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Psychology

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Psychology Major

172,309 yearly degrees
$96,000 median salary

Psychology is a major that typically falls into the Psychology category.

There are 328 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in psychology, 1,876 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 1,523 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 798 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Psychology Degree?

This is one of the most frequently chosen college majors. It is the most popular in the country with students graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology in 2017. This major is dominated by women with about 78.9% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of psychology majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 6.3%
  • Black or African American: 11.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 19.2%
  • White: 52.5%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.9%
  • Other Races: 7.5%
Psychology Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in psychology. About 2.9% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending psychology majors to the U.S. are.

What Will You Learn as a Psychology Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to psychology to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Psychology Majors

Psychology majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Psychology Majors

Skills for Psychology Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to psychology:

Important Skills for Psychology Majors

Abilities for Psychology Majors

A major in psychology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for psychology Majors

What Can You Do With a Psychology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with psychology:

Careers Related to Psychology
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Loss Prevention Managers

8%

$107,480

Compliance Managers

8%

$107,480

Counseling Psychologists

14.2%

$76,990

Regulatory Affairs Managers

8%

$107,480

Security Managers

8%

$107,480

Clinical Psychologists

14.2%

$76,990

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

5.9%

$97,260

School Psychologists

14.2%

$76,990

Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists

10.3%

$100,770

Investment Fund Managers

8%

$107,480

Psychology Major Salary

Average salaries range from $88,000 to $109,000 for careers related to psychology. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Psychology Major  ( 88000 to 109000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Psychology Major Jobs

Some careers associated with psychology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for psychology careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Psychology
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

1.9%

Post-Secondary Certificate

1.7%

Some College Courses

0.8%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

3%

Bachelor's Degree

29.8%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

1.1%

Master's Degree

22.4%

Post-Master's Certificate

4.4%

First Professional Degree

1.2%

Doctoral Degree

16.4%

Post-Doctoral Training

17.2%

Online Psychology Programs

There are 1,876 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with 301 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Psychology Major Worth It?

The median salary for a psychology grad is $96,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 146% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,134,200 after 20 years!

psychology salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Nevit Dilmen via License

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