A philosopher looks for meaning-the meaning of existence, in the structure of human interaction or the expression of spirituality. Philosophers are writers, and teachers, and can work in fields as varied as literary criticism, public policy-making and higher education.
A career as a philosopher almost always means writing. A philosopher’s worldview, and how it’s articulated, defines his or her work.
It’s possible to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree or a doctorate in philosophy (the abbreviation Ph.D. stands for “Doctor of Philosophy”). A course of study in philosophy can encompass coursework in:
Philosophers most commonly earn their living as educators, usually at the college or university level. In addition to teaching courses in philosophy, they’re generally required to publish original work or philosophical research.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, college teacher positions will experience faster than average growth. Competition is expected for tenure-track positions, with better opportunities expected for part-time or non-tenure-track positions. Not surprisingly, Ph.D. recipients should experience the best job prospects.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual earnings for post-secondary teachers in May 2008 were $58,830, with the middle 50 percent earning between $41,600 and $83,960, and the highest ten percent earning more than $121,850.