So You Don’t Want To Be a Psychologist: 5 Other Jobs for Psychology Majors
By: Jenna Savage
Psychology majors study human behavior and development, cognition, and abnormal thought processes to gain insight into the human mind and its functions. The obvious career choice for a psychology major is that of a psychologist – a position that requires graduate study, clinical practice, and research. However, some psychology majors do not want to become psychologists, and some undergraduate psychology students do not want to go on to graduate school. Luckily, deciding not to pursue the career path of a psychologist does not result in a dead end. There are many other career options that require the knowledge and experience derived from psychology education, five of which are listed below.
- Human Resource Specialist. Human resource specialists are responsible for company hiring processes, keeping records on job candidates, and the training of employees. Knowledge of the human mind and behavior is very valuable in this field, as being able to understand human behavior can benefit human resource specialists as they conduct interviews and determine whether candidates will fit specific job positions. It will also aid them in mediating conflict and assisting employers with boosting morale. To adequately train employees, human resource specialists need an understanding of how humans learn, and psychology course work provides that insight into human development. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resource specialists make an average of $52,690 per year.
- Market Research Analyst. Responsible for forecasting marketing developments, monitoring sales trends, and examining marketing strategies, market research analysts must have strong analytical skills. They must also have an understanding of the consumer behavior, to adequately predict the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and programs. A background in psychology will provide potential market research analysts with the tools they need to gather data and comprehend consumer activity. According to the BLS, a background in a social science, like psychology, can provide a strong foundation for a career as a market research analyst. The position averages an annual salary of $60,570 annually.
- Psychiatric Technician. If you don’t want to become a psychologist, but you still want to work in the mental health field, a position as a psychiatric technician may be a good fit for you. Psychiatric technicians work with mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients by observing their behavior, providing therapeutic activities, administering medical care and medicine, and helping them with day-to-day living. They work closely with doctors and mental health professionals, and therefore must have strong communication skills. A bachelor’s degree in psychology prepares psychiatric technicians for the level of care they are responsible for providing to patients. According to the BLS, psychiatric technicians make an average of $26,880 annually.
- Real Estate Agent. Real estate agents are responsible for conducting the selling and rental processes for homes and properties. They must have an understanding of the housing market and advertising, to adequately fulfill their job duties. Most importantly, real estate agents must know how to interact with buyers and sellers, and mediate the negotiations that will take place between them. An education in psychology provides the necessary insight into human behavior and communication for effective mediation, and also helps potential real estate agents learn how to analyze buyer activity. The BLS reports that the position averages $42,680 yearly.
- Teacher. Effective teachers must have knowledge of human development, cognition, and learning processes to adequately teach a diverse student body. Different students learn in different ways, and knowing how to bridge the gap between the lesson plan and the learner is an extremely important skill in the field of education. As psychology instruction provides insight into mechanisms of learning, theories of development, and learning disabilities, an undergraduate degree in psychology is a good educational foundation for potential teachers. The BLS reports that secondary school teachers average an annual salary of $56,760.