Career Options in Psychology for Introverts
Psychology involves how people think, feel and behave. There are many subsets within psychology that involve helping people cope with specific issues, such as social interactions or health problems, or researching how a person's behavior can be affected by different variables. Professionals who work in psychology may not just be psychologists; they may be involved in providing patient care, documenting information about psychological topics or education. Since occupations in this field often involve research or working with people one on one or in small groups, introverts can find many careers that are suitable for their personality.
|Job Title||Median Salary* (2016)||Job Growth* (2014-2024)|
|Health Psychologist||$75,230 (for all psychologists)||19% (for all psychologists)|
|Writer and Author||$61,240||2%|
|Art Therapist||$46,410 (for all recreational therapists)||12% (for all recreational therapists)|
|Social and Human Service Assistant||$31,810||11%|
|Social Psychologist||$75,230 (for all psychologists)||19% (for all psychologists)|
|Psychiatric Technician and Aide||$28,670||5%|
|Postsecondary Psychology Teacher||$73,140||16%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Psychology Jobs for Introverts
There are many different specialty options for psychologists, and health psychologists focus on determining how illness affects people. Part of the work they do involves research, which is ideal for introverts because it enables them to process data and work independently or in small groups. They use this information to inform patients and medical professionals and promote lifestyle habits and strategies that can help improve patient health. A doctoral degree in psychology is the standard requirement for most clinical psychologist positions.
Writer or Author
A career as a writer or author may be a good fit for introverts who are interested in psychology. A writer or author who specializes in psychology and writes books or articles about psychological theories, principles or studies will be able to spend much of their time researching these topics and then writing about them. This indulges the introvert's preference for solitary activities and for processing information before acting because research would be required before writing about the topics. A bachelor's degree is often necessary for salaried work as a writer or author.
A bachelor's degree and certification are the most common requirements for art therapists; some employers may not require certification. Art therapists use art as the basis of their sessions with patients. They encourage creative expression through art as they talk to their patients, and allow the patients to communicate with them through the things they produce, as well as through words. Introverts will find that this career features one-on-one counseling sessions, which suits their preference for small group work, and that they need to observe, listen, record observations and keep records and use that information to develop treatments for their patients, so it's important for them to process data before acting on it.
Social and Human Service Assistant
Social and human service assistants may work with psychologists or social workers to assist their clients. This could mean locating services that the clients need or taking clients to appointments or other places they need to go. A high school diploma is needed for this position, and social and human service assistants are often trained once hired (although some postsecondary studies may be an asset). Introverts may find this to be a good career in the field of psychology because they will be able to work with people one-on-one, and their duties involve investigating options for the services that clients need. This can appeal to the introvert's preference to think things through first and then acting, since they'll use the information they acquire to determine the best options for clients and then help the clients get those services.
Social psychologists spent a lot of their time conducting research, which is something introverts will appreciate the opportunity to do. They work independently to gather and assess data or may work with a small team, and these are working conditions that introverts prefer. Their focus is on social interaction and how this affects the way people act and think. Social psychologists need a doctoral degree in psychology, although they may be able to start out in some roles with a master's degree.
Psychiatric Technician or Aide
Psychiatric technicians and aides are both involved in observing patients, but some of their other duties vary. Psychiatric technicians, who must have a certificate, associate's degree or nursing license, can give patients medications and lead activities for the patients. Psychiatric aides help patients with practical needs, such as eating or getting dressed, and they are only required to have a high school diploma. Patients they work with may include those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, or people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Introverts may find this to be a good career choice because there are regular duties that involve one-on-one care, such as helping bathe patients, and there are opportunities for small group work.
Postsecondary Psychology Teacher
Although postsecondary psychology teachers do teach classes, introverts may still find many aspects of this profession are a good fit for their personality. Postsecondary teachers must spend time preparing their curriculum, developing assignments and marking student work. All of this allows for independent or small-group work that introverts prefer, and postsecondary teachers are usually involved in research and writing about their research as well. Postsecondary psychology teachers inform the next generation of psychologists about their discipline, and they typically must have a doctoral degree in psychology.