As a college student, the world is at your fingertips. You have many career choices to make and career paths to consider.
Early on, you’ll decide what field to study. Every year, more than 100,000 students in the U.S. choose to pursue a degree in Psychology. Are you thinking about joining their ranks?
If so, it’s important to understand the many ways you follow this pursuit. Just what can you do with a Psychology degree? Turns out, more than you might think.
If you want to be a healthcare provider, it’s an excellent foundation for more advanced academic studies. Of course, there are also many rewarding ways to use your Bachelor’s degree, too!
Today, we’re exploring the many possibilities that a future in psychology can hold. Read on to learn more!
Career Options with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology opens the door to a variety of careers in related fields. It is also required if you plan to pursue an advanced degree in the subject.
In most cases, these undergraduate studies will take around four years to complete. You can choose whether to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.).
Regardless of the degree path you choose, most schools will require students to complete a certain number of hours in key subjects, including core psychology classes and applicable electives.
Once you’ve completed these core intro courses, you’ll start learning more about your degree-related coursework the closer you get to graduation. A B.A. student will study social sciences and liberal arts more closely while a B.S. student will focus on the technical side of the subject, emphasizing math, science, and statistics.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, you can pursue a range of future career paths! If you don’t desire to continue in your academic studies and become a Licensed Psychologist, you still have plenty of options.
The coursework you complete as a Psychology major makes you a prime candidate for a variety of roles in business, education, healthcare, non-profit work, and more.
With years of studying behavior under your belt, you’re especially fit for “people” jobs that require workplace interaction, mediation, and communication. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
1. Career Counselor
Job description: The goal of a Career Counselor is to help students and job-seekers find their ideal profession. With a Psychology degree, you are uniquely able to guide them along the career discovery process, helping them perform self-assessments to determine where their talents and interests lie.
Salary: Career Counselors who are just getting started in the field can expect to make anywhere between $33,610 to $43,210 per year. On average, Career Counselors earn around $60160 per year. Learn more about how much do Career Counselors make.
2. Crime Analyst
Job description: As a Crime Analyst, you’ll work closely with law enforcement to study crime patterns and understand criminal behavior. You’ll also help gather intelligence and help officials analyze long-term crime issues. This career requires specialization in forensic psychology.
Salary: On average, Crime Analysts earn around $46,890 per year.
3. Case Manager
Job description: A Case Manager provides professional guidance and counseling, along with personalized treatment and recovery plans, for people in dangerous or difficult situations. A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology gives you a background in critical thinking, along with a deep understanding of human behavior, both of which will serve you well in this field. Learn more about what’s it like working as a Case Manager.
Salary: Case Managers who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $28,310 to $34,600 per year. On average, Case Managers earn around $49630 per year. Learn more about how much do Case Managers make.
4. Sales Representative
Job description: It’s easy to see why someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology would be a sales superstar. The interpersonal skills you sharpen will help you communicate clearly and effectively. You also understand more closely what drives people to act, and you can use both to drive your company forward. Learn more about what is it like working as a Technical Product Sales Rep.
Salary: The salary of a Sales Rep can vary widely depending on the products they are selling and their commission rates with their organization.
5. Psychology Research Assistant
Job description: A large part of lab work involves field research and experimental psychology. As a psych major, you’ll be well-versed in these areas already. As a Research Assistant, you will be working in a variety of scientific and medical settings, performing experiments, maintaining equipment, processing specimens and more.
Salary: The average salary of a Psychology Research Assistant is around $29,000 per year.
A few of the other careers you can pursue with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology include:
- Rehabilitation Specialist
- Personnel Recruiter
- Activities Director
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Correctional Officer
Career Options with a Master’s Degree in Psychology
You completed your Bachelor’s degree and you’re ready to take your studies to the next level!
This is a graduate-level degree program that normally takes between two and three years to complete after you finish your undergraduate studies.
Again, you can choose from a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychology. Some colleges will offer a terminal or end-level degree, which prepares you to enter the workforce right away. Others are meant to serve as the next step in your journey toward a doctorate.
With a Master’s degree in Psychology, you can pursue more advanced work in the field. Let’s take a look at a few of your options.
6. Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Job description: A Clinical Mental Health Counselor works with individuals and groups to help improve their mental health. These professionals combine traditional psychotherapy with a hands-on problem-solving approach.
In this role, you’ll help clients examine a variety of issues that could affect mental health, including depression, substance abuse, anger, and more. As you earn your degree, you’ll specialize in clinical psychology over other fields. Learn more about what’s it like working as a Mental Health Counselor.
Salary: Mental Health Counselors who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $28,240 to $34,950 per year. On average, Mental Health Counselors earn around $47920 per year. Learn more about how much do Mental Health Counselors make.
