Top 25 Growing Jobs in Psychology in 2015

/Top 25 Growing Jobs in Psychology in 2015
Find Your Degree!
Sponsored Schools
Top 25 Growing Jobs in Psychology in 2015 2015-06-26T19:24:30+00:00

By Kristen Fescoe
Published June, 2015

The field of psychology is a broad and encompassing area with a large number of positions at many different educational levels. While some areas of psychology are seeing average growth of around 12 percent, others are seeing a much more rapid increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average rate of growth for all professionals throughout the country is 11 percent. Almost all psychology positions, at all levels of education and training, are seeing growth that is above average. Information on salary, predicted growth and position details were gathered from the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook. This list highlights the top 25 psychology jobs that are anticipated to see the highest rates of job growth over the next ten years. Also included in this list is the number of new jobs that will be created out of this rise, the mean annual salary, the mean hourly wage and the educational level required to pursue this healthcare position. Anyone with an interest in pursuing a career in the field of psychology can use this information to choose which psychology job is the right one for you.

Clinical Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 11%

Clinical Psychologists are responsible for the study of cognitive, emotional, and social processes as well as how and why humans behave. They do so by observations and interpretations on how people interact with one another and their environments. Psychologists are typically responsible for the following:

  • Conduct empirical research on behavior and brain function
  • Collect data through observations, interviews, surveys, and other empirical methods
  • Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns
  • Identify patterns that will help clinicians better understand and predict behavior
  • Use knowledge and information to increase understanding among individuals and groups

Clinical psychologists work to understand and explain cognition, emotion, feelings, and behavior. Psychologists gather information and interpret behavior by using a variety of methods, including laboratory experiments, psychoanalysis, as well as psychotherapy. They may administer personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. They look for relationships or patterns of behavior between events, and use this information when testing theories in their research or treating patients.

There are many different types of psychologists, including:

  1. Clinical psychologists – These are professional who assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists help individuals manage problems ranging from short-term personal issues to severe, chronic conditions. Clinical psychologists are trained to use a variety of approaches to help individuals.
  2. Health psychologists – These are professional who study psychological factors and how they affect health and illness. They educate patients and medical staff on psychological issues and implement healthy-living strategies. They also investigate health issues, such as substance abuse or teenage pregnancy, and develop programs to address the problems.
  3. Neuropsychologists – These are professional who study the relationship between the brain and behavior. They often work with patients who have sustained a brain injury.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 16,400
Average Annual Salary: $69,280
Average Hourly Wage: $33.31
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Master’s Degree with a strong preference for a Doctoral Degree

Sports Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 12%

Like several other areas in the field of psychology, data on salary and job growth for sports psychology is not in its own category. While the data for psychologists encompasses many sub-fields of the field, sports psychology will likely see a greater growth than 12 percent. According to Division 47 of the American Psychological Association, sports psychology involves a wide range of topics including “motivation to persist and achieve, psychological considerations in sport injury and rehabilitation, counseling techniques with athletes, assessing talent, exercise adherence and well-being, self-perceptions related to achieving, expertise in sport, youth sport and performance enhancement and self-regulation techniques.” Sports psychologists are responsible for many different sports performance and educational issues. Some of the possible career options include teaching, working directly with athletes to increase motivation and enhance performance, client counseling, scientific research and athletic consulting. In addition to working with athletes, sports psychologists can use their information and experience to increase the mental well-being of non-athletes.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $69,280
Average Hourly Wage: $33.31
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Master’s Degree with a strong preference for a Doctoral Degree

School Counselor

Predicted Rise: 12%

School counselors are skilled professionals who are responsible for helping students at various levels develop the social skills needed to succeed in school. School counselors typically do the following on a day-to-day basis:

  • Help students understand and overcome social or behavioral issues by using individual or group counseling sessions
  • Provide individual or small group counseling based on the needs of the student(s)
  • Work with students to develop and enhance skills such as organization, time management, and study skills
  • Help students set realistic academic and career goals and develop a plan to achieve them
  • Evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning
  • Work with teachers, administrators, and parents to further help students academically
  • Deliver classroom guidance lessons on topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation
  • Identify and report possible cases of neglect or abuse
  • Refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

