Considering that less than 2% of the American population holds a Ph.D. or doctorate, the jobs that await these intelligent and motivated people seem to be quite numerous. However, when one considers that number in light of the 4.5 million individuals it represents, light is shed on how the various fascinating diverse career opportunities are filled. From performing intricate surgery to studying the movements of the stars to defending the rights of other individuals in a court of law, here are the careers to embark upon that require a Ph.D. or doctorate degree.

PHYSICIAN OR MEDICAL SPECIALIST

Surgeon

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Holding one of the highest paying jobs in the medical world, surgeons are highly trained medical specialists. Surgeons require the highest training in their field and specializations include: hand surgeon; vascular (blood vessel) surgeon; thoracic (chest) surgeon; plastic surgeon; pediatric surgeon; oral surgeon; colon and rectal surgeon; neurological surgeon and orthopedic surgeons. Surgeons evaluate patients who may be in need of surgical procedures and operate accordingly.

  • Salary – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a surgeon’s median income as of 2018 is $208,000 and the growth rate of the profession is faster than average at 7%.
  • Education and Time frame -To become a surgeon one must first acquire an M.D. Since surgical knowledge is specialized and procedures must be precise, the training to become a surgeon is an extensive process. After earning an M.D., which generally takes around four years after finishing undergraduate work, aspiring surgeons must become licensed and begin their residency. Residencies are usually salaried and allow for the practice of specialized surgical training. Residency for becoming a surgeon is completed in 3 – 8 years.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – Best Surgery Programs according to U.S. News and World Report:
      • Johns Hopkins University
      • Duke University
      • Harvard University
    • Online
      • Although an M.D. online is not available yet, many including Forbes have considered the possibility and it may soon happen. Other areas of healthcare such as administration can be pursued with an online doctorate. Acquiring an online bachelor of health science degree could launch one’s future career as a surgeon.

Psychiatrist

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Psychiatry is a complex profession that requires specialized knowledge of both physical and mental human structures and behavior. Psychiatrists work with patients to evaluate their psychological problems in light of their physical and mental processes. The goal of a psychiatrist is to assist people to achieve mental health which may require expertise in areas such as substance abuse, emotional trauma and other external factors that may affect mental health. Evaluating and getting to know their patients include conversation as well as mental and physical tests after which a psychiatrist will diagnose and treat their patients accordingly.

  • Salary – The average income of a psychiatrist is around $200,000 a year.
  • Education and Time frame – The educational requirements for becoming a psychiatrist include acquiring an M.D., becoming licensed, and completing residency. An M.D. typically requires 4 years of study after undergraduate work. Residency for a psychiatrist in training usually involves one year of working with patients in a hospital followed by 3 years studying diagnosis and psychiatric treatment. Most psychiatrists then take the examination given by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and become certified. This certification must be renewed every 10 years. After the four years of general psychiatric training, some may choose to specialize in areas such as forensic psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and adolescent psychiatry among others. Other options may be to receive further training in order to pursue a career in psychoanalysis or psychiatric research.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – Best Psychiatry Programs for 2019 according to U.S. News and World Report:
      • Harvard University
      • Johns Hopkins University
      • Yale University
    • Online
      • Medical degrees can not yet be earned online. However, a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree with a specialization in psychiatry and mental health can be earned online. This degree doesn’t qualify one to practice as a psychiatrist, however, one may still work in the field of psychiatry with a DNP. Top schools which offer online Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees with a specialization in mental health include:
        • Liberty University
        • University of Pittsburgh
        • University of Arizona

Dermatologist

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Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialize in skin conditions and disease. They may perform surgery for skin conditions such as skin grafts or laser treatment and prescribe medicines. Some dermatologists specialize in age-specific healthcare such as pediatric dermatology. Dermatologists must be trained to identify and treat over 3,000 skin conditions which means that they must receive intensive training. Working as a dermatologist is more competitive than other medical fields making one’s preparation and focus more important in order to give one an edge.

