What Can You Do With A Graduate Degree in Clinical Psychology

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A diverse and rewarding field, clinical psychology careers can focus on things like research, counseling, teaching, forensics, or clinical practice. Clinical psychologists work in hospitals, private practice, universities, research centers, offices, and schools. Clinical psychology jobs come with a variety of specializations and opportunities for growth and development over the course of a career. Continue reading to learn more about graduate degrees and jobs in clinical psychology.

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Jobs You Can Get With a Master’s in Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the largest specialty within the broader field of psychology. Graduates who hold a master’s degree in psychology can work in a range of clinical psychology careers, including various specialties within therapy and counseling practice like those explored below.

  • Mental Health Counselor

    Description Mental health counselors help individuals and families cope with conditions like depression, eating disorders, suicidal impulses, and anxiety. They may work one-on-one with clients or lead support groups. Many states and employers require mental health counselors to have a master’s degree in order to practice.
    Salary $44,630
    Growth Outlook 23% from 2016 to 2026

  • Clinical Social Worker

    Description Clinical social workers diagnose mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. They provide therapy to help clients form coping skills and they work with other physicians to determine treatment plans. They may specialize in areas like substance abuse. Clinical social workers need a master’s degree in order to practice.
    Salary $49,470
    Growth Outlook 16% from 2016 to 2026

  • Marriage and Family Therapist

    Description Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families to process issues in their home lives. They guide clients through major life changes, help them develop coping skills, and refer them to support groups or other professionals if necessary. They may work in private practice, outpatient care centers, or state government offices. Marriage and family therapists need a master’s degree in order to practice.
    Salary $50,090
    Growth Outlook 23% from 2016 to 2026

  • Substance Abuse Counselor

    Description Substance abuse counselors help clients recover from drug and alcohol addiction, which may include supporting sobriety, communicating with family and friends, and professional triage. While requirements vary, many states require substance abuse counselors to hold a master’s degree.
    Salary $44,630
    Growth Outlook 23% from 2016 to 2026

  • School Counselor

    Description School counselors work with students in elementary, middle, and high school to help them attain academic success. Depending on the age level, they may help students develop decision-making skills, work through behavioral issues, form a community, or prepare for life after graduation. School counselors must hold master’s degrees.
    Salary $56,310
    Growth Outlook 13% from 2016 to 2026

Take the Next Step — Explore a Master’s in Clinical Psychology

Jobs You Can Get With a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

A doctorate can open doors to more advanced clinical psychology career opportunities. Graduates can pursue positions as psychologists, forensic psychologists, sociologists, and research specialists.

  • Clinical Psychologist

    Description Clinical psychologists meet with clients to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. They work with clients to develop treatment plans and communicate with physicians who can prescribe medications when necessary. They may specialize in particular demographics, including children, the elderly, or chronically ill clients. Clinical psychologists must hold a doctoral degree in order to obtain licensure.
    Salary $79,010
    Growth Outlook 14% from 2016 to 2026

  • Forensic Psychologist

    Description Forensic psychologists work within the justice system to help legal experts understand the psychological elements of a case. They sometimes testify in court cases and can specialize in criminal, civil, or family casework. Forensic psychologists must hold doctoral degrees.
    Salary $79,010
    Growth Outlook 14% from 2016 to 2026

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

    Description Working mostly in corporate environments, industrial-organizational psychologists study workplace issues to improve morale, productivity, and management styles. Industrial-organizational psychologists use research and data to solve practical problems in the workplace, and they must must hold doctoral degrees.
    Salary $97,260
    Growth Outlook 14% from 2016 to 2026

  • Sociologist

    Description Sociologists design research to study human behavior. They collect data through empirical research and report on their research findings, sometimes collaborating with other experts to advocate for policy changes. Sociologists may specialize in crime, education, gender, race, poverty, or health. Sociologists work for research centers, governments, and educational services, and they must hold doctoral degrees.
    Salary $82,050
    Growth Outlook 1% from 2016 to 2026

  • Developmental Psychologist

    Description Developmental psychologists study the psychology of human growth. They may specialize in infants, adolescents, adult development, or aging. Developmental psychologists can diagnose learning disabilities, research child development, and search for solutions to issues related to aging. Developmental psychologists must hold doctoral degrees.
    Salary $79,010
    Growth Outlook 14% from 2016 to 2026

Take the Next Step — Explore a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology


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