academics

Career Options in Psychology

There are many careers open to psychology majors! Some (such as counselor and licensed psychologist) require graduate degrees (masters or doctorate). Others (such as child life specialist and human resources) are accessible with just a bachelor's. Keep in mind that psychology is a broad field: only half of psychologists work in counseling/clinical areas, while the remainder are spread across areas as diverse as neuropsychology, human factors, and psychometrics, just to name a few! The following listing (from Kuther & Morgan, 2010) showcases several different areas, and the careers that psychology majors typically pursue in each area.

APPLIED CAREERS (listed by area)

For more information about these careers — including salary, needed skills/training, pros & cons, and quizzes to determine if this is the right career for you  see Kuther & Morgan (2010). We have two copies in our Psychology lounge!

Clinical & Counseling Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Human services worker
    • Social worker
    • Substance abuse counselor
  • Graduate degree
    • Counselor (MA)
    • Licensed psychologist (PhD) in...
      • Therapy
      • Program development/evaluation
      • Mental health administration

School Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Teacher
    • Childcare worker
    • Teacher assistant
    • Early childhood behavioral specialist
  • Graduate degree
    • School counselor
    • School psychologist

Legal & Forensic Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Police officer
    • Correctional officer
    • Probation & parole officer
    • Juvenile detention worker
    • Forensic science technician
  • Graduate degree
    • Correctional psychology
    • Forensic examiner
    • Police psychology
    • Trial consultant

Health Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Recreational therapist
    • Occupational therapy assistant
    • Physical therapy assistant
    • Health educator
  • Graduate degree
    • Service delivery (hospitals, etc.)
    • Public health

Sport Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Fitness instructor/Recreational worker
    • Physical education teacher
    • Sports instructor/coach
    • Sport reporter
  • Graduate degree
    • Private practice (inc. team affiliation)

Bio-/Neuropsychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Science technician
    • Psychiatric technician
    • Clinical lab technician
    • Pharmacy technician
  • Graduate degree
    • Pharmaceutical/biotech research

Developmental Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Gerontology aide
    • Child life specialist
    • Nonprofit careers
  • Graduate degree
    • Product development/media consultant
    • Social policy research

Quantitative/Experimental/Psychometrics

  • Bachelor's
    • Insurance underwriter
    • Computer programmer
    • Computer support specialist
    • Budget analyst
  • Graduate degree
    • Operations research analyst
    • Computer systems analyst
    • Database administrator
    • Actuary
    • Financial analyst
    • Data mining

Social & Consumer Psychology

  • Bachelor's
    • Advertising
    • Real estate
    • Retail
    • Public relations specialist
  • Graduate degree
    • Market research
    • Product development consultant
    • Management

Industrial-Organization / Human Factors

  • Bachelor's
    • Human Resources
    • Design assistant
    • Management
  • Graduate degree
    • Human Resources specialist
    • Consultant
    • Usability specialist
    • Environmental designer

RESEARCH

Many psychologists also conduct research on each the areas listed above, in any of the following settings. Graduate degree required for all (unless you will be working as a lab coordinator, etc.): University/college, Military, Industry, Government, Nonprofit, K-12 education

— Adapted from Kuther, T. L., & Morgan, R. D. (2010). Careers in psychology. (3rd ed.) Boston, MA: Wadsworth.