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Careers for People with a Master's Degree in Human Ecology

Human ecology studies human health and behavior on local and global scales, and it can be applied to a variety of careers involving studying or working with people. Find out about some of the career options and the median salary for each job.

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A master's degree program in human ecology explores a variety of factors included in the human experience, such as social factors, like families and relationships at schools, and ecological factors, like communities and the environment. Students in this degree program can often choose a focus or specialization that can then be applied to a wide variety of careers that involve human and community development, education, research and more. Explore some of the related career options for graduates with a master's degree in human ecology below.

Related Careers for a Master's Degree in Human Ecology

Job Title Median Salary (2016) Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Social and Community Service Managers $64,680* 10%
Health Educators $53,070* 12%
Financial Examiners $79,280* 10%
Early Childhood Program Managers $59,760** 7% (for all preschool and childcare center directors)
Postsecondary Teachers $75,430* 13%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

Master's Degree in Human Ecology Career Descriptions

Social and Community Service Managers

Some employers may prefer social and community service managers who hold a master's degree, and a background in human ecology could help these managers as they research and aim to understand the needs of their communities. Once these managers have determined what resources and services a particular community needs, they develop programs to meet those needs. This requires social and community service managers to develop a budget for the program, train staff and/or volunteers and closely monitor the impact and effectiveness of their programs. They may also plan outreach efforts to increase awareness of their programs and apply for additional funding and grants.

Health Educators

Though many health educator positions only require a bachelor's degree, there are jobs that require a master's degree. Graduate students may be able to choose a specialization within a human ecology master's degree program that will allow them to gain the education needed for a career in health education. Health educators work directly with the public in order to improve the standard of health and wellness of communities. They gather information about a community's current state of health and devise programs that will educate individuals about factors that affect their health, as well as methods of improving their health.

Financial Examiners

Financial examiners oversee the activities of banks and other financial institutions to make sure that they are following laws and enacting industry standards. They may focus on risk scoping, where they make sure that a bank has sufficient funds and is in stable condition, or consumer compliance, where they ensure that banks are not taking advantage of patrons seeking to borrow money for loans. Financial examiners must have some bachelor's-level coursework in fields like accounting or finance, which could be applied toward a master's degree in human ecology.

Early Childhood Program Manager

Those with a master's degree in human ecology may be able to focus their studies on child development, in which case they would be qualified for a career as an early childhood program manager. These professionals typically need at least a bachelor's degree and several years of experience, and a relevant master's degree is often required for many positions. Early childhood program managers are responsible for all the logistics of their program, such as managing the budget, hiring staff, establishing policies and more. They also communicate with parents and teachers to discuss students' progress and any issues that arise.

Postsecondary Teachers

Although many postsecondary teachers need a doctorate degree, some fields and 2-year colleges only require a master's degree. Graduates with a master's degree in human ecology may be qualified to teach various courses in subjects like geography, cultural studies, social sciences and more. Teachers at this level must create their own curriculum and assessments and may be required to oversee graduate student projects. Postsecondary teachers may also advise students, conduct independent research in their field and serve on various committees for the institution.

A master's degree in human ecology is a versatile degree that can be applied to several different careers across different job fields. Programs are often flexible in design, and related careers tend to have positive job growth predicted for the next decade.

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