May 18, 2020
Beyond multidisciplinary programs and general business degrees, there is an exciting, fulfilling education option that offers a lot of career versatility: it’s the online bachelor’s in psychology. This degree serves as far more than a stepping-stone to a narrowly defined career. While others choose to move on to earn a master’s or even a doctorate in this field, many psychology undergraduates end up working in psychology or one of many closely related occupations.
Many use their undergraduate degree in psychology for other equally promising career paths, including positions in upper- and middle-management or administration, sales, social work, labor relations, real estate, insurance, marketing and other fields.
The career options for a bachelor’s in psychology are nearly as varied as the skills learned throughout the degree’s many courses. A bachelor’s of psychology can provide students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a wide range of roles.
What Is a Bachelor’s of Psychology?
A bachelor’s of psychology is the essential foundational degree requirement for a career in the science of the mind. By pursuing this degree, students will gain an understanding of how to employ research methods to create well-articulated results, study the complexities behind social concerns, and evaluate the increasingly significant mental health and human relations concerns developing in the world around us. It is the art and science by which we understand people and their behaviors.
A bachelor’s of psychology typically consists of 120-credit-hours of coursework designed to develop students who can influence and treat individuals, groups and themselves in a positive and constructive manner.
Benefits of a Bachelor’s in Psychology
With a bachelor’s in psychology, students can become proficient in the competencies necessary for understanding the human mind. These include:
- Critical thinking
- Scientific reasoning
- General knowledge of psychological concepts
The degree program can also help students establish a meaningful professional direction while instilling the importance of ethical and social responsibilities related to the practice of psychology.
Career Opportunities with a Bachelor’s in Psychology
There are many career options for those with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Here are several of the potential choices.
1. Career Counselor
Career counselors help students and job seekers discover their potential. They assist people in performing self-assessments, finding careers, making career changes or in vocational rehabilitation. Not only is being a career counselor fulfilling, it is professionally fitting. Psychology graduates are uniquely qualified to help individuals in the career discovery process since much of career discovery involves self-discovery.
School and career counselors made an annual median salary of $58,120 as of May 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
2. Case Manager
Case managers, also referred to as social and community service managers, provide advice and counseling to people who are experiencing difficult situations. They help develop treatment and recovery plans, identify service providers, monitor client progress and coordinate with other health and human service providers. Not only should case managers have a compassionate heart, they need to be critical thinkers and understand human nature and behavior.
A case manager, known as a social and community service manager according to the BLS, made about $69,600 per year as of May 2020.
3. Child Care Worker
Earning a degree in psychology allows graduates to work directly in the field by becoming a partial care worker in a mental health setting, such as in a role that provides child care. Child care workers operate in daycares, after-school programs and other child care settings.
A child care worker position made a median annual salary of about $30,900 as of December 2021, according to the compensation website PayScale.
4. Laboratory Assistant
One of the career options for a bachelor’s in psychology is a laboratory assistant role. Laboratory assistants are heavily involved in research and experimental psychology, often working in government agencies, university psychology programs and private sector businesses that study human behavior.
Laboratory assistants, also known as clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, made a median annual salary of $54,180 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.
5. Market Researcher
Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is great preparation for a career as a market researcher. Psychology students are well versed in statistical analysis and scientific methodologies, useful skills when it comes to performing research tasks including collecting and analyzing data, conducting interviews and performing opinion polls.
According to the BLS, the annual median salary was $65,810 for marketing research analysts as of May 2020.
6. Psychiatric Technician
While an undergraduate degree in psychology does not qualify graduates for a career as a psychologist, it does prepare them to work in the field of mental health and human services. A few job positions available to undergraduate psychology majors include mental health technician, social work assistant and psychiatric technician.
Psychiatric technicians made approximately $40,400 annually as of January 2022, according to PayScale.
7. Probation and Parole Officer
Psychology majors are also well qualified to pursue careers in criminal justice. In fact, psychology graduates are well suited for careers as probation and parole officers, supervising and working with individuals convicted of crimes. They monitor convicts, track behaviors, coordinate with therapists or other professionals and make recommendations to the courts.
According to the BLS, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned about $55,690 annually as of May 2020.
8. Rehabilitation Specialist
Rehabilitation specialists help people struggling with physical and mental disabilities reintegrate into society, become self-sufficient and live on their own. While this position often requires a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is oftentimes sufficient.
The median annual salary for a rehabilitation specialist was around $46,900 as of December 2021, per the PayScale.
9. Sales Representative
Not surprisingly, many psychology undergraduates find successful careers in sales. A bachelor’s degree in psychology helps students acquire a variety of interpersonal communication skills that uniquely qualify them for both sales and marketing positions. Prospective employers like the fact that many psychology graduates are well-spoken and able to communicate effectively. They also have a good understanding of human behavior, which is an essential quality of top sales representatives.
The annual median salary for a sales representative, according to the BLS, was $65,420 as of May 2020.
10. Social Service Specialist
Social service, in both nonprofit organizations and government agencies, is a particularly attractive career choice for psychology graduates. Those who pursue a career in social service provide community support, direct client counseling and various case management services.
Social service specialists, according to the BLS (which lists the position as a social worker) made an annual median salary of $51,760 as of May 2020.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a teaching certificate is a great combination for becoming a teacher. Psychology undergraduates can find jobs teaching various subjects (including psychology) at elementary schools, middle schools or high schools.
High school teachers made a median annual salary of $62,870 as of 2020, according to the BLS.
Are You Ready for a Career in Psychology?
There are myriad career options for a bachelor’s in psychology. If you aren’t certain of what you want to do with your career, consider the options we’ve listed here and do research for yourself. A career helping people by applying the principles of psychology can be personally rewarding and inspiring.
Peru State College offers an online bachelor’s in psychology program designed to equip you to start on your path to a psychology career. You can choose from courses such as Human Growth and Development, Cognitive Psychology and Psychology of Personality.
Explore the program today, and open the door to a variety of career options in psychology.
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PayScale, Average Childcare Worker Hourly Pay
PayScale, Average Rehabilitation Specialist Hourly Pay
PayScale, Average Psychiatric Technician Hourly Pay
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Childcare Workers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, High School Teachers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Rehabilitation Counselors
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Psychiatric Technicians and Aides
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, School and Career Counselors and Advisors
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social and Community Service Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Workers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives