Question from a Reader:
"I really love learning about psychology. The problem is that I know that I don't want to be a psychologist; like the kind of psychologist that performs therapy or works with the mentally ill. Are there any types of jobs in psychology that don't involve so much one-to-one interaction with people?"
People often think that becoming a psychologist is the only option open to people who earn a psychology degree, but there are actually lots of job opportunities outside of the fields of therapy and mental health.
Experimental and applied fields are two areas that might appeal to those who are interested in psychology, but do not want to work in mental health. Experimental psychologists conduct research on a wide range of topics. In many cases, experimental psychologists might specialize in a particular area of psychology such as child development, the aging process, social behavior or cognitive psychology. They often work at colleges and universities and conduct research in addition to teaching courses, or they might also work in settings such as private corporations, research centers and government organizations.
Applied psychologists utilize their knowledge of psychology to solve real-world problems. Some examples of applied jobs include forensic psychologists, sports psychologists, consumer psychologists and industrial-organizational psychologists. Applied psychologists work in a wide range of settings including universities, private businesses, government offices, law enforcement agencies and private consulting.
Another option is to utilize your knowledge of psychological principles in a career outside of psychology. According to one job survey, as many as 75 percent of people with an undergraduate degree in psychology work in a non-psychology field such as marketing, advertising, sales, communications and other areas.
If you enjoy statistics, then you might find the field of psychometrics appealing. Psychometricians specialize in studying and developing psychological assessments. They might develop tests to measure intelligence, aptitude, personality or educational achievements, often through the use of surveys and questionnaires.
Browse through this list for more information on different careers that might appeal to you:
- Health psychology
- Animal behavior
- Consumer psychology
- Sports psychology
- Comparative psychology
- Human factors psychology
- Aviation psychology
- Industrial-organizational psychology
- Engineering psychology
- Cognitive psychology
Before you make a decision, spend some time exploring some different psychology career options and be sure to take our Psychology Career Quiz to learn more about which areas are best aligned with your interests.