Philosophy Master's Degree: Salary & Jobs

A master's degree in philosophy gives students the logical thinking skills needed for a wide variety of careers. Find out about some of the careers for graduates in the field, as well as each position's median salary.

Philosophy is the study of truth and knowledge using a rational thought process, which can easily be applied to numerous careers. These careers span across multiple job fields and utilize the critical thinking skills gained in a master's degree program in the field. Below we look at a small selection of the related careers for graduates with a master's degree in philosophy.

Related Careers for a Master's Degree in Philosophy

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers $68,360 12%
Lawyers $118,160 6%
Political Scientists $114,290 -2% (decline)
Writers and Authors $61,240 2%
Librarians $57,680 2%
Archivists $50,500 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Descriptions

Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers

Many postsecondary educators are required to have a doctorate degree, but a master's degree may be all that is required for some entry-level courses or for teaching at smaller institutions. Graduates with a master's degree in philosophy may enjoy teaching college students about the subject. Postsecondary teachers are usually responsible for creating their own lesson plans, exams and assignments, and they may need to help advise undergraduate students on what courses to take. Some teachers may conduct research in their field and supervise the work of graduate students.


Many students who earn a master's degree in philosophy choose to pursue an additional professional degree in law to work as a lawyer. Their background in philosophy helps them better understand legal issues, think critically and communicate with their clients and other members of the court as they represent their client in the court system. Lawyers also prepare legal documents for clients and written arguments for cases, and they may need to conduct research on particular legal issues as they arise. In addition to earning a Juris Doctor (J.D.), aspiring lawyers need to pass the bar exam for their state.

Political Scientists

Political scientists need at least a master's degree, and a background in philosophy may help provide further insight into their study of the origin and reasoning behind various political systems. Philosophy may also come into play as these scientists research various political ideas and develop theories about current governments, political trends and more. Their research also allows them to make predictions about future trends, which they often present in reports and/or presentations.

Writers and Authors

Many writers and authors choose to pursue advanced degrees that help them improve their thinking and/or writing skills, such as a master's degree in philosophy. Graduates with a degree in philosophy may enjoy a career as a writer or author writing about their research, ideas, opinions and more in books, blogs, articles and other written content. Writers and authors usually work with an editor to prepare their pieces for publication, which may mean submitting numerous drafts and re-writing portions of their work.


Librarians need a master's degree in library science, though specialized positions may require a supplemental master's in a second area. Library science and philosophy programs pair well together: those with a background in philosophy may enjoy working as a librarian and helping people conduct their own research, as well as helping them explore new ideas using the library's resources. In general, librarians organize and maintain materials, manage a library's database and train staff as needed. Some librarians may also help develop educational programs for the public.


Archivists need a master's degree that is usually related to the position's field. Therefore, a master's in philosophy may qualify graduates to authenticate and maintain items that pertain to the field of philosophy, such as various written works of philosophers. They may also need some supplemental training and/or a degree in archival science, however. Archivists organize records and create digital copies to preserve them. These professionals also determine how much public access is allowed to materials, and they're constantly searching for new materials to include in the collection.

A master's degree program in philosophy prepares graduates for advanced positions in a wide variety of careers that require research, critical thinking and/or the analysis of ideas. These careers vary greatly in their median salaries, but most are expected to have positive job growth in the future.

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