  • Salary – According to Salary.com, the median income of a dermatologist is $343,000.
  • Education and Time frame – Aspiring dermatologists may enter medical school with a bachelor’s degree in something other than health science. However, those interested in entering the field of dermatology may want to study undergraduate prerequisites such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. After completing a bachelor’s degree, future dermatologists attend medical school obtaining an M.D. Residency after medical school is usually three years for dermatologists. During residency they study how to diagnose and treat skin disease as well as receive surgical training. The residency program usually includes the process of acquiring a license as well as becoming board certified. Dermatologists then have the option of embarking on one of three American Board of Dermatology approved sub-specialties. These are: Dermatopathology, Pediatric Dermatology, and Procedural Dermatology. After their fellowship, dermatologists may apply to take their respective sub-specialty exam.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – According to quora, these three schools come out on top for dermatology:
      • Stanford University
      • University of Pennsylvania
      • University of California San Francisco
    • Online – Medical degrees can not be obtained online, however, certification in specializations after medical school is available online.

Dentist

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Dentists specialize in the health of mouths including gum care, treating cavities, cosmetic work such as whitening teeth or tooth loss and other dental problems. Becoming a dentist requires a professional doctorate degree. However, the time frame for becoming a dentist is much less than other professions that require a doctorate.

  • Salary – The salary of a dentist is over $175,000 on average, according to U.S. News and World Report. Oral surgeons make around $242,000, and Prosthodontists make $192,000 on average.
  • Education and Time frame – A practicing dentist must have completed an undergraduate degree as well as dental school. Dental school usually requires around 4 years to complete and obtains either a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. Dentists must then pass a national examination and be licensed by the state in which one practices. Although a residency is not required, many practicing dentists choose to participate in some kind of residency in one of the ten dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. These include: Dental Public Health; Endodontics; Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology; Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology; Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics; Pediatric Dentistry; Periodontics; Prosthodontics and Dental Anesthesiology. Certification and residency in these specialties may take anywhere from 2 to 6 years to complete depending on one’s specialty choice.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – According to Dentistry Today, the top three dental schools for 2019 were:
      • The University of Michigan
      • The University of Washington
      • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Online – Though online doctor of dentistry degrees are not available, some schools include courses in their dental school that can be completed online. These schools include:
      • University of Minnesota
      • University of Washington

Ophthalmologist

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Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat eye injuries, disease and other problems related to the eye. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, perform eye surgeries and can specialize further in areas such as Pediatric Ophthalmology.

  • Salary – According to the Medscape Ophthalmologist Compensation Report of 2018, Ophthalmologists earn around $357,000 a year.
  • Education and Time frame – Becoming a general ophthalmologist requires four years of postgraduate specialty training after attending medical school. The postgraduate training includes three years of residency in ophthalmology which prepare one for starting an independent practice. However, specializations that require further training are also an option. These include Pediatric Ophthalmology; Glaucoma; Neuro-ophthalmology; Retina/uveitis; Cornea/Anterior segment; Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive. Most of these specialties require only one to two years of further training and certification.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – According to Ophthalmology Times, the best programs for studying ophthalmology in 2019 are:
      • Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami
      • Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University
      • Wills Eye Hospital at Thomas Jefferson University
    • Online – Although becoming an ophthalmologist is very much a hands-on process and therefore can not be completed online, many top institutions offer some very helpful online resources and/or classes in Ophthalmology. For example, Wills Eye Hospital offers:
      • Free online Continuing Medical Education (CME)
      • Physicians Lectures
      • Surgical Videos
      • Chiefs’ Rounds – These “provide a chance for residents to present unknown cases to Attending Staff.”

Cardiologist

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Cardiologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat conditions and diseases of the heart and blood vessels. These include conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and heart failure among others. Cardiologists also test patients for normal heart function and perform procedures for treatment. They also can specialize further in the treatment of specific age groups or specific areas of cardiology such as interventional cardiology.

