Top 25 Careers in Psychology

At the most general level, a psychologist is a professional who evaluates and studies behavior and mental processes. Some psychologists focus on clinical work, where they help patients with issues they may be having. Other psychologists spend their time researching theory and data to come up with new philosophies.

Top 25 careers in psychology graphicYou can work in multiple different jobs as a psychologist (see our list of the top 25 psychology careers below), but there are several major areas of psychology:

  • 1. Clinical Psychology: The most predominate area in which psychologists work is in clinical setting. There are an estimated 150,000+ people working in a clinical psychology setting. This area of psychology includes what most people think of when they think of psychology: a psychologist in a private, office setting, helping patients through their issues and problems.
  • 2. Organizational Psychology: Organizational / business / industrial psychology is a growing area. Businesses hire organizational psychologists to help with Human Resources, the hiring process, management, and even marketing.
  • 3. Counseling Psychology: A closely related area of psychology to clinical psychology is counseling psychology. Similar to the clinical setting, counselors work in mostly private settings helping patients. Most counselors do not work in a private practice, but a larger organization such as a hospital, non-profit, or institution of education.

In the United States, there are an estimated 170,200 psychologist jobs, 152,000 are employed in clinical, counseling, and school positions, as of the last data in 2012 from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Types of Psychology

There are many different types of psychology – over 30 of them, by our count. We have assembled all of the different pscyhology degrees and matched them up to the different types of psychology. Then, we have researched the top careers in psychology and gathered them into one comprehensive list. From this list below on the top 25 psychology careers, you will find out the following information for each of the top 25 psychology careers listed below:

  • PSYCHOLOGY OCCUPATION: The name of the psychology occupation
  • AREA OF STUDY: The area of psychology the job is within
  • BRIEF JOB DESCRIPTION: A summary of the job description for the psychology career
  • MIN DEGREE: The minimum degree requirements for the career
  • A JOB FOR…: In just a few words, who this job would be good for (assuming you have a basic interest in general psychology of course)

Top 25 Psychology Careers

ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The research-inclined
Area of Study – Mental Health Psychology
What Do They Do? Studies extreme or unusual human behavior, finds ways to correct or change the abnormal behavior. Tends to be more research-based.
Where Do They Work? Abnormal Psychologists typically work in clinical settings, mental health facilities or hospitals.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Behavior Analysis (Master’s or Higher, Doctorate for private practice)

BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The “fixer”
Area of Study – Behavioral Psychology
What Do They Do? Similar to Abnormal Psychologists, use research-based theory to correct behaviors such as depression, substance abuse, mental illness.
Where Do They Work? Behavioral Psychologists typically work in a private practice or clinical setting, or a mental health facility.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Behavior Analysis (Master’s or Higher, Doctorate for private practice)

CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The compassionate
Area of Study – Family Psychology
What Do They Do? Focus on children, diagnosing and treating psychological disorders.
Where Do They Work? Child Psychologists can usually work in a private practice or clinical setting, or in a children’s hospital.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Clinical Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The motivated, compassionate
Area of Study – Clinical Psychology
What Do They Do? General psychologist with all-encompassing knowledge for a clinical practice.
Where Do They Work? Clinical Psychologists usually work in a private practice or clinical setting, or a hospital or mental health facility. This is the most diverse career path with a variety of workplace settings.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Clinical Psychology (Doctorate for private practice)

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The perceptive
Area of Study – Cognitive Psychology
What Do They Do? Study mental processes such as memory, perception, and learning.
Where Do They Work? Cognitive psychologists are usually working in research facilities or treatment facilities.
Psychology Program to Consider –Neuropsychology Degrees (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The compassionate and helping kind
Area of Study – Counseling
What Do They Do? An “everyday” psychologist, typically helps patients deal with everyday stress.
Where Do They Work? Counseling psychologists typically work in a private practice or business workplace.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Counseling Psychology / PsyD in Counseling Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The organized, disciplined, compassionate
Area of Study – Developmental Psychology
What Do They Do? Specialized area where they work with different life stages and patients with developmental disabilities.
Where Do They Work? Developmental Psychologists usually work in a private practice or business workplace.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Clinical Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The inquisitive
Area of Study – Education
What Do They Do? Assists children that are experiencing learning problems. Can help with learning disabilities.
Where Do They Work? School or Educational Psychologists are most often working a school or educational facility or private practice.
Psychology Program to Consider –School Psychology Degrees (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The researcher
Area of Study – Developmental Psychology
What Do They Do? Theoretical approach to mental and psychology and adaptations.
Where Do They Work? Evolutionary Psychologists typically are employed in a research facility or a university center.
Psychology Program to Consider –PsyD in Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The inquisitive, research-oriented
Area of Study – Research
What Do They Do? Researchers that study behavior, thoughts, and processes in humans and animals.
Where Do They Work? Most Experimental Psychologists work in a research facility setting.
Psychology Program to Consider –PsyD in Psychology (PhD/Doctorate or pursuing doctorate)

FAMILY THERAPY PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The “family first” believers
Area of Study – Family Psychology
What Do They Do? Work with families to solve issues or disagreements.
Where Do They Work? Family Therapy Psychologists typically work in in a group setting in a private practice or community center.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Family Counseling (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The “solvers”
Area of Study – Forensics
What Do They Do? Study criminals and their crimes to gain a better understanding of reasoning for crimes, and to help solve crimes.
Where Do They Work? Forensic Psychologists are usually employed in a laboratory or criminal facility.
Psychology Program to Consider –Forensic Psychology Degree (Master’s or Higher)

NEUROLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The research-oriented
Area of Study – Neuropsychology
What Do They Do? Specialized profession focusing on the relationship between the brain and a person’s behavior.
Where Do They Work? Neurological Psychologists are usually in a laboratory or research facility, but the setting can vary.
Psychology Program to Consider –Neuropsychology Degree (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The organized, business-savvy
Area of Study – Business & Organizational Psychology
What Do They Do? Typically works in a business environment and applies psychology theory and practice to Human Resources, Sales, Marketing, and Management to help further the business.
Where Do They Work? Most Organizational Psychologists are employed in a corporation or office setting.
Psychology Program to Consider –Organizational Psychology Degree (Master’s or higher)

PSYCHIATRIC TECHNICIAN

A Job For – The helper
Area of Study – Technical Assistance
What Do They Do? Provide hands-on care to people with mental health illnesses or disabilities.
Where Do They Work? Psychiatric Technicians are most often employed in a mental health facility.
Psychology Program to Consider –Bachelors in Psychology (Associate’s or Higher)

PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY

A Job For – The teacher
Area of Study – Education
What Do They Do? Teaches college students on the theory of psychology, either general or specialized.
Where Do They Work? Professors of Psychology usually are employed by a university or college.
Psychology Program to Consider –PsyD in Psychology (PhD/Doctorate)

PSYCHOANALYST

A Job For – The “Freud”
Area of Study – Neuropsychology
What Do They Do? Works to understand and solve problems at the sub-conscious level, based on Freudian principles.
Where Do They Work? Most Psychoanalysts work in a laboratory or private setting.
Psychology Program to Consider –Neuoropsychology Programs (Master’s or Doctorate)

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The helper of students
Area of Study – Education, Counseling
What Do They Do? Work with students and teachers in their abilities and processes to learn and teach. Can also work with behavior, learning, or developmental disabilities that impede learning.
Where Do They Work? School Psychologists are usually working in a school, college, or university setting.
Psychology Program to Consider –School Psychology Degree (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The socially responsible
Area of Study – Social Psychology
What Do They Do? Works to understand an individual or group’s behaviors, feelings, and thoughts.
Where Do They Work? Social Psycholgoists are usually working in a clinical setting and sometimes a private practice.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Community Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

SOCIAL WORKER

A Job For – The socially responsible
Area of Study – Social Psychology
What Do They Do? Work to protect children and families that need assistance.
Where Do They Work? Most Social Workers work within non-profits, clinical, schools, hospitals, many settings.
Psychology Program to Consider –Social Work Degree
Consider further researching social worker careers at Social Work Degrees.org (opens in a new window).

SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST

A Job For – The sports-inclined
Area of Study – Organizational & Sports Psychology
What Do They Do? Can work in research or counseling positions, using data and theorem to understand, correct, and challenge an athlete’s or team’s performance.
Where Do They Work? Sports Psychologists usually work with sports teams, on fields, courts, athletic facilities.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

CAREER COUNSELOR

A Job For – The career adviser, helper
Area of Study – Education, Counseling
What Do They Do? Guides individuals, usually students, through the process in understanding what they want their career to be.
Where Do They Work? Career Counselors usually work in schools (particularly high schools) or counseling centers.
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in School Psychology (Bachelor’s or Higher)

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR

A Job For – The compassionate
Area of Study – Counseling, Mental Health
What Do They Do? Typically work directly with clients to understand and work to progress mental and emotional issues.
Where Do They Work? Mental Health Counselors usually work in a private practice, counseling centers, schools
Psychology Program to Consider –Masters in Applied Psychology (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

REHABILITATION COUNSELOR

A Job For – The rehabilitator
Area of Study – Rehabilitative Psychology
What Do They Do? Help rehabilitate issues caused by physical, mental, or emotional disability.
Where Do They Work? Rehabilitation Counselors are most often employed in rehabilitation centers, hospitals or healthcare facilities.
Psychology Program to Consider –Counseling Psychology Degree (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR

A Job For – The rehabilitator
Area of Study – Substance Abuse, Mental Health Psychology
What Do They Do? Works to understand and rehabilitate issues stemming from substance abuse.
Where Do They Work? Substance Abuse Counselors usually work within substance abuse centers, rehabilitation facilities, healthcare or hospital facilities.
Psychology Program to Consider –Substance Abuse Counseling Degree (Master’s, Doctorate for private practice)

Top Psychology Salaries

Below are the top careers, salarly information, and employment information that is expected of the career in Psychology.
Data from the BLS.

PSYCHOLOGISTS EMPLOYED MEDIAN SALARY EST INCREASE: JOBS BY 2024
Psychologists 173,900 $70,700 19% (much faster than average)
Clinical Psychologists 104,730 $68,900 19% (much faster than average)
Mental Health Counselors 168,200 $42,250 19% (much faster than average)
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 94,900 $39,270 22% (much faster than average)
School and Career Counselors 273,400 $53,370 8% (as fast as average)
Social Workers 649,300 $45,500 12% (faster than average)

View all Psychology Degrees here.