Despite fast-paced technological innovations, the fundamental mechanics of the human mind remain as important as ever. In fact, the more society changes, the more critical it is to understand how humans cope with it. As a result, careers in psychology are predicted to grow faster than other industries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the field has expanded into almost all aspects of both business and personal life. Earn your degree and consider one of the following careers:
- Research psychologists work at the cutting edge of the human psyche, designing and conducting experiments that measure everything from emotional responses to reaction times to various stimuli. Research psychologists gather data, draw rational conclusions and publish their findings for peer review, which helps establish new information about the way humans think. Some research psychologists work at universities while teaching courses, but these psychologists are also valued in various institutions, such as the CIA and the military. Professors earn an average of $66,810 per year, while the CIA website lists starting salaries at more than $74,000 annually. Research psychologists are expected to have a Ph.D.
- Clinical psychologists study abnormal human behavior and the practical tasks of diagnosing and treating mental issues. Clinical psychologists take what research psychologists find and apply it to patients seeking help. As a clinical psychologist, you could be employed by universities and hospitals, but are often part of private practices. Clinical psychologists deal with mundane problems like stress as well as extreme disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Clinical psychologists are expected to have a Ph.D. and earn an average salary of more than $73,000 annually.
- Neuropsychologists are a specialized type of clinical psychologists that focus on the physical processes of the brain and its relationship to behavior. This is a more traditionally scientific field that is concerned with the inner workings of the brain rather than the thoughts that arise from it. Neuropsychologists often work with patients who have suffered brain injuries or were born with physical brain disorders. Neuropsychologists often work in hospitals and may lead therapy sessions or private treatments. The educational requirements and expected income for a neuropsychologist is roughly comparable to that of a clinical psychologist, though being in a more technical field may earn them slightly more than general practices.
- Counselors help people make decisions in all aspects of their lives. Counselors serve in schools, businesses and private organizations to organize bits of information and synthesize it into a more palatable whole for their clients. Counselors might advise career choices, help with marriage troubles and address grief. Most counselors are well-versed in both psychology and a specialized field. Counselors usually have less stringent education requirements, as a master’s degree will often suffice. The typical school or private sector counselor earns an average of $53,000 annually.
- Industrial-organizational psychologists assist in maximizing a business’s workforce through studying how people work and interact with their environments. Industrial-organizational psychologists learn why employees waste time at work or lose productivity, what improves performance and how different personality types can work together for better results. Additionally, industrial-organizational psychologists might track interactions with technology and information systems and may be involved with hiring and disputing settlements. Industrial-organizational psychologists can find a place in the industry with a bachelor’s degree but require advanced degrees for advancement. Because of their value, industrial-organizational psychologists are some of the best paid psychologists working, with an average salary of $87,000 annually.
- Child psychologists: The brain develops in leaps and bounds as children grow, and it operates in a unique manner until it reaches maturity. Knowing this, some psychologists focus on children and how their thought processes change as they develop. Child psychologists are better able to counsel children who have suffered some form of trauma and can also recognize the early signs of learning and personality disorders. Because a child psychologist’s charges are so vulnerable, most professionals need a Ph.D. to practice. Child psychologists earn approximately $66,000 annually.
- Forensic psychologists: The interest in the forensic industry has never been higher. Forensic psychologists examine the minds of criminals and legal complainants that range from petty thieves to serial killers. As a forensic psychologist, you might be called on to serve as an expert witness in court with regard to an individual’s mental state, conduct interviews and document written evaluations for future reference. Forensic psychologists also deal with more mundane cases such as divorce and child custody. Top forensic psychologists hold a Ph.D. and earn an average of $68,000 annually.
Learn more about NDC’s Online Psychology Programs.
Education requirements and salaries listed above are as reported by the BLS unless stated otherwise.