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What Can I Do with a
Bachelor's Degree in Psychology?

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According to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these 5 general occupational groupings are the most common for workers with a psychology degree:

  • Management occupations
  • Community and social service occupations
  • Educational instruction and library occupations
  • Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
  • Office and administrative support occupations

Roughly 60% of psychology degree holders work in one of these areas. Keep in mind this BLS data does not account for degree level. Master’s degree holders are more common in certain fields, while undergraduate degree holders are more common in others. Beyond preparing you for many different types of jobs after graduation, a bachelor’s degree in psychology can be a great foundation for many future master’s degree pathways.

Listed below are 7 common types of jobs you can potentially get with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Psychology Degree Graduate Speaking with Client

1. Substance abuse or behavioral disorder counselor

  • Average salary (BLS): $56,230 per year ($27.03 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 18% increase from 2022-2032

Substance abuse or behavioral disorder counselors help people with a variety of conditions, such as alcoholism or addiction, and psychological disorders like depression. Counselors offer support, education, and alternative coping behaviors to help improve their clients’ physical and mental health.

Duties generally include evaluating clients’ psychological and mental health and assessing their readiness for treatment. Counselors will then work with clients to develop treatment plans and goals.

Counselors may work with a specific group, such as adults or high-school students, or in a specific field, such as child and family services.

While it may be possible to find an entry-level job without a master’s degree, mental health counselors typically need a master’s degree in social work or a related major and at least a year or two of clinical experience.1

2. Psychiatric/mental health technician

  • Average salary (BLS): $40,760 per year ($19.60 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 10% increase from 2022-2032

Psychiatric or mental health technicians care for people who have mental, emotional, or developmental disabilities. Technicians listen to patients’ concerns, monitor their conditions, provide therapeutic care, or leading them in recreational activities.

Psychiatric technicians’ work varies depending on the types of patients they have. For example, some technicians provide care to people with severe developmental disabilities, while other technicians care for people with drug or alcohol addiction.

It’s recommended that you have at least a postsecondary certificate or associate degree from an accredited college to work as a psychiatric tech. A bachelor’s degree can help make you highly qualified for these types of jobs.

3. Human resources manager

  • Average salary (BLS): $145,750 per year ($70.07 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 5% increase from 2022-2032

Human resources managers develop, coordinate, and guide the administrative functions of an organization. This includes recruitment efforts, benefits and payroll, training and development, and compliance to ensure the organization follows state and federal law.

Additionally, HR managers play a key role in developing and fostering the organization’s culture. This includes working closely with department managers to identify important issues and gathering feedback through employee surveys.

While not required, a master’s of business administration with a concentration in human resources can help you prepare for and succeed in an HR manager role, as well as potentially higher-paying opportunities down the road.

4. Compensation and benefits managers

  • Average salary (BLS): $143,140 per year ($68.82 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 2% increase from 2022-2032

Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop, and oversee salary and health care programs for employees. Using data, compensation and benefits managers study benefits plans, assess their worth to employees, and then implement and modify them as needed.

Compensation and benefits managers distribute information to employees, ensure that pay and benefits comply with federal and state regulations, and prepare organizational budgets. They also select and manage outside vendors, such as insurance brokers and investment managers.

You don’t always need an advanced degree to become a benefits manager; however, an MBA program can help prepare you for higher-level career opportunities in this field.

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5. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers

  • Average salary (BLS): $147,050 per year ($70.70 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 2% increase from 2022-2032

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. Their duties may include project coordination, account management and budgeting. They work closely with art directors, copywriters, and related teams.

A strong educational background in psychology can be beneficial to help you understand different types of people and how they make decisions. This is extremely valuable information for marketing departments strategizing how to sell their products and services.

If you're very interested in specializing in advertising or marketing, you may consider a bachelor's degree in marketing as a preferable degree pathway.

Advertising managers vs. Promotions managers

Advertising managers work in agencies that put together ad campaigns, such as digital or print, while promotions managers oversee programs that combine ads with purchasing incentives, such as discounts, coupons, or rebates, in order to increase sales.

Marketing managers oversee many things, such product development, market segmentation, launch plans, and customer satisfaction.

6. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists

  • Average salary (BLS): $64,920 per year ($31.21 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 3% increase from 2022-2032

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists help rehabilitate law offenders in custody, or on probation or parole. They connect people with resources, such as job training or substance abuse counseling, to help ensure they stay on a good path.

Correctional treatment specialists also develop rehabilitation plans for probationers and parolees. These plans may include training courses to help improve their job skills and prepare them for the right opportunity.

Having a major in psychology or forensic science can be helpful preparation for these, as well as other jobs in correctional treatment.

7. Training and development specialists

  • Average salary (BLS): $132,100 per year ($63.51 per hour)*
  • Employment outlook (BLS): 7% increase from 2022-2032

Training and development managers develop, implement, and oversee training programs for organizations. They identify the organization and employees’ needs and develop training based on their findings, as well as the different requirements for jobs. Training materials may include instructional manuals and videos and may be delivered in person or online.

Additionally, training and development managers oversee the training staff, work with vendors that supply training materials and software, evaluate the effectiveness of the training programs, and manage staff and budget as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is worth it!

You can develop skills relevant to all sorts of different types of jobs and pave the way for a unique career path tailored to your strengths and preferences.

There are a few important factors to consider when choosing between pursuing a career in psychology or nursing, including:

  • Varied scope of job possibilities
  • The abstract vs. tangible nature of study and practice
  • Educational requirements
  • Future areas of career specialization

Learn more about the biggest differences between careers in psychology and nursing, and how you might choose based on your personality, preferences, and skills.

Our bachelor’s degree program can be completed in as few as 36 months to (3 years, 9 semesters).

You can potentially transfer credit from prior college coursework into our program and complete the program faster. Please contact admissions for additional information on transferring credit.

Because you can take your career path in so many different directions after earning a psychology degree, there is no single answer to this question.

Here are estimated salary figures for some potential career possibilities based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:*

Job / CareerPer yearPer hour
Psychiatric Technicians (BLS)$40,760$19.60
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors (BLS)$56,230$27.03
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists (BLS)$64,920$31.21
Training and Development Managers (BLS)$132,100$63.51
Human Resources Managers (BLS)$145,750$70.07
Compensation and Benefits Managers (BLS)$143,140$68.82

All salary data courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Please keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list, and degree requirements for jobs in these categories can vary by employer.

Yes, but it may be more appropriate to say psychology is an important element in the delivery of human services—among other fields.

Psychology represents a discipline that is a crucial component in human services, though a degree in psychology can be applied in jobs outside of the generally accepted category of “human services” jobs.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is not enough education on its own to become a forensic psychologist.

Our degree program does include an Introduction to Forensic Psychology course, which covers basic concepts in the field, but will not fully prepare you to get certified or work in the field immediately upon graduation.

For instance, in order to apply for Forensic Psychology certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology, you’ll need to first earn a doctoral degree, among additional training and experience requirements.

However, you do need to start somewhere. If you have yet to earn an undergraduate degree, earning a bachelor’s in psychology is a logical first step down the educational pathway to specialized future studies in forensic psychology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most psychology degrees across all levels are named as a general “Psychology” major or concentration.

Some psychology degrees feature concentrations in:

  • Counseling Psychology
  • Miscellaneous Psychology
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Keep in mind many specialties in the psychology field may require a master’s degree education or higher.

Our psychology bachelor’s degree program offers a curriculum designed to teach a broad array of knowledge and skills. This can help you qualify for more types of jobs after graduation and position you for many different educational opportunities at the graduate level in the future.

A bachelor’s in psychology can help you build a good foundation for future social work education, and you can potentially find entry-level jobs related to social work with a bachelor’s degree.

However, to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), you will need more than a psychology bachelor’s degree—you will need to earn a Master of Social Work.1

1. Individuals considering the Master of Social Work program should be aware that state certification/ licensure requirements and eligibility to apply for certification/licensure vary from state to state. While certification/licensure is not a requirement for certain types of jobs, in some states, it may be required for any positions titled ‘Social Worker’ and to refer to yourself as a Social Worker in professional settings.

Start on your path today

A bachelor’s degree in psychology offers a strong foundation for a variety of career opportunities.

Get started on the path to a new career today with a degree from Herzing.

Learn more about our Psychology degree program

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1. Certification/licensure requirements and eligibility to apply for certification/licensure vary from state to state.


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2022 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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