In this article, I gathered data from over 10 sources to pick the best jobs that a psychology student can apply to. I explained in detail what I think you’ll need to get each job, and what are the pros and cons of every occupation.
So, let’s dive right in.
If you studied psychology, you might think that the only line of work you have is to be a psychologist. But in reality, there are tens of opportunities that a degree can help you get.
These are the 10 Best Psychology degree Jobs:
- Professional Coach
- School Psychologist
- Human Resources Specialist
- Marketing Assistant
- Real Estate Agent
- Forensic Psychologist
- User Experience Researcher
10 Top Psychology degree jobs
|Job Title||Median Salary||Psychology Degree|
|Professional Coach||$38,970||Bachelor’s Degree|
|– Technical Writer||$78,000||Bachelor’s Degree|
|– Content Writer||$69,000||Not required|
|– Book Author/Ghostwriter||$32,000 to $53,000||Bachelor’s Degree (preferred)|
|School Psychologist||$78,000||Master’s degree|
|– Educational Psychologist||$84,000||Psychology Ph.D.|
|Human Resources Specialist||$62,000||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Marketing Assistant||$46,000||Bachelor’s degree|
|Real Estate Agent||$48,000||High school diploma + Training|
|Forensic Psychologist||$67,000||Psychology Ph.D.|
|User Experience Researcher||$92,000||Bachelor’s degree + Training|
#1 Professional Coach.
The other similar titles related to this job are mostly related to sports. For example Basketball coach, Golf coach, and track and field coach.
The other name for this job is Instructor. Even though this job might not seem to be involving a psychology degree but the reality it does. the only major challenge is to be well-informed in sports fundamentals, methods, and techniques.
The advantages and disadvantages of this job:
This line of work has 3 major tasks that need to be done every day: Plan for practice sessions, provide direct encouragement, and motivation, also teaching the trainees about the game and other aspects of the game.
Most occupations may require 4 year Bachelor’s degree, however, for a few they may not. Experience is another must-have if you are serious about becoming a professional instructor—either by playing as a player or doing entry-level jobs and internships.
To be a successful professional coach, it is necessary to have these 5 skills: Dependable, honest, cooperative, and self-control (patience).
The projected number of new jobs for this decade (2021-2031) is estimated to be around 39,000.
These are some of the similar titles that can pretty much describe this line of work: Advertisement Agency Copywriter (Ad Agency Copywriter), Advertising Copywriter, Advertising Writer, Promotion Writer, and Advertising Associate.
I have an acquaintance of mine that I met while studying sales techniques, which involves a lot of psychology knowledge. He was a psychologist. After a while, he started his own copywriter services and landed his first client. Studying psychology helped him advance in bother sales calls and copywriting which bother to require a surprising lot of psychology knowledge.
All jobs or occupations have their downsides and upsides: (pros and cons of a Copywriter)
Mainly you’ll need to organize and write a targeted sales page or a landing page to convince a customer to buy from you without going through a sales call or to schedule one.
Being a copywriter requires technical skills on top of what you already have as a psychologist. The main ones are writing software (Microsoft word/Google Docs), web page creation/editing software (like WordPress), and presentation software (Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides).
In this Job, your communications skills will be put to the test—because you’ll have to deal with people directly with your clients (either through meetings or phone calls) or indirectly with your clients and their customers (using written words).
A 4-year degree will be efficient for most openings but if you are good enough there are some strategies to prove your competence and skills like providing a free service to some small company and presenting that result to your targeted company as an achievement which raises your chances of getting that job.
In this decade (2021-2031), it was estimated by the bureau of labor statics that it will be 15,000 new job openings.
Related jobs to Copywriter:
Medical Writer or Technical Communicator are just other names for a technical writer. This one will be dependable on the field.
For example, when it comes to a Medical writer; someone with a psychology degree needs to look for a psychology technical writer job.
However, if you want a decent income you’ll need to have at least a master’s degree. Especially online jobs, because employers now are looking to establish authority, thus bachelor’s levels will not be enough to secure a good spot.
The knowledge that you need is related to the field (psychology), communication, and media production. you will be tasked to compile technical information and documentation as well as maintain records and launch research on new technology.
According to the Bureau of Labor, $78,000 is the median wage for those who work as technical writers. Also, it appears that technical writers will have it difficult in the next 8 years since AI is taking over their opportunities (only 5400 job openings).
Online Content Writer/Content Writer
An online writer is different than a technical writer because anyone can write things online but the technical writer must have more knowledge about the field as well as he must be objective in his copy.
But an online content writer can write about anything as long as it provides some sort of value or entertainment.
By the way, I’m a content writer, myself.
Online Content writers start from writing poets and novels to writing blog posts and magazine articles. the level of education and experience will vary depending on the topics and expertise.
Therefore, even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll still find jobs—if you have the necessary experience and skills— like communicating effectively with the audience through written words, critical thinking, and excellent research skill, also, some might require basic SEO knowledge.
The median wage for the position will be $69,000 per year, according to the 2021 wage data from labor statistics.
These days anyone with knowledge in some area is able to write a book all by themselves.
