Learn What You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Getting a Masters degree in Psychology

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

A master’s degree takes about 2 years to complete. It will give you more options than a bachelor’s degree. Usually getting masters in psychology means training in either clinical, counseling or social work.

 

Training to become Marriage Family Therapist involves 2-4 years of coursework/practicum and 2 years of an internship. If you decide to pursue social work your education also involves 2-4 years of course work and 2 years of internship. Both degrees require licensing form the state.

 

The only disadvantages for a masters degree when compared to a PhD is the lower rate of pay, uncertainty of getting hired, and less skills with accountability.

 

The decision of pursuing additional education depends on you. Do you have enough money for a masters or a PhD? Are you dedicated to academia enough to be in school for more years?

 

If additional schooling isn’t for you visit popular jobs for psychology majors.

What does it take for a psychology major to get into graduate school?

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Your dreams are set to one day become a great psychologist or psychiatrist but your grades aren’t so good and you barely have any experience of volunteer in the psychology field. The harsh reality is that getting accepted to graduate school for a PhD program is difficult. Here’s what you should know before you apply.

 

You need several things for graduate schools even think about accepting you. These are grades, GREs, statement of intent, letters of recommendation, experience, and an official transcript showing grades from your 4-5 academic years.

 

Your grade point average is important since schools have a cut off on what they will and will not accept. For instance masters programs require 3.0 or above while PhD programs require 3.5 and above. If you are short here you need to make it up in another area.

 

Most programs will require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). There are three sections. They are quantitative, verbal, and analytical. Here is a great site that has practice exams. www.greguide.com/gre-practice-tests.html. The test is difficult but with enough studying and practice you should be able to get a good score. For PhD programs a score of 1200 or above is recommended and for masters programs over 1000.

 

Your statement of intent needs to state why you choose that specific program. It has to be clear, concise, and answer the questions the graduate school asks. Make sure to write drafts of this paper making sure your writing is good. If you have trouble writing and need help proofreading we recommended the site www.errnet.net. This great site proofreads your work in seconds and emails the results as low as a dollar a page. You can try shrinking the size of your document to fit if money is an issue.

 

Letters of recommendation need to be from an authority source. A letter from a professor will have more weight than a co worker. When finding those that can write you a good letter consider what skills of yours they can write about and how well they can evaluate your skills. These letters are meant to “talk” you up and show graduate schools that you are the best candidate for their program. At the end don’t forget to send letters thanking those that recommended you to your dream school.

 

Experience is crucial for the program you desire to get in to. It needs to be an area related to the type of program you are applying to. For instance if you are applying to clinical program it helps if you have volunteered at a behavioral center and understand the type of environment for that field.

 

Careers for Psychology Majors

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

A Psychology major has 3 central focus courses in college. They are Research/Computer related careers, Clinical/Counseling, and Business/Management careers. Psychology is a versatile major that can be applied to many areas of work. Figure out what you want to specialize in. If you want to become a counselor or psychologist you will need additional schooling. For information on the difference between a masters and a PhD go to this post: masters for psychology and difference between a psy.d/ph.d. If you would like to know the salaries of these positions check the website www.bls.gov.  Here are some examples of careers that may interest you:

 

Counseling Careers

 

Counseling jobs require a master’s degree and being licensed by the state. The licensing focuses on supervised hours of counseling, training, and certification exams. To know exactly what type of licensing you need check with the state and your graduate program.

 

Specializing in Counseling

 

  • Clinical Counselor. Similar to that of a psychotherapist but this position does not have a PhD. Clinical counselors work with many different issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and learning disabilities.

