Career options in psychology- High Paying Psychology Careers & Salaries

Career Options in Psychology

Topic We Cover: Career Options in Psychology

1. Psychometrist/Clinician
2. Substance Abuse Counsellor
3. Psychiatric Technician
4. Human Resource Personnel
5. Marriage and Family Therapist
6. Masters in Clinical Psychology
7. Experimental Psychologists
8. Forensic Psychologists
9. Sports Psychologist
10. I-O Psychologists
11. School Counsellors
12. Educational Psychologists
13. Psychiatrists
14. Clinical Psychologist
15. Counsellor
16. Social Worker
17. Human Resources Manager
18. Marketing Manager
19. Parole Officer
20. College Admissions Counselor

If you major in psychology, or you’re thinking about declaring a psychology major, then you’ve probably had many friends and family asking if you’re going to become a psychiatrist. While Career Option in Psychology can be a great career path, it’s distant from the only choice for psychology majors after graduation.

Psychology is one of the most popular majors in the United States (it’s currently ranked in the top 10), and for good reason. It’s a fascinating subject, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology can serve as a foundation for a variety of different careers. Job outlook is promising as well—about 19% job growth in these fields is expected from 2014-2024.

When people think “psychology,” most assume it’s related to reading someone's mind or lying on a couch and sharing your feelings. 

Psychology isn’t just the study of behaviour; it is also the study of mental functions. Those are belong to this field consider it a philosophy, science, and even an art. The main aim of psychology is to analyze, predict, and control behaviour and mental processes.

When conclusive to major in psychology, it is essential to know about the many subfields and specializations within this broad major. These psychological areas include clinical, statistics, cognitive, organization/industrial, developmental, neuroscience, behavioural, social, and educational. There are various Career Options for an UG Psychology major to pursue.

Before you completely make a determination to become a psychology major, you need to choose if it is really a discipline you want to devote time to. If you love to help persons or families going through personal problems, listening to them, analyzing and collecting data, interviewing/testing, being social and creative, researching human and animal behaviour, then opt for Career Option in Psychology; it is a career path for you.

To gather more facts and knowledge on narrowing your choices, talk to individuals that work in the field that you are interested in, individuals already in college/university, school advisers, and university website, or you can continue go through this article.

After holding a degree in psychology, most graduate students have a tough time finding a job that really suits them. As per the surveys detail, many graduates think that becoming a psychology major is just a channel towards Higher Education, like having a Ph.D.

Most 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. So what type of career paths can you opt from as a psychology major? Here are just a few of the many exciting options open to graduates. Here are some possible job opportunities for you:


A Psychometrist/Clinician is someone who manages psychological testing and scores them. They work under a Licensed Psychologist and they are not supposed to clarify test results or give clinical assessments.

They work under the clinical setting wherein one has to administer clinical tests to patients, or under the organizational setting wherein they administer tests to employees, applicants, and/ or students.

To be qualified, you must be a graduate of Clinical Psychology, have thorough knowledge about management 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 psychometrics. More experience Clinician can get equal more pay.

Substance Abuse Counsellor

In the United States, Substance Abuse Counsellor is one of the Apace Burgeoning Careers in which one works with clients addicted to cocaine, alcohol, or any other illegal drugs. To be well-qualified, the requirement of an academic background is not sufficient; you also need a strong personality dealing with patients undergoing recovery, and thus, suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Some state laws require certification or licensure to be a substance abuse counsellor. The base pay of a substance abuse counsellor ranges from $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the state and years of experience.

Psychiatric Technician

Among the Career Option in Psychology, in the clinical setting, another career you could look for is being a psychiatric technician. Psychiatric Technicians are restrained the overall mental wellness of the patient by reporting the patient’s emotional and mental state to a medical staff. They assist in the personal hygiene, rehabilitation programs and administering of oral and inject-able 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

Human resource personnel are an entry-level job of having a Psychology Degree. This is perfect for people who prefer the organizational setting over the clinical or business setting. The main job of HR personnel is to help the HR manager in implementing policies and strategies throughout the company or organization.