  • Salary – According to the Doximity 2019 Physician Compensation Report, the average salary of a Cardiologist is around $450,000 a year putting it number one the list of highest paying medical specialties jobs.
  • Education and Time frame – Becoming a cardiologist requires 4 years of medical school along with six to eight years of further training. Specific training includes learning more about general internal medicine as well as a residency in specialized cardiology training. Specializations may also be pursued such as: Interventional Cardiology; Invasive Cardiology; Noninvasive Cardiology; Pediatric Cardiology; Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Vascular Surgeon. Most of these specialties require 3-4 years in a fellowship to complete.
  • Locations
    • Traditional
      • Harvard University
      • Duke University
      • Columbia University
    • Online – Like other medical specialties, one can not become a cardiologist through online study. Online courses and certification are available in certain specialties for those who have already completed medical training from sources such as:
      • American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine
      • American College of Cardiology

Family Physician

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The family medical physician is probably the doctor known best to us all. Family physicians are medical doctors who complete an undergraduate degree, attend medical school and go on to receive specialized training in order to diagnose and remedy the many health conditions of the population at large. Some family physicians may choose to specialize in treating people of a certain age or pursue a specialty such as sports medicine.

  • Salary – According to the Medscape Family Physician Compensation Report of 2019, family physicians earn an average of $230,000 a year.
  • Education and Time frame – To become a family doctor, one must complete an undergraduate degree, an M.D. or D.O., and finish a three to four-year residency program. A family physician must then be licensed and possibly certified. Physicians may then choose to pursue the specialties of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Geriatrics, Sports Medicine, or other specialties. Sub-specializations in these topics also may be pursued.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – According to U.S. News and World Report, the best schools for studying family medicine are:
      • Oregon Health and Science University
      • University of Washington
      • University of Michigan
    • Online – Though in order to practice medicine as an M.D. one must attend a traditional school, schools such as Stanford and others offer continued online training for medical professionals including the provision of accredited continuing medical education (CME).

Other Medical Specialists

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Because of the complex nature of human bodies, the list of medical specialists is quite extensive. Some others, requiring a doctorate, that haven’t yet been listed along with their average salaries include:

  • Immunologist – $240,000
  • Anesthesiologist – $392,000
  • Critical Care Medical Specialist – $349,000
  • Endocrinologist – $230,000
  • Forensic Pathologist – $308,000
  • Gastroenterologist – $417,000
  • Oncologist – $359,000
  • Radiologist – $419,000
  • Salary – All salaries are taken from the Medscape Family Physician Compensation Report from 2019.
  • Education and Time frame – The education and time frame for each of these specializations will vary. However, each of them requires four years of undergraduate study, an M.D. or D.O. and residency that varies in length according to the extent of the subject matter to be learned in the specialization. Further sub-specializations are also available in each of these areas of study.

Business Professional

Professor of Business

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In order to become a business professor, most schools will expect one to have completed either a Doctor of Business Administration or a Doctor of Philosophy in Business or a related topic to business. There may be some schools, especially community colleges that will hire a professor who has obtained a Master of Business Administration. Professors of business research and business-related topics and share their findings along with teaching others the business of business. For either of these two pursuits, professors must have a comprehensive understanding of the business world. Professors of business may work at community colleges, four-year colleges or universities, or graduate schools.

