Bureau of Labor Statistics

Field of degree: Liberal arts

Liberal arts field of degree. Employment: 730,380. Median annual wage: $50,000.

Liberal arts field of degree. Employment: 730,380. Median annual wage: $50,000

Table 1.

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Table 1. Liberal arts degree, 2018

Data

Liberal arts

All fields

Employment

730,380 55,381,020

Median wage

$50,000 $59,000

Percent employed part time

18 15

Percent employed in occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree

49 59

Percent with an advanced degree

30 37

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Chart 1.

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Chart 1. Types of liberal arts majors, 2018

Liberal arts majors

Major share

Liberal arts

90%

Humanities

10

Note: The sum of percents by major may not total 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Chart 2.

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Chart 2. Employment distribution of workers with a liberal arts degree, by occupational group, 2018

Occupational group

Occupational group share

Educational instruction and library occupations

18%

Management occupations

15

Sales and related occupations

11

Office and administrative support occupations

10

Business and financial operations occupations

8

Other

38

Note: The sum of percents by major may not total 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Table 2.

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Table 2. Top-employing occupations for workers with a liberal arts degree

Occupational Outlook Handbook profile

Percent growth, projected 2019–29

Typical entry-level education

Percent degree holders in this field, this occupation, 2018

Percent of this occupation with an advanced degree, 2018

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

21% Doctoral or professional degree 2% 74%

Elementary school teachers, except special education

4 Bachelor's degree 10 50

Lawyers

4 Doctoral or professional degree 3 93

Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

4 Master's degree 2 55

Retail salespersons

-1 No formal educational credential 2 4

Customer service representatives

-2 High school diploma or equivalent 2 4

Personal service managers, all other; entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling; and managers, all other

-2 Bachelor's degree 3 21

First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

-5 High school diploma or equivalent 2 5

Chief executives

-10 Bachelor's degree 2 30

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

-10 High school diploma or equivalent 2 4

Note: Occupational profiles may comprise multiple SOC occupations, which may have differing education categories.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program (projected growth, entry-level education) and U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (degree holders, advanced degrees).

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Field of degree: Liberal arts,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/field-of-degree/liberal-arts/liberal-arts-field-of-degree.htm (visited June 17, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Monday, November 30, 2020

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