Do you have a fascination with human nature? Do you want to understand why we do the things we do? If this describes you, a psychology degree might launch you into a career you love. Psychology majors find jobs that are both fascinating and in high demand. But what are the career options? What are the best jobs for psychology majors?
In this article, we will explore some of the most exciting and lucrative careers available to those with an education in psychology. We will also discuss how to pursue these careers. Read on, psych majors – the future is bright.
Who is a Psychology Major?
A psychology major is a person who has completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology. A psychologist learns about the human mind and behavior to help people cope with stress and life.
There are many different types of jobs for those who major in psychology. Some work in research, some work with patients, and others in teaching or administration. The best kind of job for you depends on your interests and skills.
Seven Best Jobs for Psychology Majors
A wide range of jobs exists for psychology majors. For each position, we will discuss:
- Starting wages and growth potential
- Qualifications needed to land the job
- Specific education that can help you
Below we present the seven best jobs for psychology majors.
1. Rehabilitation Specialist
A rehabilitation specialist, considered a psychosocial expert, assists people with physical and mental impairments. They help their clients reintegrate into society. This includes enabling them to build and maintain an independent lifestyle. They help clients choose employment suitable for their abilities and prepare them for the application process and the job.
Rehabilitation specialists educate individuals on their medical or mental health conditions and provide clients with additional resources in their quest to better themselves. Rehabilitation experts may collaborate with other professionals to assist those in need of rehabilitation services.
The typical entry-level rehabilitation specialist earns $31,000 per year. Those with experience make about $43,308 a year ($20.82 hourly), according to PayScale. The pay range is between $31,000 and $59,000 per year.
To work as a rehabilitation counselor, you need a bachelor’s degree.
Qualifications Needed For the Job
Applicants must have good problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and communication abilities. Rehabilitation specialists find work with government agencies, nonprofits, and healthcare institutions.
In your pursuit to be a rehabilitation specialist, how much education you should have needs to be considered. In today’s workforce, 61.5% of rehabilitation specialists hold a bachelor’s degree, while 4.8% have master’s degrees.
GetEducated’s Pick: from East Central University
There are many ways to specialize in the rehabilitation field. You can:
- Work with a specific age group such as children or seniors
- Help people recover from addictions
- Specialize in job placement for those with disabilities
You will find many opportunities for advancement in this field. You could move up to a supervisory role, start your own business, or work as a consultant.
The outlook for jobs in rehabilitation is good. Research shows that the number of jobs will grow by 18% through 2024. This anticipated growth exceeds that of most occupations. The reason relies on an increase in people with disabilities and chronic illnesses who need assistance to integrate into society. Unfortunately more and more people fall into these categories.
2. Psychiatric Technician
Psychiatric technicians care for people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. They provide therapeutic assistance. These professionals work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health centers, and other healthcare settings.
Psychiatric technicians treat patients and maintain their well-being. They strive to assist patients in their everyday routines and maintain a safe, sanitary environment.
Entry-level psychiatric technicians earn around $29,000 per year. Mid-level psychiatric technician salaries start at $34,898 per year, while senior-level psychiatric technician salaries begin at $42,299. Those at the top of this profession can earn roughly $50,000 annually.
Qualifications Needed For this Job
Psychiatric technicians usually enroll in a one-year certificate program or an associate degree program to obtain postsecondary training. In contrast, psychiatric aids only require a high school diploma and on-the-job instruction.
You also need a bachelor’s degree in psychology to become a psychiatric technician. Students in a psychiatric technician program study biology, counseling, and mental health.
Many institutions provide on-the-job training via supervised work experience. After completing the education requirements, psychiatric technicians must complete a brief training period under the direction of an experienced psychiatric technician.
Some employers want applicants with previous clinical expertise. For example, experience as a nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse (LPN) fulfills this requirement.
In some states, such as California, psychiatric technicians must obtain licenses. To acquire their license, candidates must first complete an accredited program in neuropsychological psychotherapy. They must then pass the exam. The American Association of Psychiatric Technicians (AAPT) offers this certification for psychiatric technicians.
GetEducated’s Pick: from University of Southern Maine
Job opportunities for psychiatric technicians will see a growth of 18 percent onwards from now till 2024. This faster-than-average growth rate arises from an increase in people with mental health conditions and developmental disabilities. The increasing aging population also requires more psychiatric care.
3. Human Resource Manager
Businesses rely heavily on the work of their human resources (HR) manager. As a critical aspect of a business, many companies would not thrive without one.
