A bachelor’s degree in psychology can prepare you for high-paying jobs in many areas, if not in psychology. Most professionals practicing as psychologists are required to obtain a master’s degree or doctoral degree in the subject. While a bachelor’s degree is a great start in becoming a psychologist, it’s only the first step.
However, a useful benefit of studying psychology is that the skills you learn are applicable to many industries. Knowledge about human behavior, interaction and motivation can come in handy in many arenas of commerce, which might be the reason why one study conducted by the Education Resources Information Center found that, over a 10-year span, nearly half of psychology graduates gravitated toward careers in business.
We’ve outlined five of the highest-paying jobs you can eventually obtain by getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology, if you’re willing to think outside your degree and pound the pavement.
Marketing Manager: $112,800
You can find marketing managers wherever there is a good or service to sell. Some marketing managers may work in-house, directly for the company that supplies the good or service, or for a marketing or advertising firm. Their role in the business is to anticipate demand, identify potential markets for a product and help maximize profits and market share. They monitor trends in consumer behavior to meet these goals. Most marketing managers hold a bachelor’s degree; experience in accounting and statistics is advantageous.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for marketing managers was $112,800 in May 2010, which is the most recent data available. The BLS projects that growth for marketing managers will occur at 14 percent by 2020, about as fast as the average of all occupations.
Human Resources Manager: $99,180
Most large organizations and business employ human resources managers. These workers take care of administrative duties for a company, including recruiting and hiring processes, strategic planning, selecting employee benefits and developing office policy. HR managers also serve as a link between management and employees and can intervene when issues, such as sexual harassment or employee disgruntlement, arise in the workplace. Most HR managers hold a bachelor’s degree and have one to five years of experience in a related field. Industrial and organizational psychology is an excellent concentration for aspiring HR managers to pursue.
The BLS reported in May 2010 that the median salary for HR managers was $99,180. Employment growth is projected at 13 percent by 2020, which is as fast as average.
Sales Manager: $98,530
Sales managers work in retail, wholesale, manufacturing, insurance and other enterprises. Sales managers set sales goals, analyze sales data and develop training programs for the sales team. They may oversee entire regions for a company, and are also required to establish good relationships with dealers and distributors. Sales managers work closely with other departments within an organization, so it is important that they have outstanding people skills. To become a sales manager, candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree and have one to five years of experience. Applicants may find that experience in accounting and mathematics can be beneficial in securing a position.
The BLS reports that, as of May 2010, the median salary for sales managers was $98,530. Job growth in this sector is expected to be about as fast as average, with 40,100 new jobs added between 2010 and 2020.
Public Relations Manager: $91,810
Public relations managers can be found in many fields. Most work in civic, religious and similar organizations, but many also work for scientific organizations such as pharmaceutical companies, educational services, social assistance and government. The job of a public relations manager can be stressful, as they are responsible for maintaining the public image for their employment. This involves writing and issuing press releases, responding to requests for information, communicating effectively with the public, drafting speeches, evaluating advertising campaigns and fundraising. Most public relations managers have a bachelor’s degree and are trained on the job.
In May 2010, the BLS reported that the median salary for public relations managers was $91,810. Job growth is projected at 23 percent through 2020, which is higher than average.
Training Manager: $89,170
Training managers work in virtually every industry. After all, most new employees need to be trained to some degree. Training managers are responsible for developing training plans and leading training classes or sessions, creating a training budget, updating existing training plans to keep with company policy, creating training manuals and evaluating training techniques. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most positions, but some employers prefer that candidates have a master’s degree. Training managers come from diverse backgrounds, including psychology, human resources and business.
The median salary for training managers in May 2010 was $91,440. The BLS projects employment growth for training mangers to be about as fast as average, at 15 percent through 2020.