5 Careers to Explore With a Degree in Applied Psychology

Careers to Explore in Applied Psychology

Psychology has expanded and grown tremendously in recent years, emphasizing the practical application of psychological principles in various professions. As a result, workers with a degree in applied psychology are in great demand. This need will increase soon, with several attractive job opportunities available to those with the required abilities.

As per the latest reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook of psychologists shows an increase of 6% between 2021 and 2031, with approximately 181,600 employment available in 2021. Furthermore, their typical annual salary is $81,040, with a $38.96 hourly rate. This rise is attributable to increased demand for psychological services across various industries, including healthcare, social services, education, and business. 

According to the American Psychological Association, graduates of applied psychology can work in multiple fields, including clinical practice, research and development, and human resource management. This blog will explore the most rewarding employment options for those with a degree in applied psychology.

1. Organizational Psychologist

Organizational psychology or industrial-organizational psychology is a psychology branch that uses psychological concepts to enhance individual and organizational performance and well-being. Using their understanding of human behavior, motivation, and cognition, organizational psychologists address employee selection and retention, job happiness, leadership development, and workplace diversity challenges.

An online applied psychology master program provides students with the knowledge and abilities to flourish in this field, such as research methodology, organizational behavior, leadership, and human resource management. Enrolling in an online program gives students valuable experience while managing other commitments such as work and family. Furthermore, the rising use of technology and distance work has resulted in significant growth in the demand for online programs in recent years. These programs let students learn from anywhere and at their own speed, making balancing academics and other duties easier. 

You would work as an organizational psychologist in various settings, including businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. A fundamental responsibility of an organizational psychologist is to conduct research to identify and solve organizational issues, plan and execute training programs to increase employee skills and knowledge, and advise managers and executives on organizational policies and procedures. Your potential annual salary may vary based on your work environment, experience, and qualifications. According to the latest research by the BLS, working in scientific research and development services will earn you the most money in this field.

2. Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology concerned with identifying, treating, and preventing mental health and emotional problems. Clinical psychologists operate in several contexts, including hospitals, mental health clinics, private practices, and academic institutions, and may specialize in child psychology, neuropsychology, or health psychology.

Your primary tasks as a clinical psychologist would involve evaluating patients to identify mental health conditions, establishing treatment plans, and offering therapy to assist patients in overcoming their challenges. Clinical psychologists may employ many therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, and humanistic therapy, to treat a variety of mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and addiction.

To establish yourself as a clinical psychologist, you must first receive a doctorate in psychology, then complete an internship or residency and obtain a license to practice in your State. Some clinical psychologists may opt to pursue board certification in their field of expertise.

3. Aviation Psychologist

Aviation psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses on using psychological concepts and techniques to enhance aviation safety and performance. Aviation psychologists operate in a range of contexts, such as government organizations, airlines, and research institutes, and they may specialize in areas such as pilot selection and training, human factors, and air traffic control.

Your primary responsibilities as an aviation psychologist would include research to identify and address human factors that affect aviation safety, develop training programs to improve the performance of pilots and air traffic controllers, and guide aviation industry professionals on human performance and safety issues.

The American Psychological Association predicts that demand for aviation psychologists will increase in the coming future as the aviation sector places a greater focus on safety and efficiency. Consequently, it will lead to higher annual wages and benefits. 

A career in aviation psychology may be a great alternative for you if you have a passion for both psychology and aviation and want to make a meaningful contribution to the aviation sector.

4. Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is a psychology branch that studies human growth and development across the lifespan. Developmental psychologists' work settings include universities, research organizations, and government agencies. They may also specialize in areas such as child development, adolescent development, and aging. 

Your key responsibilities as a developmental psychologist would involve researching the variables that affect human development and applying this information to design interventions and programs that promote healthy development and well-being. They also deal with people of all ages, from infants to seniors, and address various concerns, such as language development, socialization, and cognitive functioning.

Developmental psychologists must gain work experience and a valid license to operate in their State. They typically undergo a certification exam to obtain a license to practice and a specialized degree in developmental psychology. You can also significantly enhance your earnings depending on the work setting, experience, and qualification level.

5. Forensic Psychologist

It is a specialized psychology branch that applies both psychological concepts and procedures to the judicial system. Forensic psychologists operate in various settings, including law enforcement, judicial systems, and penal facilities. They can also specialize in areas such as criminal profiling, eyewitness evidence, and offenders' mental health assessments to help mitigate crime.

Your primary tasks as a forensic psychologist would be to evaluate individuals engaged in legal procedures, such as defendants and witnesses, to research to inform legal decision-making, and to provide expert evidence in court cases. Forensic psychologists also collaborate with law enforcement to create criminal profiles and aid in investigations.

It can be a challenging yet rewarding career, letting you steadily grow your income based on your performance and years of experience. This discipline, however, can be emotionally taxing, necessitating a high level of resilience and impartiality. A career in forensic psychology may be a good alternative for you if you have a love for both psychology and the legal system and a desire to make a substantial contribution to the administration of justice.


With a degree in applied psychology, you can enter various industries, unlock your potential and contribute to society significantly. Some career paths for psychologists include organizational, clinical, aviation, developmental, and forensic psychologists. Each of these careers offers dynamic opportunities for professional and personal development.

However, consider your personal interests, goals, and passions when selecting the right career path. It will contribute majorly towards your personal and professional success. 

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