psychology

Psychology Career Guide 2020: Salary and Degree Info

Psychology is a broad degree that involves the study of the human mind and how it behaves. It is aimed at understanding and resolving some of the most complex problems that humans face in their daily lives. By exploring into the relationships and interactions, psychologists are able to discover new ways for people to overcome issues and improve how they live in an increasingly challenging world.

Professions related to Psychology are as diverse as human behaviors, varying from clinical researchers and counselors to criminal profilers. A degree in Psychology offers an excellent foundation and introduction to the fundamental discoveries of human life, such as how our brains or mind interact and behave.

In exploring human behavior, studying how people think and communicate, and identifying how people learn, psychologists utilize a specific set of methods. They conduct research on small or large groups, target populations, and individual clients. They perform lab experiments, evaluate school examinations for learning disabilities, and assess clients on-site. They assist clients suffering from trauma, substance abuse problems or mental health problems. The majority of research psychologists work in academic institutions or government sectors. Psychologists may pursue a specific concentration that provides fulfillment in their work depending on their professional goals.

Psychologists are employed in different fields and possess many applicable skills in other industries. They are categorized into two basic types: practitioners and researchers. Practitioners work with clients who experience numerous difficulties including addiction, depression, or anxiety. Their primary objective is to remove emotional and mental obstacles that hinder them from living their best version of themselves. Most practitioners have a graduate degree, but bachelor’s degree holders land practitioner jobs as well. On the other hand, research psychologists rely on scientific methods to conduct research, gather data, evaluate results and create findings. Doctorate degree holders are best suited for professions involving research Psychology.

Psychology as a Degree

Psychology degrees are available in all levels and prepares students for numerous career opportunities. Students who want to earn a degree in Psychology must carefully choose what they want to learn and gain from their education in order to align with their academic and professional goals.

Becoming a professional psychologist requires educational training and background. It can take up to ten years to finish this degree, pick a specialization, earn certifications, and gain enough clinical experience to establish a successful practice in this field.

Psychology students may select an area of studies that is a sub-field of the discipline such as developmental Psychology, mental health, and clinical Psychology. Students have the opportunity to participate in practicum or clinical hours and independent research or capstone projects related to a specific area of study in Psychology.

Prerequisites

Does the human mind fascinate you? Are you interested to explore how we relate to one another? A Psychology degree may be the best option for you!

High school graduates can prepare and earn for a Psychology degree program by enrolling in courses related to the field such as Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, and other sciences.

Psychology students who are interested in an associate degree program acquire the basic skills pertaining to patient care, clinical procedure, patient communication, diagnostic abilities, and general Psychology. The credits earned with a Psychology associate degree can be utilized toward an advanced study by taking a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or eventually a Ph.D. degree in Psychology.

Depending on the level of education completed, Psychology graduates land in entry-level career opportunities or higher job positions. You may also pursue advanced studies. Students are typically required to take clinical practicum courses before completing their Psychology degree program.

Types of Psychology Degree

Associate Degree

An associate degree is an undergraduate-level degree that typically takes two years to complete and is offered at community colleges or career institutions. It is usually the first step towards earning a bachelor’s degree and provides foundational knowledge in Psychology before pursuing more advanced studies.

While an associate degree does not provide much career opportunities compared to the bachelor’s degree, it provides an essential overview of basic principles and methodologies of Psychology and the credits earned can be transferred to a four-year program. Working as a psychiatric technician or rehabilitation work is one of the few possibilities with an associate degree in Psychology.

Psychology associate degree includes the following courses:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Developmental Psychology

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree provides undergraduate-level studies that typically takes four years to complete. Most Psychology degree programs require students to complete a set of coursework such as core Psychology classes, Psychology electives, and concentration courses to strengthen and develop students’ analytical thinking, critical thinking, organizational and communication capabilities.

Bachelor’s degree students gain research experience and enhance their abilities to analyze data and pieces of information. Aside from the minor subjects such as mathematics, sciences, and sociology, a bachelor’s degree program includes common courses such as:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Biology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • History of Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Statistics
  • Social Psychology

Bachelor of Science vs. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

There are two types of bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). Both degree programs provide the basic concepts of Psychology before exploring different branches of the field.

A Bachelor of Science in Psychology emphasizes the scientific aspect of the field, such as developmental or cognitive Psychology, neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, clinical Psychology, as well as the neuro-biological processes and the mechanics of the human brain.

A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program tackles foundational knowledge in emotion, cognition and analytical reasoning. Statistics are required for both degree programs. Students develop their skills in critical thinking, technical writing, and research.

There are more job opportunities in Psychology for those who earned a master’s degree or a doctorate degree. However, a bachelor’s degree is a solid stepping stone for further graduate studies in the field. Students who have this degree can establish careers in marketing, teaching, sales, and childcare.

Master’s Degree

Similar to the bachelor’s degree, students can earn either the Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology. It usually takes two to three years beyond the bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree. Both degree programs are offered online, exploring into several paths based on the students’ interest and academic goals. The Master of Arts is a more holistic approach as a liberal arts degree and provides training and learning for students to become licensed practitioners or counselors. The Master of Science is more on the scientific approach and students who choose this category go on to proceed with Ph.D. programs.

Students who complete a master’s degree have more career opportunities. They can find job prospects in government sectors, mental health services, and business industries. Some of them are employed in colleges and universities, with limited and highly competitive opportunities.