 

  • Aids Counselor. This position educates others on the dangers of HIV. They are mainly concerned with prevention and treatment of AIDS and HIV. Aids counselors are responsible for educating diet and dealing with emotional stress. For more information check out the AIDS/HIV Disease and Medicaid Home Page http://www.cms.gov/

 

  • Career Counselor. Career counselors can be found on college campuses or in high school. They provide students with tests which can assess talent, abilities, and skills. They also help with building resumes, deciding what job fits with ones talents and finding jobs. For more information check out www.ncda.org

 

  • Addictions Counselor. This type of counselor helps individuals overcome drug abuse. They provide education on the effects of addiction and withdrawals. They also can facilitate an intervention for drug abusing individuals. This career requires licensing and training. For more information check out The National Association for Addiction Professionals www.naadac.org/

 

  • Rehabilitation Counselor. This type of counselor helps those cope with stressful conditions. This involves the disabled, injuries, and illnesses. They teach their clients how to socialize effectively, handling emotion, and dealing with family issues. For more information on the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association www.nrca-net.org

 

  • Mental Health Counselor. This type of counselor provides help with depression, marriage, health problems, addiction, and more issues pertaining to mental health. Individuals are treated in individual or in a group fashion. For more information check out the American Mental Health Counselors Association website www.amhca.org

 

  • Marriage and Family Therapist. MFTs provide counseling between relationships. This includes being married, divorced, deceased spouse and other situations having to do with families. They focus on teaching good communication skills and micro manages conflicts. For more information check out the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy www.aamft.org

 

Psychologist Careers

 

In order to become a psychologist you need a PhD and are certified/licensed by the state. Psychologists have the highest salaries in the psychology field because of their additional training. With more experience and training Psychologists mainly work in administrative positions providing programs.

 

  • Clinical Psychologist. This type of psychologist works at mental hospitals, counseling centers, or has their own private practice. They provide help for the emotionally and mentally disturbed. Clinical psychologists administer diagnostic tests and interview patients. They can also prescribe medicine but this depends on the state. Other clinical psychologists work at universities training graduate students.

 

  • Child Psychologist. This type of psychologist treats mentally and emotionally disturbed children. They may treat children how are depressed, anorexic, traumatize, or having a learning disability. Child psychologists work mainly at school but some have their own private practice.

 

  • Neuropsychologist. This type of psychologist is concerned with normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. They work in university or hospital settings conducting studies and treating human behavior.

 

  • Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. This type of psychologist works in a corporate setting by improving the quality, productivity, and motivation for work. Some companies rely on I/O psychologists for screening new employees, counseling, training and analysis. They are also hired as consultants who offer recommendations or solutions to a problem the company is experiencing.

 

  • Experimental Psychologist. This type of psychologist is busy in the lab conducting experiments on humans or animal. They research substance abuse, motivation, memory, learning, and other aspects that influence behavior.  They work for companies, government, and at universities.

 

  • Social Psychologist. This psychologist’s work involves improving the way individuals socialize in their environment. They study attitudes, perception, and group behavior. A social psychologist works at a university, systems design, and marketing research.

Counseling and being a psychologist may not be the kind of career you would like to have. There are other options with a bachelor in psychology. Here are a few other careers that may interest you:

 

  • Caseworker/Social Worker. This career involves interviewing patients using your psychological skills. The decisions you make will significantly affect the patient in where they will be placed for treatment or if treatment is not needed. This job ties in with a social work degree. Some organizations may require you to get more schooling before you are hired as a caseworker. This might mean a masters and licensing in  social work depending on where you work.

 

  • Advertising. You can either be a media planner or media buyer. A planner develops and explores media plans.  Psychology helps in this area by identifying a specific audience and the best way to advertise to them. On the other hand a media buyer will look for spaces to buy ads and negotiates prices. Starting in advertising just requires a bachelor’s degree.

 

  • Market Research Analyst. As a psychology major you will put all your education in statistics and research to use.  The goals are to analyze data to evaluate the needs and responses of consumers for products. With that information you will communicate to your clients helping them better understand the market

 

  • Insurance Agent. Having a psychology major helps you understand and discuss issues relating to mortality, health, property loss, and dealing with distressed clients. Selling insurance can be done through licensing by the state.

 

  • Teacher. With a bachelors degree in psychology you can better understand your students and manage the class for effective learning. You will need additional graduate work and training to become certified. Some schools will require you to get a masters level degree. You can choose to work in elementary schools or high schools.

