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Working as a Career Development Specialist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a career development specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.4 an hour? That's $44,512 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 9% and produce 28,900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Career Development Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many career development specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, creativity and instructional skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a career development specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.1% of career development specialists included professional development, while 8.0% of resumes included job search strategies, and 6.5% of resumes included potential employers. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the career development specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most career development specialists actually find jobs in the non profits and education industries.

How To Become a Career Development Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a career development specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.7% of career development specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 36.6% of career development specialists have master's degrees. Even though most career development specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a career development specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a career development specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on career development specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a career development specialist. In fact, many career development specialist jobs require experience in a role such as case manager. Meanwhile, many career development specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as administrative assistant or customer service representative.

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Average Salary$44,512
Job Growth Rate9%

Career Development Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Career Development Specialist

Top Careers After Career Development Specialist

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Average Salary for a Career Development Specialist

Career Development Specialists in America make an average salary of $44,512 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,512

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Edison, NJ
Salary Range43k - 79k$58k$58,387
Santa Clara, CA
Salary Range39k - 75k$55k$54,545
Houston, TX
Salary Range33k - 58k$44k$44,111
Boston, MA
Salary Range32k - 57k$43k$43,335
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range30k - 55k$41k$41,201
Reading, PA
Salary Range30k - 55k$41k$40,997
$21k
$79k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Career Development Specialist-Silicon Valley Campus
Career Development Specialist-Silicon Valley Campus
University of California
University of California
12/28/2020
12/28/2020
$60,00012/28/2020
$60,000
Career Development Specialist-Creative, Public & Human Sectors + Identity
Career Development Specialist-Creative, Public & Human Sectors + Identity
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University
11/25/2020
11/25/2020
$58,52011/25/2020
$58,520
South Central Career Development Specialist
South Central Career Development Specialist
State of South Dakota
State of South Dakota
03/04/2020
03/04/2020
$45,49703/04/2020
$45,497
Career Development Specialist
Career Development Specialist
University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame
12/20/2019
12/20/2019
$62,61012/20/2019
$62,610
Career Development Specialist
Career Development Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Career Technology
Oklahoma Department of Career Technology
11/30/2019
11/30/2019
$51,98511/30/2019
$51,985
See More Recent Salaries

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Career Development Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

67.0 %

male

27.9 %

unknown

5.1 %

Ethnicity

White

68.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.3 %

Black or African American

9.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

87.0 %

French

3.7 %

Russian

3.7 %
See More Demographics

Career Development Specialist Education

Majors

Business
19.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

43.7 %

Masters

36.6 %

Associate

5.8 %

Top Colleges for Career Development Specialists

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

10. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Career Development Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.1% of career development specialists listed professional development on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and creativity are important as well.

Best States For a Career Development Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a career development specialist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Career development specialists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $65,278. Whereas in Connecticut and New Jersey, they would average $58,720 and $58,438, respectively. While career development specialists would only make an average of $52,618 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Career Development Specialist Jobs:
25
Highest 10% Earn:
$90,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Career Development Specialist Jobs:
35
Highest 10% Earn:
$87,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Jersey

Total Career Development Specialist Jobs:
156
Highest 10% Earn:
$102,000
Location Quotient:
1.09
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Career Development Specialist Employers

1. SL Start Idaho Twin Falls Office
3.0
Avg. Salary: 
$51,242
Career Development Specialists Hired: 
46+
2. Maximus
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$43,959
Career Development Specialists Hired: 
26+
3. Virginia College
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$42,926
Career Development Specialists Hired: 
25+
4. Goodwill Industries
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$43,026
Career Development Specialists Hired: 
16+
5. The Doe Fund
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$49,861
Career Development Specialists Hired: 
13+
6. New Mexico State University
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$48,253
Career Development Specialists Hired: 
13+
Updated October 2, 2020