Career Path For Psychology Majors


What Challenges Do Psychologists Face

UC Davis Psychology | Career Paths for Psychology Majors

Psychologists face many challenges when it comes to their profession. One of the most common issues is that they are often short on time because there are so many patients who require treatment. This makes it difficult for them to get give each person the attention he or she needs in order for them to better understand what they are going through and how it can be treated.

Another issue that psychologists face is that many people are afraid or reluctant to seek professional help because they dont understand what psychologists do and how helpful this profession can be. Because of this, the demand for therapists far outstrips the supply, which makes it even more difficult to see patients in a timely manner.

Finally, one of the greatest challenges that psychologists face is the amount of competition they encounter. There are many other professionals who can help you with your mental health issues, such as psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers. Their approach may also differ from what psychologists have to offer, and it is up to each individual to determine which professional would be best suited for him or her.

Apa Minority Fellowship Program

The APA provides financial support, professional development activities and guidance to promising doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees, with the goal of moving them toward high achievement in areas related to ethnic minority behavioral health services.

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Fellowship provides fellows with financial support professional development mentoring potential support for tuition, health insurance and the dissertation internship application assistance and lifetime access to the MFP network. Predoctoral fellowships support training for doctoral students in clinical, counseling, school or related psychology programs that prepare them to provide behavioral health services or develop policy for ethnic minority populations. Postdoctoral fellowships support the training of early career doctoral recipients who have primary interests in the delivery of behavioral health services or policy related to the psychological wellbeing of ethnic minorities.

The MFP also sponsors the Psychology Summer Institute, a week-long intensive training for advanced doctoral students and early career psychologists that provides mentoring and career development to assist participants in developing projects on ethnic minority issues.

What Can You Do With A Masters Degree In Psychology

Masters degrees in psychology generally take about two years to complete and during that time, students build on the knowledge they gained during their undergraduate studies in order to have a deeper understanding of human behavior and social science research. In addition to taking core classes, students are able to choose a specializationlike health, industrial/organizational, and clinical psychologythat will enhance their knowledge of a particular subject based on their career goals. The following are some of the careers that students can qualify for when earning a masters psychology degree.


Voluntary certifications are available

These workers help to collect data by creating surveys based on their own research on the topic being studied, working closely with the survey interviewers, and analyzing and reporting data collected. Also, they analyze how effective surveys were at eliciting information and make changes as needed.

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What Can You Do With A Psychology Degree

Few fields are as far-reaching as psychology, which is excellent news for those wondering what to do with a psychology degree. This discipline requires mastery in a variety of topics, including sociology, behavioral research, medical science, and even legal issues.

Typically, youll need a doctoral degree in psychology in order to build a career as a clinically practicing psychologist, but a therapist can often hold a successful career in different fields with lesser degrees. Some examples include:

  • Psychiatric nursing assistant or aide, which is attainable with an associate degree in psychology.
  • School counselor, which you can often do with just a bachelors psychology degree.
  • Substance abuse counselor, a career often open to those with a masters degree in psychology.

These examples arent even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possible psychology degree jobs open to you. Lets look at each degree option to answer the question of what job can you get with a psychology degree.

Alternative Career Options For Psychologist

Career Paths in Psychology : Where Your Degree Can Take You

Psychology ranked 5th in the top bachelors degrees earned for the school year 2018/2019 with 116,536 degrees awarded to students . One of the reasons why psychology is a popular degree is because graduates can apply to jobs directly connected to psychology or look at other occupations that make good use of the knowledge and skills they learned. Here are a few of those careers outside of psychology where a degree in the subject can be a huge asset.

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Best Jobs For Psychology Doctorate/phd Degree Graduates

Although earning a masters degree will give you more job opportunities, you can still be limited if you are interested in entering professional psychology, which is why a large percentage of psychology students continue to earn their doctorate. Most state licensing boards require a doctorate to practice any independent clinical work. Your doctorate and state license permit you to diagnose mental disorders, conduct research, administer evaluations, and teach at the university level. You can work within various settings, such as mental health clinics, government offices, hospitals, or choose to open a private practice, just to name a few possible choices.

Another benefit of your Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychologyyour salary prospects increase dramatically. For example, an Industrial/Organizational psychologist with a masters degree can expect a starting salary of around $38,750, while a Ph.D. would earn them $55,000 to start.

Lets run through 10 of the best psychology degree jobs to answer the question of what job can you get with a psychology degree at the doctoral level.

