Fastest Growing Psychology Careers
So you're thinking about pursuing a career in psychology. It's a great field to be involve in. In fact, several fields of psychology are growing at an unprecendented rate and jobs are plentiful. Notwithstanding, competition for good jobs is still intense and the number of graduates seeking career opportunities in psychology is on the rise. In order secure a good psychology job, we recommend that you consider your options carefully and pursue opportunities in a high demand field.
Below we'll explore several psychology-related occupations that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, are predicted to grow faster than the average for other psychology professions. You may want to consider these professions as you consider your future career options.
1. Vocational and Career CounselorsThere are more people lookings for jobs or changing careers than ever before. In addition, job turnover is much higher than it used to be. Many professionals find themselves changing jobs once every ten years – if not more frequently. Career and vocational counselors are trained to help people explore their career options. To do this they use various tools including career assessessments, personal interest inventories, and personality tests. They'll review and assess job history, skills and aptitudes, interests and other relevant characteristics as they work with their clients to determine the best career path moving forward. In addition to playing match maker, career counselors help their clients acquire new skills, improve their interviewing ability, create a good resume and find job openings. Career counselors with a background in psychology are particularly adept at helping individuals deal with the stresses of job loss and unemployment – which can have a detrimental effect on a self esteem and confidence. On average career counselors make between $45,000 and $55,000 a year.
2. School PsychologistDue to federal education legislation and increased awareness, school psychology is now one of the fastest growing fields within psychology. School psychologists work in elementary, middle and high schools helping kids work through the academic, social and emotion struggles they face. Currently, there are more available job openings for school psychology professionals than there are psychologists to fill them, so demand for qualified school psychologists is quite high. To prepare for this career you'll need to bachelor's, master's and/or doctoral degree in school psychology, or a closely related specialty. School psychologists typically make around $50,000 a year.
3. Family Marriage CounselorCounselors are psychology professionals who help people struggling with various issues relating to family relationships, marriage, education, emotional disorders and substance abuse. The majority of counselors work withing the health care or social welfare systems. To get started as a counselor you'll need at minimum a master's degree from an accredited school, but many counselors earn a Phd. Licensing requirements for counselors vary from state to state so you'll want to look up the licensing requirements for your state before you enroll in graduate program. Counselors work in mental health clinics, in private practices, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities and government institutions.
4. Forensic PsychologistForensic psychology is one of the newest and most exciting branches of psychology. Forensic psychologists apply their knowledge of the mind and human behavior to assist in law enforcement and criminal investigations. Due to its portrayal in popular TV programs and movies, the field of forensic psychology has seen a spike in candidates over the past few years. Even though this field isn't quite a glamorous as media makes it out to be, it's projected to experience steady growth for many years to come. In the real world forensic psychologist have a myriad of responsibilities, which include reviewing insurance claims, counseling criminals, resolving child custody disputes, investigating child abuse allegations and performing child custody evaluations. On average, forensic psychologists make around $60,000 a year.
5. Genetics CounselorThere's a new breed of counselor out there known as a genetics counselor. The primary role of genetics counselors is to communicate and counsel with families and couples about genetic disorders. Unlike other psychology professionals, genetics counselors are typically trained in both psychology and genetics. Common undergraduate majors for genetics counselors include psychology, biology, social work, nursing, science and public health. Like more traditional health care professions, such as nursing, genetics counselors frequently work as a members of a medical team, which may include nurses, physicians and geneticists. Together these professionals offers assistance, support and guidane to couples and families who may be experiencing or are prone to specific genetic disorders. Given the uniqueness of their position and training, most genetics counselors earn over $70,000 a year.
6. Engineering PsychologistEngineering psychologists use their knowledge of the human mind and psychology to examine and analyze how individuals interact with and use machines, technology and products. Engineering psychologists typically work with private firms and corporations as employees or consultants. Their primary responsibilities revolve around designing and improving products, living and work environments and technology that are optimized for maximum efficiency, convenience and usability. Engineering psychologists earn anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000 a year, some less, some more. Those working in the private sector usually make more than those working in academia.
7. Clinical PsychologistClinical psychology is perhaps the most well known and versatile branch of psychology. It's most definitely the largest employment in psychology. Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat individuals, both adolescent and adults, who suffer from a myriad of pyschological and psychiatrict disorders. They work in various settings including health clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities. A doctoral degree in clinical psychology, or closely related specialty, is the minimum requirement for becoming a clinical psychologist. Most graduate programs also require that candidates complete a one-year internship. The average pay for clinical psychologists is approximately $81,000.
8. Industrial-Organizational PsychologistAt roughly $98,000 a year, industrial-organizational psychologists (also referred to as I-O psychologists) are among the highest paid of all psychologists. I-O psychologists specialize in designing and optimizing workplaces and work settings to maximize efficiency and productivity. I-O psychologists have varying duties which may include selecting employees that are best-suited to perform particular functions, evaluate new job candidates and training employee groups. While a master's degree will qualify candidates for entry-level positions in the field, most positions require a doctoral degree in industrial-organizational psychology. Those with a doctor's degree command the highest salaries and are in greasted demand by employers.
9. Sports PsychologistGood sports psychologists can earn up to $80,000 a and successfull sports psychologists can earn even more. As their name suggests, sports psychologists are involved in psychology as it relates to aspects of sports and athletics. There are two general functions within sports psychology that psychologists fill. They focus on helping athletes to (1) improve their mental and physical health and (2) improve their athletic performance. Sports psychologists work in medical centers and hospitals, colleges and universities, athletic centers, and private consulting. A doctoral degree in sports psychology is usually a prerequisite for becoming a sports psychologist.
10. PsychiatristWhile psychiatry isn't a field of psychology, it's closely related. In addition to earning a bachelor's degree, psychiatrists must also earn a graduate degree in medicine from an accredited medical school and complete a four-year residency program. At nearly $170,000 a year, psychiatry is one of the highest paying fields tied to psychiatry. However, how much a psychiatrist can earn greatly depends on his or her area of specialty, location and type of work performed. Those working in physician offices typically earn about $160,000 a year, while those in outpatient can make up to $190,000 a year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook the job outlook for psychiatrists is quite bright.
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