Potential Careers for Psychology Majors

Thinking about majoring in psychology? It helps to know what careers are out there for psychology majors after you graduate – and those in this area of study have a lot of options!

Psychology majors learn about the scientific study of individuals and collective behavior, the bases of behavior (both environmental and physical), the analysis of behaviors, and treatment options. Depending on the students’ interests, they may also study research, testing, and assessments. There are also several niche psychology areas of study including Applied Psychology, Research and Experimental Psychology, and Developmental and Child Psychology, among others.

If this sounds like it would be a good fit for your education, we’ve outlined some outstanding careers for psychology majors you’ll want to consider once you graduate!

A professor and student talking at the library.

Flickr user Penn State

Career Paths in Psychology

There are several different career paths open to students who choose to major in psychology. Social work and medical practice are two popular options, but some of these careers will require additional education and degrees beyond a bachelor’s. Here are just 5 popular careers among psychology majors.

1.      Social Science Research Assistants

    • Median Salary: $50,000
    • Duties: Social science research assistants assist social scientists with research projects. Duties can include assisting in the laboratory, conducting surveys, maintaining quality control, managing data, analyzing findings, and preparing reports for publication.
    • Outlook: +8.4%
    • Level of education: At least some college

2.      Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

    • Median Salary: $139,000
    • Duties: In a business setting, industrial-organizational psychologists apply the principles of psychology to various business-related procedures and departments including sales, marketing, and human resources. Industrial-organizational psychologists may also assist with policy planning, organizational development, training, and hiring.
    • Outlook: 2%
    • Level of education: Master’s or higher degree

3.      Neuropsychologists

    • Median Salary: $106,000
    • Duties: Neuropsychologists focus on applying theories and principles to assess and diagnose disorders of the human brain. Some may administer treatment.
    • Outlook: 2%
    • Level of education: Master’s or higher degree

4.      Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary

    • Median Salary: $78,000
    • Duties: Psychology teachers are responsible for teaching courses in psychology, developmental psychology, child psychology, counseling, and similar areas of study. They may also conduct research through their school.
    • Outlook: 10.2%
    • Level of education: Master’s or higher degree

5.      Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker

    • Median Salary: $51,000
    • Duties: Mental health and substance abuse social workers work with individuals to assess and treat mental, emotional, and substance abuse problems and concerns. Treatment options can include therapy, intervention, case management, and education.
    • Outlook: 14.9%
    • Level of education: Master’s degree

6.      Healthcare Social Worker

    • Median Salary: $60,000
    • Duties: Healthcare social workers work with individuals and families to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. They can provide education, information, counseling, care management plans, and referrals for other services.
    • Outlook: 13.2%
    • Level of education: Bachelor’s degree or higher

7.      Child, Family, and School Social Workers

    • Median Salary: $50,000
    • Duties: Child, family, and school social workers provide assistance to children and their families to improve their well-being. They can also assist with foster care, adoption, child development, and more.
    • Outlook: 12.6%
    • Level of education: Bachelor’s degree or higher

8.      See More Psychology Careers Here

Top Schools for Psychology Majors

  1. Stony Brook University
  2. University at Buffalo
  3. Florida International University
  4. Binghamton University
  5. University of Maryland – Baltimore County
  6. See More Top Schools for Psychology

How Can You Start a Career in Psychology?

How you go about starting your career in psychology depends on your goals! Your path will be impacted by your specialization, but generally, future psychologists will need to follow the following steps:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a similar field.
  • Apply for graduate school and obtain a master’s degree in a specific area of psychology such as counseling or child development. Most careers in psychology will require at minimum a master’s.
  • Decide whether or not you want to get a doctorate degree. Psychologists can practice with a master’s, but there are restrictions on where and how they can practice.
  • Enter an internship within your intended area of practice. The length of the required internship depends on your specialization.
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
  • Obtain licenses and certifications based on your state’s requirements.

Psychology majors can have careers with several different specializations based on your interests! From forensic psychology to business psychology, there are 15 specializations available to future psychologists. Which one will you choose?

Do you think psychology is the major for you? If so, it’s time to find the school that matches your education and career goals as well as your wants and needs in college! Our College Match tool can help you identify the best colleges and universities that are aligned with your interests and objectives. Sign up today to use it for free and get started on your college journey.

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