The Best-Paying Liberal Arts Degrees

The Best-Paying Liberal Arts Degrees

Depending on who you ask, you might get a different definition for what the liberal arts actually are. Humanities, the social sciences, and creative arts all fall under the umbrella of liberal arts. Subjects such as English, foreign languages, communications, and education are also included within the liberal arts.

While an undergraduate degree in liberal arts is considered to be rather broad, master’s degrees tend to narrow the liberal arts focus. But before you decide to focus on a specific liberal arts program, you have a number of factors to consider.

Should you get one?

This, of course, depends on your field of study and career projections. You can’t be a doctor or lawyer with a bachelor’s degree, but you should determine whether a master’s in liberal arts is worth the investment.

In the United States, a master’s degree can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, with the average being around $30,000. Costs also fluctuate between an online and an on-campus liberal arts master’s degree. Depending on your situation and your ability to relocate, accredited online and continuing education degree programs might be the better option for you.

Master’s degree holders typically make $17,000 more per year, on average than those who only have a bachelor’s degree. And if you manage to get a scholarship or grant or work as a teacher assistant while getting your master’s degree, its initial cost can be mitigated.

Long-distance learning versus on-campus learning

Long-distance learning is a relatively new innovation and has its critics, but for working adults who don’t live in college towns, it is a rather convenient option. Plus, with less of a commute time, it saves both time and travel costs. Remote learning can also offer access to programs thousands of miles away. So if you want a liberal arts degree across the country, a remote option can save you from having to relocate.

Deciding on a liberal arts focus

In the US, more than 200 liberal arts master’s degrees exist. The top 10 areas of focus are the following:


Some degree fields can overlap and result in similar career outcomes, but the more distinctive the niche, the better the pay. Depending on education level and city of occupation, economists can make $40,000 to $200,000 a year.


Forensic or traditional archaeology requires at least a master’s degree, but is a bit more lenient degree-wise and can be a jack-of-all-trades job at times. Having a background mix of languages, literature, history, forensics, geology, and sometimes biology, an archaeologist can make $40,000 to $171,000 a year.


Sociologists are like archaeologists in that their field can be a mixed bag of a discipline. Sociologists spend their years learning the quirks of people and societies. Calculating cultural trends involves a lot of math, history, psychology, languages, literature, and theological studies. In return, they are compensated between $55,000 to $97,000 per year.


Science and math are the cornerstones of psychology, and an advanced degree is required to practice. In fact, a Ph.D. is quite common and often required in this field. Psychologists make $67,000 to $90,000, depending on their degrees and years of experiences.


Communications can cover public speaking, marketing, and public relations. Public relations specialists are among the highest paid graduates, making $40,000 to $73,000 a year.

Business administration

Closely associated with human resources, business administration enlists a mix of psychology, business, numbers, marketing, and strategy. Pay for this field fluctuates from $42,000 to $72,000 a year, depending on the sector you are in and on your experience.

Graphic design

Much more than just art, graphic design requires advanced technical skill and an appreciation for creativity. Psychology also figures heavily into design processes, especially with colors. Graphic designers make $33,000 to $65,000 a year.


Besides communications and English, journalism is a common degree for writers. A technical writer with an advanced degree can make $57,000 to $65,000 a year.

Social Work

Social workers are unsung heroes. They work with kids and adults to help them improve their lives. Advanced degrees in social work aren’t uncommon, and typically offer a salary of $37,000 to $56,000 a year.


Teachers are the lowest paid liberal arts graduates. But an advanced degree can greatly bolster and boost their salaries. They can also become principals and administrators who earn $47,000 to $52,000 a year.

Changing direction

Never be afraid to redirect your path. Maybe while you’re studying, you find that you are interested in a medical field. Perhaps your grandmother has been ill, and you feel great satisfaction when you care for her. This might lead you to pursue an Associate’s Degree in nursing.

Along the same lines, you could think about a Medical Assistant Diploma Program in New Jersey or elsewhere. Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative tasks.

Finally, you might decide after you’ve been studying liberal arts that you won’t be satisfied unless you spend your life working with your hands. In that case, you might consider an automotive & diesel technology college in NY.


No matter which degree program you finally decide on, be sure you’ve done your research. Is the school you settle on an accredited institution? Will the degree you pursue be useful, and are the teachers trustworthy and qualified? If something seems off or if the school is noted as being a for-profit institution, it’s best to stay away.

The liberal arts are all-encompassing and lead those who pursue them to rewarding careers. Be sure to choose the best option for you to start learning about the arts, sciences, humanities, and so much more.

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