It’s important to keep in mind that a bachelor’s in psychology includes a foundation of general education with a particular focus on the psychology major. A bachelor’s isn’t a technical or specialty degree in the field.
While a major can prepare you better for some careers than others, the fact is that the level of the degree itself puts you at an advantage for any job. A bachelor’s in psychology does not limit you to a future career as a psychologist with more schooling, just as majoring in history or English doesn’t prime you simply to become a historian or… English teacher?
A bachelor’s degree shows an employer that you’re able to think critically, solve problems, work with others, and broaden your mind.
Add to that all the skills that a psychology program provides you and you’ll be sitting pretty in that interview chair getting hired for a high-paying career.
Just as the degree itself is interdisciplinary, the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can be found in a wide variety of fields. From helping vulnerable populations, to selling products, to making sure a business runs smoothly, employers looking to fill a range of openings would be happy to see that BA or BS in psychology on a resume.
What Psychology Majors Study
Undergraduate students who major in psychology are taught a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. Psychology is the study of the human mind, with a particular emphasis on how the mind’s functions affect behavior. A student of psychology will gain knowledge of how the mind works, how that affects both individual and group behavior, and how to apply that knowledge to different fields. Psychology students will also dive into the subfields of the subject, such as abnormal psychology and animal behavior.
Before looking at the specific types of classes a psychology major will enroll in, it’s first important to consider the characteristics that attract students to a psychology program, and in turn, make them successful in their related careers.
The basic skills that a bachelor’s degree in psychology will teach and enhance are:
Psychology Majors Are:
Psychology Majors’ Skills Include:
- Critical thinking
- Understanding complexity
- Tolerance and respect for others
- Problem solving
- Ethical engagement
To begin, there are courses that teach the basics of psychology, but psychology degree programs clearly go far beyond Psych 101. There are often classes in research methodology, language, brain development, physiology, statistics, and social and cultural studies. The courses included in a bachelor’s degree in psychology cover all the bases to better understand people and their actions, and give psychology majors the scientific background for approaching what can often feel like such emotional and personal issues.
What Jobs Are Good for a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Psychology majors don’t need to just set their focus on one field. Bachelor’s degree in psychology jobs can be found almost anywhere – labs, classrooms, conference rooms, and offices, or even on the street and in correctional facilities. Jobs range from marketing to management, and counseling to communications.
Some of the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree in psychology are in completely different settings than you might expect. The following are just a few titles that a psychology major can hold after graduation.
Helping Businesses Run
- Human resources specialists and managers
- Communications professionals
- Marketing and advertising specialists
- Administrators and managers
- Loan officers
- Social services caseworkers
- Rehab specialists
- Career counselors
- Psychiatric technicians
- Child development specialists
- Healthcare advocates and administrators
Helping Society Function
- Corrections officers
- Peace officers
Can You Make Good Money with a Bachelor’s in Psychology?
In a word, yes. Graduates can hold some of the highest-paying jobs with a psychology bachelor’s degree. While many new graduates don’t start off with big money rolling in, they’ll find that the jobs available to them will pay the bills and lead them to opportunities for upward mobility, as well as the chance to make an impact on people and society. The salary potential for psychology majors can reach the six figures.
What Is the Highest-Paying Job with a Bachelor’s in Psychology?
The highest-paying jobs for psychology bachelor’s degree holders tend to be in management positions in human resources, marketing, and public relations, but the jobs leading up to those manager roles aren’t too shabby either. Here are a few well-paying jobs for professionals with bachelor’s degrees in psychology.
Various roles in marketing are well-suited to psychology majors. Marketing specialists and research analysts study market conditions and plan marketing campaigns accordingly and can make an average of about $74,000 annually. After gaining experience in the marketing field, those who become marking managers can bring in over $140,000 on average. These salaries are the median numbers provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which means there’s room for them to be even higher.
Human Resources Specialists and Managers
No company exists without its people, and that’s where human resources specialists come in. In recruiting, interviewing, and placing workers, a good HR employee needs a foundation for understanding people and how different personalities will fit well in various roles. While a human resources specialist makes about $63,000, moving into an HR manager position will nearly double that with an average of $121,000 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Training and Development Specialists
These professionals plan and administer programs to train employees in ways that will improve their skills and knowledge. Working with (and understanding) people and how they can change their behavior is crucial to doing this successfully. A training and development specialist will earn about $63,000 per year on average (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Public Relations Specialists and Managers
Public relations specialists work to create and maintain a client’s positive public image, and a solid comprehension of how people react to and interact with different ideas is key to being a good PR professional. A PR specialist pulls in an average of about $63,000 per year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS data shows that number bump up to about $119,000 for public relations managers.
Social workers who help people with the problems that they face in all areas of society and personal lives make an average of nearly $52,000 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). While that’s not the top-paying job available to psychology majors, many choose to go that route to make a meaningful difference in everyday lives. Social and community service managers who supervise these public programs can see their salaries climb to an average of $70,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Crisis Intervention Specialists
As with social workers, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are not the most-paid careers for graduates with bachelor’s degrees in psychology, but many people make a living with an average salary of about $48,000 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) treating and advising people who suffer from issues that often overtake their lives.
FAQs About High-Paying Jobs for Psychology Majors
What skills does a psychology major carry over into successful careers?
- Possessing insight into the human mind
- Understanding what makes people do what they do
- Respecting the diversity of the world’s population
- Having the skills to think critically and creatively to examine and solve problems
What can a degree holder with a bachelor’s degree in psychology do?
Graduates with bachelor’s degrees in psychology can work in businesses as human resources professionals, marketing and advertising specialists, public relationships experts, communications managers, and so much more. Every business exists to provide some product or service to people, and every business needs people to function. Many roles in a successful business are best filled by professionals educated in the field that focuses on people–psychology.
What fields tend to pay the most for psychology majors?
- Human Resources
- Public Relations
- Community Services Management
Is a bachelor’s in psychology worth it?
It’s safe to say, yes. The world needs more professionals who have a deep understanding of human thoughts and behaviors and can apply that knowledge to effect real change in business, education, and social issues. And top of that, it’s a degree that is known for a good return on investment, giving you access to the possibility of high paying jobs.
2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for Psychologists and related professions reflect national data, not-school information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed November 2021.