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If you are interested in studying mental health and helping others while using this knowledge, the field of psychology offers several career paths. You might assume that individuals with a psychology background work in clinics providing therapy. However, those who have studied psychology might explore a wide range of career paths, from social work to marketing. Learning more about different careers in psychology can give you an idea of just how much variety there is to choose from.

Why Work in the Psychology Field?

If you are interested in human services or similar areas, studying psychology could help you build a foundation to better understand human behavior. You can then apply that knowledge to solve problems or help individuals improve their emotional and mental well-being, though many positions in the psychology field require master’s level education and licensure. Plus, the skills and knowledge that psychology majors learn could be used in various industries, not just mental .

What If I Enjoy Psychology but Do Not Want to Become a Clinical Psychologist?

Psychology can be a fascinating field to study since you learn about different aspects of mental processes and human behavior. However, you might not be interested in using this knowledge to perform therapy in a clinical setting. The good news is that an education in psychology can be beneficial in many realms outside of clinical psychology, including the following areas that can benefit from psychological expertise:

Psychology Research

Not all psychologists work in clinical offices or other clinical healthcare settings. Some psychologists spend their days conducting research to better understand human behavior and other areas of psychology. Depending on what is being studies, the results of psychological research can impact therapeutic practices, education, athletics, and even businesses. If you enjoy working in a lab setting, psychology research can be a great career path to explore. Keep in mind that there are many areas included in psychological research, such as developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, and behavioral psychology.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology involves studying human behavior and applying it in the workplace. I/O psychologists focus on studying concepts that are relevant to these types of settings, such as training and development, consumer behavior, career development, and performance measurement. Psychologists who do this type of work help businesses and other organizations find solutions to problems or develop strategies for improving employee satisfaction.

Education and Careers

Some psychologists put their skills and knowledge to use in educational settings or for career counseling services. Educational psychologists typically provide counseling for students in schools, from preschools and elementary schools to colleges and universities. Psychologists who specialize in career services counsel individuals who are exploring career options. These psychologists can help individuals make decisions about career paths.

Sales, Marketing, and Analytics

Psychology majors interested in the business world might look into careers in sales, marketing, and . These business areas can benefit from the consumer behavior insight the study of psychology can provide. These professionals can use their skills and knowledge to help businesses create successful marketing tactics, increase sales, and evaluate analytics to identify potential issues and develop effective solutions.

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

Those who are interested in psychology as well as law can explore career paths in criminal justice and law enforcement. Forensic psychologists help law enforcement solve crimes. Other career paths in this field include providing therapy and support for victims or individuals who are incarcerated and acting as victims’ advocates and behavioral analysts. Many of these roles could require graduate-level education and licensing.

Psychology Career Path

Building a career in psychology starts with getting an education, gaining work experience, potentially obtaining a license, and possibly exploring advanced career opportunities and degrees. Remember that educational and licensing requirements can vary from one career to the next. The following are some general steps involved in building a psychology career path.

Begin With a Bachelor’s Degree

While you might not need an advanced degree for some careers, most careers in psychology require at least a bachelor’s degree. Earning this undergraduate degree allows you to study fundamental principles and concepts in psychology and develop foundational skills. With your bachelor’s degree, you may be able to obtain an intro-level psychology job to gain professional experience while you work toward a graduate degree.

Consider a Specialty Area and Potential Graduate Programs

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you might explore graduate program options or specializations based on your interests and career goals. If you have a specific area of psychology that you are interested in, you can look into specialty areas to study or graduate programs for earning a master’s and doctoral degree. For example, you might study education and earn an advanced degree to become an educational psychologist.

Get Work Experience

Training or experience on the job can help you understand what to expect from a certain psychology career. You can explore internships and similar opportunities that allow you to gain hands-on training in specific settings. Work experience or training can help you prepare for work in the psychology field.

Obtain Licensing

Working as a practicing psychologist means you will need to obtain licensing. For example, psychologists with independent practices are required by law to be licensed. Specific licensing laws for psychologists vary from state to state and can also vary based on the psychologist’s position. Psychology majors who need to obtain licensing for work should check with their state for the most up-to-date licensing information. Licensure may require a master’s degree, post-graduate experience hours, and testing outside of your degree program to demonstrate proficiency.

Earn Your Doctorate in Psychology

For some careers in psychology, a doctoral degree is required. Psychologists can earn a clinical doctoral degree known as a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a research degree known as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Earning a PhD involves conducting original research, writing a dissertation on it, and passing an exam. Earning a PsyD usually involves passing exams and completing practical work.

Educational Requirements for Careers in Psychology

The majority of those who want to work in psychology would need a doctoral degree in psychology, so earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is a possible way to get started, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Others earn bachelor’s degrees in related fields, such as social science or education. Some careers, such as I/O psychology, require a master’s degree at minimum, while others require advanced degrees. For example, an educational psychologist might need to earn an education specialist degree (EdS).

License Requirements

Those who use the title “psychologist” or practice psychology in any way must obtain licensing in their state. This is a requirement in every US state and Washington DC, but the requirements to obtain licensing vary by state. In general, psychologists are expected to earn a doctoral degree, complete an internship, gain up to two years of work experience in a supervised setting, and pass an exam known as the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Some states also require continuing education courses for psychologists to maintain their licensing.

Common Areas of Interest for Psychology Degree Holders

Although there are several career paths in psychology, some areas of interest are more common than others. The following information provides details on several areas of interest for psychology degree holders.

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Psychiatric Technician
Psychiatric technicians  care for individuals with mental health disorders in residential facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and other settings. Education requirements could very, but they could range from a high school diploma to a postsecondary certificate. They also typically require previous work experience such as licensed practical nurse or nursing assistant.

Law Enforcement Officer
Law enforcement officers are responsible for protecting people and property and responding to crimes. These officers typically need to have a high school diploma at minimum. Some departments require law enforcement officers to have an undergraduate college degree. Law enforcement officers are trained on the job, so no prior work experience is usually required.

Case Manager
Case managers are social work professionals who help individuals access services they need, such as mental health services and child welfare services. They typically need a bachelor’s degree in psychology, human services, sociology, criminal justice, or social work. Some case manager jobs require a master’s degree.

Business Management
While a psychology degree is not a specific requirement for management positions, management is one of the most common positions held by people with psychology degrees. The foundational knowledge around human behavior can be helpful in business management positions as managers work with employees, teams and customers.

Advanced Degrees in Psychology

Having a master’s degree or doctorate in psychology is a requirement for many specific occupations in this field. Some areas of interest for those with advanced degrees researcher, organizational consultant, career counselor, mental health counselor, school psychologist, I/O psychologist. and college professor. All of these careers usually require a master’s degree at minimum as well as a certain number of hours of clinical work, but requirements will vary state by state.

If you are interested in earning a psychology degree, please get in touch with Post University. We offer a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program that could help you gain the knowledge and skills you seek to explore the field of psychology.

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and its outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.