However, the key difference between the two is a book author is someone who wrote and is credited for it, and a ghostwriter is someone who writes a book for someone else.
If you want to pursue this line of work, you must have patience and passion for writing. Many will give up because it takes a lot of effort.
But, the positive thing is it doesn’t require a level of education. Some might require it depending on the topic.
The salary range for this one is between $32,000 to $53,000.
#3 School Psychologist.
People refer to this similar position as Learning Consultant, Bilingual School Psychologist, and Early Intervention School Psychologist.
The mission of a school psychologist is to diagnose and implement individual or schoolwide intervention strategies in order to combat, stop or fix an educational, behavioral, or developmental issue that could touch and impact education in school.
In this position you’ll be tasked to do 3 important activities:
- Maintaining student records, confidential records, and behavioral data.
- Conduct psychological tests.
- Report any cases of child neglect or abuse to the authorities.
To deliver the best results, the person must have oral comprehension and expression, deduction skills, and writing skills.
Since each school requires one or two school psychologists, its projected job openings for 2021-2031 are about 4800 new opportunities.
Many might mix between an educational psychologist and a school psychologist.
The key difference is that educational psychology is more focused on research and the analytic part.
But school psychology is more involved and influences the education system of the school directly—because it focuses on testing and counseling.
Unlike school psychology jobs, educational psychology jobs require a Ph.D. But the salary is way higher— in the United States, the salary range for these kinds of occupations is between $66,000 to $158,000 with a median close to $84,000.
#4 Human Resources Specialist.
The HR specialists are responsible in any company to recruit, interview, and assign the right individuals to suitable positions within the company.
Psychology will play a main role in selecting the right candidate—especially during the interviews. Human behaviors and testing personalities are crucial in finding the best of the best.
Pros and cons of being an HR specialist:
To be able to ably for this job, you’ll have to own at least a Bachelor’s degree which is a requirement.
Verbal and non-verbal skills are essential to ensure a successful career in Human resources in general.
Most salaries are pretty decent between $55,000 to $69,000—with a median wage of $62,000 per year.
With many job layoffs and job openings, the need for HR specialists is predicted to have 81,900 new job openings within the next 8 years.
#5 Marketing Assistant.
Many people might ask what marketing has to do with Psychology, and the short answer will be everything.
Since the main goal of marketing is to grab people’s attention and prepare campaigns for targeted demographics, knowing how they behave and what could influence a reaction from these customers is essential in the marketing world.
Upsides and Downsides of joining the marketing department as a marketing assistant:
If you search online for this job, you’ll find that the salary is a bit falling short—especially in the united states. Most offers have a salary that falls in the range of $40,000 to $52,000.
Most companies require at least a Bachelor’s degree to apply for the position. However, I’m not sure about psychology degrees. But I think it will be fine because this is an assistant role—it will be valuable for the marketing manager to have a psychologist on his team.
I mean Elementary School Teacher. This short overview will be specific for Elementary school positions, but some requirements will still be applied to other positions like Middle school and High school, the key difference will be the training that you went through before joining the education community.
If your motivation to work as an elementary teacher, your life will be miserable. Being in this line of work requires patience and a considerable amount of preparation.
These are 6 pros and cons of being a Teacher:
If you managed to maintain these 3 activities, you’ll definitely have some success as a teacher:
- Establish rules and order in the classroom.
- adjust the teaching materials to better accommodate students’ needs.
- Keep the parents up to date with their child’s development and report any major issues if deemed necessary.
To be a teacher in an elementary school, you’ll only need a bachelor’s degree.
According to the bureau of labor, the united states alone is looking for 106,000 new openings for elementary teachers positions across the country—between 2021-2031.
#7 Real Estate Agent.
There are other names similar to this position: Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Salesperson, and Realtor. Even though they might not be identical, they all have one thing in common sales—which require a psychological approach to convince customers to buy a property.
Just like any salesperson, being a real estate agent requires you to prepare documents and contracts, present offers and considerations, and gather a list of properties.
Thus, with many responsibilities it is bound to have pros and cons:
To be a real estate agent, you must have at least a high school diploma. Having psychology knowledge or degrees will give you a good start. However, you still have to earn your license first.
Communication skills will play the most important role, and depending on that you might most likely either fail or succeed.
It is best if you begin doing it part-time, then if things were looking good and you get the hang of it, try full-time.
Despite the median wage of $48,000, sometimes you might go months with no income due to the amount of time it needed to close a single deal.
The projection for this job is 42,800 new openings within the next 8 years, which is considered an average growth.
#8 Forensic Psychologist.
This one is one of the most crucial jobs of them all. Being a Forensic professional means aiding the judicial system in criminal and civil matters.
The person who is looking to work in this position has to possess great Forensic skills, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, reporting skills, and interviewing.
Forensic has a lot of Pros and Cons, for example;
It may seem odd but to be a Forensic you are required to have at least a Ph.D. in Psychology—Due to the importance of this job.
Another matter that I think you should know is to get paid well requires will take time. Despite having a median of $68,000, getting there needs hard work for a long time—The salary range is between $45,000 to $120,000.
#9 User Experience Researcher.