 

Are you still not sure about your career? That’s alright here are some resources:

 

 

You can also check this post on Transitioning from Undergraduate school to real life or to Graduate school. It has other ideas on what jobs to get

3 Things you must have on Your Resume when applying for a Psychology Related Career

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Your resume is your profile to your employer. Ask yourself: What sets me apart from other individuals trying to get hired for the same job? What do I have to offer which can benefit my employer? During your interview you can go over some experiences in greater detail. Your employer needs to hear about your great skills. Those stories will illustrate your skills and relate them to the targeted career.

What to include in your resume:

• Psychology related experience. Did you volunteer at a behavioral health center? Did you conduct research in a lab? Make sure to list these and state what month/year you did them. Add some details to what you did. Its important that your future employer sees how your experience ties in to the career you are applying for.
• List your activities. What did you do during your college career which can be sold as an activity? Were you part of a club that involved leadership roles? Any sports that you played?
• Detail your work experience and some of the duties with each job. If you have worked at many places it will show the employer that you are familiar with different kinds of task. If you have worked only few jobs but for a long duration it can show loyalty to a company.

So you’ve started writing your resume…But what about the template?! Whatever word document you use should have a template creator. Visit this resume for an example.

Psychology Major Career Path 3: Professor Arias

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Psychologymajor.org asked Professor Arias of San Jose State University a few questions about his path in the psychology field.

What interested you about Psychology?

Psychology interested me since I was young. I’ve always been able to figure out other peoples problems. I rememeber as a young child a mentor of mine telling me about psychology in high school. That sparked my interest. So I started studying Sigmund  Freud’s work and because I wanted to help people I became even more interested.

What worked for you and helped you succeed?

Understanding  that a lot of different people and seeing the many perspectives they have. I’ve had many mentors show me many ways to see things and that helped me out. Different angles are what you should see.

What were some pitfalls which you recommend to avoid?

Avoid self doubt. Realize when you are critical of yourself. Realize how powerful that can be. Sometimes it can overwhelm you and you can become depressed. Notice what level your on and don’t compare yourself on there. Your level of self worth needs to be fostered and nurtured by yourself.

Where are you now with psychology?

Part time professor for SJSU and private practice, while studying for licensing exam.

What do you plan on doing?

Working on opening my own practice specializing in adolescent and families. I want full time status at a university. Write a couple books on identity development and make a better living.

What can students expect in salary if they take the same path?

You can make fairly decent money in this field. Once your licensed you can make 100k based on the field. In this field money comes and goes. For instance some clients will come in and go. You just have to face that as life and keep going.

Psychology Major Career Path 1: Professor Laraway

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

PsychologyMajor.org asked Professor Sean Laraway of (San Jose State University, America) a few questions having to do with his current career. His answers should provide some insight if you decide to take a similar path.

1. What position(s) do you work?

Assistant Professor of Psychology, San Jose State University

2. Did you major in psychology in college?

Yes.

3.What did you do with your degree?

Attended graduate school in Psychology, worked as a postdoctoral fellow in behavioral pharmacology, taught as a lecturer and then as an Assistant Professor in psychology. Did some consulting work in statistics and research methods.

4. What tips can you recommend for psychology majors?

Learn to write well. Learn to speak comfortably in front of groups. Learn as much about statistics and research methods as you can. Take every stats and methods class available. Get research experience, if possible. Get to know your professors. Gain as much relevant experience as you can without sacrificing your grades (e.g., complete an internship, volunteer at a mental health facility, work in an area related to psychology). Find some good mentors at your school or workplace and develop good working relationships with them. Attend professional conferences. Attend class. Study more. Read as much as possible. Exercise. Get more sleep. Try to present research at professional conferences. Treat your studies as you would your career. Don’t sacrifice schoolwork for anything else, including your part-time job. Find friends in your same major and build a support network. Figure out what you don’t want to do as a career. See a major adviser as soon as possible and meet with him/her often. Start thinking of your life after your bachelor’s degree: What do you want to do every day?

5. What worked for you and helped you succeed?

I tried to do the things listed in #4, although I didn’t always succeed

6. What were some pitfalls which you recommend to avoid?

Don’t think you have to get a doctorate to be successful with a psychology degree. There are plenty of rewarding jobs available with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you want to make a lot of money, don’t become a professor in psychology. If you want other rewards, such as teaching, working with students, flexible schedules, and a lot of independence in your daily work, then become a professor in psychology. Don’t think that good grades/GRE scores alone will get you into grad school. You will need other achievements (e.g., research or other relevant experience) and letters of recommendation from professors/supervisors who know you well, among other things. Don’t think that statistics/research methods are too hard for you to understand.