There are many different age groups in the school setting and different school counselors will work with students of different ages. Some of these professionals include:

  1. Elementary school counselors – These counselors focus on helping students develop important skills, such as decision-making and study skills. Their job is to help students become successful in their social and academic lives. They often meet with parents or guardians to decipher the student’s individual strengths, weaknesses, and any possible special needs and behavioral issues.
  2. Middle school counselors – These counselors work with students and parents to help students develop and achieve career and academic goals. They help students develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed academically and socially.
  3. High school counselors – Counselors at this level are responsible for advising students in making academic and career plans. Many high school counselors help students through personal or social issues that may interfere with their education. They will also offer information and guidance regarding choosing and applying for colleges, training programs, financial aid, and apprenticeships.

In addition to the master’s level training required to become a school psychologist, some states require school psychologists to become licensed.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 31,200
Average Annual Salary: $53,610
Average Hourly Wage: $25.77
Required Educational Level: Master’s Degree

Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 12%

Professional Psychologists are highly skilled professionals who are responsible for the collaboration of science, concepts, and practical application. The goal of this collaboration is to help both individuals and psychology professionals better comprehend, predict, and decrease difficulty with adjustment, psychological disability, and discomfort while also enhancing human adjustment, regulation, and personal development. The field of professional psychology emphasizes the cognitive, emotional, biological, psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of human behavior throughout the life span, in a cultural context. Psychologists are trained to develop and implement scientific and professional knowledge and skills that will advance psychology as a science, the professional application of psychology and human welfare. These professional psychologists are often involved in research, academics and supervision, program development and evaluation, consultation, public policy, professional practice, and other undertakings that encourage psychological well being in individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Their responsibilities range from prevention and early intervention of minor issues of adjustment to handling the regulation and maladjustment of individuals with mental health issues that may require more intense treatment. Psychologists generally work one-on-one with individuals at all developmental levels (infants to older adults), as well as groups (families, patients of similar psychopathology, and organizations), using a wide range of assessments

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $69,280
Average Hourly Wage: $33.31
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), plus completion of an internship or residency

Geropsychologist

Predicted Rise: 12%

Geropsychology is another area of psychology that is likely very underrepresented in terms of likely job growth. Statistics provided by the BLS include this specialty area along with several other non-specified areas of clinical practice. As the average age of the population continues to advance (largely due to the Baby Boom Generation reaching retirement) this area will likely grow well beyond 12 percent over the next ten years. According to the American Psychological Association, by 2020 at least 5,000 properly trained Geropsychologists will be needed to fill the many new positions. This field is a great choice for psychologists who want to pursue a career that combines multidisciplinary work in a wide range of issues. These may include depression, anxiety, medical conditions, family relationships, retirement, diminished mental capacity, changes in sexuality, facing possible poverty and beyond. Professionals choosing a career in Geropsychology have the benefit of a variety of career options and places to work. Professional Geropsychology is an area of psychology that applies the information and techniques of general psychology to understanding and supporting older persons and their families to help them increase overall well-being, overcome obstacles they are facing and achieve their highest potential during the later life of life. Professional geropsychology incorporates the large diversity among older adults, the complicated ethical issues that involve geriatric practice and the need for interdisciplinary models of care. The specialty of professional geropsychology addresses many biopsychosocial problems encountered by older adults and their families, including:

Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety

Dementia and related behavioral/lifestyle changes

Changes in decision-making or everyday living abilities

Coping with and managing chronic illness

Behavioral health concerns such as insomnia, pain

Grief and loss

Family caregiving strains

Adjustment to aging-related stresses including marital/family conflict, changing roles

End-of-life care

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $89,900
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), plus completion of an internship or residency