Or UX researcher. Every company that wants to stay in business need to be more appealing and relevant to its customer base. A User experience researcher can help a company accomplish that task.
Especially, with all the noise and competition, the job of a UX researcher has become more and more valuable.
Upsides and Downsides of being a UX researcher:
Being in this line of work gives you a good chance of being a high earner. the salary range of this job varies but you can expect to earn after your first two years $76,000 to $111,000—with a median wage of about $92,000.
For those who don’t know a lot about psychology, it is easy to get confused between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist.
The key difference is that the first one is more focused on psychotherapy and treating the patient’s emotions. But a psychiatrist is more focused on the medical part and has the ability to prescribe medicine to treat the patient.
Going for this position requires Extensive Preparation and dedication, on top of tens of field training and tests.
Like any other psychology degree occupation, a Psychiatrist—also has its positive and negative points:
This job is so extra hard than the others on this list and involves a lot of Physical and juridical risks. But the reward is more appealing. However, you need to be extra motivated and passionate about this work—or you can get burned easily.
Now, regarding the salary range. It can start from $102,000 to $304,000—with a median of $208,000. The pay might increase by 20% if we include the benefits and bonuses.
The future of this job is looking bright with a projected growth faster than the average—1100 new openings, according to the bureau of labor statistics for the 2021-2031 period.
Psychology major Stats:
How many Students graduate with a Psychology Degree?
the total number of psychology graduates according to USA data is 183,794 awarded degrees. At this rate, the number of people who are completing their degree is growing at 3.46%. Most of the graduates complete a bachelor’s degree and only a few make it to research doctorate or postbaccalaureate certificate.
Note: It is advisable to surpass the master’s degree if you want to stand out from the crowd—which will ultimately give you an opportunity to apply for most of the jobs out there.
How many Students Join the Workforce and have a Psychology degree?
In total there are 2.62 million psychology students joined the workforce. This number is growing by 3.3% each year. the median average is close to $70,000—mostly common jobs school teachers and social workers.
There is about 6.1 percent of psychology graduates are left unemployed. most of them (60%) have joined the workforce. the rest are fairly divided between aiming for a higher level of education and doing part-time jobs while studying at the university, according to prospect.ac.uk.
There Are many other psychology degree jobs, that you can apply to whether you are in school, have a degree, or graduated. However, some require more training and some a psychology student will be perfect for. For example, being a Tutor or a career in the sales force.
These are the rest of the Jobs that you can check out, just make sure you do in-depth research before aiming for one:
|Activities Director||$43,000||Bachelor’s degree (in some cases it’s not needed)|
|Admissions Counselor||$40,000||Bachelor’s degree|
|Advertising Sales Representative||$40,400||Not required|
|Employment Counselor||$44,000||Bachelor’s degree|
|Case Manager||$44,300||Bachelor’s degree|
|Claims Supervisor||$74,000||Bachelor’s degree or Master’s Degree|
|Conservation Officer||$48,000||Associate’s degree|
|Corporate Trainer||$58,000||bachelor’s degree + Special Training|
|Corrections Officer||$48,000||High School Diploma +Training|
|Criminal Investigator||$59,000||Bachelor’s Degree + Experience|
|Crisis Intervention Counselor||$52,000||Master’s Degree|
|Community Organization Worker||$47,000||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Loan Officer||$63,000||Bachelor’s degree|
|Legal/Paralegal Assistant||$56,000||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Marriage and Family Therapist||$50,000||Master’s Degree and License|
|Market Research Analyst||$64,000||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Mental Health Counselor||$48,000||Master’s Degree and training|
|Polygraph Examiner||$57,000||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Preschool Teacher||$30,000||Associate’s Degree|
|Psychiatric Aide||$30,000||High school Diploma|
|Psychiatric Technician||$36,000||Postsecondary certificate|
|Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist||$39,000||Master’s Degree|
|Social Worker||$50,000||Bachelor’s or Master’s degree|
|Sports Psychologist||$76,000||Master’s or Doctoral Degree|
|Working at a non-profit (Program Assistant)||$50,000||High school Diploma or College degree|
Note: the median salaries here are estimated (for example if the median salary in the source is $58,560 I turn that into $59,000 in order to be easier for the reader to compare the jobs). I made sure to get the data from credible sources—you can find them in the citations section down below.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov
- Job’s statistics from BLS: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm
- Psychology.org website: https://www.psychology.org
- Careers information from Psychology.org: https://www.psychology.org/careers/what-is-forensic-psychology/
- Database of salaries worldwide: https://www.salary.com/
- Database of salaries United States: https://www.onetonline.org/
- Faulkner University Article: https://www.faulkner.edu/news/what-is-forensic-psychology-what-you-need-to-know-about-this-career-field/
- Database of Salaries worldwide: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Forensic_Psychologist/Salary
- Berkeley, University of California: https://bootcamp.berkeley.edu/blog/how-to-become-a-ux-researcher-no-experience-needed/
- Southern New Hampshire University: https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/social-sciences/difference-between-a-psychologist-and-a-psychiatrist
- USA Data: https://datausa.io/profile/cip/psychology.