$103,680 $62,590 $67,730

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

A number of career paths are open to behavioral science graduates including those as a health service manager, human resource specialist, social services manager. All three of these careers require a bachelor's degree. To focus on a specific area, like psychology or education, an individual needs to have a master's degree. The following three career options are available to those with a behavioral sciences' degree.

Health Services Manager

Health service managers coordinate the health services and handle administrative tasks for a medical facility. While a master's degree may be needed for executive-level positions, a bachelor's degree in behavioral sciences can qualify students to enter the field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one-third of medical and health service managers worked in hospitals in 2012, with the remainder employed by ambulatory health care services, the government and nursing/residential home facilities. The BLS projected a 19%, or faster-than-average, increase in job opportunities in the field for 2012 and 2022. As of May 2014, medical and health service managers earned a median annual wage of $103,680, as reported by the BLS.

Human Resource Specialist

Human resource specialists, such as those who work for employment services companies, are responsible for recruiting, screening and hiring new employees. They may also conduct orientation or training, as well as oversee the paperwork and records associated with benefits and payroll. Areas of specialization can include labor relations and personnel recruitment.

A bachelor's degree, along with decision-making and interpersonal skills, is typically required to obtain a position as a human resource specialist. According to the BLS, an 21% increase in employment was expected from 2012 to 2022. In May 2014, the bureau also reported a median annual wage of $62,590 for those employed as human resource specialists.

Social Service Manager

Social and community service managers work for a variety of human services organizations where they identify needs for the public, and create and oversee those programs. They may work for the government, non-profit organizations or private social service companies. Some social service manager may work with a specific demographic group, such the elderly, youth or veterans, while others work with groups that have a specific need, such as joblessness. A bachelor's degree and some experience is typically needed to secure an entry-level career in this field; however, a graduate degree may be needed for advancement.

As reported by the BLS, a 21% increase in job opportunities was anticipated for social and community service managers from 2012 to 2022. In May 2014, these workers earned a median annual wage of $67,730, also according to the BLS.

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