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BS in Psychology: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a BS degree in psychology. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and education.

What Career Options are Available with a BS in Psychology?

A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology program involves lessons on human sexuality, gender, child and adult psychology, cultural psychology and even personality theory. This degree can lead to a variety of careers. Three possible careers include substance abuse and behavioral disorders counselor, market research analyst and social and human services assistant.

When working with substance abuse and behavioral disorders, you will work closely with individuals who suffer from a variety of addictive situations such as alcohol, drugs and eating. You will analyze their situations and create possible scenarios for positive outcomes as well as send patients to doctors or specific programs when necessary.

Market research analysts are hired by companies to evaluate the outcome of sales in a particular market through research. Findings are often communicated to managers through reports in order to generate the best future for the company or department.

As a social and human services assistant, you will work with social workers or case workers to assess clients by helping to determine which services are needed. You may work with the elderly, people with disabilities or children and families and will likely be required to follow up with individuals to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate benefits.

The table below outlines the general requirements for some career options.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders CounselorMarket Research Analyst Social and Human Services Assistant
Degree Required Varies by state; H.S. diploma to master's degree Bachelor's degree H. S. diploma and higher; postsecondary education preferred
Education Field of Study Psychology, counseling Psychology, market research Psychology, counseling or human services
Training Required On-the-job training, supervised work Internships and on-the-job training On-the-job training
Licensure Required Required in most states Voluntary certification, no licensing required No licensing required
Job Growth (2018-2028) 22% growth* 20% growth* 13% growth*
Median Salary (2018) $44,630* $63,120* $33,750*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Psychology Careers Can I Find?

In your undergraduate studies, you will take a variety of courses covering basic theories and applications in psychology in addition to a practicum, which provides field experience. You will examine behavior and reasoning for individuals of different ages, ethnicities, maturity levels, mental states and economic backgrounds. This broad preparation can lead to a career in many different fields. A graduate degree and supervised training is normally required to work directly in the field of psychology.

What Educational and Certification Requirements Are There?

In addition to gaining work experience, you can also continue your education by pursuing a master's degree, Doctor of Psychology or Doctor of Philosophy in counseling or psychology. A graduate degree offers more opportunity for research and possibly a position as a psychologist in an industrial-organizational setting.

Where Might I Work?

A bachelor's degree in psychology can most commonly lead to a career as a counselor, assistant to a licensed psychologist, program coordinator or market researcher. Graduates may also find work in sales, human resources, education and social services. Administrative positions in psychology and counseling are needed in a number of government, not-for-profit and clinical agencies.

What Might I Earn?

There are a range of salary statistics, depending upon the job description, education and training levels. According to Payscale.com, mental health case managers earned a median salary of $37,728 in 2019, while human resources managers earned a median of $66,610 in the same year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you prefer other career options, you may want to consider becoming a social and community service manager where you will monitor and plan social programs that are available to the public. In this position, you may also be in charge of other staff members in the same field. Another option to consider is social work. As a social worker, you may help people who are involved in a variety of circumstances ranging from childhood illness to adoption to coping with physical and mental disabilities. Both of these career options require bachelor's degrees and significant work with the community.