  • Psychotherapist

Best Colleges To Study Psychology

The best colleges to study psychology are those that offer an undergraduate program. This enables you to receive a bachelors degree in this profession and proceed with your education if you decide to pursue a masters or doctoral degree.

If you want to become a psychologist, we recommend that you look for colleges and universities that have been accredited by the American Psychological Association because this organization ensures certain standards of quality.

Other factors you should consider when choosing a college are where it is located as well as its reputation in the psychology field. Following are some of the colleges we highly recommend:

  • Johns Hopkins University: Offers a bachelors degree in psychology and select masters and doctoral programs.
  • The University of California San Diego: This research university offers undergraduate, masters, or doctoral level programs in the field of psychology.
  • Harvard University: Has been accredited by the APA since 1939 and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology.
  • New York University: Offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in psychology.
  • University of Florida Gainesville: Provides both bachelors and masters degree programs in psychology.

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Best Jobs For Psychology Associate Degree Graduates

An associate psychology degree is an excellent option if youre looking to get some entry-level experience while deciding what career you ultimately want to pursue, or before entering a higher degree program. Though most psychology jobs require at least a bachelors degree, there are several career options for students with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree in psychology.

Here are a few ideas of what to do with a psychology degree at the associate level.

Careers In And Related To Psychology

some career paths for psych majors / for those interested in psychology

Following a BA or BSc degree in psychology, some students opt not to pursue a career in psychology while others do. For the former, many of the abilities and skills that one obtained as a psychology student can be used in careers that are not directly related to psychology. For the latter, there are three general paths a student can pursue.

1. Psychology as a career: A bachelors degree is the first step on the road to graduate-level training to become a psychologist. To call yourself a psychologist, you must complete at least a Masters degree and normally a PhD in psychology. This applies both to research careers and becoming a practising psychologist. There are several areas of specialization for those who wish to pursue post-graduate training at the masters or doctoral level within each area, one may choose sub-specialties in which to teach, conduct research, be a practitioner, or some combination of these three activities.

3. Careers built on psychology skills and knowledge: Psychology graduates also sometimes pursue careers in, for example, law, journalism and business. This often requires further study.

Possible Employment and Careers

Presented below are many of the careers upon which psychology majors can embark. At first glance, some of these careers may appear unrelated to the discipline of psychology however, a closer look highlights the importance of the “core competencies” and skills that psychology majors acquire during their studies.

Addictions counsellor

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Median Salary Of Psychologists

In May 2020, BLS recorded the median annual wage for psychologists at $82,180. The lowest 10% took home less than $46,270, while the highest 10% earned more than $137,590 . The median salaries of psychologists based on the top industries they worked in were as follows:

  • Government $100,360
  • Elementary and secondary schools state, local, and private 77,560

Explore Careers & Build Networks

Career Exploration 101

Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a great way to connect with professionals in a career area of interest and gain valuable insights about a particular career, company, or industry that would otherwise be difficult to find in books or online. Check out our tip sheet to learn more.

Alumni Profiles

Check out our Alumni Profiles page with submissions from UTM grads to find out how their experiences have affected their career direction.


Attending career panels, networking events, employer info sessions and career fairs is a great way to meet professionals and learn more about careers, companies and industries. Login to CLN and click on Events & Workshops to see what’s coming up.

Talk to Professors

Connecting with your professors can be a great way to explore the different paths a major can lead you to, as well as learn about possible opportunities for research, volunteering or becoming a TA. Drop by during their office hours or request an appointment.

Student Organizations

Join a student club or an academic society at UTM to meet like-minded people, explore your interests, and make valuable connections. To view a list of current clubs and societies, visit the Centre for Student Engagement’s website. Some organizations you may consider are:


Professional Associations

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What Can You Do With A Doctoral Degree In Psychology

At the doctoral degree level, there is a heavy focus on psychology research, so whether students aspire to use their knowledge to teach the next generation of professionals or to provide patient care, they learn the methods that are used to conduct studies from start to finish. These degrees, which can take four to six years to finish depending on the program, also give students the opportunity to concentrate on a specific area of the field and become experts in the body of research that guides it. Here are a few career options for graduates of PsyD and PhD psychology programs.

Additional Requirements

College professors who teach in a discipline where people are required to have a license are expected to have that same license.

Exploring Graduate School Options With A Psychology Degree

Psychology Specialties Infographic

Although the employment market for psychology majors with an undergraduate degree is promising, individuals holding advanced degrees in psychology have additional career opportunities. According to economists at the Department of Labor, opportunities for people with graduate degrees in psychology are expected to grow between 10 to 20 percent by 2010. Additionally, many psychology majors also pursue advanced degrees in law, business, education, or other professional areas.