Engineering Psychology

Predicted Rise: 12%

Engineering Psychology is a specialty area of psychology that is still considered in its infancy. This growing field is not widely researched and little data exists on salary rates and growth. Because more and more focus is placed on the psychology behind consumerism, this field will likely explode over the next ten years. A rising number of industries are realizing that by having a psychologist participate in the design process, the final product can often be more usable, cost-effective, practical and pleasing making it more in demand by consumers. Products designed under the guidance of an engineering psychologist are typically better designed from the start and can help eliminate upset customers and expensive redesigns, increasing the company’s profitability. Engineering psychologists work in many different settings, including academia, governmental agencies and private businesses. Many of these professionals choose to specialize in sub-fields such as human factors, ergonomics, human-computer interaction or usability engineering. There are a wide range of ways that these professionals can improve safety, productivity and company’s bottom line. Engineering psychologists have recently become a critical part of evaluating car companies, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and NASA.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $79,818
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Master’s Degree with a strong preference for a Doctoral Degree

Career Counselor

Predicted Rise: 12%

Career counseling (similar to School Career Counseling) is a profession where a counselor will work with individuals of all ages at various junctions in their career or work life. The goal of career counseling is typically on areas such as career options, possible career change, personal career development and other career related issues. The major goal of a career counselor is to help their clients identify careers that best suit their needs as well as what careers they are most suitable for pursuing. This is often achieved by utilizing some of the following areas:

Aptitude and Skills – One of the most critical elements to choosing a career is to look at each individual’s own set of skills and where they are the most successful. Career counselors generally use interviews in order to assess where a clients strengths lie, and which careers would be the most ideal fit.

Education – Career counselors must also take into consideration a client’s education level, or potential education level. Because most career options involve a higher level of education, it is imperative to assess whether a client plans to pursue a more advanced degree. It is also a careers counselor’s responsibility to consider whether or not a client continuing his education is possible or advisable. In some cases, an individual might not have the ability, means or opportunity needed to pursue more education.

Interests – Career counselors will also consider clients interests when advising them on the best career options. Knowing what a client likes and dislikes can be a very helpful tool in choosing a career.

Personality – Each individual’s personality becomes an important piece of the puzzle when determining the best career fit. Because different personality types often excel at different types of careers, this is a good consideration to make.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 31,200
Average Annual Salary: $53,610
Average Hourly Wage: $25.77
Required Educational Level: Master’s Degree

Recreational Therapist

Predicted Rise: 13%

A field that is seeing a promising amount of job growth is the field of Recreational Therapy. Recreational therapists are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating recreationally based treatment programs for individuals with mental illness, disability, injury, or illness. These highly skilled therapists use a variety of different treatment modalities, including arts and crafts, games, drama, poetry, music, dance, sports and “community reintegration” field trips. The goal of these methods is to help preserve or enhance a client’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Recreational therapists are responsible for all or some of the following:

  • Evaluate client’s specific needs through observations, reviewing medical records, conducting psychological testing, and communicating with other healthcare professionals, family members and the individual
  • Generate treatment plans and agendas that are in keeping with the patients’ specific needs and interests
  • Design and implement interventions to avoid injury to a patient
  • Engage clients in therapeutic activities, such as those listed above
  • Assist the client in learning appropriate social skills they will need to become or remain independent
  • Teach clients about the ways they can cope with anxiety or depression
  • Record and investigate a client’s progress or lack of progress
  • Evaluate interventions for effectiveness

Predicted New Jobs Created: 19,800
Average Annual Salary: $42,280
Average Hourly Wage: $20.33
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree with a strong preference for a Master’s Degree

Human Resources Manager

Predicted Rise: 13%

Human resources managers are professionals who are responsible for the planning, direction, and coordination of administrative functions within a business or organization. They are a part of the recruitment process, completing interviews and hiring new staff when necessary. They often consult with top executives on strategic planning and act as a direct link between a businesses management and its employees. Human resources managers are responsible for the following:

