Great Jobs for Those with a Bachelor’s in Psychology

Bachelor’s in Psychology Jobs

  • Child Care Worker
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Human Factors Specialist
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • School or Career Counselor
  • Correctional Treatment Specialist
  • Assistant Behavior Analyst
  • Market Researcher
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Addiction Counselor

Few psychology-related jobs are available for those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. (Most of these are reserved for those with a graduate degree.) Those who want to optimize their chances should: assess what they want, look beyond postings on the internet, utilize their connections and resources around campus, and plan accordingly. Listed below are 10 of the best careers for those with a bachelor’s in psychology.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Psychology

1. Child Care Worker

If they are interested in using their degree for more psychology-related work, graduates may want to consider working part-time in a mental health setting. These workers help clients in coping with various types of mental health problems or concerns, but their work is primarily done in more casual settings. If graduates like children and enjoy the idea of working directly in psychology, child care is a viable option. Child care workers can work in daycare centers and after-school programs. If they have the resources, graduates may also want to consider opening up their own child care center.

2. Psychiatric Technician

Another career that provides an opportunity for graduates to utilize their degrees is a psychiatric technician. Psychiatric technicians, social work assistants (e.g. caseworker), and mental health technicians are all potential career options in the fields of mental health and human services. These people act as apprentices and work under the guidance (and supervision) of a licensed professional (e.g. clinical psychologist). Although psychiatric technicians aren’t licensed, they still work directly with patients helping them with their basic needs and teaching them life skills. They can also be trusted to conduct applied therapy sessions and take on case management responsibilities.

3. Human Factors Specialist

Human factors specialists are more rooted in human engineering than psychology, but they still use their knowledge base in psychology to do well in their work. Human factors specialists attempt to influence people’s behavior in different types of situations by altering the designs of products and equipment. They attempt to maximize consumer experience and satisfaction and to provide the safest and most effective products by using principles of psychology. Although the chances of working as a human factors specialist with only a bachelor’s degree in psychology are slim, it is completely possible if graduates work hard and utilize their resources properly.

4. Laboratory Assistant

Those interested in the research aspects of working in psychology may be interested in studying under a psychology professor (with a lab). Laboratory assistants usually work in research and subfields of experimental psychology. Psychology majors usually work a few hours in a lab (or maybe a few different labs), so it would be convenient if they applied for (and accepted) a position already at the university. They could also consider applying for internships in a psychology lab. University psychology programs aren’t the only ones willing to hire laboratory assistants; government agencies and basically any other business that analyzes human behaviors could show interest.

5. School or Career Counselor

Becoming a school or career counselor means that graduates will need to stay updated on education and workforce developments. Since they are helping people who need advice on how to transition to a new career (or something similar), they need to stay informed so they can offer proper guidance to those making the transition. These counselors also help clients develop technical skills, manage their jobs, and other factors associated with career and participating in the workforce. Employment in school or career counseling is expected to grow by eight percent by 2024.

6. Correctional Treatment Specialist

This is a criminal justice career that’s perfect for psychology degree graduates. Correctional treatment specialists apply their psychological knowledge to rehabilitate inmates. They perform personality, aptitude, attitude, and vocational tests to assess prisoners’ needs. Test results help shape a custom intervention plan to improve the offender’s mental and behavioral health. Frequently, they must refer detainees for therapy or addiction services. Connecting convicts to job training and educational programs can also help. Correctional treatment specialists keep detailed records of each case to track prisoner progress. Once sentences are served, they work with parole officers to create release plans to prevent recidivism. The U.S. Department of Labor reports an average salary of $58,790 for the 87,660 correctional treatment specialists. Most work at federal or state prisons, local jails, juvenile justice centers, and psychiatric prisons.

7. Assistant Behavior Analyst

An assistant behavior analyst is one of the newest jobs with a bachelor’s in psychology. Founded in 1998, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board credentials individuals with a four-year undergraduate degree. Assistant behavior analysts lend a hand to BCBAs to support behavioral interventions. They use psychological principles to assess abnormal, problematic client behaviors. Behavior analysis helps treat many disorders, including autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar, and schizophrenia. Assistants help BCBAs perform behavioral tests, compile data, and write up treatment solutions. Most engage in ABA therapy under supervision, so they’re more than paper-pushing secretaries. Assistant behavior analysts work with clients of every age at public and private behavioral health centers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists a mean yearly wage of $35,830 for human service assistants.