7. How is your day on average?

I enjoy my workdays. In an average day, I will teach, attend a meeting, meet with students, and work on research

8. What can students expect in salary if they take the same path?

Starting faculty members in the CSU can expect to earn about $50,000-$60,000 per year, depending on teaching experience, etc.

Jobs for Psychology Majors

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Here are some popular jobs that Psychology majors work as and how much they make . These jobs only require a bachelors in psychology to apply. This information is provided by www.payscale.com. When applying make sure to do research by asking those already in the field what to expect in work environment and annual income.

jobs for psychology majors jobs for psychology majorsMethodology

Jobs ranked by popularitamong graduates. Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees from all colleges. See full methodology for more.

Popular Jobs for Psychology Majors Median Salary All U.S.

Administrative Assistant- $34,800

Case Manager, Social Services- $33,700

Human Resources (HR) Manager- $69,300

Social Worker- $39,000

Mental Health Case Manager- $32,600

Employment, Recruitment, or Placement Specialist / Recruiter- $71,700

Customer Service Representative (CSR)- $34,600

Administrative / Office Manager- $41,500

Mental Health Counselor- $38,500

Office Manager- $44,300

Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization- $38,800

Human Resources (HR) Generalist- $53,600

Executive Assistant- $49,400

Retail Store Manager- $52,500

Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC)- $59,700

Human Resources (HR) Administrator- $40,900

Retail Store Assistant Manager- $40,200

Executive Director, Non-Profit Organization- $64,100

Elementary School Teacher- $45,200

Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization- $46,500

Substance Abuse Counselor- $36,400

Child, Family, or School Social Worker- $40,000

Office Manager, Medical or Dental Office- $44,100

Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)- $29,700

Daycare Teacher- $24,000.

Selecting a psychology program which will benefit your goals

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Does the department program match what you want to do? Look into the program. If your into clinical work it would benefit you to ask about different programs available. Go to the main site and look for the department office. Call that number and ask about the programs. You should be redirected to a link which can inform you on the programs.

What is the student-to-faculty ratio? It’s important to consider this since you want quality attention from your professors. Try to establish a friendship between you and your professors. Make sure they know your name. This will benefit you later in your undergrad when you apply to graduate school and need recommendation letters.

Does the faculty publish and do research? Knowing this can provide you opportunities for research. If the department lacks publishing and research then it may not be as current.

Does the psychology department have a psychology club and do activities to encourage psychology students to go to graduate school? Continue your research by asking students and professors.

The most prominent and highly respected psychology club on campuses is the International Honor Society of Psychology. They are known as Psy Chi for short and have informative website: www.psichi.org

How do you know what psychology professors to take?

Taking professors in general can be a gamble since their teaching techniques may or not may be effective to the way you learn. You can try asking around about quality professors or check out the website:

www.ratemyprofessor.com

This handy website is the opinions of many students on professors. The site provides rating scales and comments about professors teaching styles. Checking this resource could potentially save you money when buying books. Previous students may have used an older cheaper version of the book which is similar to the current edition a professor is using to teach class. So make the effort to look your professors up since you will get an heads up on what to expect.

Applying to a University/College first time, Transferring, or Returning to College

It’s your senior year of high school. Graduation is probably a year or a few months away. You’ve decided to further your education by going to a University/College and have dream list written out. You’ve researched psychology programs and know where you want to go. The time now is to apply. Some things you may need when applying:

• A college application which can be found on the schools website
• A grade point average (gpa) of 2.5 – 4.0
• An appropriate score on a college entrance exam
• Taken the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) and have a required score.

