While enrolled in a college psychology program or about to enroll, you may look at the job opportunities open to those with a Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology. Applied psychology is a field of study that deals more with research and independent thinking. Many of the jobs in this field are only open to those who have a master’s degree or even a doctoral degree. Whether you want to take some time off before completing a graduate degree, or you don’t want to go back to school at all, you’ll find some jobs you can do with just a bachelor’s degree.
Psychology is a wide and dynamic field. Applied psychology, specifically, uses psychological methods to find solutions to practical human problems. A background in this area of study can prepare you for a vast array of career pursuits. Not only can you work directly with people in the helping professions, fields such as business, law, advertising and healthcare can benefit from the skills you gain from your studies. While you can expand your job prospects with an advanced degree, this isn’t necessary for many entry-level positions. Keep reading for a list of jobs that are available with a Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology.
Assistant Behavioral Analyst
One of the jobs open to those with an applied psychology bachelor’s degree is that of an assistant behavioral analyst. This type of specialist helps patients determine why they act or behave in certain ways and what they can do to change their behaviors. Some work specifically with autistic children and offer therapy designed to help them better interact with the worlds and environments around them. While you can work in this field with only a bachelor’s degree, you will need to get certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board or a similar organization.
If you like the idea of working directly with individuals in need, you might consider using your Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology to seek employment as a social worker. Social workers often work for government agencies and assist clients who need help. Though some assume that these professionals only work with abused children, they also work with the elderly, homeless and other groups. Some states will license college graduates as social workers, even if they do not have a degree in social work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for social workers today is around $45,500 a year.
Human Resources Specialist
With a college degree in psychology, you can also find work in major corporations around the world. Many of these companies need human resources specialists who can work with their employees. As an HR specialist, you’ll help ensure the satisfaction of those working for the company. This may involve introducing new benefits programs, finding new insurance plans for employees or even motivating those workers. HR specialists also help companies advertise for new workers, interview prospective candidates and find the best people for all open positions.
A bachelor’s degree in applied psychology may also help you find work as a probation office or a parole office. Parole officers work with criminals convicted to jail time and then let out on parole, while probation officers work with those sentenced to probation instead of jail time. These officers are responsible for ensuring that their clients follow all rules imposed by the judge. You might do home visits to ensure your clients live at the addresses given or check with their employers. The research skills you learned in college can also help you when doing research into the backgrounds of your clients and keeping track of your records.
Becoming a counselor is one of the more people-centric applied psychology jobs you can consider. In this position, you work directly with clients to help them manage their emotional and psychosocial issues. You can teach them coping mechanisms and provide education on healthier behaviors. As a counselor, you may work in a variety of settings such as mental health agencies, community organizations, nursing homes or residential treatment facilities. A four-year degree in psychology can get you in the door of some social service agencies where you can then begin assisting people to enhance their relationships and improve their daily lives. You could then use the experience gained to advance your employment options or to enroll in advanced study in a Master’s program. Furthering your education would prepare you for counseling positions with more responsibility and higher salary.
This is a support position. A behavior technician assists behavioral analysts in the development of client treatment plans. They also work behind the scenes to perform administrative duties such as managing correspondence and maintaining client records. They may engage with patients directly to monitor their behaviors and assist them in rehabilitative therapy. Behavior technicians often work in community-based agencies, residential treatment facilities, school districts, healthcare settings, in client homes and even for governmental organizations.
Disability specialists assist people to determine whether they are eligible for disability benefits. They do this by conducting various assessments and examinations. Their clients may have physical, social or mental disabilities. They also help them through the application process. They will collect paperwork and review medical records, as well as provide applicants with needed advice and education as they navigate the required steps toward the acquisition of benefits approval. In addition, they conduct ongoing reviews of their caseload to asses continued eligibility and to provide clients with necessary assistance such as referrals to other entities. They may work with clients in human service agencies, schools, nursing homes or religious organizations.
Child Protection Practitioner
A person in this position assists in the management of cases concerning child welfare. They may investigate accusations of abuse, interview family and community members and provide assistance in placing children in protective custody when required. Careful record keeping and documentation is required in this job in order to ensure evidence and interactions are properly recorded. Child protective practitioners will need to work closely with various professionals within the community such as school staff and law enforcement officers in order to aid in ongoing investigations. Depending on the state where you are employed, you may need to obtain additional certification to work in this capacity.