  • Planning and coordinating a businesses workforce to best use each employees’ training and talents
  • Connect an organization’s management with its employees
  • Administer employee services
  • Advise managers on relevant organizational policies, such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of specialists and support staff
  • Supervise an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes
  • Handle staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures

Human resources managers are an important tool in finding the best employees and keeping those employees within an organization. They accomplish this by directing the administrative functions of human resource departments.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 13,600
Average Annual Salary: $99,720
Average Hourly Wage: $47.94
Required Educational Level: Bachelor’s Degree

School Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 14%

School Psychologists are highly skilled professional psychologists who work as a part of a collaborative school team. Their job is to support each students ability to learn and teachers ability to teach. They are responsible for applying training in mental health, learning, and behavior, to assist students in succeeding academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. School psychologists often work with families, teachers, school administrators, and other educational professionals to foster safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that bolster the connections between home, school, and the community. Most school psychologists work in public schools at the elementary, middle and high school level. In addition to these tasks, they are responsible for providing services in a variety of other settings, including:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Assessment
  • Progress monitoring
  • School-wide practices to promote learning
  • Resilience and risk factors
  • Consultation and collaboration
  • Academic/learning interventions
  • Mental health interventions
  • Behavioral interventions

School psychologists are qualified to offer direct support and interventions to students, consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (such as school counselors, school social workers) to improve support policies, work with academic administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $90,000
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Master’s Degree with a strong preference for a Doctoral Degree

Forensic Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 14%

One of the areas of psychology that is seeing the most amount of interest at the college and professional level is the sub-field of forensic psychology. Each year more students are showing an interest in this interesting area of study. Despite the popularity in the movies and on television, the portrayal is not largely accurate in terms of what forensic psychologists really do and how to pursue a career in this field. Forensic Psychologists work at the intersection of psychology and the legal system. Division 41 of the American Psychological Association, which is the Council for the American Psychology-Law society (AP-LS), outlines forensic psychology as: “The professional practice by psychologists within the areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, neuropsychology, and school psychology, when they are engaged regularly as experts and represent themselves as such, in an activity primarily intended to provide professional psychological expertise to the judicial system.” This means that practitioners of forensic psychology are responsible for applying psychological principles to criminal investigation and the legal system. Forensic psychologists use their education and skills in psychology and its underlying principles to understand various elements of the legal system. Forensic psychologists are often a fundamental part of criminal and civil matters, such as custody disputes, insurance claims, and civil lawsuits. Other professionals in this field are employed in family courts and offer traditional psychotherapy, perform child custody evaluations, investigate reports of child abuse or neglect and evaluate visitation risk assessments. Forensic psychologists employed by civil courts are responsible for assessing competency, provide psychological opinions and provide therapy to crime victims. Those professionals employed by criminal courts are responsible for conducting evaluations of mental competency, work with child or delicate witnesses and provide assessment of juvenile and adult offenders.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $90,070
Average Hourly Wage: $43.30
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), plus completion of an internship or residency

Experimental Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 14%

Experimental Psychology is a sub-field of psychology that uses the empirically based scientific method to examine human and animal thoughts, motivation and behavior. Many of the skills and theories taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level are also employed by other specialty areas of psychology to conduct research on issues ranging from childhood development to the treatment of mental illnesses. Experimental psychologists are employed in a variety of settings including colleges, universities, research centers, government and private businesses. Some Experimental Psychologists focus on teaching experimental methods to students, while others participate in active research on a variety of subjects including cognitive processes of humans, animal behavior, mental illnesses, neuroscience, personality and many other subject areas.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $88,400
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Philosophy