  • Salary – The annual income of professors of business according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is:
    • Community College – $73,500
    • Four Year College/University/Graduate School – $100,000
  • Education and Time Frame – The Doctor of Business Administration degree is less labor-intensive than the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration. However, the PhD may be more desirable for those wishing to be professors, especially at the higher levels of education such as graduate school. To broaden one’s career opportunities, make sure that the DBA one is looking to complete includes a dissertation and that any degree pursued is accredited. Both the DBA and the PhD require three to four years of study. The PhD in Business will then require another two to five years to complete a written dissertation. The PhD in Business is geared more toward new theories and research whereas the DBA is a more practical applied degree.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – The Best Business Schools according to U.S. News and World Report are:
      • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
      • Stanford University
      • Harvard University
    • Online – Below are the top three online schools for completing the Doctor of Business Administration according to Online PhD Programs:
      • Liberty University
      • Florida International University
      • California Baptist University

Economist

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Although one can find a job as an economist without obtaining a doctorate, it is included on this list since it is highly advantageous for an economist to have a doctorate. In fact, according to 80,000 hours, “an economics PhD is one of the most attractive graduate programs.” Those interested in becoming economists usually have good math and statistics skills as well as an interest in the economy. Working in the field of economics allows one to make a broad global impact since research usually involves macroeconomics and global policies in academia. Working for non-profit organizations as well as international banks and government work are other career options.

  • Salary – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an economist is $104,000.
  • Education and Time Frame – Some economists find positions easily with an MBA or Master of Business Administration. The MBA degree requires two years of study after undergraduate work. However, having a Doctor of Business Administration or Doctor of Philosophy in Business will be advantageous for the aspiring economist. The DBA requires three to five years to complete. The PhD in Business requires five to seven years to finish and is geared more toward research.
  • Locations
    • Traditional – The Best Business Schools according to U.S. News and World Report are:
      • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
      • Stanford University
      • Harvard University
    • Online – These are the top three online schools for completing the Doctor of Business Administration according to Online PhD Programs:
    • Liberty University
    • Florida International University
    • California Baptist University

Other Careers for Business Doctorate

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The following careers in business can be pursued without a doctorate in business. However, because having a doctorate may be to the advantage of those pursuing these careers, they are included along with their potential salaries.

  • Logistician – The typical entry-level education for a logistician is a bachelor’s degree. However, according to U.S. News and World Report, a “doctorate in supply chain management may be a good fit for those pursuing top-level roles in supply chain and logistics management, such as director of operations and chief operating officer, as well as those who wish to teach business administration at four-year colleges and universities.” The average salary of a logistician is around $75,000.
  • Market Research Analyst – A market research analyst can enter a career with a bachelor’s degree in business. Pursuing higher education such as an MBA or DBA may assist the holder in his or her career by providing vast experience in data analysis and research. The average salary of a market research analyst is $63,000.
  • C-Level Executive – Top executives are required to put in long hours and have a great deal of work experience. Some c-level executives may only hold a bachelor’s degree but acquiring a higher degree such as a PhD in Business or a DBA will give an aspiring high-level executive a considerable advantage in terms of experience and knowledge. The average yearly income of a c-level executive is around $105,000.
  • Management Analyst or Consultant – Management analysts basically come up with clever and informed ways of improving the efficiency of a given company or organization. Again, one may enter into a career as a management analyst with a bachelor’s degree but a higher degree will grant a greater skill set as well as a higher level of marketability. Management analysts have an average salary of $84,000.

Psychologist

Clinical or Counseling Psychologist

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Clinical psychologists usually have successful careers since they are always in demand and can work in different capacities. Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat people who suffer from mental illness and usually work in direct patient care. A clinical psychologist almost always will hold a doctorate in psychology.

Counseling psychologists also work in direct patient care. However, counseling psychologists usually assist people to improve their life quality. Rather than treating mental illness and disorders, counseling psychologists address emotional problems on an individual level.

Both clinical psychologists and counseling psychologists usually have a doctorate in psychology, but counseling psychologists may sometimes only have a master’s degree.

