Developmental Psychology Careers and Career Options

Sep 27, 2019

A knowledge of developmental psychology can be applied in a variety of settings, including postsecondary institutions, hospitals, private clinics, and public health institutions. Read on to learn about some careers in developmental psychology.

Career Options in Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology involves the study of human physical, social, and cognitive development. While developmental psychologists have typically focused on childhood and adolescence, some developmental psychologists now also focus on the psychological changes that occur with old age. While not all of the careers in developmental psychology listed in this article require a PhD, many universities only offer PhD-level programs specializing in developmental psychology. However, students can also pursue this subject through coursework in a psychology undergraduate or master's degree program.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Psychology Professor, Postsecondary $76,710 (2018)* 12%
Clinical Psychologist $77,574 (2019)** 15% (for all clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)
School Psychologist $60,557 (2019)** 15% (for all clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)
Health Educator $54,220 15%
Community Health Worker $39,540 13%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

Career Information for Developmental Psychologists

Psychology Professor, Postsecondary

Psychology professors work in colleges and universities. They teach courses in psychology, such as introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, counseling, and cognitive psychology. Many psychology professors also conduct research - including research on human psychological development and developmental disorders - publish their research in journals and books, and present their research at professional conferences. They may also collaborate with nearby hospitals or public health institutions. Most institutions of higher education require professors to have a PhD, although some postsecondary institutions, such as community colleges, hire professors with master's degrees.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with psychological, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Individuals with a background in developmental psychology could focus on diagnosing and treating individuals with developmental disorders. Clinical settings include private practice, health clinics, hospitals, and elderly care facilities. A PhD is required in order to practice as a clinical psychologist.

School Psychologist

School psychologists administer psychological tests to students and evaluate these tests. They may diagnose students with psychological disorders and recommend students for further evaluation or treatment. They also monitor students and report any suspected cases of abuse or neglect. A specialist degree or a PhD is usually required in order to work as a school psychologist.

Health Educator

Health educators evaluate the health education needs of the community in which they work and develop materials and programs in order to meet those needs and to encourage the members of their community to live healthy lifestyles. A developmental psychologist could focus on creating programs that educate members of their community about healthy child and adolescent development, developmental disorders, and the changes that come with aging. Most health educator jobs require a bachelor's degree, though some require a graduate degree.

Community Health Worker

Community health workers also help members of the community maintain healthy lifestyles and address their health needs. They may provide some basic diagnostic procedures and medical care to individuals and work with vulnerable populations, such as low-income individuals and pregnant women. Individuals with training in developmental psychology could apply their skills in a community health setting to educate families about healthy child development, monitor child development, educate and diagnose developmental disorders, help those with developmental disorders access resources for treatment, and educate and assist the aging population in their community. Education requirements for a community health worker range from a high school diploma to an associate's degree.

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