Correctional Psychology

Predicted Rise: 14%

Another area of psychology seeing tremendous growth is the sub-field of Correctional Psychology, which is an important part of a correctional facility. Correctional psychologists work as part of a collaborative team, working alongside caseworkers, attorneys and correctional facility staff members to modify or eliminate the antisocial behavior of inmates. This collaboration allows the psychologist to work with members of the team to create a safer environment for all inmates and staff in a correctional facility. When the correctional psychologist begins working with an inmate, they interview the client, observe their behavior and review their chart. The psychologist may have the inmate complete a survey or psychological test to help in the process of assessment and diagnosis. The correctional psychologist may also interview family members or others involved in the inmates life. After all of this data is collected, the psychologist will review and evaluate the findings and from this information the correctional psychologist uses professional training and skills to identify clinical disorders and make a formal diagnosis. After a diagnosis is in place, the correctional psychologist will then assist in the development of an appropriate treatment plan. This is often done by working with a group of professionals, such as doctors, caseworkers from the legal system and other professionals from the client’s community. One of the most important responsibilities of a Correctional Psychologist is to provide counseling to clients after the treatment plan has been formulated.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 18,700
Average Annual Salary: $69,280
Average Hourly Wage: $33.31
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), plus completion of an internship or residency

Psychiatrist

Predicted Rise: 18%

A professional psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor who received training to specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health and emotional difficulties. In order to become a psychiatrist, an individual must complete medical school and a residency or fellowship upon graduation. Psychiatrists receive extensive medical and psychological training, which allows them to possess a comprehensive understanding of body functions and the complex relationship between mental health illness and other medical illness. Psychiatrists are both mental health professionals and physicians with the highest qualification to understand the physical and psychological causes that underlie both mental and physical distress. Psychiatrists use a wide variety of treatments, including different forms of psychotherapy, medications, and even hospitalization to meet the specific needs of each patient.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 123,300
Average Annual Salary: $182,700
Average Hourly Wage: $87.84
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Medicine plus completion of a residency and/or fellowship

Social Worker

Predicted Rise: 19%

Social workers are caring individuals who work to help people better cope with problems in their everyday lives. Social workers are traditionally responsible for the following:

  • Identify individuals in need
  • Measure client’s specific needs, situations, strengths, and support networks to determine their goals
  • Develop plans to improve a client’s well being
  • Help clients adjust to changes and challenges in their lives, such as illness, divorce, or unemployment
  • Refer clients to community resources, such as food stamps, child care, and health care
  • Help clients work with government agencies to apply for and receive various social program benefits
  • Respond to crisis situations such as child abuse or sexual assault
  • Advocate for clients to help them obtain resources that will improve their overall well-being
  • Follow up with clients to ensure that their situations have improved
  • Evaluate services provided to ensure that they are effective

The following are examples of types of social workers, including:

  1. Child and family social workers – These social workers protect vulnerable children and help families in need of assistance. They help parents find services or apply for social program benefits. They become more involved when children are in danger of neglect or abuse. Some of these social workers arrange adoptions, locate foster families, or work to get families back together.
  2. Clinical social workers—These social workers are also referred to as licensed clinical social workers. They are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders, including anxiety and depression. They can provide individual, group, family, and couples therapy, working with clients to create methods to change behavior or cope with difficult situations. They may also refer clients to additional resources or services, such as support groups or other mental health professionals. These highly skilled social workers can develop treatment plans with the client, doctors, and other healthcare professionals and may adjust the treatment plan if necessary based on their client’s progress.
  3. School social workers – These are professionals who work with teachers, parents, and school administrators to develop plans and strategies to improve students’ academic performance and social development.
  4. Healthcare social workers – These social workers help patients understand a diagnosis and make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyle, housing, or health care. They often help in situations where an individual is making a transition from the hospital back to their homes and communities.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 114,100
Average Annual Salary: $44,200
Average Hourly Wage: $21.25
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree with a strong preference for a Master’s Degree

