In Depth: Salary Potential For Psychology Careers
Psychology professionals tend to earn good salaries across the country, though some states and specialties are more lucrative than others. At the same time, the different subfields in psychology, such as marriage and family therapy and clinical psychology, have varying earning potential. Rising professionals should research their potential salary according to both career specialty and location. The map below illustrates the earning potential across the country of five categories of psychology professions:
- Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists
- Median salary : $45,900
- Projected growth : 15 percent
- Education: Prospective social workers with a bachelors degree in psychology can seek masters degrees in social work. Many of the topics covered in a psychology degree program, such as child development, substance abuse and mental health can apply directly to a social work program.
Associate Degree In Psychology Jobs In Youth Counseling
Psychology jobs dont get any more important than those involved in helping kids. Although youd need a lot more education to do that in a clinical context, you can put your associates degree in psychology to good work with the same population by becoming a youth counselor. These jobs get you into positions of responsibility with kids in their formative years. You can put your training and understanding of developmental psychology to good use becoming a trusted and supportive figure for kids in schools, camps, and after-school programs.
Associate Degree In Psychology
Compared to other degree programs, a psychology associate degree, which typically requires two years of full-time study, provides a faster entry into the workforce. Associate degree holders can work in various entry-level or support positions in the social, human resources, and mental health industries.
Associate degrees focus on imparting specific skills to students. Psychology associate degree programs introduce students to the field by examining important theories and themes such as cognition, personality, and developmental techniques. This degree program takes two to three years to complete.
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Jobs You Can Get With An Associate’s Degree In Psychology
View of an empty college classroom from the back.
An associate’s degree in psychology can prepare you for a number of career paths. Jobs in the psychology field are found in a variety of work settings, such as hospitals, law enforcement, correctional institutions, schools and universities, as well as local, state, or federal governments.
Depending on where you intend to take your career in psychology, you may find jobs working with the public in a service role or at a university conducting research. Additional education in the field may advance your career and in some cases, employers may offer continuing education and/or certifications, too.
In this article, let’s look at 10 different jobs you can pursue with an associate’s degree in psychology, listed by salaryfrom lowest to the highest salary.
Psychology Careers In Healthcare And Therapy
With further study and training youll be able to gain qualification as a chartered psychologist. Within this highly specialized role, youll work with people of all backgrounds, both patients and clients. Youll analyze behaviors, thoughts and emotions in order to better understand and advise on certain actions and/or psychological issues. As a chartered psychologist, youll have the option to specialize in a number of areas, including occupational psychology, educational psychology, sport and mental health.
A psychotherapist will work with individuals, couples, groups or families, to help their clients overcome psychological issues, including emotional and relationship-related issues, stress and even addiction.
Depending on what you choose to specialize in during your degree, as well as your personal interests, you can choose to act as a psychotherapist using a number of approaches. These include cognitive behavioral methods, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies, as well as art therapy, drama therapy, humanistic and integrative psychotherapy, hypno-psychotherapy and experiential therapy.
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How Much Does A Psychologist Make
The salary for a psychologist depends on many factors, including the type of psychology practiced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that US psychologists in the all other category made a median of $97,740 per year, while industrial-organizational psychologists earned $87,100 and clinical, counseling-psychology, and school psychologists made $75,090 per year.22 The pay for psychologists also includes a broad range, according to the BLS, with the top 10% of psychologists earning $124,520 or more and the bottom 10% earning less than $42,330 per year.22 Other factors that may impact psychologist salary include geographical location, years of experience, and type of practice.
Are You Ready To Discover Your College Program
The ability to understand human relationships, think critically, empathize with others, and communicate well are just some of the skills you learn during your undergraduate studies in psychology. And employers are well aware of their value.
“Workers with high EQ tend to make better decisions, maintain their cool under pressure and stress, deftly resolve conflicts, respond positively to constructive feedback, work well with others, and demonstrate leadership abilities,” Jack Kelly, CEO of Compliance Search Group, wrote in an article for Forbes.
If you’re approaching college graduation, you may be wondering, “What can I do with a bachelor’s in psychology?” Whether you plan to enter the job market immediately or you are open to further higher education, a number of paths are open to you.
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References And Further Reading
- Cheshire, K. & Pilgrim, D. . A short introduction to clinical psychology. London Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Klusman, Lawrence. . Prescribing psychologists and patients medical needs: Lessons from clinical psychiatry. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32, 496.