The HR workforce is the strength or a backbone of a profitable company because this group of individuals work together in screening and recruiting the best applicants. One of its main responsibilities is to also maintain good performance and behaviour of its employees. The base pay of HR personnel on the entry level ranges from $10,000 to $30,000.

Marriage and Family Therapist

In the Clinical setting, there is one more well-known career i.e. becoming a marriage and family therapist (MFT). This needs masters in science or arts, licensure, and thousands of intern hours. Beside psychiatrists and social workers, they infrequently work in hospital settings, while other times in their own private practices. Their target is assisting the Progress of Behavioural Change in the marriage and family sphere. Their average pay ranges from $40,000 to $100,000.

Masters in Clinical Psychology

In Clinical Psychology, you don’t require any further graduate study, but before going into practice you need to be licensed. However, under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, you could already provide psychotherapy and psychological assessments.

The main responsibility of a clinical psychologist involves improvement in the psychological well being of patients and to make positive changes on overall mental health. In this position, you’ll work along other professionals to provide various forms of treatments. They work with clients of all ages with different mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, behaviour and eating disorders, neurological disorders and depression. For a starting career, expect a base pay of around $50,000 to $70,000.

Experimental Psychologists

This is a degree wherein students are being prepared for further graduate study. Some states may require a Ph.D. in order to hold the title of psychologist. You could be a research assistant, laboratory manager, or part of a marketing research team. This is not a terminal degree. Meaning, students can focus on a specialty area like cognitive, developmental, and social psychology.

Experimental Psychologists are required to study our human behaviour and mental processes in different contexts because they are very complex. The main job of an experimental psychologist is to handling a pilot study using statistics on a chosen field or subject before pushing through with the major study. You’d also need an exceptional comprehension of the different psychological research methods and have excellent communication skills. An superior writing skill is also necessary because this job also includes writing in academic journals and studies.

For the less experienced, the base pay is around $30,000 to $75,000 it also based on the sector of employment and location. For more experienced the salary could go as high as $80,000.

Finally, one could acknowledge having a master’s degree in applied psychology. Under applied psychology, students could find a career in Sports Psychology, forensic psychology, and industrial and organizational psychology or, if they prefer, a teaching position instead.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, students belong in the Applied Psychology Field having higher opportunity because they could work directly in their specialty area.

Forensic Psychologists

The one who works between psychology and the criminal justice system is Forensic Psychology. The forensic psychologist must comprehend 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.

The main Job of a Forensic Psychologist is to establish facts about the accused are sane or mentally ill through psychological questioning and testing. A forensic psychologist is to interpret his or her psychological findings in legal terms. They provide treatment advices, appraise the defendant’s risk in behaviour, conclude if the witness is credible, and advise months or years of sentencing.

Forensic Psychologists usually work with the police force, law enforcement personnel, the State attorney, and public defenders. Salary changes 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 concern of sports psychologist is 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 counselling to athletes who undergo career transitions. The base salary of a sports psychologist usually averages from $40,000 to $70,000.

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I-O Psychologists

Industrial and Organizational Psychology, draw in studying behaviour 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 establish training and determine employees to further embellish the company’s workforce.

One of the I-O psychologist’s main responsibilities is to match personalities of employees in various job positions. For example, employee A has an outgoing personality and has high social building skills. The I-O psychologist matches employee A to an excelling suitable 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 giving the company’s employees a sense of resistance of some degree, accountability, and happiness in their positions. Happy workers yield happy results.

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

School Counsellors

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

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

Educational Psychologists

Psychologists who establish learning materials and comprehend the aspects of human learning are called Educational Psychologists. They could, for example, embellish one’s reading skills through a grown or new technique. They also assess the effects of educational interventions to learning and development.

