Work

10 jobs that pay more than $55,000 that you can get with a liberal arts degree

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If you majored in liberal arts, odds are you've heard your fair share of jokes at your professional expense.

But choosing to study liberal arts subjects, defined traditionally as language, history, philosophy, literature and abstract science, doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of underemployment. What you chose to study does, of course, have a huge impact on your earnings later in life, but it doesn't have to define you or pigeonhole you in a certain role.

CNBC Make It analyzed occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find jobs that pay a premium for liberal arts grads' skills and require a bachelor's degree to obtain. All of these jobs offer median yearly salaries of at least $55,000 — that's more than $12,500 higher than what liberal arts majors' typical salaries, according to Glassdoor.

In fact, these majors offer far more work opportunities than people give them credit for.

Liberal art degrees emphasize soft skills, or talents that are harder to quantify — such as effective communication, strong writing, critical thinking, creativity and emotional intelligence — rather than hard skills, like the ability to perform open-heart surgery or Python programming.

Liberal arts grads are highly adaptable, and research from The Hamilton Project found that liberal arts majors transition into a surprising variety of occupations, holding a more diverse range of jobs than most other majors' students did. "Shark Tank" investor Mark Cuban has said he expects adegree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree in 10 years' time, because such an education encourages big-picture and critical thinking.

Adaptability and soft skills can be huge assets for liberal arts majors, if they know which industries to join. Here are 10 jobs for liberal arts majors that pay $55,000 or more:

1. Fundraiser

Median annual wage: $55,640
Projected job growth through 2026: 15 percent

Commonly found in non-profit or advocacy organizations, these workers plan and oversee campaigns and events aimed at raising money and other kinds of donations. Most employers want strong communication and organization skills in new hires, according to the BLS.

2. Secondary school teacher

Median annual wage: $57,720 for middle school teachers, $59,170 for high school teachers
Projected job growth through 2026: 8 percent

To become a public school teacher, you'll need to be licensed or certified in the specific grade level you'll teach, and some districts may require a master's degree. But in many private and charter schools, those same license requirements do not apply and a bachelor's degree relevant to the subject you'll teach is enough.

3. Editor

Median annual wage: $58,770
Projected job growth through 2026: -1 percent

Strong communication and writing skills are necessary for this occupation, which involves planning, revising and producing content for publication in books, newspapers, magazines or websites.

4. Public relations specialist

Median annual wage: $59,300
Projected job growth through 2026: 9 percent

Creating and maintaining a favorable public image for a company or organization is the main aim of this job. Employers prefer candidates who have strong interpersonal skills and writing skills as these workers craft media releases and develop brands social media presence.

5. Human resources specialist

Median annual wage: $60,350
Projected job growth through 2026: 7 percent

These workers recruit, screen and interview potential applicants for open positions within an organization. While courses or experience in accounting or business will help you land this role, many employers want strong writing and personal skills too.

6. Training and development specialist

Median annual wage: $60,360
Projected job growth through 2026: 11 percent

These workers help companies train their employees and teach them new skills. While many who enter this profession have a background in human resources or business administration, the field also prizes people who have teaching experience as well as strong interpersonal and speaking skills.

7. Writer and author

Median annual wage: $61,820
Projected job growth through 2026: 8 percent

Just as the title suggests, these workers make a living effectively conveying information and facts to readers through clean prose in a variety of places such as advertisements, books, guides, manuals, magazines, movies, plays, television scripts, blogs and novels.

8. Education administrator

Median annual wage: $81,630
Projected job growth through 2026: 11 percent

These workers can be found helping the day-to-day management of day care centers, preschools and schools. Some may even oversee learning programs for other institutions like museums or job-training organizations.

9.Technical writer

Median annual wage: $70,930
Projected job growth through 2026: 11 percent

If you've got experience in a field like medicine, engineering, or computer science as well, becoming a technical writer will earn you a nice salary bump over other writing careers. These writers craft instruction manuals, how-to guides and journal articles after studying product samples and speaking with the designers and developers.

10. Broadcast news analyst

Median annual wage: $62,910
Projected job growth through 2026: 0 percent

Also known as anchors, these journalists lead news shows on TV or the radio. They may also offer commentary, appearing on news stations to discuss and analyze a current event or give an opinion about it. Communication skills, interpersonal skills and persistence are necessary for this role, according to BLS. While many land a job with a communications or journalism degree, relevant internships or work experience typically matter more with employers.

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