What Career Paths are Opened With a Master’s in Psychology?

While intellectual development is, in and of itself, a great reason to pursue a post-graduate degree in Psychology, many students in today’s economy need to know that they’ll be able to secure a better job with their new degree before committing to graduate school. For those pursuing an advanced degree in Psychology, there’s good news: a master’s degree in psychology can open the door to a career in virtually every industry from criminal justice to healthcare.

Potential Careers for People With a Master’s in Psychology

Regardless of the specific master’s in psychology you pursue, there are a number of general options open to anyone holding an advanced degree in psychology. Potential careers include:


Though many universities require a Doctorate degree to become a professor, a Master’s degree in Psychology could open the door to a number of teaching positions at community colleges and private for-profit higher education institutions. In some cases, individuals with a master’s in psychology are eligible to teach classes at a university as part of a fellowship if they are working toward their doctorate degree.

Career Counseling

A master’s degree in psychology can prepare an individual for a fulfilling career as a career counselor at a college, university, technical school, or even at a non-profit community development program. Click here for in-depth information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on School and Career Counseling as a career path.

Social Services

There is a lot of opportunity in the public sector for those with a master’s in psychology, especially in the social services arena. Potential careers include Social Services Manager, Employment Counselor, Drug and Alcohol Specialist, Parole Officer, and Vocational Rehabilitation specialist. Search USAJOBS.GOV to get a better idea of what kind of public sector jobs a master’s in psychology will qualify you for.

Other Possible Careers

Potential careers in the private sector include Public Relations Specialist, Behavior Counselor, Human Resources Manager, Retail Store Management, Employee training, Team Building Specialist, and more. Since Psychology is used in virtually every industry across the board, a master’s degree in psychology can open the doors to countless careers.

Common Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Before you enroll in a degree program, it’s important to understand that this is the age of specialization. In order to get the career in psychology that you want, you have to choose a degree program that will prepare you for the specific demands you’ll face on the job. That’s precisely why colleges and universities throughout the country have begun offering a variety of master’s degrees in psychology, the most common of which include:

Master’s in Clinical Psychology

A Master’s in Clinical Psychology prepares students to apply psychological principles and theories in a clinical setting. Clinical Psychologists often work in private practice and in hospitals and are qualified to treat some of the most severe mental health afflictions, including depression and schizophrenia. They are on the frontlines of the war on mental health and are a valuable asset to the community.

Master’s in Experimental Psychology

This degree prepares individuals to study humans in an effort to develop new theories of personality development, cognition, and even human social interaction.

Master’s in Applied Psychologies

There are a number of different degree programs are available for those interested in applying psychology to a specific industry. For example, an individual interested in becoming a Forensic Psychologist can pursue a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. Someone looking to apply the principals of Psychology to help athletes could pursue a master’s degree in sports psychology.

According to this fact sheet published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income in 2010 for a psychologist was $68,640 annually and jobs are expected to be created at a faster-than-average rate of 22%. The BLS projects that more than 37,000 jobs will be created for psychologists in the decade between 2010 and 2020, which means it has never been a better time to get your master’s degree in psychology.