5 Things You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2021)

What exactly can you do with a psychology degree? For many people, the term ‘psychologist’ means someone who offers mental health services. While this certainly represents a significant subset of psychologists, there are actually many different types of psychologists including many who work in fields you might not be familiar with.

Some of these career options might actually surprise you! For example, have you ever heard of an engineering psychologist? How about a health psychologist? Did you know that some psychologists work with professional athletes or that other psychologists even help solve crimes?

Take a closer look at five of these sometimes overlooked psychology fields including what these psychologists do and what type of degree you will need to work in these specialty areas.

Engineering Psychologists

What Do They Do?

When you think about psychologists, who probably don’t envision professionals who spend a lot of time working with and designing different types of technology and equipment, but there is actually an entire subfield devoted to just this very topic. Engineering psychology is an applied subfield that focuses on improving and adapting technology, equipment, and work environments to enhance human behavior and capabilities.

Do You Need a Graduate Degree?

Yes, a master’s degree is generally considered the minimum needed to enter this profession, although more opportunities tend to be available with a doctorate.

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Health Psychologists

What Do They Do?

If you are interested in helping people live healthier, happier lives, health psychology is one area that you should explore. Health psychologists work to better understand how biological, social, and psychological factors influence health and illness.

So what sorts of things do health psychologists do, exactly? Some people who work in this field might help develop public health programs designed to combat specific health issues or diseases such as obesity or STDs. Others might work directly with clients in clinical settings to help individuals overcome health issues or educate people about coping with disease or illness.

Do You Need a Graduate Degree?

Not necessarily. If you want to become a licensed health psychologist then you will need to get a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology and complete an internship and board certification. There are, however, some limited opportunities available at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. These usually involve positions working in community mental health offices or in correctional facilities, usually under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Criminal Psychologists

What Do They Do?

Criminal psychologists are often portrayed in TV dramas, but what do these professionals really do? Some of the things these psychologists might do include assessing criminal offenders to determine if they might re-offend, offering testimony in court, and conducting psychological assessments of criminal suspects. Learn more about this exciting career path including where criminal psychologists typically work, how much education is required, and how much you can earn by working in this field.

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Do You Need a Graduate Degree?

Yes. While there are limited opportunities available at the master’s level, a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, forensic psychology, or criminal psychology is recommended.

Consumer Psychologists

What Do They Do?

Have you ever wondered what makes people buy certain things? Or how marketers use advertising to influence their customers? Consumer psychologists not only study how and why people purchase goods and services, they also analyze how family, friends, culture and media messages affect buying behavior.

Do You Need a Graduate Degree?

No. Entry-level positions are available to those with a bachelor’s in psychology. These jobs usually focus on market research and involve planning, conducting, and interpreting the results of consumer research. More advanced positions do require at least a master’s degree in psychology.

Sports Psychologists

What Do They Do?

Other psychologists specialize in applying knowledge of human behavior and thought to the areas of athletics and sports. These professionals are known as sports psychologists. Some of the things they might do include helping athletes maximize their performance, exploring different ways to motivate and encourage athletes, and rehabilitating athletes who have been injured.

Do You Need a Graduate Degree?

Yes. Most positions in sports psychology require a minimum of a master’s degree, but a doctorate in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or sports psychology is recommended.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of career options in psychology if you are not necessarily interested in working in the field of mental health treatment. These five careers represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you might choose to do with your psychology degree. If you are thinking about majoring in psychology or are contemplating graduate study, spend some time familiarizing yourself with your options in order to decide how to choose your ideal career in psychology.

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