To work as a clinical psychologist, you must have a doctorate, but you can land a number of jobs in the psychology field by earning a master’s degree. Many colleges and universities offer master’s degree programs in psychology that usually take two to three years to complete. Once you have your degree in your hip pocket, you can begin to consider some rewarding career options that require a master’s degree in psychology.
Mental Health Counselors
Mental health counselors diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, including anxiety and depression, and provide counseling help for clients. They listen to clients as they discuss their emotions and experiences and offer suggestions for ways to cope with their mental and emotional stress and alter their behaviors and thoughts. To work as a mental health counselor, you need at least a master’s degree in psychology. Your coursework should focus on counseling and therapy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 156,300 Americans worked as counselors in 2012.
School psychologists need a master’s degree in school psychology. They deal with education-related issues, such as students’ learning disabilities and behavioral problems. They also evaluate students’ psychological state and provide counseling services for students and their families. Some school psychologists consult with other school personnel to suggest strategies to improve learning and administration. Most school psychologists work in public schools, including colleges. Some private schools also employ psychologists. Training for school psychologists includes coursework in education and psychology. According to the BLS, about 29 percent of the 174,000 psychologists employed in 2012 worked in education.
Industrial-organization psychologists apply principles of psychology to human resource management, business administration, management, sales and marketing. Their goal is to help companies and their employees thrive and prosper through improving the quality of employees’ lives while also maximizing production and quality standards. According to San Diego State University, industrial-organization psychologists need a master’s degree. Some jobs may require a doctoral degree. About one-third of all industrial-organizational psychologists work in academics.
Psychology teachers work for colleges and universities and teach courses in child, clinical and developmental psychology and psychological counseling. According to the BLS, 38,060 psychology teachers had jobs in the United Sates in 2012 and 29,140 worked for colleges and universities, while 8,780 worked for junior colleges. While some positions may require a doctoral degree, colleges hire teachers with master’s degrees, too. Your chances of finding a college teaching job may increase if you target community colleges, which tend to hire teachers with only a master’s degree more frequently than universities and other four-year schools, according to the BLS.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Postsecondary Teachers
- San Diego State University: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Psychologists: How to Become a Psychologist
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
Based in Central Florida, Ron White has worked as professional journalist since 2001. He specializes in sports and business. White started his career as a sportswriter and later worked as associate editor for Maintenance Sales News and as the assistant editor for "The Observer," a daily newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. White has written more than 2,000 news and sports stories for newspapers and websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.