A career in psychology can be highly profitable for people. According to the American Psychological Association, the median salary for psychologists in 2016 was $75,000. This is a very respectable salary, and it is likely only to continue increasing in the future. Additionally, psychology is versatile, meaning people can pursue many different specialties and subfields. This allows for a great deal of personalization and specialization, which can be appealing to many people.
There are also many opportunities for advancement within the field of psychology. Many psychologists eventually move on to become university professors or university researchers or directors, or managers of clinics or hospitals. There are also many private practice opportunities for psychologists who wish to start their businesses. Overall, a career in psychology is highly lucrative and has many opportunities for advancement. However, it will take a while before you can enjoy these benefits. Here are a few steps you might take to build a stable career in psychology.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
The first step to take if you want to pursue a career in psychology is to get a bachelor’s degree. While you can technically become a psychologist with just a master’s degree, it is much harder to find a job and advance in your career without a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in psychology will give you a solid foundation and prepare you for further master’s or doctoral-level education. Additionally, many jobs in psychology require at least a bachelor’s degree, so this step is essential if you want to pursue a career in the field.
Unfortunately, the finances involved with getting a bachelor’s degree can be daunting. The average cost of tuition at a public university is around $9,000 per year, while the average cost of tuition at a private university is around $33,000 per year. Additionally, many must take out student loans to pay for their education. Fortunately, you can also take a Bachelor of Arts Major in Psychology online to avoid high tuition fees from universities, allowing you to pursue your career path without breaking your wallet.
Get a Master’s Degree in Psychology
Once you have obtained your bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will need a master’s degree to pursue a career. A master’s degree in psychology will allow you to specialize in a particular area of interest and prepare you for a doctoral program if you choose to pursue one. Additionally, many jobs in psychology require at least a master’s degree, so this step is essential if you want to pursue a career in the field.
The average cost of tuition for a master’s degree in psychology is around $20,000 per year. However, as with a bachelor’s degree, there are many ways to offset the cost of tuition. You can apply for scholarships or grants, or you can work part-time while you are studying. Many financial aid options are available if you cannot afford to pay for your education outright.
Get the Required Licenses and Certifications
In most states, you must be licensed to practice as a psychologist. The requirements for licensure vary from state to state, but they generally include a certain number of hours of supervised experience and the passing of an exam. The cost of the exam and the fees associated with getting licensed can be around $1,000. Also, you may need to take continuing education courses to keep your license. These courses typically cost around $500 per year.
Additionally, there are many specialty areas within psychology, each with its certification requirements. For example, if you want to work as a school psychologist, you will need to be certified by the National Association of School Psychologists. Certification costs vary depending on the specialty, but it is typically around $200.
Build Your Reputation
Once you have your degree and license, you must build your reputation. One way to do this is to join professional organizations like the American Psychological Association. These organizations offer networking opportunities to help you meet other professionals in your field and learn about job openings. Additionally, these organizations often provide continuing education courses, which can help you stay up-to-date on the latest developments in psychology.
You can also build your reputation by publishing papers in academic journals or presenting at conferences. This will show that you are an expert in your field and make you more attractive to potential employers.
Finally, you can build your reputation by volunteering or working pro bono. This will show that you are dedicated to helping others and willing to work for free. It will also allow you to gain experience in your field.
Pursuing a career in psychology can be a rewarding experience. However, it is essential to do your research and plan. There are many financial aid options available, so don’t let the cost of tuition discourage you from pursuing your dream. Once you have your degree, there are many ways to build your reputation and get the experience you need to succeed. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goals and build a stable career in psychology.