- Ludy, B. . A brief history of modern psychology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Parole Or Probation Officer
Provide assistance to people who are re-entering the community after being released from prison. Or advise and supervise criminal offenders who’ve been sentenced to probation instead of being sent to prison. Your understanding of the psychological aspects of human behavior could play a big role in helping to prevent such people from committing additional crimes.
- Average yearly pay: $59,910
- Employment growth: 3 percent
More Career Options In Psychology
Did one of the careers highlighted above catch your eye? Or are you still looking for something that matches your interests and goals? The specific career you pursue will depend largely on your educational background. Some entry-level jobs are open to those with an undergraduate degree in psychology, while others require advanced or graduate-level study.
The following are just a few of the many psychology-related job titles that you might want to explore. Some are directly in the field of psychology, while others require additional training in another field or specialty area.
In either case, having a solid understanding of the human mind and behavior can be beneficial in any of these careers.
- Academic Advisor
- Youth Counselor
What Degree Do U Need To Be A Veterinarian
To become a vet, you need to go to university and take a veterinary science or medicine degree. The course normally takes 5 years. To be considered for a place at vet school, you will need to have a strong science background. Its important that you enjoy and are good at subjects such as biology, chemistry and physics.
Research Assistant Is One Of The Highest Paying Jobs With An Associates Degree In Psychology
Psychology is a science, and its one that is fueled by constant research. Psychologists and psychology professors are always running experiments to determine how people act or react in certain circumstances, or combing through data to see how society may be shifting in attitudes and behaviors.
Thats a lot of work and they cant do it all alone. That means there were always psychology associates degree jobs for research assistants. These positions involve helping conduct live experiments, sometimes acting as an interviewer or going undercover to pose as another kind of worker entirely. They can also involve performing data gathering and collating to build source material for research.
In either case, having a strong foundational knowledge of psychological principles will make you much better at the job.
Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Degree Jobs
The highest-paying job for psychology graduates depends on the degree level. The mean annual wage for human resources managers, who must possess work experience or a degree in human resources, reached $121,220 in 2020.
There are many psychology degree jobs that graduates can pursue, including careers in social work, community organizations, healthcare, and business.
Psychology degrees provide graduates with applicable training for many fields. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that more than 3 million psychology graduates work across the country.
The psychology discipline may involve a significant amount of reading and research, but students who commit the appropriate amount of time and effort to their studies should not find it overly challenging compared to similar programs.
Doug Wintemute is a Toronto-based freelance writer with professional writing interests in higher learning and entertainment. He completed his BA and MA in English at York University, graduating summa cum laude and earning academic merit, research, and writing awards at both levels. Since 2014, he has contributed content and editorial work for award-winning digital trade publications, global SEO copywriting projects, and hugely popular online brands. He can be contacted through .
Reviewed by: Megan Pietrucha, Psy.D.
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Why Pursue A Career In Psychology
There are many good reasons to pursue this career, as the degree requires a fundamental but flexible skill set that can be applied in various fields and industries. A graduate with a degree in psychology may successfully find employment in the field of psychology or in a wide range of careers that are related to psychology. In fact, as of 2017, only 3.5% of college graduates with a bachelors degree in psychology were working as psychologists.2 Major occupational groups where a large share of psychology groups find work include human services, administrative services, marketing and sales, and education.2
What is it about the field of study that provides such a broad range of options? Students who study psychology:
- Take coursework on how people and animals think and behave in various situations, in both ordinary and extreme cases.
- Are exposed to the scientific method of data collection and analysis that has very practical application in many occupations .
- Gain critical thinking skills by studying and applying various psychological paradigms to problem-solving, as well as a background in data analysis using the scientific method.
- Build written and oral communications through essays, group projects, and class participation.
Get Started In Psychology
Experience a university-level psychology course for yourself to see if psychology might be a good fit for you.
Study the fundamentals in the Introduction to Psychology from Yale, learn about human behavior in Social Psychology from Wesleyan, or browse a variety of popular psychology online courses. If youâre thinking about furthering your education, explore a certificate in Foundations of Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvaniaâall available on Coursera.
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But I Need A Bs Degree To Get A Phd Right
Not true! You can pursue any graduate degree type with either a BA or BS degree.
Many psychology alumni have pursued masters degrees, which are typically 1 to 3 year programs. Professional degrees prepare students to work in a particular applied profession, especially those requiring licensure or accreditation . Doctorate programs are extensive study in an academic field, leading to a PhD or EdD degree. Alumni indicated completing some Other types of degrees, including certification programs and specialized degrees in the health field.
Everything You Didnt Know You Could Do As A Psychology Major
Interested in pursuing a psychology major? Thats not surprising, since psychology is one of the most popular areas of study for undergrads.