Applied psychology jobs can vary greatly. The knowledge and skills you gain through your coursework can be applied in all kinds of settings. For instance, the critical thinking skills your degree has provided you, in conjunction with your understanding of human behavior, make you an excellent candidate for a position as a research assistant. These professionals assist researchers in developing studies, conducting experiments and analyzing collected data. Other duties may include setting up equipment, preparing laboratories, documenting experiment results and preparing data presentations. As the name implies, you’re also likely to conduct research. along with the gathering of data. You can be employed as a researcher in the field of psychology, but it’s also possible to work in other areas such as economics, education, healthcare, marketing or sociology.
While this may not sound like it belongs with other applied psychology jobs, a Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology would qualify you to become an administrative assistant. That’s because the degree is a well-rounded one that provides students with a number of the types of transferrable skills many employers are looking for. Throughout your college education, you’ve likely developed the interpersonal and communication skills to work closely with people. If you also have some basic office and organizational skills, you’d probably be quite adept at a position such as this. Administrative assistants are office support personnel. The duties they perform include answering phones, maintaining files, writing correspondence and greeting customers. They can work in a host of office settings.
Market Research Analyst
A background in applied psychology could make you an ideal candidate for a job as a market research analyst. In this position, you would be working to help analyze current market conditions as they relate to product development. You would help companies to bring their products or service to market in ways that best serve and appeal to the intended audience. They look at such conditions as what solutions are needed by the target audience, who makes up that demographic and what would be a realistic price point for the product or service being offered. In addition to a Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field such as Applied Psychology, it would also benefit you to have sharp analytical and mathematical skills. Market researchers are employed in a variety of industries. Typically, they are employed by companies. It is possible to work in this capacity for a consulting firm or other such organization.
A career counselor is a professional that assists people to determine their aptitudes, obtain training and to find jobs. They may be employed in a variety of settings such as colleges and universities, rehabilitation centers, high schools and human service agencies. Career counselors conduct assessments, provide education and offer referrals to additional resources. They may help people to enter a new career or learn new skills to advance their current position. These counselors also assist in career exploration.
Those with a degree in Applied Psychology are uniqued positioned to work as case managers. You may have also heard this position referred to as human or social service assistants. A case manager counsels people who are currently facing challenges with mental health, financial, substance abuse, vocational or other such issues. They may aid in the development of treatment plans and help monitor progress. A major aspect of the job is to provide clients with other human service resources so that they can obtain the comprehensive assistance they may need. Such resources may include financial assistance agencies, mental health organizations, educational opportunities, job development and rehabilitation services.
Child Care Worker
If you have an aptitude toward working with children, you could use your psychology background to become a child care worker. These care professionals work in a variety of settings such as daycare centers, after-school programs and social service agencies. You may provide direct care, assist with hygiene needs, lead games and activities, prepare meals and provide education, among other duties.
Training and Development Specialist
Training and development specialists are needed across various industries to plan, create and administer employee trainings and staff development workshops. Their objective is to provide workers with the information they need in order to conduct their jobs properly as well as to improve performance of the organization as a whole. Training sessions may include practical information about the job along with supplemental discourse on policy, procedure and compliance issues. They may work with instructors, managers and employees in order to assess training effectiveness so that workshops can be improved.
Holding a bachelor’s in applied science can provide you with a real edge in the field of sales. A sales representative may work in a variety of industries. You can choose one that appeals to you or try your hand at learning something new. You may stand out among the competition because your degree has given you a strong understanding of human behavior, stellar interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively. Knowing how to appeal to your customers’ needs and provide solutions with the products you sell is key to excelling at a career in sales.
This list of applied psychology jobs isn’t comprehensive. Certainly, there are many more types of careers your degree has prepared you to obtain. A bachelor’s in applied psychology is a versatile degree that gives you a foundation in the skills employers look for in their employees today. You can combine your psychology education with a personal interest or hobby to obtain a position you’re well-suited for or you could head out on the job hunt with the intent to try something brand new and leave your comfort zone. It’s also possible that you could use one of these entry-level positions as a vehicle to gain practical real-world experience. The on-the-job skills you acquire may then be used to move forward in a higher position within your organization or elsewhere. It’s also quite common to take that job experience and use it to seek acceptance into an advanced degree program. A master’s or doctorate in an area relevant to psychology can open even more vocational doors.