Careers in Psychology With a Bachelor’s Degree

Psychology is one of the top six most popular college majors. It's a field that fascinates many people, and once you've earned a psychology degree, jobs in many fields are open to you. Having a good understanding of the human mind and human behavior can help you excel in a wide variety of career paths.

While those with an bachelor's degree in psychology do not have all of the same career options available to those with a master's or doctorate, there are many entry-level jobs for college graduates with a bachelor's degree in psychology. These career options might appear to have little to do with the field. However, an undergraduate education in psychology helps students develop skills that are important in a variety of careers.

1

Advertising or Marketing Manager

Market researchers working on a project
Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images

The art and science of persuasion is a major topic in psychology, which is why advertising or marketing is often an ideal career choice for people with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Careers in this field often involve researching the target audience for a product or message and developing advertising materials based on this research.

If you are interested in a career in this field, look for ways that you can gain practical experience now. Internships are an excellent way to get experience, find professional mentors, and build networking relationships in your chosen field.

2

Sales Representative

Undergraduate psychology programs help students acquire a wide range of interpersonal skills. Understanding how to determine and then meet a client's needs is valuable in sales and marketing positions.

Employers value skills such as the ability to speak well and communicate effectively. If you are interested in working in this field, take classes that will improve your understanding of people and human behavior. Courses in social psychology, personality, and communications can be especially beneficial.

3

Psychiatric Technician or Partial Care Worker

Many people with a bachelor’s degree in psychology choose to work directly in the field of health and human services. These jobs allow psychology majors to pursue a career in psychology without a graduate degree, or to gain experience prior to enrolling in a graduate degree program. Jobs in this category include:

  • Case manager
  • Mental health technician
  • Psychiatric technician
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Social work assistant
  • Partial care worker

These workers aid clients in inpatient and outpatient settings who have a variety of mental health concerns. In most cases, people in these jobs work under the supervision and guidance of a licensed clinical psychologist or social worker.

Job duties involve helping patients with basic daily needs, teaching life skills, conducting applied therapy sessions, and performing related case management tasks.

4

Career Counselor

If you enjoy helping people discover their potential, then working as a career counselor can be a fulfilling choice. This job often involves helping people select a career, assisting those in the process of changing careers, or providing vocational rehabilitation to individuals returning to the workforce.

Some psychology majors choose to work with adults with disabilities who may need skills training, job search help, on-the-job training, and regular workplace supervision.

5

Writer

Writer
Tetra Images / Getty Images

Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology generally requires a great deal of writing. After graduation, you could put those communication skills to work in a writing-related career. With a psychology degree, jobs such as technical writer, advertising copywriter, or newspaper reporter may be of interest to you.

6

Probation and Parole Officer

If you are interested in criminal justice, you might want to consider a career as a probation or parole officer. Typically hired by local or state governments, probation and parole officers work directly with people who have been convicted of criminal offenses.

These professionals supervise offenders in home, work, and school settings to track behaviors; make recommendations to the courts; and coordinate with drug treatment professionals or therapists.

7

Market Researcher

People working in the field of market research perform a variety of tasks, including conducting interviews, performing opinion polls, collecting data, and interpreting results. A bachelor's degree in psychology prepares students for work in this field by training them in statistical and scientific methodologies.

8

Child Care Worker

Child Care Worker
Billy Hustace / Getty Images

Another way to use your bachelor's degree in psychology is to become a childcare worker. You would have an immediate and direct impact in helping children learn and grow in a safe environment. You might consider working in a child care center, preschool, or after-school program or even opening up your own child care center or family child care home.

9

Research Assistant

If you have an interest in research and experimental psychology, working as a psychology laboratory assistant could be a great way to put your bachelor's degree to work. Some settings that might employ psychology lab assistants include university psychology programs, government agencies, and businesses that study human behavior.

If this is the kind of post-psychology degree job that interests you, you can gain valuable research experience while you're still an undergrad. Sign up for a research assistant position at your university, or consider taking an internship in a psych lab.

10

Social Service Specialist

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in psychology can also find career opportunities working in the social services sector for government agencies or non-profits. These positions might entail helping individuals locate psychological resources in their community, providing counseling services directly to clients, and other types of case management services.