Graduate students usually take the following common courses:

  • Field Placement Course
  • Neurobiology of Drug Addiction
  • Thesis
  • Graduate Research Methods and Academic Writing

Doctoral Degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.)

A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) is a doctoral-level of study that can be earned in five to seven years of graduate study. This degree program takes a more research-oriented approach, excluding applied training and theoretical training.

There are several concentration areas to choose from. Depending on the students’ choice, the specialization they will take must be aligned with their professional goals and aspirations. If you are interested in psychotherapy or establishing your own private practice, a Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology is a suitable choice for you!

On the other hand, if you are interested in working in research fields or teaching, a Ph.D. in experimental Psychology, social Psychology or developmental Psychology are better choices for you.

  • Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) deals with a more extensive approach to the professional practice of Psychology. Those who graduated with a Psy.D. in counseling Psychology and pass the mandatory licensure examinations are eligible to diagnose and provide treatment for people with mental health disorders, provide psychotherapy and perform psychological examinations.

Like the Ph.D. in Psychology, this degree can be completed in four to seven years of graduate study. Students undergo extensive training in relevant topics including performing psychological assessments, conducting clinical examinations and interventions and diagnosing mental illness.

Both doctoral degrees have a curriculum that is integrated with a supervised practicum and internship in a clinic setting. Internships are a full-time position that must be completed in one year, while the practicum involves part-time work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Once students have completed their practicum and internship hours along with the required coursework, they can review and take the national and state licensing examinations.

Psychology Specializations

Upon choosing a college or university for a degree in Psychology, you must also consider the concentrations related to the Psychology degree programs that are available. The right specialization can help you establish in a specific field after earning your degree.

  • Quantitative and Measurement Psychology

Quantitative Psychology is a vast field that generally works with the study of Psychology dealing with statistics, researching, the mathematics of psychological processes and data analysis. Psychologists under this field are usually holders of a doctoral degree, working as program analysts and statistics or psychological measurement.

  • Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral Psychology deals with the study of how our mind and behavior interact. This study of Psychology provides an understanding of why humans act, behave, feel and think the way they do. Moreover, this field utilizes a scientific and objective approach in dealing with stimulus-response behaviors.

  • Sports Psychology

Sports Psychology deals with the study of the physical and psychological benefits of an active lifestyle and explores how mental factors affect the performance of an individual. This field revolves working with athletes and Olympians to overcome mental hurdles and improve performance through specific techniques.

  • Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology primarily deals with the assessment and treatment of mental illness and other known abnormal psychiatric problems of the mind. This area of study is suitable for people who are comfortable working hands-on and with different patients. It is a specialization offered in graduate studies with the opportunity to train in clinics. In addition, plenty of fieldwork, clinical hours, practicum hours, counseling centers or even hospital work is mandatory for this area of Psychology.

  • Social-Personality Psychology

Social-personality Psychology revolves primarily in identifying social beliefs, attitudes, and norms that influence a wide variety of interpersonal behaviors. Psychologists under this concentration are usually found in academic institutions, testing centers, and even advertising agencies. Consulting firms and market research companies are also one of the workplace settings for this type of specialization.

  • Cognitive and Perceptual Psychology

Cognitive and perceptual Psychology is all about human thinking, decision-making, memory, perception, and judgment. It studies how people gain knowledge, communicate or comprehend and how the human mind copes with the realities of life. A Ph.D. degree is required to become cognitive and perceptual psychologists. Earning a license is optional; however, it is a plus especially if you are working in the clinical profession or consulting firm.

  • NeuroPsychology

NeuroPsychology is a critical field of study that aids doctors in understanding how problems in the brain happen and how it reacts and recovers. Neuropsychologists are important for patients undergoing brain surgery and in the recovery stage. They identify and provide medication for brain-related illnesses and injuries and recommend the right type of treatment through the aid of high-end technology.

  • Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology is essential in helping and guiding people to cope with life problems, accepting them to realize their core strengths and giving them an understanding of their psychological well-being. Counseling psychologists are experts at identifying the differences in human behavior and traits.

  • Industrial Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychologists improve the quality of the workplace and increase work productivity within an organization. They use a psychological approach and research techniques to resolve issues in the workplace, ensuring people that they are in a healthy working and social environment. Some of their main responsibilities include creating new work processes, improving company policies and counseling sessions for employees or members of the organization.

  • Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology deals with human psychological development. The human development consists of prenatal, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood and old age. As such, this vast field of Psychology leads to various career opportunities such as school counselor, behavioral therapist and rehabilitation counselor among others. There are many academic institutions that offer a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology.

  • Health Psychology

Health Psychologists study the psychological developments in healthcare together with the social aspects affecting them. The objective of this field is the prevention of physical and psychological sickness and health education. Professionals who work under this field of Psychology are found in hospitals, academic institutions, health care clinics or private companies, specializing in oncology, pain management and women’s health to name a few.

  • Engineering Psychology

Engineering Psychology puts an emphasis on the behavior and capabilities of humans as they relate to the use of technology or operational systems. The work of engineering psychologists typically involves research, software development or product design with the goal of creating products and resources operate more effectively and offer accessibility in the modern world of consumerism.

  • Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychologists must have the awareness and willingness to learn about the cultural and social issues in the community, adaptability, strong observational skills, patience and genuine passion for resolving crimes. They work with lawyers and detectives as well as evaluate the mental capacity of a crime suspect for testimony in the law. A Ph.D. or PsyD degree and a license are required in working as a forensic psychologist. Law enforcement agencies, law firms, correctional facilities, and forensic hospitals are among the common workplace of forensic psychologists.

  • Research Psychology

Research Psychology involves extensive research and application of the scientific approach for exploring how the human brain works as it conveys to the treatment of mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorders. This field of study narrows down and maps out the complexities of the human mind. Research psychologists must possess critical thinking skills and effective communication skills as they advocate for research work.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar Psychology Degrees

There are several schools that offer the Psychology program in the traditional format, but many of them now deliver the online equivalent of the degree for students’ and working adults’ convenience.

Online and traditional learning formats are basically the same – the set of coursework, medium of instructions from professors, assignments and paper works. The difference lies in the convenience and flexibility that distance education offers for busy working adults.

Online accelerated degree programs are suitable options for students who want to obtain their degree quickly. Programs vary depending on the school, but it typically involves a transfer of credits from prior education or professional experience, passing examinations that waive certain courses or allowing students to take intensives which help them earn credits in a shorter length of time.

If you’re contemplating attendance in an online Psychology degree program, remember that in-person attendance may still be required to complete specific coursework such as laboratory and clinical requirements. Consider also that a master’s degree or doctoral program in Psychology requires fieldwork for practicums and internships.

Before enrolling to an online program, students should take into consideration the following important factors:

  • Accreditation
  • Licensure
  • Quality of Internships
  • Student Support

Financing Your Psychology Education

There are numerous varieties of financial aid resources available for prospective students seeking degrees in Psychology. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps the government determine the assistance a student is qualified to receive. This aid can be granted in the form of work-study programs, grants or loans. You can opt to apply for loans through private institutions and banks.

You can qualify for scholarships based on academic merit or other specific criteria. They are given either through your school or by external organizations. If you are enrolling in a master’s or doctoral degree, one of the best ways to finance your education is through fellowships. Provided to full-time students, these financial grants are either long-term or short-term and usually comes with additional stipends and benefits.

Ph.D. in Psychology students are most likely to be granted at least partially waived tuition fee to assist in teaching or research assignments. However, waived tuition fee or remissions are not common for Psy.D. students since these programs don’t focus on research and teaching. The good news is that Psy.D. students can still find scholarships, fellowships and work-study programs that can help them cover their educational expenses.

Psychologists also gain eligibility for student loan forgiveness. They can relieve a portion of their student debt through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, provided they meet certain criteria. As such, having direct loans, securing full-time employment in government agencies or tax-exempt non-profit companies, and making at least 120 qualifying payments are required to qualify for the program. Several states have run their own student loan forgiveness programs with a varying set of criteria.

Psychology Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

According to the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities for Psychology-related fields are expected to grow by 19 percent through 2024. This growth is faster than average for all occupations. There is an expected number of over 17,000 social and human service assistant jobs to open up until 2022. The majority of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree, such occupations include community coordinator, mental health technician, advocate and family support worker among others.

Employment of counseling and school psychologists is expected to grow 14% in the next ten years. One of the factors that drive employment growth includes greater demand for psychological services in educational institutions, mental health centers, and hospitals.

School psychologists are important to work with students especially those with learning disabilities, behavioral issues and special needs. Schools rely on them for help in the assessment and counseling of students. School psychologists study how factors both internal and external affect learning. Once they have explored such factors, they work with teachers and administrations in order to find ways and improvements in education. Employment in this occupational title may be limited because it is contingent on local and state budgets.

The demand for clinical or counseling psychologists will continue to increase as people need to ask for help to psychologists to cope up with their mental health problems. In addition, these professionals must provide services and support to the aging population, helping older people deal with the mental, emotional and physical changes. Their services are needed for veterans or the military suffering from war trauma, survivors with related trauma and for clients with autism.

Industrial-organizational Psychology employment growth is projected 6 percent over the next ten years. Companies will continue to ask for the help of industrial-organizational psychologists for employee screening, selection, and retention, improve workplace morale and increase efficiency and productivity in the organization.

Most Common Psychology Occupations

In this list, we have rounded up the 10 most common Psychology occupational titles

Clinical Psychologist

Starting Salary: $56,762 – $84,000/year

Type of Degree: Doctoral Degree

School Counselor

Starting Salary: $33,902/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Psychiatrist

Starting Salary: $219,526/year

Type of Degree: Doctoral Degree

Social Worker

Starting Salary: $53,950/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Neuropsychologist

Starting Salary: $102,627/year

Type of Degree: Doctoral Degree

Forensic Psychologist

Starting Salary: $60,000/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Starting Salary: $78,473/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Engineering Psychologist

Starting Salary: $48,000 – $75,367/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Health Psychologist

Starting Salary: $97,740

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Marriage and Family Therapist

Starting Salary: $49,170/year

Type of Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree

Other Psychology Career Options

The following occupational titles are just some of the several Psychology-related career opportunities that you might want to explore. Some are directly related to the Psychology field, while others require additional certification or training in different specialty areas.

