What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology? As you’re considering college majors, this question may have crossed your mind. A psychology degree program can help you get started in a diverse range of fields.
This major may be a good fit for you if you want to work directly with other people, make decisions based on known patterns of human thought and behavior, lead groups, or become a psychologist.
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Earning a psych degree could provide the undergraduate foundation you’ll need for accomplishing your goals.
What Can You Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
An undergraduate psychology program can help equip you with knowledge that can be useful in many different lines of work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 15% of psychology graduates work in management occupations. Close to 13% work in social or community service, and another 13% or so are employed in education and library services.
Other common fields for psychology graduates include healthcare and administration. Within those fields—or in other disciplines entirely—psychology majors perform a wide variety of jobs.
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As a psychology major, you could choose entry-level jobs helping people who are in need of supportive services. This line of work may include being a social worker, a probation officer, a substance abuse counselor, or a psychiatric technician.
You may also apply your psychology skills in the business world. Marketing, advertising, sales, and human relations are a few branches of business that can benefit from a psychology background.
Management positions are often available for those with experience as well. If you’re interested in psychology research, you may consider becoming a research assistant. That role might provide valuable preparation for later graduate studies.
3 Things You Can Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
To help you get a better idea of what career path you can have with a bachelors in psychology, here are three potential paths you can take in various industries. 6All three of these options offer promising salary potential and a growing number of jobs.
1. Social and Community Service Manager
After doing entry-level social work or human service jobs, having a bachelors degree might qualify you for a related management promotion in a social or community service agency.
In this role, you may work in a religious, government, rehabilitation, or nursing organization. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that these jobs are increasing at a 17% rate.
2. Market Research Analyst
Your understanding of how people think and act could help you poll customers, analyze demographic data, or pitch product ideas as a market research analyst.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an 18% growth rate for this occupation over the next several years. You might eventually advance to a marketing management position. Marketing managers earn an average annual salary of $142,170.
3. Human Resources Specialist
HR professionals help employees increase their productivity and job satisfaction. Your background in psychology may help you effectively carry out those responsibilities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobs for HR specialists are increasing at a 7% rate. Plus, that role might even pave the way to a position in HR management.
Common Psychology Specializations
You can refine your psychology degree with a concentration. Some common concentrations include:
- Alcohol and Drug Counseling: For a career as a substance abuse counselor— which is possible with just a bachelors in some states—you may want to choose an addictions concentration.
- Clinical Psychology: You may prepare for graduate studies and a career as a licensed psychologist by studying counseling and psychological assessments during your undergrad program.
- Criminal Justice: Studies in criminology and victimology can be beneficial for careers in law enforcement, corrections, and social services.
- Family and Community: This concentration option, which will address working with individuals of all ages, could be a good fit if you want to work in schools, healthcare organizations, or community service agencies.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology: This concentration focuses on using psychology in the workplace, and it is beneficial for those interested in a career in human resources or training and development.
Since psychology is a broad field, it can be strategic to match your specialization to your career goals.
Psychology Careers & Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a bachelors degree in psychology earn an average annual salary of $48,000.
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Graduates hold jobs in many different fields, but community and social services is a common sector for psychology jobs.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$69,600|
|Writers and Authors||$67,120|
|Market Research Analysts||$65,810|
|Human Resources Specialists||$63,490|
|Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists||$55,690|
|Advertising Sales Agents||$54,940|
|Social Science Research Assistants||$49,210|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, or Mental Health Counselors||$47,660|
With a graduate degree, you may become a psychologist and increase your earning potential. Psychologists earn an average annual salary of $82,180, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Is Financial Aid Available?
You may be able to build a financial aid package that can help you afford a psychology degree.
First, you can check your eligibility for government assistance. To get started, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be done online. You may also qualify for grants or loans from the federal government. State governments often offer similar assistance as well.
You could also apply for scholarships. Whether you win awards from local organizations or national foundations, you might receive financial assistance toward your degree. Finally, you can always ask if your employer contributes to college costs.
How Much Do Psychology Majors Make?
Marketing is one of the bachelors in psychology jobs that often pays well. Most market research analysts’ annual salaries range from $35,380 to $127,410 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Marketing managers earn an average annual salary of $142,170, typically ranging from $74,620 to $208,000. Working as an advertising sales agent brings in an average annual salary of $54,940. Wages for advertising and promotions managers often fall between the wide range of $68,940 and $208,000.
Going to graduate school can be a reliable way to increase your psychology earnings. With a master’s or a doctorate, you may be eligible for licensure. For example, after earning your masters, you may want to consider one of the campus-based, online, or part time PsyD programs offered by a growing number of accredited universities.
Psychologists earn an annual average of $82,180.