8. Market Researcher

Every psychology major takes at least one course titled “Research Methods.” Graduates can put that bachelor’s curricula to good use as market researchers. Market researchers conduct surveys, polls, interviews, and questionnaires to gauge public opinion. Some run focus groups to measure how participants respond to a new product or service. Giving businesses key insights into how potential customers think is the goal. Therefore, market researchers must compile massive data sets and conduct statistical analysis. Software like SPSS helps do the math and build graphs or charts to show research findings. Market researchers present what they’ve learned to marketing and sales teams. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts much faster-than-average growth of 20 percent by 2028 for 139,200 new market research openings.

9. Human Resources Specialist

Psychology degree graduates have a unique understanding of how people think, feel, and act. This interpersonal knowledge is useful in human resources jobs. Human resources specialists are the liaisons between employees, unions, and senior managers. Creating a productive work environment that retains top talent is their goal. To meet worker needs, HR specialists develop a payroll structure with competitive salaries, insurance benefits, and bonuses. They perform strengths-based job analysis to ensure employees are placed properly. They organize workforce training programs to further skills and prevent incidents like sexual harassment. Many human resources specialists also play a role in hiring, recruiting, and contract negotiations. The Department of Labor projects 5 percent growth for HR specialist jobs that average $67,760.

10. Addiction Counselor

As America’s opioid epidemic worsens, bachelor’s in psychology holders can save lives in addiction counseling. Inpatient and outpatient substance abuse services are critical to helping addicts withdraw from alcohol or drugs. Addiction counselors guide substance users through recovery treatment to achieve long-term sobriety. They offer strategies for recovering addicts to endure withdrawal and fight intense cravings. They refer clients to vocational agencies, halfway houses, and AA or NA meetings to get users back on their feet. Sometimes, addiction counselors even run outreach initiatives to prevent addiction in at-risk communities. Most work at rehabilitation centers, hospitals, therapy clinics, prisons, and detox facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sees the 304,500 addiction counseling jobs skyrocketing by 22 percent this decade.

Jobs with a bachelor’s in psychology certainly don’t end there. Psychology majors can use their “people” skills in service-oriented careers across many sectors. For example, graduates might communicate with the public about organizational happenings as press secretaries. Psychology majors could apply the principles of persuasion as advertising or marketing managers. Bachelor’s recipients may lead nonprofit initiatives that aid social welfare as community service managers. Psychology students can publish articles, blogs, or books about mental health as professional writers. Graduates might work with people with mild to severe disabilities as rehabilitation specialists. Bachelor’s holders could help crime and domestic violence survivors as victim advocates. Special education teachers, social workers, child protection specialists, patient advocates, admission counselors, and fundraising directors have other popular bachelor’s careers.

Consider Going to Graduate School

Unsatisfied by these jobs with a bachelor’s in psychology? Attending graduate school is another option. Graduate programs further one’s knowledge and skills for more advanced positions. Getting a graduate degree and license is required to practice psychology independently. Like bachelor’s programs, graduate schools have an admission process. Most mandate at least 16 prerequisite psychology credits and cumulative GPAs above 2.50. Taking the 102-question Graduate Record Exam for $205 could be another step. Don’t forget to submit any requested essays, reference letters, and work histories. If accepted, graduate school will take anywhere from 12 months to 72 months. Let’s look at a few common graduate degrees and related jobs.

  • M.A./M.S. in Psychology – Master’s degrees in psychology require about 36 credits after a baccalaureate and hands-on thesis research. Master’s graduates have a limited practice scope in applied, non-clinical fields. Potential master’s jobs include industrial/organizational psychologist, forensic psychologist, human factors psychologist, social psychologist, community psychologist, and developmental psychologist.
  • M.A./M.S. in Counseling – Master’s degrees in counseling entail 48 to 60 credits of advanced courses plus at least 600 internship hours. Master’s graduates qualify for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certification. Possible master’s careers include clinical mental health counselor, school counselor, marriage therapist, family counselor, rehabilitation counselor, student affairs counselor, and behavioral disorder counselor.
  • Ed.S./Ed.D. in Psychology – Education specialist and doctoral degrees in educational psychology integrate 60+ credits with 2,000-hour, year-long internships. Graduates are eligible in all 50 states for licensure to work in PreK-12 settings. Probable job titles include school psychologist, applied behavior analyst, educational diagnostician, psychometrician, educational researcher, college professor, and special education director.
  • Ph.D./Psy.D. in Psychology – Doctoral degrees in psychology typically range from 60 to 120 credits with fieldwork, teaching assistantships, and dissertation research. Doctoral graduates have limitless psychology career options after the EPPP licensing exam. Great doctoral-level jobs include clinical psychologist, experimental psychologist, child psychologist, health psychologist, neuropsychologist, and sports psychologist.

Conclusion

A degree in psychology can help open the doors to many opportunities. While it may not be the ideal degree (by itself) for those planning to stay in the field for a long time, a bachelor’s in psychology could help you land the job of your dreams.