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Careers in Marketing Psychology: Options and Requirements

Marketing psychology is generally an academic area centered on human and consumer behavior and how it effects marketing decisions. Continue reading for an overview of the training, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Marketing is a competitive career field, and those interested in a career in marketing psychology will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. They may also require certification, and some employers prefer applicants with experience, which can be acquired by completing an internship.

Essential Information

The field of marketing psychology is relatively new, and new jobs are constantly being created. Degrees in this field may also qualify graduates for jobs in established fields such as public relations or human resources. Advancements in society, such as social media and technology, alter how consumers think and act. Marketing psychologists work to understand and predict what people think and how they purchase goods and services.

Career Human Resource Specialist Market Research Analyst Public Relations Specialist Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Master's degree
Other Requirements Certification through a recognized association is recommended Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) is recommended Candidates should put together a portfolio of work State licensure or certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% 19% 6% 19%
Average Salary (2015)* $63,710 $70,030 (for market research analysts and marketing specialists) $65,830 $92,320

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

The field of marketing psychology offers many career paths. Marketing psychology professionals work in a variety of settings, including research labs, corporations, universities or governments. Some individuals who work in marketing psychology, such as advertisers or marketers, focus on sales, while others in marketing psychology are responsible for research, training or consumer advocacy. There are careers in marketing psychology on a variety of professional levels, including entry-level advertising sales to senior-level marketing directors.

Market researchers study consumer patterns and preferences related to products and services for a particular company or organization. Advertisers synthesize information about their target audience in order to sell goods or services. Human resources specialists hire, train and advocate for employees in a corporate setting. Branding specialists work with companies to develop dynamic products and designs. Public relations specialists work to maintain a positive company image.

Human Resource Specialist

Human resources specialists are in charge of staffing and act as an intermediary between a company and its employees. Most employers require that an HR employee have at least a bachelor's degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary of human resource specialists as of May 2015 was $63,710. Jobs in this field are expected to increase between 2014 and 2024 at 5%, which is the national average for all careers.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts evaluate market data such as demographics and economic conditions to determine how best a company can spend its money to increase sales. Bachelor's degrees are necessary method of entry into this field, although a master's may be required for senior researcher positions. The mean annual salary of market research analysts and marketing specialists was $70,030 in May 2015 according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also predicted that job opportunities for this position would increase by 19%, much higher than the national average of 7%.

Public Relations Specialists

It is the job of public relations specialists to help maintain a company's persona. They do this by writing press releases and communicating with the media and public to make sure than a company's actions and stated goals are being perceived positively. A bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business is typically required. The average salary in May 2015 for public relations specialists was $65,830 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS also foresees a 6% increase in jobs within this field, which is comparable to the national average.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

The BLS reports that industrial-organizational psychologists in particular work on marketing and sales problems, among other business-related issues and concerns. The BLS also reports that industrial-organizational psychologists earn an estimated average salary of $92,320 per year in 2015. The field of psychology in general is expected to see a job increase of 19% between 2014 and 2024, while industrial-organizational psychologists are also expected to see job growth of 19%. Graduates in psychology who hold a doctoral degree in an applied specialty, such as industrial-organizational psychology, are listed as having some of the best employment prospects by the BLS as well.

Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of marketing is competitive, and careers generally require a bachelor's or graduate degree (www.bls.gov). Some employers also require relevant experience from internships or employment. Those interested in working in the marketing psychology field may begin their careers by studying psychology with a focus on advertising or marketing courses in a bachelor's degree program. A bachelor's degree qualifies one for an entry-level or related position in marketing, such as research assistant or advertising representative.

While some enter the field of marketing psychology after completing a bachelor's degree, others may find more job prospects with an advanced degree. Some careers, such as research manager or public policy consultant, require a master's or doctoral degree in psychology or a related concentration. However, space for graduate students is limited and not all students with bachelor's degrees in psychology or related fields may be accepted in a marketing psychology program.

A career in marketing psychology can mean working as a human resource specialist, market resource analyst, public relations specialist or industrial-organizational psychology. Human resource specialists and industrial-organizational psychologists focus on human behavior in the workplace and how to motivate staff, improve employee performance and conduct effective training. Market research analysts focus on a company's image and how to increase sales, while public relations specialists determine how to improve a company or person's public image or maintain their persona.

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