Career and Salary Info for a Master of Science in Psychology

Master's degrees in psychology typically cover clinical, counseling and research psychology methodologies. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for psychology graduates.

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A master's degree in psychology can provide entry into careers including working under a clinical psychologist or working with employees in an industrial/occupational context.

Essential Information

Career opportunities for those with a Master of Science in Psychology are most likely to be found in the industrial sector. However, these candidates may also find employment administering psychological evaluations, advising patients or performing clerical duties under the supervision of a doctoral-level psychologist.

Career Titles Industrial/Organizational Psychologists Clinical/Counseling/School Psychologist Assistant
Required Education Master's degree Doctoral degree
Other Requirements State certification State certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 19% for industrial/organizational psychologists 20% for consulting and clinical psychologists
Average Salary (2015)* $92,320 for industrial/organizational psychologists $76,040 for clinical, counseling and school psychologists

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

It is essential for all psychologists to be emotionally sound, perceptive and in possession of excellent communication skills. The core duty of a psychologist is to observe human behavior and attempt to explain or reconcile counterproductive thoughts, emotions or feelings that prevent human beings from living fully or working effectively. Most master's-level graduates find employment as industrial-organizational psychologists due to the limited number of psychology jobs available to those with a master's degree only.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Those working in the industrial-organizational sector watch for revealing behavioral patterns and document how employees interact with each other and with the work environment. They use these observations and insights to provide direct feedback to management and workers in an effort to improve workforce performance and satisfaction.

Industrial-organizational psychologists are often brought in to resolve a specific issue or serve as an organizational consultant. They may be called upon to provide analysis and reorganization of the workplace to improve productivity and worker retention, as well as to screen or train new job applicants. Other duties include managing the company's diversity and anti-discrimination policies and providing tools for marketing research and statistical analysis.

Industrial-organizational psychologists earned an annual average salary of $92,320 in 2015, as reported by the BLS. The overall salary range for industrial-organizational psychologists was between about $52,270 and $158,990, with the latter end of the range including only the top-paid 10%.

Clinical/Counseling/School Psychologist Assistant

When working under the supervision of a doctoral psychologist, master's graduates can find work as psychological assistants in clinical, counseling or school environments. Graduates who earn a doctoral degree from a prominent university or a specialist's degree have increased job opportunities as clinical, counseling or school psychologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for clinical, counseling and school psychologists are expected to grow by 19% over the period from 2014 to 2024, an average rate of growth. (

Career Advancement

The only way to advance one's career in psychology is through further study and certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). About one third of those who earn a doctorate become self-employed, working in a private practice or as an independent consultant, according to the BLS.

There are several career options available for individuals holding a master's degree in psychology. All involve working with people in various contexts. Career advancement usually requires further education, specifically, a doctoral degree in psychology.

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