Employment opportunities for psychologists are projected to increase by 14% between 2014-2026, which is faster than the average of all jobs nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In most states, using the title of “psychologist” or practicing psychology requires the attainment of an accredited doctoral degree and state license. Depending on the state, some licensing opportunities are also available for those with a master’s degree.
Job growth will continue as demand continues to increase for mental health services at private companies, consulting firms, rehabilitation and treatment centers, mental health clinics, social service agencies, hospitals, and schools.
Likewise, growth for school psychologist jobs will continue as concerns about behavioral issues at schools, including bullying and substance abuse, also increase. Additionally, school psychologists are needed to counsel and assist students with emotional problems, behavioral disorders, substance abuse disorders or addictions, family system dysfunction, mental health issues, and learning disabilities.
Rising medical care costs resulting from emotional and psychological issues causing unhealthy behaviors, including obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, physical abuse, smoking, etc. will increase the need for more clinical psychologists specializing in behavior modification and prevention. Demand for worker assistance programs, initiatives meant to teach employees how to handle emotional problems, like depression and mental health problems, will result in increased demand for in-house and outpatient counseling and clinical experts.
Additional counseling and clinical psychologists will be needed to assist individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction, job stress, marriage and relationship problems, depression, and mental health disorders. The aging baby boomer population will spur growth for psychologists specializing in geropsychology to assist elderly individuals struggling with aging-related problems. More military psychologists will also be needed to assist returning veterans.
Industrial-organizational psychologists will be needed to develop programs designed to increase employee productivity and retention for various businesses. They will also be asked to assist companies addressing workplace behavioral problems. Additionally, companies will consult with psychologists specializing in statistical analysis, marketing evaluation, and survey design.
Psychology Jobs Based on Degree Level
Individuals with master’s degrees in psychology will likely experience competition for open positions as employers may prefer to hire individuals with doctorate degrees because they do not have to be supervised and they come equipped with more years of education, research, and training.
On the other hand, psychologists with master’s degrees should not have problems finding counseling and psychological assistant positions. Many organizations also hire psychologists with master’s degrees to conduct various tasks under the supervision of a psychiatrist or other licensed professional. Data gathering and research opportunities will also be available at private businesses, government agencies, and universities.
Job seekers with bachelor's degrees in psychology will have difficulty finding jobs related to this field. Entry-level assistant jobs at rehabilitation clinics and data analysis and gathering jobs can be acquired with a bachelor's degree. Those with a teaching certificate can teach psychology at secondary schools.
The median annual salary for psychologists is $77,030, according to May 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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