Applied Psychology Career

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Psychologists research and study human behavior, assess and diagnose patients and develop treatment plans. To work in the field, a bachelor's degree is usually required for entry level positions. Generally, an employer seeks candidates with master's and doctoral degrees to provide individuals with specific clinical and counseling needs.

Career Title Forensic Psychologist Industrial/Organizational Psychologist Sport Psychologist
Educational Requirements Doctorate Degree Master's Degree
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 11% clinical psychologists 53% 11% psychologists, all other
Median Salary (2013) **$60, 631 *$80, 330 *$91, 140(psychologists, all other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

Career Options

Applied psychology uses the principles of psychology to resolve problems in other settings, such as law enforcement, business and sports. The careers listed here are just a sample of the variety of options available to individuals trained in applied psychology.

Forensic Psychology Careers

Applied psychologists in forensic settings use their knowledge of human behavior and psychological principles to assist attorneys and law enforcement agencies or work in correctional facilities. Some common careers in this field include trial consultant, mental health case manager, victim advocate or substance abuse counselor.

Job Duties

Trial consultants assist attorneys in the preparation of criminal and civil cases. They prepare questions for prospective jurors, create an image for defendants and prepare the presentation of evidence. These psychologists help victims prepare for trial or work with defendants to determine their ability to stand trial. Forensic psychologists who work as criminal profilers use psychological principles to develop a profile of an unknown criminal, which aids law enforcement in the identification and apprehension of perpetrators.

Requirements

Careers in this field require extensive training in forensic psychology, and many professionals obtain master's or doctoral degrees. In master's degree programs, students can study intervention strategies and participate in clinical forensic experiences. Doctoral programs in forensic psychology include both hands-on training and research opportunities. The federal government requires at least a bachelor's degree for any entry-level position with an agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( but to be a licensed psychologist requires a doctoral degree.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology Careers

The human resources field provides opportunities for individuals trained in industrial-organizational psychology, which is the study of the relationship between humans and the workplace. Human resource professionals work in an organization to train, motivate and retain employees. These professionals could also work as consultants for companies, suggesting changes that impact work environment, training and morale to help decrease employee turnover and increase worker productivity.

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It's Interesting

  • Counseling psychology is a psychological specialty that encompasses research and applied work in several broad domains: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes among counseling psychologists include a focus on assets and strengths...

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