Are there any of the Psychology-related careers highlighted above spark your interest? Are you still exploring other options that align with your professional goals and aspirations? Depending on your professional aspirations, the type of degree that you earn will make a good impact on your specific career. Some jobs will only require an undergraduate degree, while some require advanced studies.

30 Highest paying Psychology Careers

Psychiatrist

Being a psychiatrist is one of the high-paying jobs in the Psychology field. They are known as medical doctors who treat patients with mental illness or mental health problems. They specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the patients’ mental health issues.

Psychiatrist Salary: $216,090/year

Industrial-Organizational Psychiatrist

The expertise of industrial-organizational psychiatrists is essential in the workplace. They apply principles of Psychology to human resource management and retention, sales, marketing, and administration. Due to the intensive training they undergo, these professionals are primarily responsible for addressing complex issues that affect the overall productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Industrial-Organizational Psychiatrist Salary: $102,530/year

Geriatric Psychologist

Geriatric Psychologists specialize in providing psychological services to elderly people. These professionals help the elderly as they face depression that either comes with aging or a side-effect of invasive medical treatments. As part of their vocation, Geriatric Psychologists must pass the GeroPsychology Examination facilitated by the American Board of GeroPsychology (ABGERO).

Geriatric Psychologist Salary: $99,900/year

Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychologists are the key people who assess, identify and study human behavior, emotion, and cognition. They are responsible for providing diagnosis and treatment to human neuropsychological disorders. The majority of them work with medical doctors, brain surgeons and healthcare professionals in the assessment of patients with mental dysfunctions.

Neuropsychologist Salary: $96,000/year

Military Psychologist

Military Psychologists are Psychology professionals who assess the mental state of active and inactive military personnel. They devote their time to assisting military service personnel cope with war experience, trauma or even stress. They conduct examinations on how to better prepare the military personnel for war or armed combat. Military psychologists have additional mandatory military-based training as part of their professional role.

Military Psychologist Salary: $93,180/year

Engineering Psychologist

Engineering Psychologists are one of the most innovative people in the fields of Psychology. They focus on the examination of human connection and interaction with technological systems and software applications. In addition, engineering psychologists develop innovative workplace process and techniques for employee productivity and efficiency in an organization. The majority of them work in academe, research facilities, government sectors, and development facilities.

Engineering Psychologist Salary: $92,320/year

Counseling Psychologist

Counseling Psychologists are people who analyze how individuals interact and operate as a single unit and within a group. They address the emotional, psychological and social aspects that occur in different stages of human development. They can work with different clients of different ages.

Counseling Psychologist Salary: $81,330/year

Social Psychologist

Social Psychologists analyze human behavior, emotions and apply psychological approach when studying people in various leadership style, social perception, and group behavior. They collect data to examine how a person would interact with certain stimuli in the future. Social Psychologists recognize that individual behavior can be easily impacted by group dynamics.

Social Psychologist Salary: $79,460/year

Genetic Counselor

Genetic Counselors tend to have one of the most highly motivating career choices in the field of Psychology. They put an emphasis on personal connection with their clients and patients. The work they perform mainly revolves around the client’s psychological and emotional well-being. As their patients undergo life-changing decisions, genetic counselors facilitate decision-making or even reduce their patients’ mourning, grief or guilt when they are faced with strong emotions.

Genetic Counselor Salary: $77,480/year

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologists provide assessment and treatment to patients suffering from a variety of behavioral, emotional and mental disorders. They undergo years of intensive study and clinical experience so they can apply their extensive knowledge in treating patients with mental disorders. They conduct tests, interviews and other clinical or psychological procedures to formulate treatment plans.

Clinical Psychologist Salary: $76,040/year

Experimental Psychologist

Experimental Psychologists use the scientific approach in studying human behavior and thoughts. They focus on learning and innovating experimental techniques and methods. The majority of them are engaged in private research as well as public organizations. Experimental psychologists actively partake in research work focusing on a variety of subjects such as mental disorders, personalities and cognitive functions in human beings among others.

Experimental Psychologist Salary: $75,000/year

Corrections Psychologist

Correctional Psychologists play a vital role in providing sound mental health to support inmates through psychological methods. Their role is mainly aimed towards diagnosis, treatment, and supervision of public offenders. They are employed in rehabilitation facilities, giving therapy sessions and counseling for inmates. They have one of the most rewarding vocations in the field of Psychology.

Corrections Psychologist Salary: $69,280/year

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and Community Service Managers are in-demand in various organizations or companies to administer the complexities of working with specific demography. They are considered the movers within the community and society. These professionals can easily communicate effectively from all walks of life such as adults, children, elderly, military personnel, veterans and people with mental health problems. They create a lasting impact on society, working together with non-profit organizations and private companies.

Social and Community Service Manager Salary: $64,100/year

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychologists usually have an intensive educational background, which involves the completion of a doctoral degree. They assess the mental state of people who are exposed to crimes or people who commit delinquency. They analyze and study the criminal mind, with the primary objective of developing data in profiling divergent behavior.

Forensic Psychologist Salary: $61,489/year

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Teachers work with children who have developmental, emotional, physical and mental disabilities. They teach lessons with various subjects to students with disabilities. Special Education Teachers stand as a counselor and emotional support for their students with special needs. They usually meet with the parents of their students for collaboration in order to have a reliable support system for the child.