Faculty Member

Predicted Rise: 19%

In a 2014 article entitled “Best Jobs in America”, published in conjunction between Money magazine and Salary.com, an exclusive list of 50 top positions were named as the very best jobs in the country. The exciting career of psychologist ranked number ten on this, while college professor earned the number two spot. Becoming a psychology faculty member can be an excellent profession integrating teaching, research and other aspects of academia. Some of the reasons college professor earned the number 2 spot was due to the low stress level, flexible hours and working environment, ability to be creative on the job and the ease of entry and advancement. The research from this study showed that a position as a psychologist comes with high marks for creativity, slightly lower on flexibility and earned low marks on ease of entry and stress level. The position of college professor was given high marks for flexibility and creativity, slightly lower on stress and lowest on ease of entry. There are faculty positions throughout colleges and universities all over the country ranging from community colleges, to Liberal Arts Colleges and larger Research Universities. Because psychology is among the most popular majors, there are Psychology Departments at almost every college in the country.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 236,400
Average Annual Salary: $76,090
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level:

Rehabilitation Counselor

Predicted Rise: 20%

Rehabilitation counselors work to help those with emotional and physical disabilities live a more independent lifestyle. They work with clients to overcome or minimize the personal, social, and professional effects of disabilities on employment or independent living. Rehabilitation counselors are responsible for the following:

  • Offer individual and group counseling to help clients adjust to their disability
  • Investigate each client’s abilities, interests, experience, skills, health, and education
  • Develop a treatment plan by working with other professionals, such as doctors, therapists, and psychologists
  • Create rehabilitation or treatment plans based on clients’ values, strengths, limitations, and goals
  • Arrange for clients to obtain necessary medical and social services
  • Help potential employers understand the needs and abilities of people with disabilities
  • Help clients to create strategies to develop their strengths and adjust to their limitations
  • Locate resources that help clients live and work more independently
  • Monitor clients’ progress and adjust the rehabilitation or treatment plan as necessary
  • Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community and work in the job of their choice

These counselors help people with physical, mental, emotional, or social disabilities at various stages in their lives. There is a wide variety in where and how a rehabilitation counselor can help clients. Some work with current students to create strategies to live with their disability and advance from school to work. Others help veterans cope with the mental or physical effects of their military service. There is a group of rehabilitation counselor’s that deal specifically with employment issues. These counselors, sometimes called vocational rehabilitation counselors, typically work with older students and adults rather than young children. In some states rehabilitation counselors are mandated to possess a state license, which means an internship is required.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 23,400
Average Annual Salary: $33,880
Average Hourly Wage: $16.29
Required Educational Level: Master’s Degree

Social and Community Services Manager

Predicted Rise: 22%

Social and community service managers are responsible for the coordination and supervision of social service programs and community organizations. They supervise and manage staff that provides direct social services to the public. Social and community service managers typically do the following:

  • Work with community members to identify the types of programs and services that are most needed
  • Create and supervise programs to meet the needs of the target audience or community
  • Establish methods to gather information about the impact of their programs
  • Supervise staff who are providing services directly to clients
  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of programs
  • Suggest and implement improvements to programs and services
  • Develop and manage budgets for programs and organizations
  • Plan and manage community outreach efforts to advocate for increased awareness of programs
  • Write proposals for social services funding

Social and community service managers can work for a range of social and human service organizations. The organizations may focus on working with a specific demographic, such as children, people who are homeless, older adults, or veterans.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 27,700
Average Annual Salary: $59,970
Average Hourly Wage: $28.83
Required Educational Level: High school diploma, plus some on-the-job training

Social and Human Services Assistant

Predicted Rise: 22%

Social and human service assistants are those individuals who help others manage difficult times in their life or help them get the additional support they might need. They work as a team with other workers, such as social workers, to help clients find benefits or community services. Social and human service assistants typically do the following:

  • Act under the supervision of social workers, psychologists, or others who have more education or experience
  • Help determine what type of assistance clients need
  • Work with clients and other professionals to create a functional treatment plan
  • Help clients get help with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
  • Research and understand services available to their clients in their communities
  • Determine clients’ eligibility for social service programs
  • Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
  • Monitor clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately

Social and human service assistants go by many various job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker. These assistants work to help clients to identify and obtain benefits and services.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 81,200
Average Annual Salary: $28,850
Average Hourly Wage: $13.87
Required Educational Level: High school diploma, plus some on-the-job training

