Psychologists are scientists trained in human behavior. They try to understand and explain why people think, feel, and act the way they do. Psychologists can be considered healthcare professionals, but they are not medical doctors. A psychologist may work with people of all ages, or work mainly with those of a certain age. For example, child psychologists specialize in children and adolescents.
Psychology is one of the most popular majors in the United States. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can equip you with the knowledge to understand and work with people in nearly any job or industry, even if you don’t decide to become a professionally licensed psychologist or psychotherapist. You can work in law enforcement, social services, education, and other fields requiring human cognition expertise. You can also work in business, marketing, statistics, media, healthcare, and ministry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow six percent through 2031, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Psychologists earned a median salary of $81,040 in 2022. The top 10% of earners made over $133,890 annually, while the lowest 10% made less than $47,850. Salary varies by education level, industry, occupation, and location. The BLS reports that the top-paying states for psychologists include Oregon, California, Maryland, and New York.
There are two undergraduate degrees in the field of psychology: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. The main difference between them is the coursework you must take to graduate, which may lead to different career paths. B.S. students in psychology gain analytical and research skills. B.A. coursework focuses more on social sciences, humanities, and communication.
Bachelor’s degree psychologists may work in certain specialties, such as career counseling, or as research assistants. Master’s level psychologists face intense competition, so if you make it that far you might want to keep going and get a Ph.D. High paying jobs that you can get as a psychology major include careers as a forensic psychologist, human resources specialist, social worker, sales manager, marketing director, public relations manager, parole officer, and counseling psychologist.
If you are considering pursuing a degree in psychology, BestColleges.com helps you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings in order to find the school that is the best fit for you. Their site features the Best Online Psychology Programs and it even includes a scholarship resource with several unique Scholarships for Psychology Majors.
There are plenty of exciting, well-paying careers in psychology that you might want to explore. Psychologists work at many different places such as schools, hospitals, businesses, and government agencies. Studying the subject will not only help you to form a greater understanding of the human mind and behavior, it can shine a light on your own experiences as well.