Psychology Jobs and Careers
Where will I work?
You will have a varied selection of careers in psychology, but your degree will largely determine your eligibility. According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) psychology job forecast, many graduates work as teachers, researchers and human service providers, but in order to become a licensed psychologist or teach at the college level, you will need a doctoral degree.
In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that psychologists held 174,000 jobs, with 34% working in self-employed psychology jobs, 29% working in education and 20% working in the health industry.
Many clinical psychology and counseling graduates pursue psychology careers working in mental health centers, rehabilitation clinics or their own private practice. Research psychology graduates can find a psychology career working for a government agency or an independent research initiative, while school psychologists can work at every educational level from nursery school to college. Similar to other careers for psychology majors, these jobs look for applicants with relevant degrees and experience.
As many positions rely on face-to-face interaction, telecommuting is not commonplace, unless you offer phone consultations.
How long does it take to find a job?
While the best jobs for psychology majors are reserved for doctoral students with a specific academic concentration because of the prestige and selectivity of high-end graduate programs, the BLS projects a bright, expanding job market after you receive your psychology degree.
It is projected that school and counseling psychologists will see a 22% growth in psychology degree jobs, while more experimental and business-related psychology concentrations like industrial-organization psychology will see a 35% increase. If you have already earned your engineering psychology degree, many large businesses will be willing to hire you based on your ability to use psychology to teach employees how to use operational machinery and corporate databases.
As you prepare to enter the job market, note that many jobs in psychology will be fiercely competitive, especially if you have a masters degree as opposed to a doctorate. Both online learners and applicants with a psychology certification will compete for the same positions that masters level students apply for because online students in particular use their lack of classroom time to bolster their resume with extensive, field-related work experience.
How have careers changed over the years?
The APA forecasts that fewer psychologists will become private practitioners and find more collaborative positions, working with other healthcare professionals like physicians and nurses. These professionals will work together to develop wellness plans for patients suffering from physical trauma or chemical imbalances that could result from emotional turmoil or simple genealogy.
If you are looking for jobs with a psychology degree, it is important to note how emerging fields of study are creating new careers for incoming graduates. Advances in technology and brain imaging have created the need for neuropsychologists to read scans and diagnose potential mental disorders.
Additionally, as recent generations become older and the acceptance of psychological consultation grows, many graduates can seek clinical or geropsychologist careers with a psychology degree, where they will assess mental functions, diagnose emotional disorders and create wellness plans to improve their patients’ daily lives. More people will start turning to psychology professionals in the coming years because the general public recognizes the negative effects that psychological turmoil presents.
What are the top employers?
Whether you are looking for a job after graduation or seeking field-related experience as you evaluate different online psychology programs, make sure to look at these independent organizations that specialize in creating psychology degree jobs.
The Phoenix House is 1 of the nation’s leading drug and alcohol abuse recovery centers with 123 centers in 10 states. You can conduct group therapy sessions and help disadvantaged people by providing vocational training and GED preparation.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has several departments, including the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Sciences, that actively hire new psychology professionals. With NIMH, you will conduct the latest psychological research on how to better treat mental disorders while creating more effective recovery programs for patients.
Established in 1968, Eckerd Youth Alternatives is a nonprofit organization in need of psychology graduates to help at-risk youth. If you have earned your school or social psychology degree, Eckerd presents an invaluable opportunity to provide welfare services to children and mentor young adults so they can succeed in school and their careers.