Entry-Level Psychology Job Guide

While undergraduate psychology degrees don’t often directly translate into psychology jobs, the graduates of psychology programs have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a first job after college.

What Do You Do With a Psychology Degree?

One of the major tricks to leveraging your psychology degree is to emphasize your ability to empathize with individuals and understand human behavior. The ability to understand why humans behave the way that they do in combination with a scientific and analytical approach to problem solving can help you break into numerous industries (technology, medical, etc.) in many different roles (marketing, research, analyst, etc.).

What You’ve Gained From Your Psychology Program

It may not be obvious to you yet, but your psychology program prepared you for a job by doing the following:

  1. Instilling a passion in you to understand why humans do the things they do. This will not only help you develop empathy and compassion (critical skills for succeeding in the workplace), but it will also help you read your fellow coworkers better.
  2. Establishing a basic understanding of the importance of sound data and statistical analysis. You can often make data say whatever you want it to say and say it powerfully. Knowing how to use data to drive decision-making at a company will empower you for years to come.
  3. The ability to communicate your ideas effectively. No doubt you’ve had to write papers on your projects. You’ve communicated your ideas in writing and orally. That’s not going to change in your first job.
  4. A respected degree. Many great entry-level jobs simply require that you have a college degree. Congrats, you now qualify for some solid jobs.

A Few Career Options for Psychology Majors

Because the knowledge that you degree gave you is fairly broad, you have quite a few options for entry-level jobs. In fact, it’s often hardest to decide which of the following options is better suited to your interests. If you’re the analytical sort and enjoyed crunching the data from your experiments and projects, perhaps you should look at research or analyst positions. If you enjoyed understanding human behavior perhaps a marketing, sales, or user experience researcher suit you best. If you’re a great writer and enjoy sharing your ideas, there are some great journalist jobs out there. Once you’ve figured out what type of job you want, we have some fantastic, actionable tips for getting a job unrelated to your major.

Here are a few example searches that result in positions that are often filled by psychology majors:

Salary Expectations

The median salary for psychology graduates is $62,706.

The range is $39,798 – 91,382.

Outside of the core job function (which has the largest impact on salary), location is one the largest factors in calculating salary, so it’s particularly helpful to consider the entire salary range.

The Bureau of Labor expects the number of Psychology jobs to grow by 19% over the next 10 years. This is one of the fastest growing career areas out there.

How a Graduate Degree Changes Things

With a graduate degree in psychology, it’s far more likely that you’ll be able to find a job directly in the field of psychology. These are jobs where you’ll often be using your ability to understand human behavior and empathize to counsel other individuals.

Graduate psychology degree owners often find their first career jobs in:

Additional Resources

  1. It never hurts to brush up on a few Psychology topics. You can take a few online courses to get back in the swing of things.
  2. For more salary information, head over to Payscale.
  3. For more advice on starting your entry-level job search, check out our guide!
  4. And finally, to prepare for an entry-level job interview, prepare for the top 20 entry-level job interview questions.

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