Entry-Level Psychology Career Options
There are several different entry-level jobs available in the field of psychology. These careers require varying levels of education and training that may include supervised clinical work, but do not require prior experience in a related occupation. Learn about a few of the entry-level psychology jobs below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$49,170||20%|
|Mental Health Counselors||$42,840||20%|
|Psychiatric Technicians and Aides||$28,670||6%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Entry-Level Psychology Jobs
There are several different kinds of psychologists, such as clinical, school and developmental psychologists, but none of them need previous work experience in the field beyond the internship in their training program. In general, psychologists study the brain and various human behavior and cognitive ability. Many psychologists conduct experiments and interviews to identify, study and treat a range of psychological issues and disorders. Psychologists typically need extensive education, with most positions requiring a doctorate degree or at least a master's degree. In most states, psychologists will need a license to practice.
Marriage and Family Therapists
Marriage and family therapists do not need related work experience to help counsel individuals, couples and families through their various relationships. These therapists specialize in helping their clients express themselves and address difficult situations in counseling sessions where they learn how to cope with these situations and change their behavior. They may also help clients process future decisions and recommend any needed community resources. Marriage and family therapists must have a license and master's degree and typically undergo an internship or residency.
Mental Health Counselors
Like marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors do not need prior work experience to help their clients navigate through various issues, but these professionals focus on mental health issues instead of relationship issues. They must begin by assessing their clients' mental health and then creating an individualized treatment plan with input from the client about their personal goals. Mental health counselors may address issues like depression, grief, anxiety and stress in individual or group counseling. These counselors usually need to hold a master's degree and complete an internship.
Psychiatric Technicians and Aides
Psychiatric technicians and aides do not study or treat psychological disorders, but they work closely with patients in mental health facilities who have various psychological issues and do not need prior work experience to do so. Psychiatric, or mental health, technicians observe patients' behavior, lead therapeutic activities, administer medications and assist patients in various ways, such as monitoring vital signs and helping them eat. Psychiatric aides also monitor patients' behavior, assist with group activities and daily living activities, transport patients and restrain patients as needed. Both positions require some on-the-job training, and technicians without related experience, like nursing, will usually need to complete a postsecondary certificate program that includes supervised work experience, while aides only need a high school diploma.
Psychiatrists must complete extensive education and training, but do not need work experience in a related job to work as mental health physicians. These professionals treat a wide range of mental illnesses using medication, counseling and other treatments. Typically medication is used to help correct any chemical imbalances, while counseling is used to help patients' process through past experiences and change their behavioral patterns. Psychiatrists will have completed medical school after their undergraduate studies, including a psychiatric residency of at least four years' duration.