Most Educational Psychologists target on gifted children and those with disadvantage. They study individual differences in terms of brilliance, creativity, inspiration and intellectual style. This is a profession that also works at a crucial level to carry out research in enhancing 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 to those who have a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in psychology.

For further professional advancement, one may pursue a Ph.D. or PsyD. This is a major step that needs realization of one’s goals and commitment. It is a major considerable accomplishment that is not for everyone. Licensing increases financial compensation. Here are various career paths:


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 be apt to be the most influential accomplishment among mental health professionals. Average base salary of a psychiatry doctor 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 if you already have your PsyD.

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. State-of-the-art level of health psychologists for example receives an annual salary of around $85,000.

A clinical psychologist is the first job that comes to mind for most people who are thinking about getting a degree in psychology. Clinical psychologists can focus on general psychology and provide therapy for a range of patients, or they can specialize in disciplines like neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, or even forensic psychology. Becoming a clinical psychologist requires students to complete a doctoral program (PhD), which can be highly competitive. Successful students can earn a good living, however, and have the opportunity to make their patients’ lives easier and more fulfilling. It is important to understand the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist—psychiatrists are doctors who can prescribe medication and must complete MD training, while psychologists focus solely on psychotherapy.

Average salary: $78,690


Counsellors work with patients in the same way that psychologists do, but they have a smaller scope of work, and are more limited in the tests and services they offer. It is easier to become a counsellor than a psychologist, because counsellors are required to complete a master’s degree, but not a PhD. Mental Health Counsellors have a good outlook for employment, because many schools and organizations need people with this kind of training to help students and at-risk people through common problems. Counsellors may work with people on a variety of issues, from depression to substance abuse to the negative impact of discrimination.

Average salary: $46,124

Social Worker

Social work is a challenging field that can nevertheless be extremely fulfilling. Social workers help children and families to heal and cope with issues like domestic violence, which affects about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men at some point during their lifetime. Most social workers need a master’s degree, and may work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, shelters, and child welfare organizations. Many social workers also visit families in their homes, to assess living conditions, provide counseling, and assess compliance with court orders.

Median Salary: $47,980

Human Resources Manager

For people who are more interested in applying psychology in a business setting, human resource (HR) management could be an Excellent Career path. Human resource managers are responsible for hiring and terminations, resolving behavioral issues within the workplace, and often administrative work such as managing benefits. Typically, securing an entry-level job after completing a bachelor’s degree is the first step in becoming an HR manager. After this, many HR assistants can move up in the ranks organically without further education.

Median salary:  $110,120

Marketing Manager

Though many people who are interested in marketing end up getting a degree in that field, psychology can lay a solid foundation for jobs in marketing. Marketing managers have to understand how people think and feel so they can strategize for marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and sales. Marketing jobs can be entry level, but most organizations want to see a bachelor’s degree and some demonstration of marketing knowledge and communication abilities. Most people start as a marketing assistant and work their way up.

Average salary: $81,078

Parole Officer

Though most people don’t dream of becoming a parole officer, Psychology Graduates can be excellent candidates for this role. Good parole officers work with offenders to help them turn their lives around, adjust to being back in society, and adhere to the terms of their release, making it a potentially fulfilling career. Most positions require only a bachelor’s degree, although federal parole officers must hold a master’s degree.

Average salary: $47,200

College Admissions Counselor

For students who enjoy the academic setting and helping others, a college Admissions Counselor career could be an excellent fit. A bachelor’s degree is required for this position, since counselors are advising prospective students, but the position mostly involves recruiting and coordinating different admissions activities and procedures. Experience in an admissions office through work study is a helpful leg up in pursuing this career.

Median salary: $40,753

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a bachelor’s, master's and Doctorate Degree in Psychology?

Graduate Schools need more time and a higher level of commitment in terms of work and intellectual energy. However, a post graduate 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.

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