While pursuing a career in a psychology field that has high earning potential may be an attractive proposition, you might consider pursuing a psychology career where the most job opportunity exists. Competition for good psychology jobs is intense, and job applicants are more qualified than ever. There’s always opportunity to earn a decent salary as a psychologist once you have a few years of experience under your belt, but when you’re just getting started it’s advantageous to select a career field that’s in high demand, and where you know job will be plentiful.
The following are a few of the psychology-related professions that are expected to be in high demand and have a strong job outlook over the next decade. As you plan your career path we recommend considering each of these psychology fields. And don’t forget, according to the U.S. Department of Labor job growth in all fields of psychology is expected to be faster than average – so it’s hard to go wrong if you adequately prepare to become a psychologist.
Career or Vocational Counselor
Average Salary: $46,000
One of the constants in life is work. Everyone needs a job and sooner or later everyone finds themselves on the hunt for a new job. Career counselors use their experience and expertise to help aspiring career professionals find and pursue gainful employment opportunities. Career counselors use a myriad of tools including interest inventories, personality assessments and aptitude tests to help career seeker make meaningful life changing career decisions and develop effective job search strategies. Career counselors also evaluate a client’s job history, experience, skills and interests to determine which careers are a good match. In addition to the job search itself, career counselors help prepare their clients by performing practice interviews, evaluating and improving resumes, and helping their clients enhance their professional network.
Average salary: $59,440
As society and the educational systems recognize the need for addressing children’s emotional, social and academic problems the demand for qualified trained school psychologistsgrows. Today, school psychology is one of the fastest growing fields in psychology and it’s predicted to continue this trend for many years to come. In fact, there are currently more job openings for qualified school psychologists than there are qualified candidates, which means that jobs in this field are plentiful.
Average Salary: $47,530
Everyone needs help at some point in their life. Whether its marriage problems, difficulty with a family member, educational challenges or substance abuse issues, counselors and counseling psychologists are trained to help society meet these challenges head on. Counselors work in a variety of settings and for a variety of organizations including health care clinics, social welfare agencies, schools, hospitals, private practices, and state and local government. Nearly 50% of all counselors work in health care and social welfare. To become a licensed counselor you’ll need to earn a master’s degree, and in some states a doctorate.
Average Salary: $47,530
Genetics counselors are a unique breed of counselors. Most of these professionals have training in both counseling and genetics, as well as an educational background in psychology, biology, social work or public health. These professionals help couples and families address genetic disorders relating to general health and reproduction. Genetic counselor often work as members of medical teams which may include physicians, nurses, geneticists and other guidance counselors.
Average Salary: $60,430 per year
Forensic psychologists use their expert knowledge of psychology and criminal forensics to support and carryout law enforcement and criminal investigation efforts. Due to its numerous portrayals in popular TV programs, such as CSI Miami and major motion pictures, this career has grown exponentially in popularity over the last decade and demand for qualified forensic psychologists is predicted to grow over the next decade. Forensic psychologists often work with law enforcement professionals, including attorneys, investigators and social workers to identify insurance fraud, resolve child custody issue, investigate child abuse cases and develop criminal profiles.
Average Salary: $81,550 per year
Engineering psychology is a unique field of psychology. It explores how individuals and groups of people interact with modern-day technology and machinery. Engineering psychologists apply principles of psychology and their knowledge of the human mind to help improve technology, consumer products and user experience. For example, engineering psychologists work with design teams to develop more user friendly products for the work place. Engineering psychologists work in a variety of settings for both private, public and educational organizations. Those working in education typically earn less than those who work in private industry.
Average Salary: $75,100 per year
Clinical psychology is one of oldest and most popular branches of psychology. It is also the largest employment area within psychology. Career opportunities in clinical psychology are plentiful and job growth in this sector is predicated to be strong over the next decade. Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose and treat a variety of mental, emotional and psychological disorders. These professionals work just about anywhere you’d expect to find psychologists including hospitals, private practices, mental health clinics, corporations and government agencies. Clinical psychologists are required to earn a doctorate degree in psychology before they can be licensed to practice. Most states also require clinical psychologist candidates to complete a one- to two-year residency program prior to receiving their license.
Average Salary: $57,500 per year
Sports psychology is an up and coming field of psychology that has gained substancial popularity and momentum over the last twenty years. The two major focuses of sports psychology are (1) improving athletic performance and (2) improving mental and physical health. Sports psychologists apply their knowledge of human psychology and behavior to help athletes improve their motivation, increase their performance and quickly recover from injuries. Sports psychologists work at universities, physical therapy center, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, athletic centers, research facilities, pro-athlete organizations and in private practice as consultants.
Average Salary: $98,800 per year
Industrial-organizationl psychology careers have the best of both worlds – they’re plentiful job opportunities and earning potential in this field is very high. Industrial-organizational psychology is a newer branch of psychology that uses psychological principles and knowledge to influence workplace behavior and improve employment outcomes for corporations and organizations. Industrial-organization psychologists help in the employee selection process, evaluate job candidates, train and assess current employees and help organizations in every aspect of employee performance. The minimum educational requirement for becoming an industrial-organizational psychologist is a master’s degree in psychology. However, many industrial-organizational psychologists today possess a doctorate degree. The demand and pay for industrial-organizational psychologists is significantly greater for those with a doctorate degree in psychology. Grow in this field is expected to be strong.
Special Education Teacher
Average Salary: $54,820
There aren’t many career fields as emotionally rewarding as special education. The need for qualified and caring special education teachers and counselors is on the rise. While this career doesn’t exactly fall within the scope of traditionally psychology, effective special education teachers need to have an understanding of child and developmental psychology. Special education teachers work with students with special needs and who suffer from various emotional or mental disorders. Special education teachers are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and many today also possess a master’s degree. Due to a increase in student enrollments, a greater recognition of the unique issues relating to special education students and a shortage of qualified teachers, job demand for special education teachers is predicated to be quite strong for many years.