Special Education Teacher Salary: $58,980/year

School Psychologist

School Psychologists work within the academic system to provide diagnosis and treatment to children with behavior and learning problems. They collaborate with teachers, doctors, school administration as well as the parents to help children overcome emotional, academic, learning and social challenges.

School Psychologist Salary: $58,360/year

Psychology Teacher

Psychology Teachers prepare and teach lessons such as counseling, ethics, history, and social sciences. They educate and mold the new generation of psychologists for an extensive learning experience. These people are working in research and engaging in writing academic papers on behalf of the educational institution or organization they work. The majority of them are connected with the academic system; however, some are involved with research and clinical work.

Psychology Teacher Salary: $57,200/year

Career Counselor

Career Counselors provide help to people in finding their value and understanding their goals and aspirations. They evaluate their clients’ abilities and goals to create a career plan for future success. They also develop their clients’ interpersonal skills as well as the ability to establish a professional network. Career Counselors help their clients overcome behavioral and social challenges to improve their performance and productivity in their careers.

Career Counselor Salary: $55,410/year

Sports Psychologist

Sports Psychologists focus on topics such as athletic performance and motivation. They are interested in the psychological aspects of athletics and sports. Sports psychologists use their expertise and knowledge of Psychology to assist athletes to perform better or help them recover from sports-related accidents or injuries.

Sports Psychologist Salary: $55,000/year

School Counselor

School Counselors play an important role in assisting students at different levels of education, from elementary to college in the American education system. They help students enhance and improve their academic and social skills to communicate with their classmates and peers. They create a welcoming and supportive community for students, collaborating with school administration, teachers and parents.

School Counselor Salary: $54,650/year

Exercise Psychologist

Exercise Psychologists work with athletes to maintain their overall well-being and boost their performance. They analyze their patients’ fitness and help them improve their vigor. These professionals make sure that their patients’ fitness goals are achieved, especially on the components of strength, flexibility, and endurance. In addition, they assist patients with heart conditions and other chronic health problems.

Exercise Psychologist Salary: $49,090/year

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are commonly known as family therapists. Students who are interested to become MFTs must have a master’s degree as a preferable type of degree along with two years of supervised clinical work. The majority of their work revolves on research which focuses on the significance of a family system in addressing family issues. They are skilled therapists who must have the expertise and knowledge in understanding and identifying the challenges of interactions that can cause issues in the family.

Marriage and Family Therapist Salary: $48,790/year

Social Worker

Social Workers are considered one of the noblest professions in Psychology. These people have the passion and heart for serving others. They readily help people deal with challenges in their lives. They provide therapy sessions and counseling to individuals or a group of clients who need assistance in dealing with behavioral, emotional and mental issues.

Social Worker Salary: $47,980/year

Recreational Therapist

Recreational Therapists create activities which include arts & crafts, animals and exercise to aid recovery for their patients. They mostly work with individuals or a group of people in medical centers, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals, providing treatment to people who have experienced physical, psychological and emotional trauma. One must have a bachelor’s degree to be able to apply for this career.

Recreational Therapist Salary: $47,680/year

Behavior Analyst

Behavior Analysts specialize in counseling that emphasizes the prevention of abusive behavior and behavior modification. They create intervention programs and develop treatment plans to treat their clients’ problems such as abusive behavior resulting in violence, alcoholism and addiction; emotional health issues; and mental issues. They provide support to their clients who undergo treatment for behavioral changes.

Behavior Analyst Salary: $44,160/year

Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors provide a support system and quality care for their patients to make informed decisions regarding their daily lives. A strong sense of compassion and dedication to serving the vulnerable and mentally challenged individuals are one of the most important responsibilities as a mental health counselor. They provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment to clients with mental illness. Others are involved in the treatment of complex mental health problems such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression.

Mental Health Counselor Salary: $43,300/year

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselors work one-on-one with patients who are suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. They provide family or group counseling as part of their profession. They mainly work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and private clinics with chemical dependency programs. In some cases, they work directly with patients who are suffering from a crisis or who have experienced trial procedures. These people collaborate with licensed psychologists, physicians, social workers, and family members in order to provide the best assistance for their clients.

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary: $38,120/year

Psychiatric Technician/Aide

Psychiatric Technicians are healthcare professionals who are focused on giving therapeutic care and support for their patients. They work under the supervision of doctors, registered nurses and psychiatrists, ensuring their patients get the best possible healthcare. These people work towards the emotional stability of the patients under their supervision. Furthermore, they ensure the well-being and safety of developmentally disabled patients and elderly people experience cognitive dysfunctions. There are several online schools that offer an associate, bachelor and certificate degree in psychiatric technology.

Psychiatric Technician/Aide Salary: $29,330/year

Social Service Assistant

Social Service Assistants work with patients or clients who need an additional support system and special assistance. These patients include individuals with developmental delays, children, families and elderly. Their daily tasks involve determining eligibility for social services, helping in daily care, monitoring patients and collaborating with other professionals to facilitate treatment plans and programs for their patients.

Social Service Assistant Salary: $28,200/year

Victim Advocate

Victim Advocates are people who provide emotional support, empowerment and uplifting support to victims of crime. They advocate the rights of people involved in trial procedures. They work primarily with witnesses or victims all throughout the trial procedure. They file paper works on behalf of the victims, ensuring support to them under their care. Victim Advocates usually collaborate with people from politics, government, and law and they can use it as an opportunity or stepping stone for establishing careers in those fields.