To learn more and take the test check out: www.collegeboard.com or www.act.org

• Letters of recommendations which will detail your positive traits
• A letter about yourself which you can describe some philanthropy (volunteer work) you’ve done and other transferable skills you can detail

What areas of work are there for psychology majors once they graduate?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Follow your interests. If you don’t focus on what you are truly interested in then there will be a lack of motivation once you are in the real world working. You can listen to family members and friends on what career to choose but at the end the decision is yours. This is something you want to spend lots of time doing. Money is a motivation when it comes to choosing a career but your interests are what will push you to wake up every morning for work. It won’t even feel like a push it will be a feeling of enthusiasm and excitement to start the day and see what you can accomplish.

  • Psychology of gender- studies gender development
  • Social- studies beliefs and how they are shaped
  • School- the development of students is studied pertaining to emotional and academic growth
  • Neuroscience- studies the nervous system
  • Health- studies weight loss, gain, stress, and smoking on the body
  • Forensic psychology- analyzes issues related to law enforcement
  • Industrial/organizational- studies the psychology of work and management
  • Gerontology/Developmental- studies concerns pertaining to aging
  • Counseling- studies behavior at work, school, and home
  • Clinical- treats mental and emotional problems at behavioral centers
  • Family- studies marital and family concerns
  • Rehabilitation- studies recovery from drug use and trauma
  • Quantitative- conducts research for universities/colleges, companies and government organizations
  • Environmental- studies the environment and the affect people have on it.

What kinds of classes do psychology majors take?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Heres an example of a psychology planned schedule taken from San Jose State Univeristy, California. http://www.sjsu.edu/psych/

Year Semester 1 Semester 2
1 Engl 1A (GE Area A2)Psyc 1 (General Psychology) (GE Area D1)

2 Core GE classes (Area A1 and E)

Bio 21 (GE Area B2/3)

Kin class (PE)

Meet with a Psychology Advisor

16 units

Engl 1B (GE Area C3)Statistics 95 (GE Area B4)

core GE class (Area B1: ?Chem 30A?)

1 Core GE Classes (Area A3)

Kin class (PE)

Register for WST at the end of the semester

16 units

2 Psyc 30 (intro to psychobiology)Support course (?Chem 1B or 30B?)

2 Core GE Classes (Area C1 and C2)

Area F1-2-3 Class (part A)

Meet with a Psychology Advisor

Pass WST by the end of the semester

15 units

Psyc 102 (Child Psychology)Psyc 110 (Abnormal Psychology)

Psyc 154 (Social Psychology)

1 open elective or supporting course

Area F 1-2-3 Class (part B)

15 units

3 Psyc 100W (Writing course dealing with APA Format) (SJSU Studies area Z)Psyc 139 (psychology of personality)

1 Psyc Elective (LD or UD)

2 open electives (or supporting courses)

15 units

Psyc 120 (Advanced Research Method Designs)Psyc 129 (Neuroscience) or 160 (Clinical) or 170 Industrial/Organizational

2 classes from: Psyc 135 (cognition) or 155 (human learning) or 158 (perception)

SJSU Studies R course (e.g., Bio 101 or Phil 160)

File for Graduation

15 units

4 Psyc 117 (Test and Measures) (or Stat 115)Psyc 121 a, b, or c

1 Psychology Elective (UD)

1 SJSU Studies V Course (e.g., Phil 110)

1 open elective or supporting course

14 units

Psyc 190 (current issues in capstone) in c or 195 (honors seminar on psychology)Psyc 121 a, b, or c

1 SJSU Studies S Course

Stat 115 (or Psyc 117)

1 open elective or supporting course

14 units

As an undergraduate you will be taking general education courses. Some of them can be psychology such an introductory class or a statistics class.

Statistics is a class you are required to take to fulfill your major. In the past you may have learned about mean, mode, and median. This class will go further by teaching you about z, t tests, ANOVAs and using a graphing application for data. Knowing these forms of test can give a researcher a lot of information about a sample group. It also helps to see if the data was statistically significant.

You will also be taking some lecture courses and laboratory courses. The lectures will be a sit and learn type of class while the lab course will be hands on approach to learning. Laboratory assignments will have you conduct simple to advanced experiments on selected populations. For one laboratory assignment you maybe asked to form a group then pick a study to do. Your group partners and you will write a lab report using previous studies relating to the topic. Lab reports have a cover sheet, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and a references sheet. It’s important to take these statistic classes and an advanced research methods class since this information is heavily used when conducting experiments and if you want to go to graduate school it helps for prerequisites.

