Psychology Careers

The Psychology Profession 

*  Occupations today require a college educated individual who can… 

  •  Write & speak well 
   •  Solve problems 
    •  Learn new information quickly 
     •  Work well with others on a team 

*  College graduates use their education in a wide variety of fields. 

*  Your future career may relate more to your work values, transferable skills, or personal career interests 
than any specific academic major. 

 The Psychology Profession - Significant Points 

* About 4 out of 10 psychologists are self-employed, compared with less than 1 out of 10 among all 
professional workers. 

* Most specialists, including clinical & counseling psychologists, need a doctoral degree. 

* School psychologists need an educational specialist degree. 

* Industrial-organizational psychologists need a master’s degree. 

* Competition for admission to graduate psychology programs is keen. Some programs require a Bachelor's 
degree in Psychology. 

* Overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations 
through 2014. 

  Psychologists Earnings 

*  Median annual earnings of wage & salary clinical, counseling, & school psychologists in 2004 were $54,950. 
The middle 50% earned between $41,850 & $71,880. The lowest 10% earned less than $32,280, & the highest 
10% earned more than $92,250. 

*  Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of clinical, counseling, & school 
psychologists in 2004 were: 
 •  Offices of other health care practitioners: $64,000 
  •  Elementary & secondary schools: $58,360 
   •  Outpatient care centers: $46,850 
    •  Individual & family services: $42,640 

*  Median annual earnings of wage & salary industrial-organizational psychologists in 2004 were $71,400. The 
middle 50% earned between $56,880 & $93,210. The lowest 10& earned less than $45,620, & the highest 10% 
earned more than $125,560. 

* Psychologists - Job Outlook 

*  Very few opportunities directly related to psychology will exist for bachelor’s degree holders. Some may find 
jobs as assistants in rehabilitation centers, or in other jobs involving data collection & analysis. Those who 
meet State certification requirements may become high school psychology teachers. 

*  A bachelor’s degree in psychology qualifies a person to assist psychologists & other professionals in 
community mental health centers, vocational rehabilitation offices, & correctional programs. 

*  Bachelor’s degree holders may work as research or administrative assistants for psychologists. Some work 
as technicians in related fields, such as marketing research. Many find employment in other areas, such as 
sales or business management. 

*  Opportunities for people holding doctorates from leading universities in areas with an applied emphasis, such 
as clinical, counseling, health, & educational psychology, should have particularly good prospects. 

*  Psychologists with extensive training in quantitative research methods & computer science may have a 
competitive edge over applicants without this background. 

  Working Conditions 

*  A psychologist’s subfield & place of employment determine his or her working conditions. Clinical, school, & 
counseling psychologists in private practice have their own offices & set their own hours. However, they often 
offer evening & weekend hours to accommodate their clients. 

*  Those employed in hospitals, nursing homes, & other health care facilities may work shifts that include 
evenings and weekends, while those who work in schools & clinics generally work regular hours. 

*  Psychologists employed as faculty by colleges & universities divide their time between teaching & research 
& also may have administrative responsibilities; many have part-time consulting practices. 

*  Most psychologists in government & industry have structured schedules.
*  Increasingly, many psychologists are working as part of a team, consulting with other psychologists & 
professionals. Many experience pressures because of deadlines, tight schedules, & overtime. Their routine 
may be interrupted frequently. Travel may be required in order to attend conferences or conduct research. 

  Related Skills for Psychology Majors: 

  •  Interpersonal Communication (oral & written) 
  •  Engage in Ethical Practice 
  •  Knowledge of Human Development & Behavior 
  •  Problem Solving 
  •  Able to Observe, Analyze, & Interpret Information 
  •  Decision Making 
  •  Concern for & Sensitivity to Others 
  •  Interviewing Techniques 
  •  Critical & Inferential Thinking 
  •  Good Listener 
  •  Insight to Deal Effectively with People 
  •  Able to Promote Healthy Relationships 
  •  Ability to Resolve or Mediate Conflicts 
  •  Understanding of Group Dynamics 

  Related Career Titles for Psychology Majors 

  •  Crisis Intervention 
  •  Counselor 
  •  Probation Officer 
  •  Activity Leader 
  •  Professional Employment 
  •  Recruiter 
  •  Advertising 
  •  Labor Relations Specialist 
  •  Art Therapist 
  •  Customer Service 
  •  Marketing/Sales Manager 
  •  Media Buyer 
  •  Public Opinion Surveyor 
  •  Public Relations 
  •  College Student Affairs 
  •  Labor Relations Manager 
  •  Mental Health Coordinator 
  •  Recreation Specialist 
  •  Community & Social Service Worker 
  •  Employment Agency Counselor 
  •  Community Relations Director 
  •  Sales Representative 
  •  Community Relations Rep 
  •  Social Service Administrator 
  •  Copywriter 
  •  Occupational Therapist 
  •  Operations Manager 
  •  Correctional Caseworker 
  •  Teacher 
  •  Health Educator 
  •  Personnel Interviewer 

Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 
2006-07 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at 
(visited October 18, 2006).