Types of Degrees Psychology Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many psychology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Psychology Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to psychology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for Psychology Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in psychology should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Skills for Psychology Majors
A major in psychology prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Psychology Majors
Psychology majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Psychology Major?
People with a psychology degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Investment Fund Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Loss Prevention Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists||10.3%||$100,770|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Supply Chain Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of psychology majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||3,704|
|Hispanic or Latino||4,157|
Psychology appeals to people across the globe. About 3.8% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Psychology Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that psychology students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $42,350 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,675 (25th percentile) and $46,200 (75th percentile).
One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to psychology.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $88,490 to $109,030 (25th to 75th percentile) 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, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Psychology
Some careers associated with psychology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for psychology careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.9%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.7%|
|Some College Courses||0.8%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||3.0%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.1%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||4.4%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||1.2%|
Online Psychology Programs
In 2018-2019, 1,819 schools offered a psychology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||65||10|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||20||8|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||3||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||675||39|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||102||3|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||4||0|
Is a Degree in Psychology Worth It?
The median salary for a psychology grad is $95,610 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 140% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,114,200 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Psychology
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Majors Related to Psychology
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to psychology.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Communication & Journalism||11,707|
|Family, Consumer & Human Sciences||3,917|
|Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies||2,550|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Nevit Dilmen under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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