  • Salary – Clinical or counseling psychologists earn around $80,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Education and Time Frame – Pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist usually requires both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree before embarking on a doctorate in psychology. When choosing doctorate programs, one must decide between the PhD in Psychology which is a more research-based degree and the Psy.D. which is more clinically based. The Ph.D. usually takes four to five years to complete and includes one year of internship as well as a dissertation project. The Psy.D. takes around the same amount of time as the Ph.D. Both degrees usually require a two-year internship. After completing one’s doctorate, the next step to becoming a professional psychologist is to become licensed. To become licensed, specific clinical training is required which will vary in the length of time it takes to complete depending on the specific area of psychology pursued. The hours of training required to be licensed in a specialty range from 1,500 to 6,000 hours. After being licensed, psychologists must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
  • Locations
    • Traditional – Times Higher Education rated these three schools the top schools for studying psychology in 2019:
      • Stanford University
      • Princeton University
      • University of Pennsylvania
    • Online – According to Online PhD Programs, these three online doctorates in psychology are rated best in the U.S.:
      • Liberty University
      • Regent University
      • Loyola University

Academic Psychologists

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Psychologists who work within educational systems, develop programs, counsel children and teens, and work in special needs programs do not necessarily require a doctorate to have a successful career. However, around 30% of these psychologists have acquired a doctorate.

In colleges and universities, one must have completed a doctorate in psychology in order to be employed. One may work as a researcher, a teacher or a professor in the field of psychology in the academic milieu. Professors of psychology teach undergraduate and graduate students, grade papers, and complete further research. In order to achieve tenure, professors must regularly publish papers and continue research during their teaching years.

  • Salary – The salary of a school psychologist is around $60,000 on average. Professors of psychology earn around $90,000 a year.
  • Education and Time Frame – A psychology professor may find a position at a community college with only a master’s degree. However, a career as a professor of psychology requires one to have acquired a PhD when looking to pursue a tenure-track position at a university. The time frame to complete a PhD is usually around 5 years and includes completing the coursework which is usually geared toward a specialization of one’s choice. Also, students must demonstrate their proficiency by passing a written examination and preparing a thesis or dissertation. Lastly, an oral defense is required before receiving the title of doctor.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – According to U.S. News and World Report, the best psychology graduate programs are:
      • Stanford University
      • University of California – Berkeley
      • Harvard University
    • Online – These online PhD programs in Psychology are listed as some of the best according to Online PhD Programs.
      • Texas Tech University
      • University of Texas at Austin
      • Michigan State University

Industrial Organizational Psychologists

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Industrial organizational psychologists are in high demand and also are one of the best-paid career options as a psychologist. Working in what is known as applied psychology, industrial organizational psychologists work to improve the effectiveness of the work place in terms of productivity. They are employed by public as well as private companies and all organizations. Their job description includes conducting tests to evaluate performance, developing training programs and hiring effective employees and managers. Basically industrial organizational psychologists use their knowledge of the human mind to organize corporations. Entry-level positions are available to those with a master’s degree in psychology, however, a doctorate will better prepare and advance a person’s career in industrial organization.

  • Salary – Industrial organizational psychologists usually earn over $100,000 a year.
  • Education and Time Frame
  • Schools
    • Traditional – The top three schools for acquiring a Doctorate in Industrial Organizational Psychology as ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Michigan State University
      • Bowling Green State University
      • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Online – Two of the top online schools for industrial organizational psychology are:
      • Liberty University
      • Touro University Worldwide

Forensic Psychologist

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The demand for forensic psychologists has increased in the last 10 – 15 years which makes the career a tenable one. Forensic psychologists apply their knowledge of psychology to criminal investigation and law. Their work includes testifying as an expert witness, evaluating individuals’ mental state and private consulting along with psychological analysis. Forensic psychologists must hold a master’s degree in forensic psychology but completing a doctorate will be most advantageous for pursuing a career.

