If you're a psychology major, congratulations! You have chosen a field that is both fascinating and in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for psychologists are expected to grow by 14% between 2014 and 2024. That's much faster than the average job growth rate! So what are the best jobs for psychology majors? Keep reading to find out!
The most common entry-level jobs that psychology major students get hired for are social workers, youth advocates, pre-school teachers, parole officer, and research assistants.
Let's dig into the specifics about these jobs, including what each job might consist of, their duties, and even salaries!
1) Forensic Psychologist
A forensic psychologist is a psychologist who uses their skills to help solve crimes. They may work with the police to profile criminals, or they may work with the courts to help assess defendants' mental state. Forensic psychologists need a strong knowledge of both psychology and the law.
A day in the life of a forensic psychologist could look like this: You are asked to profile a criminal who has been terrorizing a small town. After looking at the evidence, you conclude that the criminal is likely a white male in his early 30s who is intelligent and organized. You share your findings with the police, who use your information to catch the criminal.
2) School Psychologist
School psychologists work with students, parents, and teachers to create a positive learning environment. They may help identify students who need special services, such as those with learning disabilities or behavioral problems. School psychologists also develop programs to prevent bullying and violence.
A day in the life of a school psychologist could look like this: You meet with a student who is having trouble in school. After talking with the student and observing his behavior, you conclude that he has ADHD. You develop a plan to help him succeed in school and meet with his teachers to discuss how they can best support him.
3) Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
Industrial/organizational psychologists use psychological principles to improve the efficiency of a workplace. They may help select employees, train employees, and resolve conflicts between workers.
A day in the life of an industrial/organizational psychologist could look like this: You meet with a client who is having trouble with employee morale. After talking with the client and observing the work environment, you come up with a plan to improve communication and increase worker satisfaction. You train the client on how to implement your plan and follow up to make sure it is working.
4) Sports Psychologist
Sports psychologists work with athletes to help them improve their performance and overcome psychological barriers. They may work with individuals or teams, and they often travel with their clients to competitions.
A day in the life of a sports psychologist could look like this: You meet with a client who is struggling with confidence issues. After talking with the client and observing their behavior, you develop a plan to help them build confidence and achieve their goals. You work with the client on mental skills such as focus and visualization. You also provide support and guidance during competition.
5) Clinical Psychologist
Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They work with patients to understand their problems and develop treatment plans. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication, or both.
A day in the life of a clinical psychologist could look like this: You meet with a new patient who is experiencing anxiety. You talk with the patient to get an understanding of their symptoms and how they are impacting their life. You administer tests to diagnose the patient’s condition. Based on the diagnosis, you develop a treatment plan that may include therapy and/or medication. You meet with the patient regularly to monitor their progress and make adjustments to the treatment plan as necessary.
6) Counseling Psychologist
Counseling psychologists work with clients to help them manage and overcome challenges in their lives. They may work with clients who are experiencing relationship problems, grief, or other life transitions. Counseling psychologists use a variety of techniques, including psychotherapy, to help their clients.
A day in the life of a counseling psychologist could look like this: You meet with a new client who is experiencing depression. You talk with the client to get an understanding of their symptoms and how they are impacting their life. You administer tests to diagnose the patient’s condition. Based on the diagnosis, you develop a treatment plan that may include therapy and/or medication. You meet with the patient regularly to monitor their progress and make adjustments to the treatment
7) Social Worker
Social workers help people cope with the challenges they’re facing in their lives. They provide emotional support and connect their clients to resources that can help them improve their situation.
A day in the life of a social worker could look like this: You meet with a client who is struggling with addiction. You talk with the client to understand their situation and what they’re hoping to achieve. You connect the client to resources, such as treatment programs and support groups. You follow up with the client to see how they’re doing and offer additional support as needed.
Therapists help people work through challenges in their lives, such as relationship problems, trauma, and mental health disorders. They use a variety of techniques, such as talk therapy, to help their clients improve their mental well-being.
A day in the life of a therapist could look like this: You meet with a client who is struggling with anxiety. You talk with the client to understand their symptoms and how they’re impacting their life. You develop a treatment plan with the client and begin working on coping strategies. You follow up with the client to see how they’re doing and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.
If you’re interested in the science of psychology, then a career as a researcher might be a good fit for you. Researchers conduct studies to learn more about human behavior and mental processes. They design experiments, collect data, and analyze their findings to see if they support or refute their hypotheses.
A day in the life of a researcher could look like this: You develop a research question that you want to answer through your study. You design an experiment and write a research proposal outlining your methodology. You submit your proposal to an ethics committee for approval. Once approved, you recruit participants for your study and collect data. You analyze your data and write up your findings in a research paper. You present your findings at conferences and publish
10) Youth Counselor
Working with young people can be both rewarding and challenging. As a youth counselor, you would help kids and teens deal with the issues they're facing in their lives. You would work with them one-on-one, in groups, and sometimes with their families. You might also teach classes on topics like anger management or conflict resolution.
A day in the life of a Youth Counselor might include:
- Meeting with clients to discuss their problems
- Leading group therapy sessions
- Developing treatment plans for individual clients
- Conducting assessments to diagnose mental health disorders
- Writing progress reports on clients
- Sharing tools that help to deal with stress
11) Child Advocate
If you're passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, then working as a child advocate might be the perfect job for you. Child advocates work to protect the rights of children and ensure that their needs are being met. They may work with individual children or families, or they may work on larger scale advocacy efforts.
A day in the life of a Child Advocate looks like this: Meeting with individual children and families to assess their needs. Working with social service agencies to ensure that children are receiving the services they need. Advocating for policy changes at the local, state, or federal level. Providing testimony in court cases involving child welfare. Giving presentations to community groups about child advocacy issues
12) Parole Officer
A Parole Officer is a criminal justice professional who works with offenders who have been released from prison on parole. The main goal of a Parole Officer is to reduce recidivism, or the rate at which offenders return to prison.
Parole Officers work closely with their clients to create individualized plans that will help them reintegrate into society and stay out of trouble. They provide resources and support, such as job placement assistance and referrals to social service agencies. They also monitor their clients’ compliance with the terms of their parole, and report any violations to the court.
A day in the life of a Parole Officer looks like this: Meeting with clients to discuss their goals and progress. Checking in with employers to ensure that clients are meeting their job requirements. Investigating reports of parole violations. Writing reports to the court on each client’s progress.
No matter what your interests are, there's sure to be a great job for you as a psychology major. With the skills you'll learn in your studies, you'll be prepared to make a difference in the lives of others. There are many different jobs available for psychology majors. The eleven jobs listed above are just a few of the many options that are out there, it's highly recommended to check job boards and online job listing directories - it never hurts to apply!