Top Picks for the 10 Best Master’s in Psychology Jobs
Psychology careers are both lucrative and fulfilling. But psychology is a huge field. When you think about it, how we all think about things is kind of key to, well, just about everything! That means psychologists can play a role in everything from pro sports to social media networks to politics.
But those aren’t all just cookie cutter positions, handed out to anyone with a college degree who shows up. They all have specialized knowledge and training required, and just having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t always cut it.
That means earning a master’s degree in psychology will open up a whole new level of career paths. In some cases, you might even wonder if you should get a doctorate.
Jumping into an advanced degree in psychology isn’t something you take lightly.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, those extra two years of study can run up to $40,000 on average… which usually means taking out loans and paying off student debt.
So, at this point you’re obviously asking yourself, what jobs can you get with a master’s degree in psychology?
Before you decide what kind of education to get, you should take a look at what jobs you can get with a master’s degree in psychology.
Master’s in Psychology Jobs Offer Big Opportunities in Psychology and Beyond
People outside of the field of psychology might just assume that earning a doctorate in the field opens up the most flexibility and opportunity to practice psychology. But the reality is a little different.
Almost all psychology doctoral programs are aimed at research or clinical work. Master’s programs, on the other hand, have a far wider range of specializations and focus areas. You get a much better opportunity to customize your studies for different psychology applications.
Master’s in psychology jobs might even be more numerous and wide-ranging than what you would find with a PhD.
You’ll find some of the best jobs for psychologists can be yours for a lot less time and money than earning a doctorate would take you.
The best jobs to get with a master’s in psychology are always the ones that line up most closely with your own interests. Psychology careers can bring you both money and job satisfaction, but only if you pick the one that’s the right fit.
1. Master’s in Psychology Jobs in Marketing and Advertising Consulting
Among all master’s degree in psychology jobs, this might be the best-paying. That’s because big companies are paying big bucks to figure out how to sell themselves and their products. In a world where social media and the importance of going viral has become all-consuming, bringing an expert psychological eye to those campaigns is more important than ever.
A master’s degree in psychology helps you evaluate the impact and audience for marketing and advertising. You will have the knowledge to pick the right influencers, seek the proper platforms, and craft the right messages to build market share and ink branding into the brains of consumers.
2. Master’s Degree in Psychology Jobs in User Experience Research
MS in psychology jobs are increasingly becoming valuable in high-tech. That’s become incredibly clear in the field of user interface and user experience design. Studies have shown that attention spans have been waning in the United States for decades. Today, you expect to instantly get how and app or website works… or you move on.
That’s all psychology in action, and hiring master’s-prepared professionals to analyze how users will react to layout, colors, and interactions in technology products is how big tech companies are getting ahead of the curve.
3. Master’s in Psychology Jobs in Human Resources
Psychology can be valuable in almost any job that deals with people, but it’s critical in jobs that entirely deal with people. That’s what human resources work is all about, and that’s why a master’s in psychology can set you up for success as an HR professional.
Social psychology and group dynamics are a big deal in any organization. There’s a whole branch of psychology that specializes in this stuff, called industrial-organizational psychology. Loading up your coursework with I-O and social psychology classes can make you a better counselor to employees and a better advisor on employment policy.
4. Master’s Degree in Psychology Jobs in School Psychology
Most states require only a master’s degree for school psychologists, making this role one of the few where you can genuinely treat individuals in a clinical setting without a full doctoral degree. It’s a great job for anyone who enjoys working with kids, or has an interest in both education and psychology. School psychologists evaluate and treat individuals, but they also are the spearhead for anti-bullying initiatives, mental health and wellness programs, and learning disability accommodations. Those are all skills a master’s degree will help you perfect.
5. Master’s in Psychology Jobs in Education
It might surprise you to learn that you don’t need to earn a terminal degree in psychology in order to become an instructor in the field. Many high school and college teachers are needed to fill the huge demand for psychology instruction, and they don’t need a full seven-year doctoral degree to teach the basics. They do, however, need the advanced training that comes with a master’s program in psychology, making that a common requirement for psychology teaching jobs.
6. Master’s Degree in Psychology Jobs in Sports and Exercise Psychology
It’s true that you need a doctorate if you want to practice sports psychology as a clinical provider. But there are a lot of sports and exercise psychology master’s in psychology jobs, too. Coaching isn’t a licensed profession, but that’s what a lot of sports psychology comes down to. And sports and exercise psychology jobs that revolve around designing training plans, evaluating team dynamics, and other hands-off activities are all skills that a master’s degree offers excellent preparation to take on.
7. Master’s in Psychology Jobs for Psychological Associates
No, this doesn’t mean you only have to have an associate’s degree. Instead, a psychological associate is a professional license that is available in some states that allows you to get a master’s in psychology job in clinical practice—a role normally restricted only to doctoral graduates.
A psychological associate license does come with some restrictions. Notably, you typically have to work under the close supervision of a fully-licensed clinical psychologist. But you are allowed to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with genuine mental health issues… all with only a master’s degree. If you plan to become a fully licensed psychologist at some point, earning a master’s degree online can give you the flexibility to start working your way up in this field and getting valuable field experience even before you have your PhD.
8. Master’s in Psychology Jobs in Counseling and Therapy
Professional counselors and therapists have a different perspective on treating patients and their own unique degrees that offer training for those jobs. But with a little effort and some moxie, you can turn your MS in psychology into a qualification to become licensed as a professional counselor or therapist in most states.
Most of the roots of counseling and therapy practice come from psychology, so you will have a solid background for the jobs. You will often have to prove to state licensing boards that you have the right education for the job, but a carefully curated curriculum in your master’s program will often do the trick.
9. Even Parole Officers Can Hold a Master’s in Psychology
Becoming a full-fledge forensic psychologist requires a PhD in the field. But there are a lot of jobs in criminal justice where psychology has just as much relevance, and can do just as much good, without that licensing requirement.
Parole officers are one of those positions. Responsible for helping individuals get back on their feet in society after incarceration, they have to have a strong understanding of both criminal and social psychology. A master’s degree in psychology builds that expertise to give them the skills to communicate and make a difference so that ex-cons can stay ex.
10. Master’s Degree in Psychology Jobs in Life Coaching
Okay, it’s true that you don’t need a master’s in psychology for this job. Anyone can print up some business cards and call themselves a life coach. But if you want to be good at guiding people through the twists and turns of business, family, and friendships, then you better have a pretty good understanding of how the human mind works.
Master’s degrees in psychology offer the coursework and the practical experience it takes figuring out what kind of ruts and loops people get stuck in that makes their lives less than what they can be. That kind of knowledge will make you a life coach that people will be raving about.