Victim Advocate Salary: $20,830/year

Always remember that salaries can vary significantly due to factors such as your place of work, your type of employment, and your experience. Consider learning more about the many career pathways and check the current job market.

But while salary is one of the most important considerations for choosing a career, it shouldn’t be your primary deciding factor. After all, job contentment, lifestyle factors, and career security, all equally play a vital role in your career.

Part-time Psychology Jobs

If you are someone who is looking for additional Psychology jobs for added income or to finance your education, there are a number of academic institutions and private companies or organizations who hire part-time Psychology-related careers. Remember, the majority of these positions require a certain type of degree in the eligibility of the position.

  • Online Psychology Instructor
  • Online Psychology Facilitator
  • Online Telemedicine Psychologist
  • Part-time Researchers
  • Part-time School Psychology Clinicians
  • Online Personality Theories and Counseling Models Instructor
  • Part-time Psychology Adjunct Online Faculty
  • Staff Psychologist
  • Online Admissions Advisor
  • Psychology Part-time Faculty
  • Director of Planning and Development
  • Transition Services Director
  • Educational Testing Assessor
  • Associate Director of Training
  • Learning and Development Specialist
  • Research Psychologist
  • Life Coach
  • Behavioral Health Provider
  • Behavioral Health Director
  • Psychology Intern Pool
  • Social Worker
  • Online Qualitative Research Assistant
  • Housing and Health Liaison
  • Psychology Consultant

Unique Psychology Careers

Typically, you might think that psychologists revolve only with patients or clients, teaching at universities, conducting research work or employed in administrative positions; however, psychologists work in many unexpected work environments and unexpected topics.

In this list, we have some of the most interesting and odd jobs in the Psychology-related program:

  • Parapsychologist
  • Circus Psychologist
  • Psychologist & Filmmaker
  • Rocket Science Strategist
  • Google Psychologist
  • Media Psychologist
  • Science Writer
  • Violent Crime Resource Specialist
  • Associate Pastor
  • Computer Usability Engineer
  • Senior Human Performance Investigator
  • Market Researcher
  • Director of Internet Product Development
  • Threat Assessment
  • Health Science Administrator
  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Analyst
  • Cancer Risk and Prevention Program Director
  • Internet Marketing Analyst

Travel Psychology Job Opportunities

While the traditional set-up or workplace of a psychologist may be someone who is stuck behind a computer or clinical facilities all day seeing different patients every day, in contrast, there are many Psychology careers that offer frequent travel. As a result, the psychologists visit their patients and not the other way around. Few of them even travel abroad as the job requires.

  • Environmental Psychologist

These professionals resolve conflict and challenges between people and the environment they live in. He or she can work as a consultant for private companies or government sectors. Studying how poverty affects the community, develop a new water treatment plant for the improvement of the community or re-engineering workplaces to improve productivity are some of the roles as an environmental psychologist.

  • Military psychologist

A military psychologist is usually deployed to a battalion or in a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan. He or she is readily available to provide mental help and support for enlisted soldiers and commanders. He or she is responsible for screening, evaluation, and military-based education through a psychological approach.

  • Forensic Psychologist

A forensic psychologist typically visits prisons or jails in her state or nationwide. He or she is responsible for conducting an evaluation of prisoners awaiting trial, analyzing issues such as the competency to stand trial and mental capabilities. In addition, he or she travels to different courts in the country in which inmates are being engaged to present findings.

  • Sports Psychologist

A sports psychologist usually works with a team, travel inside and outside the country during competitions or might have the opportunity to attend to an Olympic athlete. He or she works with the athlete, providing him counseling and coaching sessions to help them overcome obstacles and providing support and motivation to boost their performance and self-esteem during competitions.

Are there any licensures, certifications or registrations for Psychologists?

Licensure is mandatory in all states and U.S. areas for all Psychology profession that directly involve client supervision and contact. As such, all states in the U.S. license psychologists who sit down directly with their patients and administer assessment and examination or conduct therapy sessions. In the majority of the cases, licensing examinations is dependent on earning a doctoral degree.

A license in Psychology is the culmination of the years of hard work and dedication to your degree. It indicates a level of expertise and passion to the field and is suitable for the most dedicated doctorate-prepared psychologists. The objective of the licensure examinations is to ensure credibility to the community, providing assurance that the license holder has been fully assessed through advanced studies, administer clinical hours in a pre-doctoral practicum or internship, mentoring during a fellowship program and a final assessment by a state licensing authority.

There are a few things to consider before becoming licensed through your state’s board of Psychology:

Identify if you need to become licensed.

This state licensing requirement is not applicable to all professional psychologists. If you do not provide counseling services or even conduct therapy sessions, you would not necessarily need to be licensed. For example, if you work in the university, in research laboratories or in private companies as an industrial-organizational psychologist, you do not need to pass a licensure examination. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) provides concrete information whether you would need to be licensed or not through the Handbook of Licensing and Certification Requirements for Psychologists in the U.S. and Canada.

Meet Degree and Practicum Requirements

There are certain education and practice requirements as indicated by the state’s licensing board.

Doctoral Degree in Psychology

A doctoral degree can either be a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology or a more practice-based Doctor of Psychology (PsyD.).