What Is a Psychology Degree?
Psychology is a field that addresses how the human mind works. Understanding thought patterns can also help you learn more about why people behave the way they do.
The courses for psychology degrees usually cover human development and personality theories. You may study different branches of psychology, such as social, cognitive, and abnormal psychology. You may also learn about some of the assessment tools that psychology professionals use.
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During your psychology degree program, you will also learn about conducting research in the social sciences. To go along with that, you may develop skills as a scientific writer.
What Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Good For?
The skills and knowledge that you gain in a psychology program can help you improve relationships, communication, learning, teamwork, life skills, or business activities. In other words, there are practical applications for a psychology degree in nearly every industry.
For example, you could work directly with people as a case manager, a childcare provider, or a parole officer. You might get involved in the business world in a human resources, marketing, or sales department. Other options include journalism or working as an assistant to a researcher, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist.
What Do You Learn in a Bachelors in Psychology Program?
Students in a psychology program usually need to earn 120 credit hours. As part of your requirements, you’ll enroll in courses like fundamentals of psychology and career paths for psychology professionals.
Later, you’ll likely study various aspects of human growth, thought, and behavior. These topics may include lifespan development, learning theories, and social cognition. To help you succeed in a psychology career, you might also learn about psychopathology, cultural diversity, counseling ethics, and scientific research.
Are There Any Entry Level Jobs for Psychology Majors?
You won’t need a graduate degree before you’ll be able to find work with a B.S. in Psychology. Potential jobs for new psychology majors include probation officer, research assistant, caseworker, sales agent, or HR specialist.
In some states, only a bachelors degree is required for working as a substance abuse counselor, but you might need to apply for licensure first. Likewise, social workers and psychiatric technicians are entry-level positions, but additional training is sometimes required.
If you are interested in starting to work in these areas as soon as possible, you may also consider enrolling in an accelerated online degree in psychology from an accredited university.
What Degree Do You Need to Become a Psychologist?
Although there are many jobs for new psychology graduates, being a psychologist isn’t one of them. To use that title, you’ll need to earn a graduate degree. Typically, that means getting a doctoral degree. States typically offer psychology licensure only to those who have earned a doctorate.
Depending on your goals, though, a masters degree may be sufficient. Industrial-organizational psychology is a branch of this field that, in many states, requires only a masters degree.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Most people consider a bachelors to be a 4 year degree. If you enroll full-time and go to a school with traditional 16 week semesters, that may be true for you as well.
There are exceptions to that rule, though. At an online college with accelerated terms, you could earn the 120 required credits in less time. Thanks to courses that last only 8 weeks each, you could cut several months or more off of your studies.
Some schools will also allow you to transfer in previous college classes or receive credit for prior knowledge. These benefits can also reduce your time to graduation.
Are There Any High Paying Jobs with a Bachelors in Psychology?
Your psychology background could help you get a job in human resources. HR specialists earn an average of $63,490 per year. Most HR salaries fall between $37,710 and $109,350.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 15% of people with a bachelors in psychology work in management jobs. Management occupations pay a median annual salary of $109,760. With experience, you might become a community service, marketing, or human resources manager.
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Some psychologists become writers, earning between $35,880 and $133,460. Ideas for this path include copywriting, journalism, and technical writing. Writers for the performing arts or sports industries earn an average of $82,350 annually.
What Is the Difference Between a BS vs. BA in Psychology?
Whether you choose a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science for your psychology degree, you’ll learn valuable information that can help you build a successful career. The curriculum lists for these two programs will have many overlaps.
You can expect a BA program, though, to include more classes from the liberal arts field. There may be a greater emphasis on communication, ethics, and other disciplines within the social sciences. For a BS program, you may spend more time on the natural sciences, statistics, and the research aspects of psychology.
Is a Psychology Degree Worth It?
Yes, a psychology degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in life, physical, and social science occupations over the next 10 years.
Common bachelor’s in psychology careers in this field include market research analyst, community services manager, HR specialist, social worker, and substance abuse counselor.
Psychology is a good major for many students who wish to advance from entry-level jobs to managerial positions in a variety of fields. Plus, you may be in good shape to enter a psychology grad program if you want to work toward becoming a licensed psychologist.
Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Online
Psychology is a diverse discipline, and the lessons learned in a psychology program can serve you well in many different fields, including business, counseling, criminal justice, and healthcare.
You may be able to draw on your psychology skills in any job that involves working with people or understanding human behavior. Accredited psychology degree programs are also available through online study. By getting a degree online, you can work college classes into your busy schedule.
If you’re ready to start pursuing your dreams of a psychology degree and a successful career, then you can begin by exploring online psychology programs from accredited colleges.