Mental Health Counselor

Predicted Rise: 29%

Mental health counseling is one of the fields that many people think of when they hear the work psychology. A mental health counselor has a range of career responsibilities, one of which is the “talk therapy” many people think of when they hear the work psychology. In addition to talking clients through problems in their lives, mental health counselors also assess, diagnose and treat various mental illnesses. Some of these highly-skilled counselors work directly with clients who have no psychiatric diagnosis but need help coping with challenging life events, such as a divorce, physical impairment, death of a loved one, difficulty in a particular relationship or divorce. Other counselors work with individuals to manage and treat a serious mental illness like depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 48,200
Average Annual Salary: $43,990
Average Hourly Wage: $21.15
Required Educational Level: Master’s Degree with required internship or residency

Marriage and Family Therapist

Predicted Rise: 29%

Very closely related to mental health counseling is the field of marriage and family therapy. These therapists are mental health professionals with a minimum of a Master’s Degree and typically two years of supervised clinical experience. Marriage and family therapists (often referred to as MFTs or family therapists) are educated and appropriately licensed to assess, diagnose and treat mental health and substance abuse problems. The field of family therapy is considered one of the core mental health disciplines and is rooted in the idea that mental illness and family difficulties are best addressed as a family unit. IN order to become a licensed MFT, one must be trained in traditional psychotherapy as well as family systems. These skilled therapists must understand the family’s challenges and patterns of interactions that might be causing problems to arise. Traditionally, MFTs treat individuals, but many also offer couples, family and group therapy as needed.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 48,200
Average Annual Salary: $41,500
Average Hourly Wage: $19.95
Required Educational Level: Master’s Degree with required internship or residency

Substance Abuse Counselor

Predicted Rise: 31%

Substance abuse counselors are responsible for treating individuals who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction or eating disorders. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction and maintain sobriety. Substance abuse counselors are typically responsible for the following:

  • Assess and evaluate overall mental and physical health status, addiction or problem behavior, and readiness to receive treatment
  • Develop treatment goals and plans
  • Review and recommend treatment options to clients and their families
  • Assist clients in developing the skills and behaviors required to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior
  • Work with clients to identify behaviors or situations that interfere with their recovery
  • Educate families about addiction and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Refer clients to other resources and services
  • Conduct outreach programs to help people identify the signs of addiction and other destructive behavior, as well as steps to take to avoid such behavior

Substance abuse or addiction counselors work directly with clients individually and group sessions. Many utilize the modalities of traditional 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to guide their practice. They teach clients how to cope with stress and life’s problems to further help them recover. They also help clients rebuild professional relationships to reestablish their career.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 28,200
Average Annual Salary: $38,520
Average Hourly Wage: $18.52
Required Educational Level: Bachelor’s Degree

Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Predicted Rise: 31%

Behavioral Disorder Counselors are very similar in practice to a substance abuse counselor. Instead of addressing an addiction and finding ways to minimize or eliminate the substance, behavioral disorder counselors work with individuals who have a behavior or behaviors that create distress in their life. It is the job of the counselor to identify what underlies the maladaptive behavior and create a treatment plan that will help the individual either minimize or eliminate the behavior. Behavioral disorder counselors are responsible for the following:

  • Assess the clients overall health, problem behavior, and readiness to receive treatment
  • Help clients develop treatment goals and plans
  • Review and recommend treatment options with clients and their families
  • Help clients develop skills and behaviors necessary to modify their maladaptive behavior
  • Work with clients to identify behaviors or situations that interfere with their recovery
  • Teach families about behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Refer clients to other resources and services, such as job placement services and support groups

Predicted New Jobs Created: 28,200
Average Annual Salary: $38,520
Average Hourly Wage: $18.52
Required Educational Level: Bachelor’s Degree