Given how popular it is, you may wonder whether its worthwhile. If everybody is studying the same thing, doesnt that mean more competition in the job market? Less opportunity for you?
Not at all. In fact, a psychology major seriously broadens your job prospects.
The reason is because of how incredibly versatile it is. Having a psychology degree is attractive to all kinds of employers, from clinical and business environments to social services, criminal justice, Christian ministries and more.
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Psychology Careers With An Associates Degree
Correctional officers are responsible for safeguarding prison inmate populations. This responsibility includes supervising inmates activities, participating in rehabilitation, and providing counseling to inmates, which makes corrections work particularly suitable for psychology degree holders. Demand for correctional officers with psychology backgrounds is related to the growing total population of the incarcerated and as interest in appropriate offender management and rehabilitation has increased.10 In addition to working directly with offenders, correctional officers with a background in psychology may have opportunities to make recommendations related to the environmental psychology of the facility where they are work.11 This includes the physical environment as well as factors such as inmate and officer interactions, activities, and inmate choices. Correctional officers earn a median annual salary of $44,400 per year, though a decrease in employment is expected in this field overall through 2026.3
Social Work Assistant*
*Education requirements vary by employer for this position, from a high school diploma to a certificate to a two- or four-year college degree. Proximity to a major metro area tends to correspond to higher education requirements and subsequently higher pay.
Psychology Degrees As A Stepping Stone: Common Career Paths After Your Undergrad
Although psychology bachelors degrees are the starting point that many students use to train for a career in the field, they can also take students in several other professional directions. Since an understanding of human behavior is useful in any career path, students often begin their education with a psychology degree and then move on to other disciplines. The following are some examples of the areas that psychology graduates can move on to.
Attorneys can use their psychology background to be successful with negotiations, choose a jury during a trial, and examine witnesses during court proceedings. They are required to obtain a Juris Doctor degree and pass the state bar examination in order to practice law.
Teachers must earn a teaching degree and a state license. Teachers who earned a psychology undergraduate degree can use their understanding of learning and lifespan development theory in order to find the best ways to work with students.
Psychiatrist and other Physicians
These professionals should have a doctoral-level degree and license. A psychology background can help them connect with patients effectively and display compassion when working with them.
Physical or Occupational Therapist
Physical and occupational therapists must earn at least a masters degree in the respective area. Those with a psychology education can use their knowledge to better assist patients and more effectively communicate with their families.
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Medical And Health Services Manager
Also called healthcare executives, healthcare administrators and clinical managers, medical and health services managers handle planning, directing and coordinating healthcare services. This could mean managing an entire facility, a specific clinical area, a department or a medical practice for one or more physicians. They focus on improving efficiency and quality of services and ensuring the facility is compliant with all laws and regulations.
Medical and health services managers often collaborate with a range of different professionals in the healthcare setting. They may work closely with medical providers, patients and insurance agents. To land a position in this realm, candidates need at least a bachelors degree and prior experience in healthcare is often desired. You may need a masters degree depending on the role and type of facility. That said, studying psychology can also help you start honing the necessary abilities.
Key skills for this role that psychology graduates learn to develop:
- Adaptability to new systems
Do You Need A Degree For Construction
You dont have to go to university to get a job in construction, although for some construction career paths employers will expect higher qualifications, such as Higher National Certificates or a degree. You may need a higher or degree-level qualification to work in: Construction management. Surveying.
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What Jobs Can You Do With A Bachelor’s In Psychology
There are many types of psychology and jobs in a variety of fields that you can get with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
While psychology can help in a range of professions, certain fields may naturally suit you. Some options include:
Human resources is one of the non-psychology fields that nonetheless employs many people with a psychology education. As a human resource generalist, you would be charged with helping HR managers evaluate and administer a companys policies that relate to employees, including training, payroll and benefits, and more. Human resources professionals also advise company executives on best hiring practices and strategies, according to Payscale.
As you move up in your career and become a human resources manager, other duties can include overseeing insurance and the salary and benefits packages offered to new hires. You may also supervise a team of other HR personnel. As a human resources director, you could manage a larger HR team and be in charge of hiring, training and other HR initiatives, such as employee retention programs and more, according to Payscale.
HR generalists make an average of $56,096 a year, Payscale reports, while HR managers make an average of $69,406. HR directors make an average of $89,939 annually, according to Payscale.
Probation and Correctional Treatment Officer
Mediators and Arbitrators
Nonprofit Agency Program Manager