Seven Lucrative Career Options in Applied Psychology

Psychology is a broad field rooted in many other domains, from business and industry to schooling. 

Psychology studies human behavior and applied psychology uses this knowledge and various psychological principles for solving practical problems. 

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From being somewhat acceptable and finally deemed important, mental health is the foundation of applied psychology. Applied psychology is aimed at understanding challenges faced by people and providing viable solutions to clients. 

Knowledge from applied psychology is used in many areas ranging from criminal behavior, education, and sports, to business practice and many more.

Once you land yourself in an applied psychology degree program, numerous career paths will open. If you are an altruist at heart and find satisfaction in helping others, applied psychology is just the right field for you. 

With a degree in applied psychology, you can consider the following career options:

1. Research analyst

As a research analyst, you will find lucrative jobs within the business industry. A research analyst is tasked with helping organizations manage their data and make effective decisions.

With the research analysis process, organizations gain insight into competitors, which guides their choices regarding products and services. Reviewing competitors through this process helps organizations understand their position in the marketplace and adopt the right strategy.

A research analyst gathers this information via market analysis surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Together with data on market trends, research analysis helps businesses decide which products or services are in high demand.

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With a master of science in applied psychology, psychology students can enter such careers as research analysis where psychological and business interests meet.

2. Social worker

Social work is at the heart of psychology; a mental health social worker is a professional who helps clients as an advocate, counselor, and educator. They address societal concerns about mental health and distress-causing social issues.

For instance, a social worker will address community concerns like relationship problems, substance abuse, mental health, house financing, foster care, etc. A mental health social worker can work in the medical setting to help patients with terminal illnesses and their families cope with the challenge. 

As a social worker, you can look for a job in community-based programs, mental health clinics, government agencies, non-profit agencies, schools, and more. 

Since psychology plays a significant role in diagnosing, understanding circumstances, treatment, and planning, it is a substantial part of the social work curricula. 

To be a licensed social worker, you need an undergraduate degree in social work. Most organizations also require a master’s degree in social work.

3. Developmental psychologist

In the field of developmental psychology, psychologists research the growth process of children from birth until death. Often these professionals specialize in certain age groups; babies, adolescents, or older people. 

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They study the various psychological principles as applied to these age groups. It includes the study of cognitive, social, physical, perceptual, intellectual, emotional, and personality growth over the years; for instance, a study of how learning styles differ between babies and adults would fall under this domain.

Some are concerned with the practical use of this knowledge, while others focus mainly on research in the developmental process. 

Developmental psychologists can also work in the clinical setting, using their understanding of the growth process to deal with mental illnesses, emotional disorders, behavior problems, etc.

4. Research Assistant

Research is part and parcel of any degree in psychology, and nearly all professionals, at one point or another, contribute with research to the broader literature. If this is where your interest lies, research assistance is one career you can consider.

Research assistants perform much of the practical part of research with primary researchers, helping them prepare labs, set the conditions and equipment for the experiment, collect and tabulate results, and create presentations. 

During the research conducting phase, research assistants help gather data and instruct the participants during the experiment. To become a research assistant, employers often demand that the applicant have a bachelor’s degree in the field that is being researched.

5. Education counselor

Educational counseling is a good option if you are more inclined toward the educational sector. An educational counselor mediates the relationship between students, parents, and the institute in an academic setting.

The roles performed by an educational counselor are diverse and varied; these professionals might help students adopt the right learning strategy or use coping strategies for school-related problems like bullying. 

They assist learning-disabled students in managing their problems and dealing with the emotional distress that might result.

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Educational counselors aren’t fully equipped to deal with students’ emotional disturbances or psychological problems, so they collaborate with other mental health professionals. Their work is primarily tied to vocational and academic success.

On the other side of the coin, educational counselors assist teachers and administrators in adopting the right teaching and management strategies for success with students. They would work with the teachers to develop efficient class lectures.

6. Forensic psychologist

Psychology is also tied to the criminal justice sector, and with a degree in applied psychology, you can consider a profession in forensic psychology. The primary task that forensic psychologists perform is determining whether a suspect (defendant) is sane and legally to be held responsible for their actions. 

Forensic psychologists provide legal testimony that the suspect was sane and should be held accountable for the crime committed.

Besides this, a forensic psychologist will also handle other concerns during the trial, like competency questions. To work in this field, you need a strong heart because you often have to deal with rapists, child abusers, murderers, and insane criminals.

7. Substance abuse counselor

Another popular career choice for applied psychology graduates is substance abuse counseling. These professionals deal with addicts daily and help them cope with their drug addiction. They interact with clients in the crises, recovery, or relapse phase.

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The main task of a substance abuse counselor is to get the clients to understand their triggers, avoid them, and find alternative healthier ways of coping with their life challenges. 

They might recommend these clients to counseling programs to sustain the positive impacts of therapy.

For each client, the counselor comes up with a customized treatment plan and strategy that targets their particular drug problem in the context of their life.

Final words

With a degree in applied psychology, you can do much that you cannot with a specialized degree. It opens more options than other degree programs in psychology. 

This highly rewarding career choice is in high demand, and the job market is expanding. So rest assured that you will have many options to browse from if you decide to pursue a psychology career.

We hope you learned something from this article; if we missed something, please tell us in the comments below. 

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