HR managers handle everything related to employees. The many duties include the responsibilities to:
- Hire employees
- Fire employees
- Train staff
- Set compensation levels
- Develop team members both professionally and personally
The HR department ensures that these duties are carried out effectively by setting standards for each position within the company.
Managers sit at the crucial junction between an organization’s administration and its workers. They provide strategic planning as well as recruit, select, and hire new employees.
HR managers must attract, motivate, and retain the best-qualified talent for their company.
Other duties of an HR manager include employee services, regulatory compliance, and employee relations.
In the United States, the national average pay for a human resources manager is $81,185 per year. Entry-level human resource managers earn an average of $43,431.
Qualifications Needed For this Job
Human resource managers need excellent decision-making, strategic thinking, leadership, interpersonal communication, and ethical behavior skills.
Human resource managers must be well-educated in their areas of expertise. Companies rely on competent HR managers to keep business running smoothly.
Human resource managers should also have a bachelor’s degree in human resources and previous human resources experience. However, many businesses prefer a master’s degree for human resource management.
GetEducated’s Pick: from Purdue University Global
Job growth within the human resources field stands at about 13 percent, faster than the average for all occupations. As regulations regarding labor unions and employees expand, businesses look for HR professionals with experience and expertise to guide them.
Those with a background in business administration and international relations will be particularly marketable. Additionally, those with certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) will enjoy excellent job prospects.
4. Case Manager
A case manager organizes, guides, and evaluates treatment alternatives to provide the most significant level of care possible for an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
The case manager meets clients’ needs by the following means:
- Advocate for their needs and rights
- Find providers
- Assure cost-effective services
A case manager with a psychology degree brings a lot of knowledge and understanding of human needs to help them excel in this position.
Entry-level case managers earn an average salary of $40,000 per year. In contrast, those with experience in the field earn upwards of $60,000.
Qualifications Needed For this Job
It’s challenging to get a case manager job without extensive training or prior experience. You may want to pursue one or more certifications to strengthen your chances of employment.
You need a bachelor’s degree to work as a case manager. However, a master’s degree provides more opportunities.
A case manager may obtain their education in various fields, including psychology, social work, public administration, or another related discipline.
Coursework in social work will also help you pursue a career in case management regardless of your degree.
GetEducated’s Pick: from Grand Canyon University
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for mental health counselors will grow by 23 percent.
This faster than the average growth rate makes it a great career choice for psychology majors. With experience, case managers may advance into supervisor or administrator roles.
5. Guidance Counselor
A guidance counselor helps students in grades K-12 make decisions about their academic futures and personal lives. They provide career counseling, college advising, and individual counseling to help students make the most of their lives.
A psychology degree confers the excellent skills of analyzing people’s behavior to help them solve problems.
These counselors can assist parents and children in many ways:
- Provide information
- Help with school expectations
- Increase academic and personal achievements
Unfortunately, struggles at school, difficulties with mental health, or encounters with problems in life commonly afflict students. Many young people feel lonely and vulnerable.
In 50 other countries worldwide, school counselors have been mandated by law, providing individuals with the tools to address their difficulties and flourish in school and life.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for a school counselor is $56,310. The lower 10% earn less than $33,610 per year, while the high-income 10% earn more than $94,690.
Qualifications Needed For this Job
To be eligible for a guidance counselor position, you must first complete your bachelor’s degree through an accredited program. You will also need a graduate or postgraduate degree in psychology or a related field such as behavioral or social science.
It’s crucial to enroll in classes that teach you about mental health foundations, student services, learning theory, and educational systems. This will prepare you for work as a school counselor.
In most states, school counselors need a master’s degree from an accredited program in school counseling or a similar discipline. You can anticipate studying human development, counseling theories, counseling ethics, and learning and behavioral disorders. This advanced degree in school counseling takes approximately two to three years to finish.
GetEducated’s Pick: from Campbellsville University
Opportunities for guidance counselors abound. After gaining experience working in this field, you can pursue additional certifications and licenses. This allows you to work with specific populations, such as students with disabilities or gifted students. You could also become a college advisor, which would require additional training and certification.
Popular specialties include career counseling or adolescent counseling. The sky’s the limit when it comes to growth potential for guidance counselors.
6. Social Science Research Assistant
Social science research assistants help researchers collect and analyze data from surveys, interviews, and focus groups. They may also develop research proposals and assist in the design of studies. People interested in how humans think and behave fit well into this role. Also, those who want to learn more about statistics and experimental design thrive as social science research assistants.