  • Salary – According to PayScale, the salary of a forensic psychologist as of 2019 is $67,000.
  • Education and Time Frame – Forensic psychologists often major in psychology or forensic psychology in their undergraduate schooling. After completing their bachelor’s degree, aspiring forensic psychologists must complete a master’s degree in psychology. After finishing a master’s degree, some entry-level positions in the field of forensic psychology are available. These include positions such as victim advocate, probation officer or corrections specialist. To become a forensic psychologist, one must go on to complete a Doctor of Psychology or Philosophy. Both the PhD and PsyD take around 5 years to complete.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – According to U.S. News and World Report, the schools with the best psychology graduate programs are:
      • Stanford University
      • University of California – Berkeley
      • Harvard University
    • Online
      • William James College
      • Florida Institute of Technology
      • Fielding University

Engineering Psychologist

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An engineering psychologist improves the design of equipment, systems, and operations to achieve the highest level of efficiency. They also work to minimize injury in the workplace and increase productivity. The salary of an engineering psychologist varies depending on their specialty of employment. Those in the private sector have a higher income than those employed by a university.

  • Salary – According to very well mind, engineering psychologists with a doctorate degree can expect the following incomes. Those with only a master’s degree will have an income that is around 15,000 to 20,000 less than those who have obtained a doctorate.
    • For-profit private sector: $111,000
    • Government agency: $107,000
    • Academic: $92,000
  • Education and Time Frame – Engineering psychologists can find positions with only a master’s degree, however, having earned a doctorate in psychology will increase salary and position availability.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – According to the American Psychological Association, these schools stand out for engineering psychology:
      • Arizona State University
      • Carnegie Mellon University
      • Catholic University
    • Online These online PhD programs in Psychology are listed as some of the best according to Online PhD Programs.
      • Texas Tech University
      • The University of Texas at Austin
      • Michigan State University

Neuropsychologist

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The profession of neuropsychology is a specialized branch of psychology dealing with the study of the brain and cognitive science. Neuropsychologists run brain scans, study the impact of drugs on the nervous system and diagnose people suffering from injury to the brain. In order to have a career in neuropsychology, a doctorate in either clinical neuropsychology or neuropsychology is required. Neuropsychologists work at colleges or universities, hospitals, clinics, labs or research centers.

  • Salary – According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of neuropsychologists is $128,000.
  • Education and Time Frame – In order to practice as a clinical neuropsychologist, one must complete a doctorate in psychology which usually takes between five and seven years. Either a PhD in psychology or a PsyD qualifies a neuropsychologist. After completing the doctorate, most aspiring neuropsychologists will go on to complete a two-year postdoctorate fellowship as well as become certified.
  • Schools
    • Traditional– According to U.S. News and World Report, the schools with the best psychology graduate programs are:
      • Stanford University
      • University of California – Berkeley
      • Harvard University
    • Online
      • University of the Cumberlands
      • Nova Southeastern University

Humanities Professor

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The humanities or social sciences are the areas of learning that deal more with the achievements of humans rather than their social constructs or the natural world. Studying the humanities concerns itself with learning about, thinking about, analyzing and improving various aspects of human constructs. The basic branches of the humanities usually pursued in a doctoral degree are history, language, art, literature, religion, philosophy or music.

Pursuing the humanities as a school teacher, artist, writer, musician or linguist among various other careers, does not require a doctorate. However, teaching the humanities at the college or university level almost always requires the professor to have obtained a PhD in the subject of humanities that he or she is teaching.

The salary for most professors of the humanities will be very similar as will the education and time frame to prepare for the profession. Locations to study, however, could vary greatly when considering the best traditional or online schools for a doctorate in history vs. philosophy or religion. The best music or art schools also will be quite different than the best place to study languages. Therefore, each main branch of the humanities will be listed below, after the general salary and education information, along with the best locations at which to acquire a doctorate in that subject. Each area of the humanities also has many sub-categories. Those who complete a PhD will choose a specific subject to specialize in such as music education or American history. Each of these specialties may present strengths in certain programs versus others.

