Ten careers you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree in psychology

by Ed Ventura | Nov 22, 2018

Edited by Susan Sullivan | November 22, 2018

Psychology Careers You Did Not Know About

The study of psychology frames the way we explore the human mind and behavior. It’s a broad and thought-provoking field that naturally attracts students who want to better understand the psychological factors that drive human behavior and make us the way we are.

Trained professionals specializing in the field of mental health are more important than ever—more than 45 million American adults have experienced mental illness in the past year according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The American Psychological Association notes that many of these individuals suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time.

But professionals with a background in psychology work in sales, business, human resources, criminal justice, and many other fields.

Marian’s Department of Psychological Science and Counseling will prepare you for a range of careers. Experiential teaching methods, hands-on learning opportunities, and internship experiences are built into our curriculum. In fact, more than 95 percent of our undergraduate students complete an internship before graduation.

We offer two undergraduate degrees in psychology:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

You can also choose from five unique concentrations that will further shape and define your career path:

  1. Applied psychology for business
  2. Clinical psychology
  3. Latino community mental health
  4. Social work
  5. Sport psychology

Our B.A. and B.S. in psychology degrees will prepare you to (1) enter the workforce upon graduation and/or (2) be a competitive candidate for admission to graduate programs in psychology.

If you are not interested in practicing as a licensed psychologist, the B.A. in psychology is a good choice. You can also add a relevant second major or an academic minor to your plan of study. Psychology is an excellent double-major for students who want to go into marketing, management, human resources, law enforcement or criminal justice, social work, theology, and healthcare, for example.

Most careers in psychology require a master’s degree and state licensure. These requirements vary by state. In Indiana, for example, you can become a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), or a licensed addiction counselor (LAC).

Here are just a few of the options you can pursue. Careers requiring a master’s or doctoral degree and state licensure to practice are noted. Job growth and salary statistics are based on U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

  1. Marriage and family therapist
    To work as a therapist in this field, a master’s degree and a license to practice in the State of Indiana is required. As a therapist specializing in marriage and families, you’ll help clients better manage challenging interpersonal and behavioral issues. The job outlook through 2026 for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow by 23 percent, which is much faster than average. In 2017, the average annual salary for marriage and family therapists was $48,790.
  2. Sales manager
    An understanding of human psychology can help you develop effective, persuasive sales strategies and marketing tactics in a range of industries and employment settings. A psychology major combined with a double-major in marketing or a minor in communication or business will provide you with insight into consumer behavior. The job outlook through 2026 calls for seven percent in growth, which is average. Your earning potential in this field is lucrative, with an average 2017 salary of $121,060.
  3. Mental health counselor
    To work as a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in Indiana requires a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. These counselors advise those suffering from mental health challenges, providing treatment and support. Demand for well-qualified LMHCs continues to grow nationally, with a projected growth rate of 23 percent through 2026. Our Master of Science in Counseling program includes two tracks: clinical mental health and school counseling. These varied positions earn an average annual salary of $43,300.
  4. Lawyer
    Becoming a lawyer generally requires seven years of college after high school. First, you’ll earn an undergraduate degree then you’ll apply to law school. The requirements to become a lawyer vary by state, but most lawyers have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and are members of their state’s bar association. Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is a great choice for future lawyers. It builds a solid academic foundation with a range of relevant coursework that will help you be admitted to law school. You’ll master critical thinking skills and become an adept reader, writer, and researcher. You’ll also understand how the human mind thinks and operates, providing useful insight on your future cases. Lawyers earn an annual average salary of $119,250.
  5. Substance abuse, addiction, or behavioral disorder counselor
    To work as a therapist in this field, a master’s degree and a license to practice in the State of Indiana is required. You will provide treatment, support, and counsel to help clients recover from addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other mental health issues. You may work in a mental health center, community health center, detention centers, or private practices. The job outlook through 2026 is expected to grow by 23 percent. The average salary earned in 2017 was $43,300.
  6. Survey researcher
    As a survey researcher, you’ll collect and analyze data in order to understand people’s opinions and beliefs. This position exists in a variety of settings, including research firms, polling organizations, nonprofits, corporations, higher education institutions, and government agencies. Consider pairing a Marian psychology major with business analytics or a math major. You’ll learn to combine important business, economics, and communication skills. The average salary in 2017 was $54,270.
  7. Management analyst
    A management analyst determines how to maximize an organization’s efficiency and profitability. For these careers, a double major in psychology and management is ideal. Your combination of scientific thinking with operational and leadership skills will make you a qualified candidate in your job search. The average salary for this position in 2017 was $82,450.
  8. Human resources specialist
    If you are interested in human resources and working in a business setting, major in psychology and business with a concentration in human resources management. Your coursework will include business and psychology courses that will enable you to directly impact organizational success. Human resources specialists typically handle employee relations within their workplace. They recruit, screen, interview, and place workers for their organizations. The average salary was $60,350 in 2017.
  9. Social worker
    Our social work concentration in the psychology program will provide enhanced knowledge and skill development for those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or sociology. If this field interests you, consider a double-major in psychology and social work. The demand for healthcare and social service careers is expected to grow by 16 through 2026. The average annual salary of a social worker in 2017 was $47,980.
  10. Psychologist
    To work as a psychologist in Indiana requires a master’s degree and a state license. As a psychologist, you may work in clinical, counseling, school, or other settings. You’ll explore cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. You’ll note how individuals relate to one another and their environment and use your findings to help improve processes and behaviors. Employment demand for psychologists will grow by 14 percent through 2026. The average salary in 2017 was $77,030.

To learn more about Marian University’s psychology program, contact our Office of Undergraduate Admission.

We can arrange for you to meet with faculty advisors who will help you develop a personal plan of study that fits your interests and career goals—whatever they might be!

Call (317) 955-6300, (800) 772-7264, or email admissions@marian.edu.

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