17 Psychology Careers To Consider With Your Degree
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 28, 2022
Published June 21, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you took the time to get a bachelor's, master's, doctoral, or medical degree in psychology, you'll want to put it to good use. Thankfully, having a psychology degree opens up a wide range of career possibilities in a variety of industries. Knowing more about each role's duties and salary can help you determine which is the best option for you. In this article, we look at 17 popular psychology careers you can pursue with a relevant degree and training.
17 Popular psychology careers
If you have a psychology degree, here are 17 popular careers you can consider:
National average salary: $126,998 per year
Primary duties: Psychologists have a doctoral degree to assess and diagnose problems people are having with their feelings, behaviour, or thoughts. They talk to their patients and conduct studies to evaluate and diagnose them. This allows psychologists to help their patients overcome or manage their problems with a specialized treatment plan, typically including talk therapy.
There are many types of psychologists, such as neuropsychologists, forensic psychologists, and clinical psychologists.
National average salary: $246,345 per year
Primary duties: Psychiatrists are similar to psychologists as they assess and diagnose mental health conditions in patients. The main difference between the two is that psychiatrists have a medical degree so they can prescribe medication to help their clients manage mental disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia. Psychiatrists diagnose their patients through physical exams, lab tests, or psychological evaluations before developing a treatment plan.
Related: 5 Steps to Become a Psychiatrist
National average salary: $40,726 per year
Primary duties: Counsellors are trained individuals with a master's degree that evaluate and treat mental health concerns. Counsellors offer talk-based therapy to help patients work through their personal problems, such as those related to loss, stress, anxiety, or abuse. Counsellors can't diagnose mental health disorders but may recommend patients see a psychiatrist if they observe symptoms related to mental illness.
National average salary: $45,850 per year
Primary duties: Behavioural therapists are licensed therapists with specialized training in behavioural disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. They look at the underlying cause of these conditions and create treatment plans that teach patients healthier ways to manage their disorders.
Behavioural therapists may specialize in a certain type of treatment, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, play therapy, or aversion therapy.
National average salary: $60,413 per year
Primary duties: Many therapists and mental health professionals work with patients one-on-one, but family therapists work together with couples and families. They diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, usually related to familial relationship issues. Family therapists often use talk therapy to discuss a family's issues and help work through them to improve their relationship.
National average salary: $64,923 per year
Primary duties: Social workers improve peoples' health and social well-being. Depending on their area of specialty, they may investigate cases of violence, help individuals integrate into a new environment, or offer counselling. Social workers specialize in different areas such as children, families, schools, healthcare, or substance abuse.
National average salary: $63,500 per year
Primary duties: A school counsellor works in an elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or university. They help students with any academic, social, or personal issues they're having. They listen to students talk about their problems, offer advice, and refer students to a psychologist if they need further support. School counsellors may also assist students with career development plans by suggesting jobs suited to their skills and experience.
National average salary: $87,829 per year
Primary duties: Clinical supervisors manage a team of counsellors and psychologists to ensure patients receive the highest quality of treatment. They review and evaluate client treatment plans and assess clinical records to help determine how much care a patient needs. They also take on higher-level administrative tasks at the clinic, such as hiring new practitioners, training them, and addressing legal or ethical issues.
National average salary: $100,436 per year
Primary duties: Psychology professors typically work in universities to educate students on different topics, such as developmental psychology, child psychology, or clinical psychology. They prepare and deliver lectures to large groups of undergraduate or graduate students. Psychology professors also compile and administer examinations to ensure their students understand the material. They may supervise undergraduate or graduate students completing an internship or research program.
National average salary: $73,026 per year
Primary duties: Mental health technicians typically work in a hospital to provide care and assistance to mental health patients. They follow a physician's treatment plan by administering prescribed medication, monitoring vital signs, assessing patients' behaviour, and assisting with counselling sessions. They also assist registered nurses and physicians with administrative tasks, such as preparing reports, scheduling meetings, and reaching out to families.
National average salary: $45,060 per year
Primary duties: Research assistants work in laboratories and support professionals conducting experiments or gathering information to support a hypothesis. They are typically undergraduate or graduate students working with a professor to get credit and finish their degree. So, research assistants work under the direct supervision of a professor to perform experiments and compile research related to the professors' area of interest. They create graphs, spreadsheets, and presentation slides with their findings to present to their supervisor. They may also have administrative tasks, such as maintaining laboratory equipment, taking inventory, and printing online resources.
National average salary: $84,398 per year
Primary duties: A psychiatric nurse is a registered nurse with specialized training to provide mental health care. They work with a team of psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists to create unique treatment plans and deliver excellent patient care. Psychiatric nurses can work in a number of environments, such as hospitals, correctional facilities, or assisted living facilities. Their crisis training allows them to de-escalate volatile situations when patients with conditions like psychosis or dementia get physically or verbally abusive.
National average salary: $67,716 per year
Primary duties: An intervention specialist assists children that need help with social adjustment or special education in school. They design and implement inclusive programs that ensure students are receiving the help and education they deserve. They work closely with teachers and provide training, so every member of staff can accommodate students with different needs. Intervention specialists also collaborate with parents and refer children to psychologists or therapists when necessary.
National average salary: $58,180 per year
Primary duties: While a marketing manager isn't a traditional role with a psychology degree, it's a great option. A psychology degree can help marketing managers better understand their audience to create targeted marketing material. Marketing managers manage a company's promotion of its brand and products to increase sales. They typically work closely with a team, so a psychology degree can come in handy there as well by encouraging strong teamwork and communication.
National average salary: $72,249 per year
Primary duties: Another non-traditional role for someone with a psychology degree is a human resources manager. Human resources managers ensure employees are working safely by creating and implementing health and safety rules. They also ensure staff are happy and work well together by supervising and talking to them. This is where a psychology degree would be useful, as human resources managers must listen to their employees and help resolve any workplace issues they may have.
National average salary: $120,901 per year
Primary duties: Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat patients with voice and communication issues. They typically diagnose and treat disorders related to stuttering, difficulty swallowing, and cognitive disorders that impact communication. Treating and improving voice and communication disorders can take a long time, so speech-language pathologists offer in-depth rehabilitation and personalized treatment plans.
Speech-language pathologists must pursue a master's degree in speech-language pathology, but can do so with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
National average salary: $81,465 per year
Primary duties: Mental health case managers assess patients' mental health to determine what type of treatment or social services they need to recover. They create unique treatment plans that involve coping strategies and goals patients can work towards to improve their mental health. They meet with their patients regularly to monitor their progress. Mental health case managers have a lot of administrative work as well, such as managing patient files and assisting with disability or insurance claims.
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