Top 5 Highest-Paying Psychology Careers

For psychology majors, choosing among several different types of psychology careers can seem overwhelming. Each job opportunity in the psychology field is uniquely rewarding because of the specific populations the roles serve. Some of the best psychology careers also pay well. Here are five high-paying jobs for psychology majors.

Outpatient Care Center Psychologist

As some of the highest-earning psychologists, those who work in outpatient care centers make an average salary of $133,660, according to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Psychologists who practice in an outpatient environment perform tasks like screening patients for depression, completing psychiatric evaluations and diagnostic tests, creating medication management strategies, and counseling family members. Because of Affordable Care Act laws and regulations, there will be an increased demand for psychologists in outpatient care centers. Psychologists in outpatient care centers are required to have the same licenses and academic credentials as clinical psychologists. A Doctor of Psychology degree is the most common degree for clinical psychologists.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Industrial-organizational psychologists use their academic and professional understanding of the concepts of psychology and human behavior to understand workplace efficiency and productivity. Corporations and businesses hire industrial-organizational psychologists to perform assessments and make recommendations about best practices on productivity, employee morale, and work styles. According to the BLS, industrial-organizational psychologists make an average salary of $96,270 a year, which is higher than the median annual wage for all psychologists combined ($82,180). Generally, industrial-organizational psychologists need a master’s degree and not a doctorate.

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists work with judges, attorneys, crime victims, witnesses, and other legal specialists within the criminal justice and legal systems to explain and analyze the psychological aspects of individual cases. They can testify in court as expert witnesses and help with family, civil and criminal casework. They must have a doctoral degree in psychology. Some forensic psychologists choose to pursue legal training as well. The average salary for forensic psychologists is around $71,382, according to PayScale. However, some of the highest salaries top $120,000.

Military Psychologist

A military psychologist works with other healthcare personnel to provide psychological and psychiatric treatment to service members and their families. Military psychologists can work with patient-service teams in military medical environments on bases, in combat, or in any other military-related environment. Generally, military psychologists are also service members. They rank as officers because of their academic accomplishments. The American Psychological Association (APA) points out that the military offers incentives through its Health Professions Scholarship Program, which covers tuition, books, and fees for the final two years of a doctoral program. The average military psychologist’s salary depends on their rank, the branch of the military, and their service record. In some cases, the salary is above $70,000 according to the APA.

Psychiatrist

Psychiatry is one of the most common career paths for psychology majors. Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in mental health. Like any medical doctor, they diagnose and treat illness through different strategies. Psychiatrists prescribe medications for patients with mental illnesses. Psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. The average salary is $217,798, according to PayScale. A psychiatrist should be licensed as a board-certified psychologist.

Education

The skills learned in an online B.A. Psychology program will give you a foundation in psychology to help you start your career in human services. The ability to understand others helps people become better communicators, leaders, and problem-solvers – skills that transfer to virtually any industry. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in psychology that pay well. With a B.A. in psychology, job opportunities are growing in nearly all human service settings. Graduates might also go on to obtain more education in an advanced degree program.

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