Best Paying Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology Jobs
Psychology, or the study of human behavior, remains one of the most popular undergraduate majors, accounting for more than 6% of all bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2015-2016, the most recent school year for which data is available, putting psychology in a tie for fourth place among all fields of study.
The number of psychology bachelor’s degrees issued in 2016 was the second-highest on record, and the popularity of these degrees has climbed dramatically, rising some 200% since the 1970s.
One reason psychology education has become so in-demand is that these degrees don’t apply to only a single possible career path. Indeed, depending on the candidate’s skills and interests, a bachelor’s in psychology could prepare an individual for careers in education, law enforcement, even STEM fields.
Here is a look at some of the best jobs you can get with a bachelor’s in psychology degree:
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts study industry conditions, market position and consumer sentiment in order to drive company decisions regarding the placement of goods and services in the marketplace. They may personally conduct interviews and data-gathering, and they should have expertise in analyzing data so they can understand what types of goods and services customers want and what prices they might be willing to pay. While these jobs will usually require experience in business analytics and data science, individuals who first earn a degree in psychology may have special insight into the motivations behind consumer behavior.
Salary range: $60,000-$105,000
Usually an independent consultant, a life coach’s job is to help clients achieve their goals in life. That’s a simple description, but life coaches can specialize in any number of areas, from careers to relationships to finance to health, and skilled life coaches know how to tailor their approach to each individual client to ensure the best possible results. A background in psychology is very helpful in being able to identify any emotional or behavioral disorders that may need to be addressed, though a life coach will often refer patients to mental health professionals in cases of true mental illness.
Salary range: $30,000-$90,000
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers are responsible for directing all administrative functions within an organization, which could be a business, school, hospital, nonprofit or even a government office. These individuals may be in charge of soliciting applicants for open jobs, they often will be in charge of disseminating administrative policies and decisions, and they usually will be responsible for choosing and administering benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans. Particularly in positions where HR managers will work directly with employees and job applicants, a keen understanding of interpersonal communications and human behavior is crucial.
Salary range: $55,000-$100,000
Youth Job Readiness Counselor
Helping to provide a bridge between education and the workforce, youth job readiness counselors work with young people who are still in high school, who have finished but are not moving on to college or who may have dropped out of school. Often working within staffing agencies or through publicly funded jobs projects, these counselors help each client develop an individualized plan for what jobs they might be qualified for, as well as a plan for mastering any skills they may be lacking, whether related to work or life skills, such as budgeting and personal finance.
Salary range: $35,000-$60,000
With their stated role to serve and protect the public, police officers provide a key line of defense between the public and crime. Depending on their particular departments, police officers are generally responsible for patrolling assigned areas, collecting evidence from crime scenes, interviewing witnesses and interrogating suspects, among many other job duties. Officers with education in psychology will often move into more investigative roles, such as detective or inspector.
Salary range: $35,000-$87,000
The most technical role on our list, computer programmers are responsible for writing the complicated code that tells computers, internet browsers and other devices what to do. These individuals write, test, implement and maintain the code that allows applications and programs to function properly. While they’ll also, obviously, need some serious technical chops, computer programmers with a background in psychology may find satisfying work in developing applications based on their keen understanding of human behavior instead of getting into the field because they understand computers.
Salary range: $56,000-$67,000
Nannies are childcare professionals who attend to the needs of babies, toddlers, tweens and teens. Depending on the age of the child or children, this could include feeding, bathing, dressing, education, emotional support and much more. Nannies with a background in psychology will most often work for one family on a full-time basis and may take on a substantial role in the care and education of children. A nanny will take a far larger role in the life of a child than a baby-sitter, who is called in temporarily to provide basic supervision, and many nannies take care of the children of a single family for years.
Salary range: $25,000-$42,000
Usually employed in institutions of higher learning, academic advisers work to help college students navigate their college careers. These individuals are responsible for helping students add or drop classes, change their majors and ensure they are on track to finish their degrees. Depending on the institution, academic advisers may specialize in working with students within specific academic programs, or they may be generalists. They also usually will work with a roster of students who have varying levels of experience, so some academic advisers may be tasked with things like helping freshmen manage their schedules or helping seniors get into that final class they need to graduate.
Salary range: $35,000-$85,000
Technical writers are responsible for writing and editing materials like user manuals, product support information, how-to guides, articles and more. Depending on their jobs, they may be responsible for assisting or advising in the production process, such as where to include illustrations or charts, and they may be required to solicit user feedback and update content based on how effective the materials are. Technical writers sometimes work as freelancers, though companies that produce many technical publications generally employ these individuals on a full-time basis.
Salary range: $45,000-$95,000
Scouts are individuals who have a knack for identifying athletes with specific skills and potential to compete at various levels. Scouts evaluate athletic talent at both the amateur and professional level to determine what potential they might have to fill gaps in teams’ personnel or provide particular skills that the team or program lack. A scout will work in a single sport only, and they will attend games and events in their specific region to see in-person how the athlete performs. In the case of college scouts, they may also be responsible for helping convince athletes to commit to their school.
Salary range: $25,000-$55,000
Fundraisers are responsible for soliciting donations to organizations, such as nonprofits, political campaigns, hospitals and other groups. They do this through a mix of means, including by organizing events, producing promotional materials or meeting with individual donors. Because donations to groups like nonprofits can come from a variety of sources, fundraisers often need to shift their approach depending on the donor, so understanding the nature of human behavior and decision-making can be quite helpful to ensuring the organization’s coffers are always full.
Salary range: $40,000-$75,000
Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are the professionals ultimately responsible for selling and buying homes, as they advise their seller clients on ideal pricing and their buyer clients on which neighborhoods are the best investment. Real estate agents need to understand what drives people in their decision-making so that they can provide their clients with the best possible advice. In addition, they will help their clients write listings for their properties, and a real estate agent with a psychology background will likely have a very specific point of view in how they pitch homes.
Salary range: $55,000-$100,000
While many psychology jobs involve working directly with people in crisis, as we’ve seen, there is a great deal of diversity in possible jobs for those with bachelor’s degrees in psychology. After all, almost every job in some way deals with understanding and harnessing human behavior.
- Information on salary ranges was compiled from Indeed, Glassdoor and Payscale in the fall of 2019.
- National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Bachelor’s degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by field of study: Selected years, 1970-71 through 2015-16. (2017.) Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d17/tables/dt17_322.10.asp?current=yes
- Highest Paying Psychology Jobs & Careers with a Degree or Major. (2019). Retrieved from https://psydprograms.org/top-highest-paying-psychology-careers/