  • Salary – According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a humanities professor is $62,000.
  • Education and Time Frame – Working as a professor of humanities, whether as a German professor, Ancient History professor or professor of music, requires one to have a PhD or other doctorate. A PhD is more desirable for professors since the requirements of the job usually include research and writing in one’s field of expertise. After undergraduate work, a master’s degree is almost always a prerequisite for entering a PhD program. Most PhD programs take around 5 – 7 years to complete which includes a one-year residency along with a completed dissertation and oral defense.

Best Schools for PhD in History:

  • Traditional
    • Harvard University
    • Brown University
    • University of California – Berkeley
  • Online
    • Liberty University
    • George Fox University
    • Johns Hopkins University

Best Schools for PhD in Theology:

  • Traditional
    • Harvard University
    • Duke University
    • Stanford University
  • Online
    • Trinity College of the Bible
    • Liberty University
    • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Best Schools for PhD in Music:

Music, as well as art, is slightly different than other humanities disciplines since it requires artistic and technical as well as cognitive ability. Some colleges will hire a professor of music who has attended a music school such as Juilliard which doesn’t offer PhDs but rather a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. However, many top schools for music are also liberal arts schools and grant a PhD.

  • Traditional
    • The Juilliard School – D.M.A.
    • Harvard University
    • Yale University
  • Online – Online interaction with music is booming and many online classes are available, even six new courses through Juilliard. However, achieving expertise in an art is a difficult thing to do from a distance. There are a few schools that have on-campus sessions and offer a higher degree in the area of music. These include:
    • Boston University – D.M.A. in Music Education
    • Lesley University – Ph.D. in Expressive Therapies

Best Schools for PhD in Art:

  • Traditional – The best graduate art schools according to U.S. News and World Report are:
    • Yale University
    • University of California – Los Angeles
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Online – Like music, most artists at the higher level will study art in person. However, a few doctorates in art that focus more on history or education may be available online such as:
    • University of Missouri – PhD in Art Education

Best Schools for PhD in Language:

  • Traditional
    • U.S. News and World Report names University of California – Berkeley as the number 1 school for studying English. Tied with Berkeley is:
    • University of Chicago
    • Brown University – ranked high for research and Spanish studies
  • Online
    • Murray State University – Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy
    • Texas Tech – PhD in Curriculum and Instruction: Language, Diversity and Literary Studies

Best Schools for PhD in Literature:

  • Traditional
    • Stanford University
    • University of Chicago
    • Columbia University

Best Schools for PhD in Philosophy:

  • Traditional
    • Princeton University
    • Boston University
    • Stanford University
  • Online
    • Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    • Loyola University – Chicago

Law Professional

Academia

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One of the most competitive careers for an individual with a doctorate in law is becoming a law professor. Law professors teach law in undergraduate and graduate schools and universities. They also research and write articles in academic journals as well as work with students individually.

  • Salary – According to salary.com, law professors make around $170,000 a year.
  • Education and Time Frame – To become a professor of law, one must complete an undergraduate degree, attend law school for three to four years and earn a J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence). After completing the J.D., aspiring law professors must pass the bar examination.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – The Best Law Schools in 2020 ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Yale University
      • Stanford University
      • Harvard University
    • Online – The American Bar Association does not accredit any fully online law school. However, these law schools are highly regarded for other law degrees or a partially online J.D.:
      • Mitchell Hamline School of Law
      • Syracuse University College of Law

Law Librarian

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Law librarians work to ensure that those studying and researching law are connected with the best resources. In order to be proficient as a law librarian, a doctorate is required.

