What Careers are in Social Psychology ?

The American Psychology Association (APA) states that social psychologists study topics like interpersonal dynamics, such as public leadership and group behavior, and social problems, such as crime, poverty and discrimination. However, not all social psychology jobs are limited to academic research positions in universities and private foundations.

Child Protective Services Worker

A child protective services (CPS) worker will initiate and review pre-placement screening and emergency placement activities. They will facilitate and implement the creation of permanency plans and engagement activities for each child. These may end in relative adoption, long-term foster care or hopefully parental reunification. CPS workers conduct monthly home visits to have direct contact with the foster child and certified foster care provider. They maintain legal records and reports in accordance with the state’s regulatory standards. CPS workers must maintain knowledge of foster family care practices to ensure compliance with the law and meet the needs of their assigned children.

Research Supervisor

Research supervisors deal with psychology, sociology and social psychology topics. They are the primary liaison between external partners and internal stakeholders. They drive business value creation by leveraging their subject matter expertise of social psychology concepts and truths. Research supervisors identify, recruit and retain diverse portfolios of academic and analytical staff. They design and implement marketing strategies through supportive efforts such as videos clips, blog posts, white papers and infographic statistics. Their goal is to highlight awareness and interest in behavioral science topics. Research supervisors may attend workshops and conferences as brand ambassadors within the scientific research community.

Educational Consultant

Educational consultants are usually licensed teachers who transition into positions that focus on complex and difficult cases and students. They act as a coordinator of alternative educational decisions and services for clients and caregivers. They may ensure accreditation with established programs and standards involving quality services and beneficial outcomes. Educational consultants must be able to solve problems, make clinically sound decisions and facilitate multi-party communication. They participate in the orientation and assessment of student situations and problems. They may be asked to reevaluate the on-going appropriateness of difficult or special children placed in temporary programs.

Additional Career Options

Social psychologists may find work as industrial-organizational psychologists provided that they earn a master’s degree in this field. These professionals lend their research expertise to businesses and work environments. They help corporate leaders improve things like team morale, employee engagement, production quality and organizational development. On the other hand, college teachers use their training to develop lesson plans, create assignments, administer tests, resolve questions and direct projects. They must conduct and publish their own original research. Advertising and marketing managers use their knowledge of behavior to create campaigns that make consumers excited about products. They will analyze customer behavior, business needs, market trends and promotional materials.

Related Resource: What is Interdisciplinary Psychology?

Anyone interested in social psychology careers should visit the APA’s Division 8, which is the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Their website has a career center that offers online jobs and employment information.