As technology finds new ways to collect data, the need for those who can organize, manage, and interpret this data continues to grow.
The work performed by research assistants includes:
- Generate project reports
- Create presentations
- Obtain informed consent from research participants
- Utilize software for database maintenance and analysis
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median yearly salary for a social science research assistant is $47,510. Annual salaries for this occupation range from $28,190 to $78,800.
Wages are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on experience, education level, geographical location, and sector. Salaries for research assistants working for social advocacy and business organizations exceed those paid to academics and scientific researchers.
Qualifications Needed For this Job
To work as a social science research assistant, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a social science discipline, or a related subject.
An online bachelor’s degree in psychology program provides a strong foundation in contemporary psychology. A bachelor’s in psychology can help prepare undergraduate students for research jobs in business, government, educational, and nonprofit organizations.
Most graduates start as program assistants, research support specialists, or research technicians. Most social science research assistants work for scientific research and development companies and colleges, universities, and professional schools.
GetEducated’s Pick: from William Carey University
Social science research assistants with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can advance to become social science researchers, survey researchers, market research analysts, or psychometricians. They may also become postsecondary teachers.
Therefore, opportunities abound in this career field for those with the appropriate education and experience.
7. Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists are responsible for creating and managing the public image of a company or individual. They develop and execute communication strategies that build positive relationships with their target audience.
Public relations specialists need to write, speak, and think critically. They also need to manage their time well, work under pressure, and handle stress. These skills and others learned through your psychology degree program prepare you for a career as a public relations specialist.
A psychology degree teaches you to understand people’s thoughts and behaviors — ideal skills to have when dealing with the public. Additionally, many public relations specialist jobs require strong research skills. You can develop these through your coursework in psychology.
If you want to work in public relations, consider adding a minor in marketing or communications to have a broader range of skills from which to draw.
A psychology degree also allows you to use your knowledge of human behavior to help companies build positive relationships with their target audiences.
In the United States, the average pay for a public relations specialist is $52,039. Filter by location to see public relations specialist salaries in your neighborhood.
Qualifications Needed for this Job
To land work as a public relations specialist, you will likely need at least a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, marketing, or psychology.
GetEducated’s Pick: from Southern New Hampshire University
Public relations specialists with more experience can move into higher-level management positions, such as public affairs manager, communications director, or marketing manager. These jobs come with increased responsibility and typically more pay.
Suppose you are a psychology major looking for a career that uses your skills and allows you to help companies build positive relationships with their target consumers. In that case, your degree in psychology delivers the education you need to become a successful public relations specialist.
With a median annual salary of $52,039 and the potential to move up into high-level management positions, this career offers good earning potential and job security.
Best Jobs for Psychology Majors: FAQs
Can You Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Online?
Now that we have you intrigued with the possibility of working in the field of psychology, you need to know how to start your education. Is it possible to earn your bachelor’s degree in psychology online? The answer is yes — many colleges and universities offer online psychology degrees.
By choosing an online program, you can obtain your degree from one of the best schools in the US, regardless of where you live.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Online?
According to US News & World Report, you can earn an online psychology bachelor’s degree for less than $15,000. Costs will vary depending on which school you choose for your degree.
How Can an Online Degree in Psychology Help You Advance Your Career?
An online psychology degree can help you advance your career in several ways. Your degree can:
- Give you the skills and knowledge to work in various settings such as mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, and businesses.
- Prepare you for graduate school and professional certification programs.
- Provide you with the ability to understand human behavior.
By learning these things, you will succeed in many careers in psychology and business.
What Is the Difference between a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology?
The main difference between a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in psychology relies on the concentration in technology versus liberal arts. A BS degree typically requires more coursework in science, while a BA degree allows for a broader range of subjects.
However, both degrees will prepare you for a career in psychology.
A bachelor of arts degree opens up work opportunities in criminal justice and social work. On the other hand, a BS degree permits students to pursue more research-based, clinical jobs.
Many psychology bachelor’s degrees teach students specialized occupations in subsets of the discipline. These include organizational psychology and forensic psychology.
If you’re unsure which degree is right for you, speak with an advisor at the college or university of your choice. They can help you determine which program will best meet your needs and interests.
In Conclusion: The Best Jobs for Psychology Majors
Psychology majors qualify for many great jobs. To succeed, you should find a job that fits your skills and interests within the realm of human psychology.
If you can do that, you will be successful in your career.
One of the critical things to keep in mind is that psychology is a versatile major that can lead to many different careers.
Follow your passion, get an education in psychology, and see what the future holds for you.