Salary Outlook with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology Degree

The way that we perceive ourselves and how that perception relates to the rest of the world influences our beliefs and actions. The opinion of other people also affects how we behave and how we view ourselves. (

With a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, you will study all parts of interpersonal relationships and the ways that psychology can enhance these interactions. For example, social psychology research helps to understand how people develop attitudes towards other people. When these are harmful, such as with prejudice, the psychologist can offer insight into how to change them.

Some social psychologists focus their careers on researching human behavior, while others center on the practical application of social psychology principles by helping companies to more effectively hire and train employees. They also may evaluate educational programs to determine if intervention strategies are effective.

Social psychologists are trained to combine human behavior knowledge with scientific research techniques, so it is possible to work in many environments, from colleges and universities to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and hospitals.

Do you want to obtain your Ph.D. in Social Psychology? Wherever you attend college, you will spend at least five years earning this degree. So, it is important to know what your salary potential is. Below is detailed information about the salary potential for this field.

Social Psychology Salary Outlook

With an advanced degree, psychologists generally can earn a high salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports the median salary for all psychologists is $79,000 per year. That number includes people with less education, so with a Ph.D. and years of experience, your salary could be up to $129,000, depending on where you work. (

Psychologists will receive different salaries based on industry:

  • Government: $96,400
  • Hospitals: $86,500
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: $79,100
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $75,890 reports the average salary for a professional with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology is $89,000. (

Some professionals with this degree also may be employed as sociologists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median salary for these workers is $82,000 per year. The top 10% with the most education and experience earn $140,000 per year. Salaries vary by these top industries: (

  • State government: $92,000
  • Research and development: $91,800
  • Educational services: $65,100

If your interest lies in teaching at a university, BLS reports the median salary for all professors is $78,700, while psychology professors earn $76,500. ( Sociology teachers at the college level earn a median wage of $74,100.

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High Salary Growth in Ph.D. in Social Psychology

Professionals wanting to earn the highest salary with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology may consider working in the sociology field as a sociologist. When working for a government organization with years of experience, you may earn as much as $140,000 per year, according to BLS data.

Ph.D. Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the job outlook for all psychologists is strong, with a 14% higher demand in jobs expected through 2026. Clinical psychologists and counseling psychologists will see an employment increase of 15%. There is a higher demand for psychological services generally as more people want to have psychological help in working through their problems. As people live longer and healthier lives, there is more of an emphasis on mental health.

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Sociologists will see a 9% job rate increase through 2028, which is above average. Sociologists are needed more today to collaborate with researchers in economics, psychology, and surveying to study how social groups and structure affect policy decisions that affect education, health, politics, criminal justice, and business. (

Social Psychology Career Opportunities

Some of the career opportunities with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology include:

  • Industrial-organizational psychologist: Work with company managers and executives to enhance their workplace and bottom line. They assist companies to improve policies that can help with hiring and retaining the best employees, and also assist with improving productivity, morale and organizational development.
  • Advertising, promotions and marketing manager: Use your knowledge of human behavior to create more effective advertising and marketing campaigns that are focused on getting the customer excited about a product. Working as an advertising, promotions and marketing manager, you may create advertising campaigns, negotiate contracts, analyze consumer behavior and meet with potential clients.
  • Research psychologist: Conduct social psychology-related experiments on many topics involving human actions. Study how people feel, behave, think and perform in various conditions. Work focuses on developing a testable hypothesis, collecting and analyzing data and reporting on study findings.
  • Political strategist: Politicians may employ social psychologists to devise effective electoral strategies to win more votes. Political strategists or consultants handle polling constituents, making TV, radio and direct marketing pieces, and raise money for candidates.

Featured Online Ph.D. in Social Psychology

Students interested in a Ph.D. in Social Psychology can earn their degree online at Liberty University. This Ph.D. in Psychology – Social Psychology is a highly specialized degree that can help the student to envision large scale challenges of society and be a key part of devising practical solutions. (

SEE ALSO: Top Online Ph.D. In Social Psychology Programs

Liberty University’s online Ph.D. in Social Psychology offers strong research training that will ready you for a career in academia and social psychology research. An online Ph.D. in this program is ideal for students who want to bring new human behavior knowledge to the field of social psychology and find ways to address pressing social issues.

Learning objectives in this four-year program are:

  • Learn how to apply psychological principles to large scale social thought and group psychology.
  • Master psychological writing and research techniques that will establish your work in human behavior studies.
  • Complete your Ph.D. dissertation research during the program with mentorship from your psychology professors.

Required courses for graduation are:

  • Theories and Research in Social Psychology
  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Social Cognitive Development
  • Contemporary Topics in Social Psychology
  • Attitudes, Measurement and Change
  • Social Relationships
  • Social Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social Psychology of the Digital Age
  • Quantitative Research and Analysis
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The field of social psychology is a growing one, and there are many interesting and well-paying career fields with a Ph.D. in Psychology in this specialty. From a practicing industrial-organizational psychologist to sociologist and even a political strategist, you can enjoy an intriguing career with good wages by earning your Ph.D. in social psychology.