Careers in Psychology


Looking for an entry level job or internship in psychology? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

A series that recently emerged on television and immediately captivated me is Criminal Minds. No, I’m not a total creeper. But what I find it truly fascinating about the show is how much the brilliant psychologists can deduce about the person who committed the crimes before ever meeting them. Psychologists are people who study the human mind and human behavior. It’s an awesome field to be in because employment opportunities abound as the field expected to outgrow most other professions in the coming years.

Psychology Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr User Alan Cleaver

Psychology Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Psychologist Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Psychologist
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Psychologist
  4. Best Locations for Psychologists
  5. Pros and Cons of Being a Psychologist
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career as a Psychologist
  7. Psychology Resources
  8. Careers Related to Psychology
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Psychology

What a Psychologist Does

Psychologists study the human mind and human behavior. There are 56 different divisions of the American Psychological Association, so there are many areas of psychology you can enter. Psychologists are generally described as being either “applied” or “research-oriented.” “Scientists” or “scholars” conduct research and “practitioners” or “professionals” apply psychological knowledge. While counseling and psychotherapy are common activities for psychologists, research and teaching comprise another major role among psychologists.

The most popular area of specialization is clinical psychology, which involves psychotherapy, behavior modification, and help patients with a crisis. Other areas of specialization include:

  • Counseling: advising people on how to deal with problems of everyday living
  • School: working in elementary and secondary schools or district offices to resolve students learning and behavior problems
  • Industrial-organizational: applying psychological principles and research methods to the workplace to improve productivity
  • Developmental: studying the physiological, cognitive, and social development that takes place throughout life
  • Social: examining people’s interactions with others and with the social environment
  • Experimental or research: studying behavior processes using human beings and animals
  • Forensic: working with lawyers and judges who are involved in civil or criminal cases to perform psychological assessments and interpret and present their findings

A Typical Day for a Psychologist

While the typical day for a psychologist varies depending upon their direct field, it may involve a bit of counseling patients, juggling appointments, managing a team, training graduate students, and staying on top of clinical research. You might tackle tasks such as these:

  • handle administrative tasks
  • collaborate on clinical research projects
  • supervise colleagues’ work
  • read and reply to e-mails
  • prepare for an upcoming conference
  • meet with colleagues to discuss individual patient assessments and decide on treatment plans
  • write up reports for patients’ families and referring health providers
  • sign off on paperwork
  • work with a patient and write up case notes
  • schedule meetings

Salary and Career Progression for Psychologists

In 2009, salaried clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned a median annual salary of $66,040, while salaried industrial-organizational psychologists earned $83,260. On average psychologists make between $40,000-$133,000 per year, according to 2011’s numbers. You might consider becoming a Forensic Psychologist ($29,000-$114,000), a Neuropsychologist ($47,000-$150,000), or a Behavioral Health Director ($42,000-$104,000).

Best Locations for Psychologists

Here are some great locations for Psychologists:

  • High Point, North Carolina
  • Santa Barabara, California
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • New York, New York
  • San Diego, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Washington DC

Pros and Cons of Being a Psychologist

  • Employment for psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018
  • You get to work with people
  • You can research to discover things that can help people
  • Lots of paperwork
  • Lots of education required

What You Need to Know for a Career as a Psychologist

To work as a clinical or counseling psychologist you’ll need a doctoral degree. With a Ph.D. you can teach, do research or have a clinical and counseling position. With a Psy.D. you can work in a clinical or counseling setting. It usually takes five to seven years to earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. and includes completing a dissertation. School psychologists are often required to have a specialist degree in school psychology, which takes three years of full time graduate study and a one year internship. Beyond that, psychologists who deliver patient care must meet certification or licensing requirements in all states and the District of Columbia.

Psychology Resources

If a career as a psychologist still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Psychology

Displaying 1-10 of 8,982 results.
School Psychologist (Certified) - $54 per hour
Therapy Staff EDU Ashburn, VA
Psychology Intern (School Year 2024-2025)
Loudoun County Public Schools Ashburn, VA
Remote Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Headway Herndon, VA
Adjunct Clinical Psychology Faculty
Divine Mercy University Sterling, VA
Clinical Psychologist
Greenberg & Associates, LLC Ashburn, VA
Clinical Psychologist (Staff Psychologist)
Federal Bureau of Prisons Arlington, VA
Organizational Psychologist
Central Intelligence Agency Mc Lean, VA
School Psychologist (Certified) - $54 per hour
Therapy Staff EDU Sterling, VA
Clinical Psychologist (FT, Remote)
GI Psychology Ashburn, VA
Clinical Psychologist
Signet Health Washington, DC

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Psychology

International OCD Foundation Logo

International OCD Foundation - The IOCDF is a Boston based non-profit that aims “to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder and related disorders to live full and productive lives.”

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Noom Logo

Noom - Noom is an NYC based company that makes healthy living easy by using "cutting-edge technology to accurately monitor your progress and provide expert advice and analysis."

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Placebo Effect Logo

Placebo Effect - Placebo Effect is a San Francisco based company that allows anyone to subscribe to prescriptions that are authored by a variety of experts.

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WeSpire Logo

WeSpire - WeSpire is a Boston, MA based company that provides “technology-based engagement programs to inspire employees for measurable impact.”

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PeopleAnswers Logo

PeopleAnswers - PeopleAnswers is a Dallas, TX based company that has developed a web-based assessment tool to provide insight into applicants' future on-the-job capabilities.

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Society for Neuroscience Logo

Society for Neuroscience - The Society for Neuroscience is a Washington, DC based non-profit member organization, and they're hiring new grads.

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Pathways to Housing Logo

Pathways to Housing - If you want to help solve the root causes of homelessness, then a job with Pathways to Housing would be a great fit for you.

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Child Mind Institute Logo

Child Mind Institute - Child Mind Institute is building an "institution that will be a leader in turning science into solutions for the world’s children” and hiring new grads to help

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The Partnership at

The Partnership at - If drugfree has a special meaning to you, then you should consider Careers at The Partnership at

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National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Logo

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare - The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare has a great job opportunity for a new or recent grad as a Member Associate.

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The Harmony Institute - By using entertainment to deliver well-crafted messages, The Harmony Institute can help other organizations achieve their causes, and you can be a part of that.

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Green Chimneys - Green Chimneys is a Brewster, NY based non-profit organization that is perfect if you love working with special-needs children and also love animals.

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Department of Veterans Affairs - Finding jobs with the Federal Government can be tough, but we’ll guide you through the process of finding opportunities with the Department of Veterans\' Affairs

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Gallup - Based in Washington, D.C., Gallup studies how people behave and leverages what they learn to help businesses be better at what they do.

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Heldref Publications - Heldref Publications is a non-profit publisher based in Washington, D.C. that provides a forum for scholarly discourse in the approximately 50 titles they publish.

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