Students pursuing their Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology are sometimes told that they cannot get a decent job in their field without having at least a Master’s degree. While students with just a Bachelor’s degree are unable to get jobs in the field requiring board certification, there are many other career opportunities available. A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology can lead to jobs in social or human services positions and are a great stepping-stone for those wishing to pursue a graduate degree.
Typical and Non-Traditional Career Paths
Individuals with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology can find jobs in human and social services. Many students can even enter into direct care positions (such as working in Adult Foster Care homes) while still working on their Bachelor’s degrees. In addition to finding work as a career counselor, direct support professional, or paraprofessional, those with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology can also pursue careers in communications, health education, or computer programming. Those with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology can even find work as Human Resources Specialists since this position involves employee relations and strategically recruiting the best personnel.
Individuals with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology can also find meaningful work as victims’ advocates, educators, and in entry-level social worker positions, including careers as foster care and refugee case aides. Less traditional career paths can involve working in writing or theatrical production. Psychology is a strongly writing-based field, similar to English Language and Literature. Theatre and drama rely heavily on understanding human psychology to depict complex characters and situations. While these jobs might seem more difficult to find, professionals in these fields find value in employing those with educational backgrounds in Psychology.
Income Levels for Careers
Income levels will inevitably vary depending on geographic location, the individual’s education background, and the type of work they are doing for a certain company. Entry-level positions in direct care tend to start somewhere slightly above minimum wage, some starting closer to $10 an hour. A career in school or career counseling has a median annual income of $53,660 as of May of 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Social workers tend to make less, with the annual median income being $45,900.
Competition in the Job Market
Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition in the job market since Psychology and other human and social service paths are commonly pursued. Less than 25% of those with a Bachelor’s in Psychology will find a career in their field after graduation. The good news is that there is not a shortage of potential career types in Psychology, and there are a number of well-accredited schools with graduate programs who are also able to help with allocating internships and job placement for those working on Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
While there is a competitive market for those with Bachelor’s degrees, the field is diverse and offers jobs that pay reasonable annual salaries or hourly wages. Most career paths in the field of Psychology offer upward mobility and will be able to work with employees who wish to pursue graduate degrees. In fact, some employers will encourage this and even offer assistance with tuition fees. A Bachelor’s in Psychology can lead to a successful career, starting individuals off with decent jobs after (or even before) graduation.