You finally graduated with a degree in psychology, now what? You may start to search for jobs in the field and find they’re not exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. People change their career path an estimated two to three times in their 20s before deciding on a permanent path. You may decide that while you love the academic and research side of psychology, you don’t prefer individual interactions with others. Some people may want to use their skill set to launch a new career in a related field. Others may decide to change out of psychology because of a lack of jobs in a specific part of the field. As more graduates enter the job market, the available jobs become scarce. The great part about a psychology degree is it’s pretty flexible. You can use your degree for jobs you wouldn’t necessarily think to coincide with a psychology degree.
1. Advertising/Market Research Managers
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 20% earn $54,400 annually, $141,490 median annual wage, top 20% earn $223,400 as of 2020
Job Growth: 6% by 2029 (faster than average)
Advertising work with sales staff to create advertising campaigns. They also look for creative ways to generate a buzz among potential buyers of a service or product. Some managers serve as liaisons between agencies and clients while practicing the art of negotiation. They may even oversee accounts or departments. Market Research managers find out the demand of a product or service and what the competition offers. Also, they identify potential markets for the client or organization. This career is a great fit because you get to use research methods you learned while using the science of persuasion and what motivates people.
2. Human Resources Manager
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 20% earn $43,200 annually, $63,490 median annual wage, top 20% earn $126,100 annually as of 2020
Job Growth: 7% by 2029 (faster than average)
Human resources managers oversee a company’s human resources department. They provide a variety of services within a company. They typically focus on recruitment, prospective employee screening, and the hiring process of an employee. Some assist in payroll and company benefits. They explain these to current employees and notify them of any changes. Many will handle employee disputes or complaints, develop policies for employee services, and take care of an employee’s well-being. This type of job is ideal for psychology majors because they have the training and knowledge on how to diffuse situations. More importantly, they have the knowledge of what drives an employee and how to create incentives through employee services.
• Teamwork and collaboration
3. Rehabilitation Specialist
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn under $31,000 annually, $41,311 median annual wage, top 10% earn $59,000 annually as of 2021
Job Growth: 10% by 2028 (faster than average)
Rehabilitation specialists assist people that suffer from mental or physical disabilities. Their primary goal is to return patients to independent living. This requires the coordination of activities and counseling for the client to reach their objectives. Specialists assess a client’s need and eligibility for community or government programs. Some rehabilitation specialists provide career goals and interview preparation. Impeccable record-keeping, collaboration with medical teams, and progress reports are a daily job function. This job is ideal for psychology majors that decided they want a career path similar to an occupational therapist but want to skip the licensing and change of major.
4. Therapeutic Support Staff Worker
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn 24,000, $30,767 median annual wage, top 10% earn $40,000 annually as of 2020
Job Growth: 13% by 2028 (faster than average)
TSS workers usually work with counselors, teachers, medical professionals, and parents. They aim to provide a treatment plan or goals for children that suffer from behavioral or social issues. Their job is to assess a child and assist in carrying out a treatment plan that was provided. Good record keeping and daily progress reports are often required. TSS workers typically work for schools, mental health clinics, or community centers. Psychology majors that love and want to work with children but don’t want to necessarily care for them like a daycare work will find fulfillment with this job. You not only help children but also develop a personal relationship with both the child and the parents too.
5. Aviation Psychologist
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $21,500 annually, $82,841 median annual wage, top 10% earn 159,000 annually as of 2021
Job Growth: 14% by 2028 (faster than average)
Aviation psychologists meet with those who work in airborne services. You would provide counseling services to address job-related stressors or anxieties personnel may have. For example, a new flight attendant may have a fear of flying or a crash and needs help to cope. You may also work with pilots or crew members that have experienced a crash or a member that has passed. Your job is to confront their trauma. If the counseling aspect doesn’t appeal to you, some aviation psychologists are hired to assess plane safety features, investigate crashes, or conduct studies on airline safety. Aviation psychologists aim to provide security and a calm mind for those who work with aircraft. This job has more than one aspect that might appeal to those who prefer a mixture of both academia and counseling.
• Mental health evaluations
• Research and development
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $14,500 annually, $62,870 annual median wage, top 10% earn $85,542 annually as of 2020
Job Growth: 4% by 2029 (as fast as average)
This job may highly depend on where you live. Some states require you to obtain a teaching license or certification on top of your degree. Teachers guide students from a young age to adulthood. Teachers that have a degree in psychology gain skills that help them become better teachers. They have the knowledge of child and adolescent development and what types of discipline and learning techniques work best at any age. They also gain empathy and understand for a young person’s struggles. Many adults often lack this skill and have a harder time gaining respect and trust from a student. Psychology majors that want a career where they mentor or interact with children and adolescents may value this path.
