Master’s in Psychology Jobs – What can you do with your master’s in psychology?

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A master’s degree in psychology is a rigorous, intensive course that is particularly well-respected. Thanks to the varied skill set required to complete this qualification, there are a number of jobs available to individuals who hold a master’s degree in psychology.

If you’re interested in job opportunities for psychology master’s graduates, take a look at the information below. We cover everything, from expected salaries according to specialization, to the pros and cons of completing a doctoral degree.

What jobs can you do with your master’s in psychology?

A master’s degree in psychology is an excellent qualification to hold. It is very versatile, which means that you have ample career options available to you with such a degree.

Career paths within psychology 

The traditional career path associated with this degree is that of becoming a psychologist. After studying for a master’s degree in psychology, you technically may be able to purchase a psychology license, although most people will pursue a doctoral degree.

However, there are a number of other options available to you if you hold a master’s degree in psychology. If you want to remain within the field of psychology, these are some of the most common branches of psychology that people with master’s degrees pursue careers in:

Career paths outside of psychology

However, if you decide after completing a master’s degree in psychology that you want a career outside of the field, there are many options available to you too.

Thanks to the transferable skills required to complete a master’s in psychology, such as data analysis and critical reasoning, many individuals who have graduated with a master’s in psychology find work in the following areas:

  • Law
  • The charity sector
  • Publishing
  • Research
  • Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Social care
  • Local, State, and Federal Government operations
  • Human resources

What can you earn with a master’s in psychology?

According to the American Psychological Association, the median salary for psychology master’s degree holders in 2019 was $60,000. Whereas, for bachelor’s degree holders, the median salary was $50,000. As such, it is well worth doing a master’s degree in psychology.

Salary according to specialization 

The expected salary for individuals holding a master’s degree in psychology will vary significantly according to their specialization. Below are some of the highest-paying professions within psychology available to those with a master’s qualification.

  1. Sports Psychologist 

Sports psychologists help athletes handle the pressures associated with their careers. According to Payscale, The average annual salary for sports psychologists is roughly $72,000.

  1. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist 

I/O psychologists work to improve the efficiency of a particular organization or institution. In 2020, the BLS reports that the average salary for this profession was $92,880 per year.

  1. Forensic Psychologist 

Forensic psychologists work within court systems, law firms, or in other capacities, to help assess both the victim and the accused. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for this role is around $70,000.

  1. School Counsellor 

People within this profession work to help students address issues of both a personal and academic nature. The BLS reports that, for the year 2020, the average annual earnings for this profession were $58,120.

  1. Engineer Psychologist 

Engineering psychologists work to understand how humans interact with the environment and machines. They tend to be involved within design processes. According to the American Psychological Association, master’s level professionals earn an average of just over $90,000.

Should you go on to get a doctoral degree in psychology?

If you have already achieved, or plan on achieving, a master’s degree in psychology, it’s likely that you have considered whether completing a doctorate degree is necessary. Below, we discuss the pros and the cons of doing a doctorate degree in psychology.

Pros 

  1. Salary

It is important to note that within all of the career paths listed above, individuals with doctoral degrees in psychology are likely to earn more. According to Payscale, the average salary for individuals with a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree is $86,000 a year. This is significantly more than the average yearly salary of individuals holding a master’s degree in psychology.

  1. Competition

Although there are many job opportunities for individuals holding a master’s degree in psychology, they will face strong competition from individuals holding doctoral degrees. With a doctorate degree in psychology, you will be significantly more attractive to employers.

  1. Career opportunities

With a doctorate degree in psychology, there will be more career opportunities available to you. In particular, if you want to become any type of psychologist or work within research, you will likely need a doctoral degree, or at least, one would be desired.

Cons 

  1. Time

Doctorate degree programs take a significant commitment of time. Though duration varies according to university, it can generally take anywhere from 4 to 8 years.

  1. Cost

Earning a doctorate can also be particularly costly. Although many Ph.D. Psychology programs offer financial aid, it can still be a significant financial commitment. Due to the intensity of doctorate programs, it is also unlikely that you would be able to maintain a part-time job that paid a significant amount.

  1. Intensity

Doctorate degrees are research-intensive and difficult. They are rewarding but are not to be taken on lightly. Competition is also more noticeable than in master’s programs, due to small class sizes. However, this does mean that there is a smaller student-to-faculty ratio, making for a more personalized learning environment.