7. Market Researcher
Job description: Businesses across myriad industries need experts who can study the local market and help them identify opportunities. As a Market Researcher, you will gather and analyze data on both consumers and competitors to help companies know what buyers want. Learn more about what’s it like working as a Market Researcher.
Salary: Market Researchers who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $34,310 to $46,360 per year. On average, Market Researchers earn around $70960 per year. Learn more about how much do Market Researchers make.
8. Human Resource Manager
Job description: Being an HR Manager requires excellent interpersonal skills. In this role, you’ll be responsible for planning, directing and coordinating an organization’s administrative functions. This will include recruiting, hiring, and firing staff members as required. Learn more about what’s it like working as an HR Manager.
Salary: HR Managers who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $66,870 to $85,750 per year. On average, HR Managers earn around $126700 per year. Learn more about how much do HR Managers make.
9. Clinical Social Worker
Job description: This role requires a background in clinical psychology. As a Clinical Social Worker, you’ll help clients in two primary ways: helping them procure the resources they need to live and helping them overcome the personal struggles and challenges they face. In addition to private practices, you can find work in hospitals, treatment centers, and residential facilities. Learn more about what’s it like working as a Clinical Social Worker.
Salary: Clinical Social Workers who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $34,210 to $43,530 per year. On average, Clinical Social Workers earn around $58470 per year. Learn more about their salary here.
Other careers you can consider with a Master’s in Psychology include:
Career Options with a Doctorate Degree in Psychology
At the top level, you can also pursue a doctorate degree in psychology. This advanced post-graduate degree can take four to seven years to complete.
When you get to this point, you’ll be able to choose between two doctoral-level degree programs
- Ph.D. in Psychology (Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology)
- Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology)
While both are rewarding, a Ph.D. in Psychology tends to be more research-based while a Psy.D. is more focused on professional practice.
Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll need to complete a supervised practicum. You’ll also participate in an internship held in a clinical setting. Once all your coursework is completed, you can take state and national licensing exams to become a licensed psychologist.
While you’re earning your doctorate, you’ll need to select the sector of psychology you want to specialize in. Whether you plan to work in teaching, research, or your own private practice, this will help direct your efforts.
Let’s take a look at a few of the different careers you can choose from.
10. Clinical Psychologist
Job description: Clinical Psychologists assess and help treat emotional, mental and behavioral disorders. These specialists hold a Ph.D. or Psy.D. and usually work in independent practices, group practices, counseling centers, or hospitals. Learn more about what’s it like working as a Clinical Psychologist.
Salary: Clinical Psychologists who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $44,040 to $58,220 per year. On average, Clinical Psychologists earn around $85340 per year. Learn more about how much do Clinical Psychologists make.
11. Forensic Psychologist
Job description: Forensic Psychologists focus on the psychology behind the legal and criminal justice system. They hold a Ph.D. and work in universities, prison-based rehabilitation programs, hospitals, police departments, and forensic laboratories.
Salary: The average salary of a Forensic Psychologist is around $68,900 per year.
12. Counseling Psychologist
Job description: Counseling Psychologists help clients deal with a variety of problems related to everyday living, using different techniques (e.g. interviewing and testing). These professionals hold an M.A., Ph.D. or Psy.D. and work in counseling centers, hospitals, individual practices or group practices. Learn more about what’s it like working as one.
Salary: Counseling Psychologists who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $44,040 to $58,220 per year. On average, they earn around $85340 per year. Learn more about how much do Counseling Psychologists make.
13. Developmental Psychologist
Job description: Developmental Psychologists study the way that people change physiologically, cognitively, and socially throughout their lives. They hold a Ph.D. and usually focus on one age group, such as infants and children, teenagers, or seniors.
Salary: The average salary of a Developmental Psychologist is around $63,500 per year.
14. Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
Job description: I/O Psychologists help employees improve morale, productivity and work/life balance in the workplace. They can hold an M.A. or PhD and achieve their goals using psychological principles and proven research methods. Learn more about what’s it like working as an IO Psychologist.
Salary: IO Psychologists who are just getting started in their career can expect to make anywhere between $51,350 to $61,950 per year. On average, they earn around $109030 per year. Learn more about how much do IO Psychologists make.
So, what can you do with a Psychology degree? Turns out, your career opportunities are vast! Depending on the courses you take and the degree you pursue, you can choose from a variety of job paths.
Want to earn your license and open your own practice? Go after a Ph.D. or Psy.D.!
Want to apply your skills and knowledge to grow your career as a researcher, career specialist, HR manager, business person or sales superstar? Earn your Bachelor’s degree and go from there!
Ultimately, this degree is a smart investment of your time and effort, no matter how you apply it.
Looking to learn more about this career and many others? You came to the right spot! We offer practical, actionable career advice that any student can use. Start here to find the answers you need!