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what are the highest paying jobs you can get with a psychology degree?

I'm super interested in psychology and how the human brain works. Mental health is really interesting and important to me, too. I'm looking into pursuing a career relating to that sort of thing, but financial stability is very important to me.

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Katherine’s Answer

Hi! A psychology degree can lead to several high-paying career paths, especially if you specialize or pursue advanced education. One of the top-paying options is becoming a psychiatrist, which involves medical school and residency training but offers significant financial rewards. Industrial-Organizational psychologists, who enhance workplace productivity and culture, can also earn competitive salaries with experience.
In addition, you may look into the career of becoming a neuropsychologist, who explore the brain-behavior relationship, particularly in research or clinical roles. Clinical psychologists, although not always among the highest earners, can achieve good income levels, especially in private practice. Moreover, forensic psychologists apply psychology to legal settings and can earn well as consultants or expert witnesses. Health psychologists, counseling psychologists, and school psychologists may not always be among the highest-paying, but they generally offer good job stability and fulfilling work.
Keep in mind that salary variations can arise due to factors like location, experience, education level, and specialization. Pursuing further education, such as a master's or even a doctoral degree, may be necessary for some high-paying careers in psychology. All the best luck!:)
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Adilay
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Amy’s Answer

Psychology and mental health is a very important career choice in today's society. There has always been a stigma with psychology related fields being underpaid but now more than ever there are a wide choice of categories to choose that would be financially desirable. This could include medical school, life coaching, therapist, biotech, and business psychology. Once in your college you could work with the department to further research which direction of psychology that most suites you and gain more education and experience in those fields.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice, this was really helpful! Adilay
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James Constantine’s Answer

Greetings Adilay from Elk River,
This is Jim from the Gold Coast addressing your inquiry about the most lucrative careers attainable with a psychology degree. I share your fascination with psychology and the workings of the human mind. The importance and intrigue of mental health are not lost on me either. Like you, I'm considering a career in this field, with a strong emphasis on financial stability.

**Top Earning Careers with a Psychology Degree**

A psychology degree opens up a vast array of career paths, some of which are quite high-paying. However, it's crucial to remember that salaries can fluctuate based on factors like location, experience, and specialization. Here are some of the top earning jobs you can secure with a psychology degree:

1. **Psychiatrist**: Psychiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. They can prescribe medication and provide therapy to patients. Due to the extensive education and training required, psychiatrists usually earn high salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual wage for psychiatrists was $220,380 as of May 2020. However, it's worth noting that becoming a psychiatrist involves completing medical school and a residency program.

2. **Industrial-Organizational Psychologist**: These psychologists apply psychological principles to the workplace, focusing on aspects like employee productivity, job satisfaction, and organizational behavior. They often work in human resources, management consulting, or research organizations. The BLS stated that the median annual wage for industrial-organizational psychologists was $97,260 as of May 2020.

3. **Neuropsychologist**: Neuropsychologists explore the connection between brain function and behavior and cognition. They often work in research or clinical settings, conducting assessments and providing interventions for individuals with neurological disorders or injuries. They can also be involved in academic teaching and research. Salaries for neuropsychologists can vary based on factors like experience and location, but they generally earn a competitive income.

4. **Clinical Psychologist**: Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders using therapy and counseling techniques. They work with individuals of all ages and may specialize in areas like child psychology, adult psychology, or substance abuse treatment. The BLS reported that the median annual wage for clinical psychologists was $82,180 as of May 2020. However, salaries can significantly vary based on factors like location and work setting.

5. **Forensic Psychologist**: Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal and criminal justice settings. They might work in areas like criminal profiling, assessing competency to stand trial, or providing expert testimony in court. Salaries for forensic psychologists can vary based on factors like experience and location, but they generally earn a competitive income.

6. **Health Psychologist**: Health psychologists focus on how psychological factors influence physical health and well-being. They might work in healthcare settings, research institutions, or private practice, helping individuals manage chronic illnesses, adopt healthy behaviors, and cope with medical procedures. Salaries for health psychologists can vary based on factors like experience and location.

7. **Academic Researcher**: Some psychology graduates choose to pursue careers in academia, conducting research and teaching at universities or research institutions. While salaries for academic researchers can vary widely depending on factors like institution prestige and grant funding, tenured professors often earn a good income.

May you find the information helpful and may God bless you,
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your response, this was really helpful! Adilay
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Adilay:

There are careers in Psychology that one can pursue. According to, here are some of the top careers for a Psychology major:

- Therapist
- Psychology Program Director
- Behavioral Analyst
- Researcher
- Psychology Professor
- Industrial Psychologist
- Military Psychologist
- Counseling Psychologist
- Correctional Psychologist
- Sports Psychologist
- Clinical Psychologist
- Experimental Psychologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Neuropsychiatrist
- Child or School Psychiatrist

According to U.S. News & World Report, here is a link to the Best Colleges and Universities for a Psychology major:

- Stanford University
- University of California (Berkeley)
- Harvard University
- University of California (Los Angeles)
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
- Princeton University
- University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Northwestern University
- University of Wisconsin (Madison)
- Columbia University
- Duke University

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.

You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.

Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:

Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.

Best wishes for your education and career path in Psychology!
Thank you comment icon This was helpful advice, thank you! Adilay