For more information on graduate school in psychology, please see Graduate School Preparation.

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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.

What Can You Do With A Criminal Psychology Degree 10 Career Fields

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.

Criminal psychologists are licensed professionals who use analysis to uncover criminal motivations. It takes many years of education and experience to become a criminal psychologist. Researching the careers you can enter with a criminal psychology degree can help you decide if the field is right for you. In this article, we explain what you can do with a criminal psychology degree and list ten related career paths.

Related:What Is a Criminal Psychologist?

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Psychology Careers In Research

Psychology careers in research may be based within research agencies, public and private organizations or in universities. University-based careers vary but tend to combine research and teaching. Research careers within other sectors are even more wide-ranging but could mean contributing to governmental policy development or issues of importance for industry. You could also work for a charity or other non-profit organization, perhaps conducting research to help resolve challenges such as speech impediments, brain damage, child development or the impact of legal and illegal drugs on psychological health.

Which Certification Is Best For Psychology

The Psychology of Career Decisions | Sharon Belden Castonguay | TEDxWesleyanU

There are 15 specializations recognized by the American Board of Professional Psychology . You do not need board certifications to practice psychologyyou only need to meet the education and licensure requirements of the state where you intend to practice.

However, becoming board certified does bring certain advantages to your career as a psychologist. For one, it increases your marketability. It can prove that you are at the top of the profession compared to others in your field. Also, it protects the public and gives your patients peace of mind knowing that they are consulting with a psychologist who possesses the competence to practice the profession.

15 Psychology Certifications Approved by ABPP

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Health Psychology
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    Psychologists Study The Work Environment And Performance Issues

    Anywhere people work, and anything they do while at work, is of interest to psychologists. Psychologists study what makes people effective, satisfied and motivated in their jobs what distinguishes good workers or managers from poor ones and what conditions of work promote high or low productivity, morale and safety.

    Some psychologists design programs for recruiting, selecting, placing and training employees. They evaluate, monitor and improve performance. They help make changes in the way the organization is set up. Others help design the actual tasks, tools and environments people must deal with when doing their jobs. These specialists can also help design the products that organizations create and conduct research related to product design. For example, they play a big role in making computer hardware and software more user friendly.

    Psychologists with training in mental health and health care also deal with the health and adjustment of individuals in the work setting. They work with employee assistance plans that provide help with drug or alcohol addiction problems, depression and other disorders they also foster healthy behavior. Others work on performance issues in areas such as sport psychology, where they may provide athletes with counseling, work with them to improve motivation and performance, explore psychological considerations in sports injuries and rehabilitation, and perform a range of tasks related to sports performance and education.

    How Much Can Criminal Psychologists Earn

    Salary insights specific to criminal psychology are not readily available. The average salary for a psychologist in general is $94,737 per year. Since many criminal psychologists hold doctoral degrees, their incomes may be higher than those of psychologists with master’s degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of psychologists may grow by three percent by 2029. Earnings for criminal psychologists vary by field, experience and location.

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    Career Or Vocational Counselor

    Thanks to the rapidly changing job market, many people are searching for a new job in their chosen field or even changing careers entirely. Career counselors help individuals make career decisions and utilize tools including personality assessments, interest inventories, and other evaluation measures.

    They often start by looking at a client’s interests, job history, education, and skills in order to determine which careers are a good match. They also help clients work on building skills, practicing interviews, improving resumes, and locating job openings. Assisting clients who are dealing with job loss or employment-related stress is also common.

    If You Need Financial Aid

    Psychology Personality Types and Possible Related Careers

    You may be able to get financial aid to attend both undergraduate and graduate school. Assistance comes in different forms: fellowships, scholarships, grants or subsidies, work study programs, federal loans and teaching or research assistantships. Graduate assistantships and work study require part-time work.

    In many PhD programs, financial aid packages that include tuition, some benefits and a stipend are available. Students applying to PhD programs will want to check on the availability of such packages and their eligibility for them. For those accredited programs in professional psychology , the program must provide information on its website about cost, financial aid, time to degree, attrition and so forth.

    Students seeking financial aid for a graduate degree should get advice as early as possible. Consult with both the psychology office and the office of financial aid on your own campus and also with the office of financial aid at the school to which you are applying. Students of ethnic minority background should also contact the .

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