What Types of Government Careers are Available with a Master’s Degree in Psychology?

Government psychology careers are many, for the machinery of the United States Government is vast, and the people who operate it and for whom they operate it have need of the kinds of services only those with a master’s in psychology can provide. While there are a variety of careers that require a master’s degree in psychology, there are only certain jobs within the government for which one with a psychology background would qualify. USAJobs.gov is the key website for finding such work.


Listings will vary, of course, as jobs are filled and other needs are identified, but the work available generally falls into counseling or the administration of counseling. Several governmental departments suggest themselves are particularly needful of those who hold master’s degrees in psychology: Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs are the immediate choices for such work. Both are concerned with the health of the people of the United States, and is is increasingly recognized that mental health is a vital component of overall health and in just as much need of maintenance and support as physical health. There is also the possibility of participating in ongoing research and training leading to a graduate degree in psychology would be of immense help in conducting that research.


The US Department of Defense and its component service departments also come up as being in need of the services of those who are trained in the workings of the human mind. This is in part because the Department of Defense works to neutralize threats to the United States and its allies, and understanding how people become those enemies does much to assist in neutralizing them–whether by eliminating them directly or by anticipating problems before they can be allowed to manifest and taking steps to prevent them from becoming problems. Too, the men and women in uniform face immense strains and stresses, and ensuring that they are able to face them and to return to civilian life after having faced them and honorably discharged their service to the country is vital


There are also some teaching jobs available, as the US government operates a number of educational institutions, including the service academies (US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Coast Guard Academy and US Merchant Marine Academy and the preparatory schools that serve them); each needs people to teach courses in psychology, which those who hold master’s degrees in psychology can be trained to do, and they are fairly secure government work for such people. Given the stresses and focus of the higher education environments, there will also be work for counselors, advisers (academic and otherwise) and human resources staff, all of whom would benefit from having master’s degrees in psychology. Research assistantship opportunities may also be available at government educational sites.

Counseling, defense, and teaching are the three main areas of the government where a person with a master’s degree in psychology would be the most beneficial.  By investigating these government psychology careers, one could possibly enter into service to the United States and its people.