There are a wide variety of government jobs for psychology degree holders. A background in psychology will make you more competitive for certain positions at the federal, state or local level. Most of these jobs involve counseling staff members, inmates and soldiers, profiling criminals or analyzing the behavior of people to counter terrorism, crime, fraud and drug trafficking. Here are the top five most popular government jobs for psychology degree holders.
Correctional counselors work with the U.S Department of Justice or a state-equivalent bureau to help manage inmates. Their main purpose is to counsel inmates in areas such as crisis management, sex violation, drug abuse, suicide prevention and HIV/AIDS education. They also teach new inmates about how to adjust to prison life and serve as witnesses in disciplinary hearings for offenders. Those who want to become correctional counselors can expect wages ranging from $27,623 to $69,533 per year. The salary largely depends on the level of experience and the facility you work for. Those who work for federal prisons earn more than those in the state or local prisons.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) applies the principles of behavioral science to determine how criminals and terrorists think and what makes them commit crimes. The unit heavily relies on the services of psychologists to help them analyze the behavior of criminals and terrorists. The psychologists play the role of investigative agents and are sometimes involved in interrogations and arrests. In addition to analyzing the behaviors of criminals, they conduct research to discover innovative techniques for investigating crimes. Those who want to work as psychologists with the FBI can expect salaries ranging between $35,431 and $123,384 per year.
Soldiers often suffer from problems related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), depression and anxiety, especially when returning from war. Military psychologists help the affected soldiers deal with these problems. They diagnose, treat and inspire hope to them. They also help the soldiers deal with flashbacks, nightmares, fear and social isolation associated with their experiences at war. Military psychologists may work in hospitals, research centers or military bases. Aspiring military psychologists should expect to earn between $40,000 and $65,000 per year.
Criminal profilers work with the federal or state investigative agencies to help capture and prosecute suspects. They usually examine the physical evidence provided and any other behavioral qualities that might help them get accurate facts about the suspect in question. Psychologists play an important role in criminal profiling due to their in-depth understanding of behavioral qualities. They analyze all the facts available to determine the possible behavioral cues that can help in determining whether the suspect is guilty or not. Criminal profilers earn between $33,988 and $97,871.
Veteran counselors work with various veteran affairs organizations to help their members deal with the anxieties and depression caused by bad experiences at war. They collaborate with both primary care and other mental health experts to identify the right course of treatment for their clients. Veteran counselors may also help returning soldiers adapt to civilian life. This involves teaching them about relationships, social ethics, family, finances and career goals. Veteran counselors earn between $24,878 and $61,823 per year.
A degree in psychology opens more career opportunities not only in the private sector but also in the government. All you need is the right education, positive attitude and some work experience to get a job as a psychology degree holder and benefit from lucrative salaries and job satisfaction.