Some states require individuals for licensure to obtain a doctoral program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA), while others only require an internship to be accredited by the same accrediting institution without requiring a doctoral program.

APA-CoA accreditation includes the following:

  • Doctorate Degree in Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology
  • Internship Credentials in Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship Courses

There are several states that recognize doctoral programs accredited by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.

Supervised Practicum Hours

All U.S. states require candidates to accumulate a specific number of supervised practicum hours, a part of it should be taken during the post-doctoral level. Practice hours may range from 1,000 to 4,000 hours depending on the particular state’s licensing requirements.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programs

Post-doctoral fellowships are periods where candidates undergo supervised or mentored training. They are good opportunities for graduates to gain the necessary skills to become psychologists. Also, it provides graduates to highly specialized in their chosen concentration of Psychology.

Apply to the State Board of Psychology for a Psychologist License

Once you have completed the required doctoral degree and practicum requirements, you can now apply for state licensure through the State Board of Psychology in your area. Before taking the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), candidates must first log the licensure application process.

  • Licensing expense range from $500 to over $1000, which already includes examination fees, licensing fees and application fees. The state licensing board will need the following requirements for processing your application:
  • Doctoral Degree Transcript of Records: Internship and Post-doctoral Fellowship Program Information with Total Hours of Completion and Supervisor Signatures

Take the Examinations

After the approval of your logged application, you must take the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Board’s Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology.

The following are the concentration areas covered by the EPPP Tests:

  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Behavioral Biological Basis
  • Cognitive-affective Behavior
  • Ethics, Legal and Professionalism
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Growth and Development
  • Treatment, Prevention, and Supervision
  • Social and Cultural Behavior

Maintain License

Psychologists who are now licensed must renew every two to three years as adherence to the state board regulations. There are conditions for license renewal such as the completion of continuing education hours. The APA has an organization through the Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP) that provides opportunities for continuing education, seminars, workshops and conferences.

Take Board Certification in a Specialized Area

The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) grants certification in several specialty areas of Psychology in the following areas:

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology
  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • GeroPsychology
  • Group Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Marriage and Family Psychology
  • NeuroPsychology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • School Psychology

Board Certifications are one of the most credible proofs for psychologists to represent themselves as reliable specialists in their field.

What should I consider when enrolling in an online school for my Psychology degree?

Distance education has become more and more popular and preferable because of the convenience and flexibility it provides especially for students who are busy with their personal and professional obligations. As such, there are more colleges and universities that offer online courses and degrees for their students.

There are a number of online Psychology degrees being offered by schools, but does it mean it is the best option for your liking? Is earning an online Psychology degree suitable for you? Before enrolling in an online Psychology program, you must take into consideration a few factors including your academic goals, type of degree, accreditation status and cost of attendance.

Accreditation Status

Online undergraduate and graduate Psychology degree programs may be granted accreditation status by the American Psychological Association. In addition, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is the organization that manages the accrediting agencies in the U.S. It is important to obtain an online Psychology degree from an accredited academic institution in order to be assured that your Psychology degree will be recognized by other educational institutions and will be taken seriously by potential employers. In addition, earning a Psychology degree from an accredited school will allow you to avail financial assistance as a means of support for your educational expenses.

Time Management

Distance learning can either be asynchronous (studying online and interacting with an instructor at a different time) or synchronous (studying online and interacting with the instructor at the same time). As such, obtaining an online Psychology degree requires effective time management skills. Your eagerness and dedication to stay on track and catch up with the learning materials will play a critical role in your success.

Accessibility and Knowledge of Technology

As a minimum requirement, earning a Psychology degree online needs the capability to have basic computer skills and learn new technologies or platforms. You should be able to send emails, browse the web, email attachments, access files from shared folders and other essential tasks. Instructors may integrate unique technologies that may be new to you such as accessing blogs, podcasts, online videos, and wikis.

Academic and Professional Goals/Aspirations

Before you consider obtaining an online Psychology degree, explore the coursework that is offered by your chosen online school. Does the university offer the type of specialization you prefer? Are there any prerequisites to enrolling in graduate studies? Doing these will help you determine the right type of Psychology program for you.

Characteristics of a Good Online Psychology Program

The American Psychological Association (APA) has designated a team to investigate the challenges and demands of online Psychology programs. In general, all online Psychology degree programs must meet these standards:

  • Faculty Support
  • Accessibility
  • Library and Learning Resources
  • Student Services and Support
  • Facilities and Financial Assistance
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Curriculum and Instruction

Fully Online Doctoral Programs are not Accredited

The Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association has prohibited accreditations for doctoral degree programs that are offered completely online. Distance learning for taking up some set of coursework is allowed; however, doctoral programs require sufficient in-person attendance and interaction between students and instructors.

What are the skills required to become a Psychologist?

Psychologists undergo extensive study and training in emotional, behavioral, cognitive and social processes by interpreting and observing how people relate to other people and the environment. Moreover, they also learn and develop important skills as they go along the way in obtaining their degree.

Trustworthiness

A psychologist must be honest and trustworthy and ensure their patients that they can be trusted with their problems and issues. They should treat their patients’ profile and issues with the utmost confidentiality.

Patience

A psychologist must be patient enough to withstand longer periods of research work and in dealing with individual patients. They understand that they will spend lots of time with some patients or clients before substantial results can come up.