Military Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 53%

The specialty area of Military Psychology is a branch of psychology which a focus on military personnel and their families. This area is expected to see tremendous growth as Americans have remained engaged in military operations for a number of years. Some of the responsibilities of a Military Psychologist include performing psychiatric evaluations, assessing and treating mental and emotional disorders and providing counseling services to service members and their families. In the United States, each branch of the military employs psychologists who work to treat active duty and retired military personnel. Job titles of different types of military psychologists might include:

  • Army Mental Health Specialist
  • Army Psychologist
  • Navy Psychologist
  • Marine Psychologist
  • Air Force Psychologist

Professionals who specialize in military psychology become experts in the many duties and responsibilities, depending on their area of specialization. Some military psychologists conduct research, perform tests, or treat mental and emotional disorders. Research in this field is general designed with the motivation of finding out which personality traits are best for certain military positions. Research may also focus on military specific issues such as how to most effectively treat some common mental ailments in the military, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is the responsibility of military psychologists to conduct mental health evaluations before recruits are allowed to enlist in the service. These interviews help ensure that new recruits are mentally and emotionally stable enough to handle the stress of being in the military. Clinical and counseling military psychologists are responsible for assessing, diagnosing, and treating military personnel with mental or emotional disorders. This could include trying to decipher the extent of a soldier’s emotional trauma, and recommending a course of treatment. Some of the more common problems that plague military personnel may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, grief, anxiety, and sleep issues.

Predicted New Jobs Created: 900
Average Annual Salary: $120,538
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), plus completion of an internship or residency

Industrial / Organizational Psychologist

Predicted Rise: 53%

The area of psychology seeing the most dramatic rise is the specialty field of Industrial – Organizational Psychology (often referred to simply as I/O psychology). This field is characterized by the empirical study of human behavior in organizations and the work place. I/O psychology focuses on developing philosophies for individual, group and organizational behavior and using this information for the solution of problems in the work place. Knowledge and training in the science of behavior in the workplace requires detailed understanding of organizational development, attitudes, career development, decision theory, human performance and human factors, consumer behavior, small group theory and process, criterion theory and development, job and task analysis and individual assessment. This specialized area of psychology requires understanding of unique ethical considerations as well as legal, administrative, and case law and executive orders that relate to activities in the workplace. I/O Psychologists are scientist-practitioners with proficiency in the design, execution and analysis of research in psychology. They apply these findings to help address human and organizational problems in the context of organized work. I/O psychologists are also responsible for:

  • Identify training and development needs
  • Design and optimize job and work and quality of work life
  • Design and apply training programs and evaluate their effectiveness
  • Coach employees
  • Develop criteria to evaluate performance of individuals and organizations
  • Assess consumer preferences, customer satisfaction and market strategies

Predicted New Jobs Created: 900
Average Annual Salary: $97,820
Average Hourly Wage: Data not available
Required Educational Level: Minimum of Master’s Degree with a strong preference for a Doctoral Degree

As the field of psychology sees continued growth, there is a subsequent rise in the amount of psychology jobs available. If you add up the number of positions these growing professions will add to the psychology and mental health sector over the next ten years, there will be 1,566,918 new psychology jobs available. Since these are just 25 positions within this huge field, it is clear how thriving this field will continue to be over the coming years. Positions in psychology range from entry-level positions with minimal educational requirements all the way to top-level positions that require advanced degrees, training and internships. This list outlines that no matter your anticipated level of employment, there will be a psychology job to meet your needs in terms of education, pay and responsibility level. This continued rise in psychology jobs means that these positions are an excellent option for future employees to consider.

Resources

About Education: 9 Highest Paying Psychology Careers: Which Jobs Pay Best?

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association: Hot careers: Sport psychology

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook

Career in Psychology: How to Become a Military Psychologist

About the Author

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University and then a Master of Science in Clinical and Forensic Psychology from Drexel University, Kristen began a career as a therapist at two prisons in Philadelphia. At the same time she volunteered as a rape crisis counselor, also in Philadelphia. After a few years in the field she accepted a teaching position at a local college where she currently teaches online psychology courses. Kristen began writing in college and still enjoys her work as a writer, editor, professor and mother.