As you begin taking more psychology courses one or two classes in particular should interest you. This course should become your focus if you’d like to pursue it as a career. Psychology is a broad subject that can be applied to many areas of life. Here are some examples of careers.

  • Do you enjoy being around children? Then look into child psychology. You could one day work as a school psychologist.
  • Are you fascinated with drugs and the effect they have on the brain? Then look into Neuroscience. You could be in the lab doing experiments with rats comparing a drug and a placebo.
  • Do you have a mindset for business but want to apply psychology in that setting? Then look into industrial organizational psychology. You could be working in corporate setting making sure everyone is working to their highest potential.
  • Do you enjoy new experiences and have the empathy to work in a behavioral health center? Look into clinical psychology. You would be in an inpatient clinic helping individuals deal with the recent stress that has entered their lives.
  • Are you curious on testing things and seeing if it has a significant impact? Look into research in psychology.

What can you do with a major in psychology?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Psychology is the study of human behavior, animal behavior, and their mental functions. It is considered a science, philosophy and art by those employed in the field of psychology. The main goal of psychology is to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior and mental processes. Successful psychology majors become critical thinkers, analytical, gain skills at evaluating information; they develop writing skills and high level research skills.

When deciding to major in psychology it is important to understand the many sub fields and specializations in psychology since it’s such a broad major. These areas of psychology include statistics, organization/industrial, clinical, neuroscience, cognitive, behavioral, social, developmental, and educational. There are many career options for an undergraduate psychology major to pursue.

Before you fully decide to become a psychology major you need to decide if it truly is an area you want to devote time into. If you enjoy helping individuals going through personal problems, listening to them, interviewing/testing, enjoy analyzing and collecting data, being social, creative, learning about human and animal behavior then psychology is a career path for you!

You may be in high school or just starting college as freshmen (first year) or sophomore (second year). Take an introductory class for psychology or take it in high school. It would also help to request information from universities providing psychology as bachelors, masters, ph.d. Its never too early to start your future.

If you are unsure what direction you should take career wise then understand that choosing a major can be difficult at times. Know that your goal is to do something you are interested,  enjoy doing, and providing value. Your career decisions should make you feel motivated and satisfied otherwise their just stress for a salary.

If psychology is interesting but not worthy as a major than you can also minor in it. You also have the option to double major. What’s important is figuring out a path of classes to take to further your progress at a bachelors degree. To gain more information on narrowing your choice talk to individuals that work the field you are interested in, school advisers, individuals already in college/university, and internet resources such as a university website or keep reading this website.

After graduating from a degree in Psychology, most fresh graduates are having a hard time finding a job that really suits them. According to surveys, many fresh graduates had the wrong idea that becoming a psychology major would just be their stepping stone towards higher education like having a Ph.D.

Most fresh graduates do not realize that there are many choices of careers from having a bachelor’s degree to as high as having a doctorate degree in psychology. Having a psychology degree provides a lot of job opportunities.

Psychometrist/Clinician

First, you can apply as a psychometrist or clinician. A clinician is someone who administers psychological testing and scores them. They work under a licensed psychologist and are not allowed to interpret test results or give clinical assessments. Psychometrists could work under the clinical setting wherein one has to administer clinical tests to patients or under the organizational setting wherein they administer tests to applicants, employees, and/ or students. To be qualified, you must be of course a graduate of Clinical Psychology and has extensive knowledge about administration and scoring of standardized tests. Salary ranges by state but you could expect an average base pay of around $ 10,000 to $20,000. This quotation is for less experienced psychometrists.

Substance abuse counselor

From having a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you could also try to be a substance abuse counselor. This is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States wherein one works with clients who are addicted to alcohol, cocaine, or any other illegal drugs. To be qualified, you have to be of firm and strong personality as patients are undergoing recovery and thus, suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Other state laws require certification or licensure to be a substance abuse counselor. The base pay of a substance abuse counselor ranges from $25,000 to $40.000 depending on the state and years of experience.

