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Psychology Jobs in the Military

Psychology jobs in the military primarily deal with behavioral treatment of workers and their families. However, there are a few jobs that deal with mental processes, human interaction, and behaviors outside of counseling.

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Career Options for Psychology Jobs in the Military

Psychology involves the intricate workings of the mind, such as personality, mental illnesses, and behavior. Careers in the military that pertain to psychology are usually non-combative in nature, and are often open to civilians and other federal workers. They focus on treatment or management, and involve behavioral psychology and industrial-organizational psychology. Listed below are some possible military careers:

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Human Resources Officer $67,131 9% (for all human resource managers)
Personnel Psychologist $71,027 19% (for all psychologists)
Military Counselor $40,080 (for mental health counselors) 20% (for all mental health counselors)
Clinical Psychologist $74,071 19% (for all psychologists)
Psychological Operation Specialist $52,205 (for program operations specialists) 30% (for all operations research analysts)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Psychology Jobs in the Military

Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers are responsible for creating and improving procedures with regard to employment as well as crafting training programs and recruitment tactics. In the military, these officers work under the direction of their particular base, while also meeting the needs of employees, such as housing, retirement support, and family support. Though this job does not require a degree specifically in psychology, the education expectation involves at least three years of graduate school in a related field, so by studying industrial-organizational psychology, you will be best prepared for the position.

Personnel Psychologist

Personnel psychologists oversee research and development plans for assignments given to them by a military sub-section. They use their skills in applied research in order to best oversee personnel who assist in building psychometric methods and procedures, usually for tests. They do not usually work with patients, but rather work in labs or research centers, using statistics from past studies or collecting new data from tests. This job requires a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Military Counselor

Military counselors are mental health specialists who provide their services to members in the military as well as their families. They are responsible for providing emotional and mental support in both low and high intensive circumstances, such as readjusting to living at home or dealing with death on a regular basis. Becoming a counselor requires a master's degree in psychology or counseling.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists are responsible for diagnosing and treating mental or emotional issues. They primarily evaluate patients and work with medical providers to create applicable and efficient treatment regiments from therapy to medication. These psychologists help patients struggling with symptoms unique to military members, such as post-traumatic stress or chronic pain. Clinical psychologists must have a doctoral degree in the field.

Psychological Operations Specialist

Psychological operations specialists (PSYOP specialists) analyze and prepare strategies to obtain information from high value targets. These specialists determine resources needed to successfully execute tactics, including deception planning and media manipulation. The goal of their work is to prey on their targets' psychological weaknesses. These positions only require a high school diploma, however special training and security clearance are also needed.

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