Psychology offers women a number of high-paying career options. There's something for every interest and personality type -- psychologists work in diverse environments including laboratories, universities, prisons, treatment centers, Fortune 50 companies and in private practice. Most psychologists have doctorates, which takes at least seven years, plus an extra two years of supervised field experience. So there is a cost for getting to do this interesting, rewarding work.
If you like working with people and fancy yourself a bit of a detective, consider a career in clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, educate and treat individuals, family, groups and couples who are experiencing mental health or substance abuse problems. The 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicates clinical psychologists are well-compensated for their work at a median salary of $66,810. Years of experience, geographic location in which you work and employer type are factors influencing how much you'll make.
Industrial-Organizational, or IOP, psychologists systematically study factors that improve workplace satisfaction, such as employee aptitude screening, job analysis and employee motivation. You can work in a number of different occupations, such as teaching, research, industry consultant or test developer. According to the 2010 BLS survey, the median income for IOP psychologists was $87,330. IOP psychologists working behind the scenes in research labs don't typically make as much as high profile IOP psychologists who work for Fortune 50 companies.
Fans of the television series "Bones" may recall fictional forensic psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets, who charmingly represents the best of forensic psychology as a mix of detective, scientist and clinician. According to the website Forensic Psychologist, these professions offer their "expert psychological opinion in a way that it impacts one of the adversarial arenas, typically the courts." Areas of expertise may include pretrial matters, court depositions, evaluation and therapy. The 2010 BLS survey does not provide specific data for forensic psychologists, but they are included in the "other" category, with a median salary of $89,900.
First there was Dr. Joyce Brothers and now Dr. Phil McGraw, commonly known only as "Dr. Phil." Radio and television psychologists make a big splash -- whether to better the profession or simply to scandalize it, by offering their opinions on subjects from child rearing to sexual fetishes. Dr. Phil, who rose to fame after Oprah Winfrey featured him on her show, reportedly makes an income of about $80 million a year, despite his having retired his psychologist's license in 2006.
Brenda Scottsdale is a licensed psychologist, a six sigma master black belt and a certified aerobics instructor. She has been writing professionally for more than 15 years in scientific journals, including the "Journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior" and various websites.