• Knowledge of child/adolescent development
• High-emotional intelligence
7. Probation or Parole Officer
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $19,500 annually, $55,590 annual median wage, top 10% earn $79,613 annually as of 2020
Job Growth: 4% by 2029 (as fast as average)
Probation officers supervise people who didn’t go to prison and were placed on probation instead. They work to ensure the person doesn’t commit crimes and aid in their rehabilitation through frequent visits. Most work with teenagers and adults. Parole officers work with people who have been sent to prison and then released. They help them integrate back into society. Parole officers monitor the parolees by ensuring they attend rehab, their job or training, and aid in their rehabilitation. These jobs aren’t for the faint of heart. Psychology majors that can’t afford further their training but still want to help people will fit well into this type of job.
• Emotional stability
8. Social Worker
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn less than $31,790, $51,760 annual median wage, top 10% earn $82,540 as of 2020
Job Growth: 13% by 2029 (faster than average)
Social workers help people that are experiencing times of crisis or to help cope with challenges. For example, a child that’s removed from their home, someone diagnosed with a terminal illness, or someone currently adopting a child. Their job requires them to research community resources that improve a client’s life. Some may provide counseling or psychotherapy techniques to cope with life stressors or changes. They mostly respond to crisis situations and follow up to ensure a client’s situation has improved. The job does require you to maintain files and records. Psychology majors that want to make a difference in another person’s life and have the need to help people will fit well in this career. They can use their time-management and compassion skills they learned to help a number of people.
9. Technical Writer
Typical Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $30,000 annually, $74,650 annual median wage, top 10% earn $112,500 annually as of 2020
Job Growth: 7% by 2029 (faster than average)
Technical writers typically write instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other complex documents to communicate the information easier. Many technical writers must conduct research on a topic. Some assist in the writing of grant proposals for scientists and higher learning institutions. They often work with computer engineers, customer support, and developers to manage the flow of information when there are group projects. Technical writers must understand the subject matter and communicate complex information with a diverse group of people. As the world’s technology use increases, they share information through channels like interactive technology, social media, graphics, sound, and videos. You might enjoy this job if you’re into the heavy research side of psychology. It may require you to spend hours in academia to produce the work needed.
• Technical background
10. Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative
Typical Salary Range: $54,180 annual median wage as of 2020
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives work with wholesalers or manufacturers. The goods sold aren’t sold directly to customers but to organizations, businesses, or government agencies. Most sales representatives work with non-scientific items like food or office supplies. However, some choose to specialize in technical or scientific items. Sales representatives interact with customers and strive to sell a product. Some reps analyze sales, prepare reports, or perform administrative duties. As a sales rep, you might be required to help train employees on a product or equipment or make suggestions on how or where to place merchandise. Psychology majors will love this job if they enjoy the daily sales interaction with people daily. The constant product research and knowledge overlap with their love of learning new techniques.
• Customer service
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the job options for retired psychologists?
Retired psychologists can generally work any job that they have qualifications and skillsets. For example, someone may decide to become a teacher or fully retire from psychology-related fields altogether and choose an entry-level job in a new field.
What jobs can you get while studying psychology?
This will depend on your interests and skills. You may also want to consider if you want the experience for your psychology degree or if any job will do. Many people tend to work in customer service when they don’t have much of a psychology background or skills built up. Others might take up an internship or work as a mental health technician. Research assistants or tutoring can help expand your skills while you get paid.
What are some Remote Bachelor psychology jobs?
Jobs like customer service representatives, sales representatives, crisis intervention counselors, social media marketing, and support enforcement specialists currently have openings in work-at-home jobs for psychology majors. Many jobs in the psychology field will require you to show up in person, but some jobs do exist for those that want to work from home.
What are some non-psychology careers for psychology majors?
Most people that obtain a psychology degree usually don’t stay in the field unless they further their training because jobs are scarce. However, you can apply your psychology degree to most jobs in a different field. For example, you can work in a business-related field like sales, retail, advertising, or financial advisement with a psychology degree. Some work in insurance, criminal justice, healthcare, and administrative careers.
You might find yourself scared or worried about the future should you have a midlife career change from psychology. It’s a scary thought, thinking you wasted your time and money to get a degree you may never use. However, you don’t need to worry! You can still find a new career path where your degree will come in handy. Many jobs today require you to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and are willing to accept one if it’s from a related field. Luckily, psychology overlaps with many careers. The list we developed doesn’t come close to half of the many career paths you may take. You may find that psychology degrees are versatile in jobs you wouldn’t even think overlap! When you find yourself dreaming of a new career, take a minute to consider the current skill set you have and what goals you want to achieve. Once, you have that figured out, look at the jobs we listed and delve deeper to related fields. You may just find your new career.