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General Psychology

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General Psychology Major

130,686 yearly degrees
#4 in popularity
$96,000 median salary

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

There are 297 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in psychology, 1,431 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 393 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 166 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Psychology Degree?

General psychology is the third most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly 112,200 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. This major is dominated by women with about 78.8% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 5.5%
  • Black or African American: 12%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 19.2%
  • White: 53.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.6%
  • Other Races: 7.5%

General Psychology Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in psychology. About 2.6% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending psychology majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Canada.

What Will You Learn as a General 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 General Psychology Majors

Skills for Psychology Majors

When studying psychology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for General Psychology Majors

Abilities for Psychology Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a psychology student include the following:

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 General Psychology
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8% $107,480
Counseling Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8% $107,480
Security Managers 8% $107,480
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 Professors 15.1% $76,710

General Psychology Major Salary

Average salaries range from $88,000 to $109,000 for careers related to psychology. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for General Psychology Major Jobs

Some careers associated with psychology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 General Psychology
Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Less Than a High School Diploma 0%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 1%
Post-Secondary Certificate 1.2%
Some College Courses 0.1%
Associate's Degree or Equivalent 2.4%
Bachelor's Degree 26.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 0%
Master's Degree 25.4%
Post-Master's Certificate 5.6%
First Professional Degree 1.6%
Doctoral Degree 15.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 20.2%

Online General Psychology Programs

There are 1,431 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in general psychology, with 227 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.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a General 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!

general 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: BruceBlaus via License

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