Open-Mindedness

A psychologist is open to new learning and new discoveries along the way, despite these might challenge their ideals or thinking. He or she is tolerant of all kinds of people with different mental states and personalities.

Knowledge of Regulations & the Law

A psychologist is familiar and knowledgeable with state laws and regulations that control the industry. They know how to practice their profession within the boundaries set by the law.

Interpersonal Skills

A psychologist must be able to work well with varying groups of people such as their patients, clients, and their colleagues.

Ethics

A psychologist has a strong sense of morals and ethics in keeping their patients’ or clients’ session private and confidential. They are aware that their work can have a significant impact on their patients.

Emotional Stability

A psychologist must be able to handle his or her emotions and stress that may arise especially if they are dealing with distressed clients.

Compassion

A psychologist is able to empathize with their patients’ pain, grief, and other difficulties. They put their patients at ease and make them feel comfortable in opening up their emotions.

Communication Skills

A psychologist must possess excellent written and non-written communication skills and can communicate effectively with different groups of people.

Interest in Continuing Studies

A psychologist never stops learning. He or she is open to continuing education opportunities to keep updated with new research and methods as well as other developments in the field of Psychology.

Why should I earn a Psychology degree?

An online Psychology degree does not only provide students the opportunity for personal growth and development, but it also opens up several career opportunities.

You love learning about Psychology

The most basic reason to obtain an online Psychology degree is simply the love and passion for Psychology itself. If you look forward and enjoy discussing Psychology subjects, spend your free time exploring different Psychology websites and love learning new developments about Psychology, then earning a Psychology degree is an excellent choice for you.

You enjoy the many specialization choices in Psychology

One advantage of earning a Psychology degree is that you can choose a career path that is in sync with your career aspirations and passion. A student who enjoys working with children can specialize in school Psychology or developmental Psychology while another student who is interested in the world of solving crimes and fascinated by understanding criminal minds can earn a Psychology degree with a focus on forensic Psychology.

You can have what it takes to impress potential employers

Having a Psychology degree can be an excellent way to prepare for a wide range of career pathways. Skills such as effective communication, data analysis, understanding human behavior and the ability to relay complex information are highly praised by potential employers.

You can pursue graduate studies

Obtaining an undergraduate degree in Psychology can be a practical stepping stone for further advanced studies. Several students opt to earn a master’s or a doctorate degree in Psychology, while others choose to pursue a different field such as education, humanities or sociology.

You can do what you love: making a difference in people’s lives

If you have the passion and heart of helping people, earning a Psychology degree can be a way to achieve that aspiration. Psychologists along with therapists, counselors and social workers spend much of their time and energy providing help to people overcome their challenges, boost their full potential and improve their well-being. Despite the profession can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, it can also be very uplifting and fulfilling.

You spend each day learning more about yourself and others

Earning a degree in Psychology helps you learn how people behave in certain ways; learn more about your actions, emotions, and personalities; and understand the human brain and how it interacts and affect thinking. It is also one good opportunity to learn more about yourself and perhaps improve on some aspects of yourself.

You get all the lessons in a challenging yet fun and rewarding career

Psychology opens up unique challenges that can also be fulfilling no matter which area sparks your interest. If you love to solve complex or theoretical problems, earning a Psychology degree is a suitable choice for you. Psychologists focus on helping people resolve their emotional issues or creating solutions for real-world challenges.

Who are the best people for Psychology?

Choosing a college degree is relatively easy, so how will you know that a Psychology degree is the best fit for you? Psychology is one of the most in-demand degrees for students nowadays, but it isn’t meant for everyone.

If you are considering to pursue a Psychology degree, there are some aspects you should consider. If you are the type of person as described below, then you are good to go to obtain a Psychology degree with your preferred specialization.

People who enjoy working with others

The majority of graduates in a Psychology degree will work in the human services industry. With that being said, most of your time will be working face-to-face with people to change their destructive behavior or to teach life-long skills. If you love to work with different people from all walks of life and enjoy helping them, a Psychology degree is an excellent choice for you. However, if you love the field but are not interested in dealing with mental health services, you can opt for consulting, researching and teaching professions.

People who can cope up with stress

Dealing with distressed people on a daily basis can be both fulfilling and exhausting at the same time. You are prone to frustrations as well as being burnout from time to time. Therefore, people who can effectively manage their stress and mental health despite dealing with other people who have emotional and mental challenges are the best fit for a Psychology degree. There are courses that are readily available in stress management and counseling which is a great deal of help for professionals with work-related rigidities.

People who can manage to take up graduate studies

If you are planning to eventually take up graduate studies, then a Psychology degree is one of the best choices for you. Undergraduates of this field may have limited job opportunities and salaries can be lower. For example, if you want to become a clinical psychologist, you must possess a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. from an accredited college or university. With a graduate degree, you can explore several professional opportunities with lucrative earnings or income.

People who love to work in their area of interest

If you are a student of Psychology, it is essential to choose a specialization or set of coursework that is well-aligned to your educational and professional goals and interests. Psychology offers several areas of study that you can choose. For example, if you love working and helping the elderly, you can take up Geriatric Psychology in your coursework which will provide you a solid background that will help you in your future career in dealing with the aged. On the other hand, if you prefer working with athletes and travel around during sports competition, a sports Psychology specialization is an excellent field for you.