Psychiatric technician

In the clinical setting, another career you could opt to choose is being a psychiatric technician. Also look into certified nurse assistants (CNA) since these positions work in the same environment with less than a year of training. Psy Techs are in charge of the patient’s overall mental wellness by reporting the patient’s mental and emotional state to a medical staff. They assist in the personal hygiene, rehabilitation programs and administering of oral and injectable medications to mentally ill patients. This could be a physically demanding job but it offers a good average base pay of $22,000 to $47,000.

Human resource personnel

Another entry-level job of having a psychology degree is the human resource personnel position. This is for people who prefer the organizational setting over the clinical setting. The main task of human resource personnel is to assist the human resource manager in implementing policies and strategies throughout the company or organization. The human resource workforce is the backbone of a successful company because this group of individuals works together in screening and recruiting the best applicants. One of its main duties is to also maintain good performance and behavior of its employees. The base pay of human resource personnel on the entry level ranges from $10,000 to $30,000.

There is a wide range of career opportunities from having a psychology degree. The task of choosing one’s career could be overwhelming to some that’s why one needs a thorough and careful research of which career path to choose. You could start by knowing what your interests are and how you envision yourself working. However, if you decide to take your education one notch higher, there are more available careers to psychology graduates of a master’s degree.

Marriage and family therapist

A popular career in the clinical setting is becoming a marriage and family therapist (MFT). This requires masters in science or arts, licensure, and thousands of intern hours. They work in hospital settings sometimes beside psychiatrists and social workers while other times in their own private practices. Their focus is facilitating behavioral change in the marriage and family sphere. Their average pay ranges from $40,000 to $70,000.

Masters in clinical psychology

Second is a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. You don’t need any further graduate study in Clinical Psychology but you need to be licensed before you could go to practice. However, under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist, you could already provide psychotherapy and psychological assessments. The main duty of a clinical psychologist involves improvement in the psychological well – being of the patients and make positive changes on overall mental health. He or she works along with other professionals to provide various forms of treatments. They work with clients of all ages with different mental illnesses like schizophrenia, behavior and eating disorders, neurological disorders and depression. For a starting career, expect a base pay of around $50,000 to $70,000.

Experimental psychologists

Third is a master’s degree in experimental psychology. This is a degree wherein students are being prepared for further graduate study.  One could be a laboratory manager, research assistant and part of a marketing research team. This is not a terminal degree. Meaning, students can focus on a specialty area like developmental, cognitive and social psychology.

The human behavior and mental processes are very complex that we need experimental psychologists to study it in different contexts. The main task of an experimental psychologist is to conduct a pilot study on a chosen field or subject before pushing through with the major study. Experimental psychologists work on different settings such as clinical, business, organizational and educational setting. For the least experienced, the base pay is around $30,000 to $75,000 depending on the sector of employment and location. Salary could go as high as $80,000 for those who are more experienced.

Of course, one needs an exceptional understanding of the different psychological research methods and has outstanding communication skills. An excellent writing skill is also important because this job also includes writing in academic journals and studies.

Lastly, one could consider having a master’s degree in applied psychology. Under applied psychology, students could find a career in forensic psychology, sports psychology and industrial and organizational psychology or prefer a teaching position instead. It is suggested by the U.S Department of Labor that there is higher opportunity for students in the applied psychology field because they could work directly on their specialty area.

Forensic psychologists

Forensic psychology works in between psychology and the criminal justice system. The forensic psychologist must understand the standards of the American justice system in order to be a credible witness. The court designates the forensic psychologist as an expert witness and is duly assigned to evaluate if the defendant is competent in standing trial. This is to prove the mental state of the defendant when the offense was done. The task of a forensic psychologist is to prove if the accused is sane or insane through psychological questioning and testing. A forensic psychologist is also expected to translate his or her psychological findings in legal terms. They provide treatment recommendations, evaluate the defendant’s risk in behavior, determine if the witness is credible and recommend months or years of sentencing.

Forensic psychologists usually work with the police force, law enforcement personnel, the State attorney, and public defenders. Salary varies in different states but usually averages from $45,000 to $75,000. Again, salary depends on years of experience.