Some important skills for those working in the social service field include the ability to assess client needs, keep thorough and accurate records, express care and empathy, and to act as advocates for clients.

11

Teacher

Teacher
Hero Images / Getty Images

Students who also earn a teaching certificate along with their bachelor's degree in psychology can also become teachers. Some graduates may opt to apply their knowledge of psychology indirectly as an elementary or middle-school teacher, while others may choose to teach psychology at the high school level.

If you already hold a bachelor's degree in psychology, you might be able to enroll in an accredited teacher education program in order to earn a teaching certificate in your state. Contact your state's board of education to learn more about the requirements and any alternative routes to becoming a credentialed teacher that might be available.

Another option is to work as a paraprofessional, in which you assist a teacher in a classroom or serve as a one-on-one aide to a student with special needs. These positions do not require a master's degree or teaching certificate.

Prepare for a Post-College Career

While opportunities in the field of psychology for those with a bachelor's degree may be more limited than for those with graduate degrees, there are ways to maximize your potential and get the most out of your psychology degree. During your undergraduate years, take courses that will help you later in the job market. Employers value skills such as:

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective written communication
  • Knowledge of group and organizational behavior
  • One-on-one and small group communication
  • Understanding of individual human behavior

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the job outlook for psychologists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade. The need for psychological services in hospitals schools, private businesses, social service agencies, and mental health centers is expected to drive this growth.

It is important to note that the greatest opportunities will be for those with a doctorate degree. "Opportunities directly related to psychology will be limited for bachelor's degree holders," says the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupational Outlook Handbook.

"Some may find jobs as assistants in rehabilitation centers or in other jobs involving data collection and analysis. Those who meet state certification requirements may become high school psychology teachers."

A Word From Verywell

While job opportunities and earnings potential are more limited with a bachelor's degree compared to a graduate degree, there are still plenty of job options out there for those who have a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Take advantage of the job resources available through your university. Many universities host job fairs, and most schools have designated career resources centered on helping students and alumni look for work.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What jobs can I get with an associate’s degree in psychology?

    With an associate's degree in psychology, you are qualified for several entry-level jobs (although some may require some additional training). Possibilities include:

    • Social services assistant
    • Psychiatric technician
    • Mental health advocate
    • Home care aide
    • Teacher's aide/paraprofessional
    • Childcare worker or youth counselor
    • Police officer or corrections officer
    • Research assistant
  • What jobs can you get with a social psychology degree?

    With a social psychology degree, jobs in social services, human resources, or marketing may be a good option. People with bachelor's degrees will likely start in entry-level jobs, such as human resources assistant.

  • What mental health jobs can I get with a bachelor’s degree in psychology?

    A graduate degree is essential for some jobs in mental health, such as counselor or therapist. However, with a bachelor's degree in psychology, you can work in the mental health field as a behavioral or psychiatric technician, care worker, rehab specialist, or social services assistant. In these roles, you would work directly with clients, but be under the supervision and guidance of a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker.

  • What is a good job for a student pursuing a degree in psychology?

    As an undergraduate studying psychology, you may have the opportunity to work as a research or teaching assistant in psychology. This is an excellent option if you plan to pursue a graduate degree.

    If you think that you will enter the job market once you earn your bachelor's degree, look for jobs or internships that allow you to gain experience in your chosen field. That might mean coaching, mentoring, or caring for kids if you are interested in education; working for the human resources department in a business; or working in a retail store if you are interested in sales.

11 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Center for Education Statistics. Fast facts: Most popular majors.

  2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. What advertising, promotions, and marketing managers do. Occupational Handbook.

  3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. How to become a psychiatric technician or aide. Occupational Handbook.

  4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. How to become a school or career counselor. Occupational Handbook.

  5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Writers and authors. Occupational Handbook.

  6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. What probation officers and correction treatment specialists do. Occupational Handbook.

  7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. What market research analysts do. Occupational Handbook.

  8. Jones S. Research careers with a bachelor’s degree in psychology: Academic research opportunities for psychology majors. American Psychological Association.

  9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. What human and social service assistants do. Occupational Handbook.

  10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. How to become a high school teacher. Occupational Handbook.

  11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Psychologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook.

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.