  • Salary – Payscale places the median salary of the law librarian at $61,000.
  • Education and Time Frame – In order to achieve the goal of becoming a law librarian, one must start with completing a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s in Library Science. Some states and schools will be willing and able to hire a law librarian with these qualifications. However, other states or schools require a law librarian to have a J.D. and be fully licensed.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – The Best Law Schools in 2020 ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Yale University
      • Stanford University
      • Harvard University
    • Online – Though a fully online J.D. is not available, a master’s degree in Library Science is. The top schools to offer an online MLS include:
      • University of Washington
      • University of Southern California

Lawyer or Consultant

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Probably the first profession most people think of when they imagine obtaining a J.D. is a lawyer. This is likely because lawyers are in constant demand. Working as a legal consultant is similar to working as a lawyer in that both professions require giving advice to persons and organizations in need of legal assistance. However, consultants generally work outside of the courtroom.

  • Salary – According to PayScale, attorneys make an average of $84,000.
  • Education and Time Frame – To become a lawyer one must complete a bachelor’s degree (4 years) and a J.D. (4 years) as well as pass the bar examination.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – The Best Law Schools in 2020 ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Yale University
      • Stanford University
      • Harvard University
    • Online – The American Bar Association does not currently accredit any fully online J.D.s. However, some schools offer an accredited hybrid J.D. program.

Judge

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For those who want to make a difference in the world of justice, becoming a judge gives them a chance to do so. Judges are primarily responsible for ensuring the correct execution of justice in the country by ruling according to evidence, instructing juries and research legal issues.

  • Salary – The average salary of a judge is $166,000 according to Salary.com.
  • Education and Time Frame – Becoming a judge requires the same process as becoming a lawyer: an undergraduate degree, 3 years completing the J.D., passing the bar, experience as an attorney and eventually receiving a judgeship.
  • Schools
    • Traditional – The Best Law Schools in 2020 ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Yale University
      • Stanford University
      • Harvard University
    • Online – The American Bar Association does not currently accredit any fully online J.D.s. However, some schools offer a partially online accredited J.D. program.

Anthropologist

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Most positions available for anthropologists will require a PhD or doctorate in Anthropology. Anthropology is the study of why things happen to humans either in the present or the past. These various fields of Anthropology usually require a doctorate and in all cases having obtained a doctorate will assist one’s career.

Salary: According to US. News and World Report, the average salary of an anthropologist is $62,000.

Education and Time Frame: Anthropologists have completed a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and usually a doctorate degree in anthropology. If one pursues a PhD in anthropology, the time to completion is around five to seven years.

  • Schools:
    • Traditional
      • Temple University
      • University of Oregon
      • Duke University

Scientist/Technologist

Physicist

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Physicists study the nature of energy and matter in the universe. Their work is almost always research-intensive and requires a Ph.D. in most cases. Some companies hire physicists with only a master’s degree.

Salary – $121,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Time Frame – To become a physicist, students must complete a bachelor’s degree, sometimes a master’s degree in physics and a Ph.D. which will usually take another 5 – 7 years. When completing a PhD, an aspiring physicist will specify his or her interests in one of the following fields: Nuclear physics, Geophysics, Atomic, molecular and optical physics, Space physics, Physics education, Astronomy, Astrophysics and others. Each of these specializations may change where one wishes to study for their Ph.D.

  • Schools
    • Traditional – The three top schools for physics ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Stanford University
      • California Institute of Technology

Biologist

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A biologist studies and interacts with the natural world. This interaction can translate into a lot of different careers from marine biology to cell biology. Some biologists work to preserve life while others research plants, animals and weather patterns.

Salary – The average salary of a biologist according to Pay Scale is around $53,000.

Education and Time Frame – Depending on where one wants to work in the field of biology, one may need a Ph.D. although in some cases a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient training. Biologists who desire to work as professors, managers or specialists will usually need to have a doctorate. Some PhD programs will accept students into their biology program with only a bachelor’s degree. Others will require the applicant to have a master’s degree. Beyond the 4 years of undergraduate work, a master’s degree takes 2 – 3 years to complete and a PhD takes 5 – 7 years.

  • Schools
    • Traditional – The three top schools for biology ranked by U.S. News and World Report are:
      • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Harvard University
      • California Institute of Technology