Sports psychologist

In sports psychology, the sports psychologist is concerned on the effects of physical activity to the psychological health and performance of athletes. These psychologists work on the academic level and serve as consultants for sports teams. Sports psychologists work along with training coaches in developing rehabilitation and team building programs. They also provide counseling to athletes who undergo career transitions. The base pay of a sports psychologist usually averages from $40,000 to $70,000.

I-O psychologists

Industrial and organizational psychology on the other hand, involves studying behavior in the workplace. The industrial and organizational psychologist or I-O Psychologist is geared towards the improvement of each employee’s productivity and motivation. They develop trainings and assess employees to further enhance the company’s workforce.

One of the I-O psychologist’s main duties is to match personalities of employees in different job positions. For example, employee A has an outgoing personality and has high social building skills, the I-O psychologist matches employee A to a better fitting job within the company like in sales or marketing.

An I-O psychologist also exerts effort on resolving employment issues to ensure that there is balance within the workplace. Thus gives the company’s employees a sense of stability, responsibility and happiness in their positions. Happy workers yield happy results.

I-O psychologists could also work as a consultant for different companies. This increases earning potential to as high as $100,000.

School counselors

For those who prefer teaching or working in the educational setting, educational psychology, school psychology, and school counseling are the options to choose from. These positions are concerned on the overall mental welfare of the school’s employees and students.

School counselors work with troubled children, those with problems at home and in school. They help parents in addressing the concerns of the child. Base pay for a school counselor is around $50,000 annually. Earning potential could be increased with curriculum development.

Educational psychologists

Psychologists who develop learning materials and understand the aspects of human learning are called educational psychologists. They could for example enhance one’s reading skills through a developed or new technique. They also assess the effects of educational interventions to learning and development. Most educational psychologists focus on gifted children and those with disabilities. They study individual differences in terms of intelligence, creativity, motivation and cognitive style. This is a profession that also works at a strategic level to carry out research in improving a school’s educational policy. Their base pay is around $66,000 to $108,000 depending on the state and years of experience.

These are the common jobs offered in having a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in psychology. While most opportunities offer high compensation, it is much more fulfilling that you earn, learn and help other people at the same time.

For further professional advancement, one could study for a Ph. D or Psy D. This is a major step that needs realization of one’s goals and commitment. It is a major achievement that is not for everyone. A GPA of 3.5 or higher increases your chance of being accepted. Since you will be investing in a lot of time and money, assess yourself of your abilities, and level of commitment before making a decision.

Psychiatrists

After completing medical school, a doctor of psychiatry specializes in the treatment of severely disturbed patients. Requirements on being a doctor of psychiatry differ from state to state. Others may only require a bachelor’s degree while some states need you to finish medical school before being qualified. Psychiatrists tend to be the most prestigious achievement among mental health professionals. Average base pay of a doctor of psychiatry ranges from $153,000 to $228,000.

Clinical psychologist

An average clinical psychologist’s salary ranges from $50,000 to $85,000. Expect your salary to be on the higher end since you already have your Psy. D.

The doctor of philosophy in psychology or Ph.D on the other hand is the higher level of expertise in doctors. It requires 3-6 years of study beyond bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of study beyond master’s degree. There are many areas of specialization for a Ph. D graduate. Earnings will highly depend on the chosen field. Advanced level of health psychologists for example receives an annual pay of around $ 85,000.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degree in psychology?

Graduate schools require more time and needs a higher level of commitment in terms of work and intellectual energy. However, master’s degree gives a lot of choices in terms of changing career paths while having a Ph. D requires focus on a certain field. Master’s degree also allows specialization within a field and requires lesser time than Ph. D.

The world of psychology is very vast as it works on studying the human mind and behavior. There are thousands of psychology related jobs everywhere but these are the common positions that companies are looking for. It is without doubt that having a psychology degree is one of the best degrees that offer good salary and career satisfaction as well. Here are a few tips before choosing which career is best suited for you:

A psychology degree can be a rewarding and challenging career path. So before pursuing a career, it is best to know your interests and visualize yourself on what you want to become in the future. Make a thorough research of the position you will be applying for because every decision made will determine your career.

Here’s a nice list of careers one can venture in after getting a psychology degree.