5 Interesting Psychology Careers That Require a Graduate Degree

You'll Need a Graduate Degree to Do These Jobs

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While there are still plenty of great entry-level psychology jobs out there for those with an undergraduate degree, the fact is that there are generally more opportunities available at the graduate level. Many psychology careers actually require a minimum of a master's degree in psychology and many require a doctorate in the subject.

Here are five rewarding careers with lots of opportunity for growth that require a graduate degree in psychology.

Clinical Psychologist

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Clinical psychology is the single largest specialty area within psychology. This field is focused on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders. While many clinical psychologists perform psychotherapy with clients, it is important to note that it is not the only career path within clinical psychology. Other options include teaching at the university level, conducting research, and administering public programs.

If you are thinking about pursuing clinical psychology as a career, there are a few things you should consider. First, how long are you willing to spend in school and training? Most clinical psychologists possess a doctorate-level degree in clinical psychology, which requires four to six years of post-bachelor's graduate training. Are you interested in working with children, teenagers, or adult clients? Your choice may play an important role in the clinical training program you ultimately choose and the area of specialization you pursue.

Another important consideration is which type of degree is best suited to your needs. The traditional Ph.D. degree emphasizes the role of research in addition to preparing graduates for careers as clinical practitioners. Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degrees are focused on the professional aspects of clinical psychology.

Learn more about clinical psychology, discover what clinical psychologists do, and take a psychology career quiz to help determine if this is the right field for you.

School Psychologist

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If you have an interest in child development and education, you might want to consider a career in school psychology. School psychologists work within the educational system to help children with emotional, social, and academic issues. The goal of school psychology is to collaborate with parents, teachers, and students to promote a healthy learning environment that focuses on the needs of children.

Before you decide on a career in school psychology, you need to consider your interests and goals. Do you want to work in a school setting? Do you want to pursue a master's or doctorate degree? Such factors can play an important role in your choice of a graduate program or area of specialization.

Learn more about training, typical salaries, benefits, and possible downsides in this profile of careers in school psychology.

More Interesting Careers:

Career Counselor

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Do you like giving people advice about careers or jobs they might enjoy? Does helping students figure out what they want to do after they graduate appeal to you? If you can answer yes to these questions, then becoming a career counselor might be a great choice for you.

Career counselors help people with the entire career decision process. Helping clients explore their interests and assisting clients in picking out educational programs that will help them achieve their career goals are just a couple of things that a career counselor might do on a daily basis. People who are considering a career change or thinking of reentering the workforce can also benefit from meeting with a career counselor.

Career counselors work in a wide range of environments including colleges, career centers, government agencies, and in private practice. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor, demand for career counselors is expected to grow at an average rate for the next ten years.

Note, while there are some opportunities available in this area with just an undergraduate degree, they tend to be much more limited and much lower-paying. If you are interested in working in schools or opening a private practice, a graduate degree is a must.

Learn more about the educational requirements, job duties, and average salaries in this overview of career counseling.

Forensic Psychologist

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Forensic psychology is a popular and ever-growing specialty area that focuses on applying psychology in the areas of criminal investigations and legal matters. Forensic psychologists might perform child custody evaluations, conduct risk assessment evaluations, investigate suspected child abuse, assess competency to stand trial, and offer psychotherapy services to crime victims.

People who work in this area usually have a doctorate degree in clinical or counseling psychology and may work in various settings, including family courts, drug courts, criminal courts, or private consulting.

Before you decide on a career in forensic psychology, you need to consider your future goals. Do you want to work in criminal or civil law? Are you interested in having your own consulting practice? Such factors can play an important role in your choice of a graduate program or area of specialization.

Learn more about training, typical salaries, benefits, and potential downsides in this profile of careers in forensic psychology.

Other Careers That Might Interest You:

Engineering Psychologist

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If you like solving real-world problems and finding practical applications for psychological knowledge, then you might be interested in the field known as engineering psychology. This growing area of psychology focuses on enhancing human abilities by improving things such as workplace environments, technology, and equipment.

Engineering psychologists often work for private companies, but they can also be employed by universities or government agencies. Some even work as freelance consultants.

So what exactly does an engineering psychologist do? The answer often depends on exactly the specialty area in which the individual is employed. For example, an engineering psychologist who specializes in product design might work to create safer, easier-to-use products. Other specialty areas include aerospace, human-computer interaction, and workplace safety.

Learn more about the job duties, educational requirements, and average salaries in this overview of a career as an engineering psychologist.

Final Thoughts

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These are just a few of the opportunities that are available with a graduate degree in psychology. One of the great things about psychology is that it is such a diverse field, so there is a lot of wiggle room to choose a field that speaks to your unique passions and interests. Research your options, explore your interests, and follow your heart to find the field that is right for you.

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