Five high-paying career options in psychology

You find yourself reaching the end of the rope with no one to throw you an extra bundle at some point in life. These feelings arise when hardships shake the confidence and impact an individual’s ability to cope with the challenges.

Amidst this difficult time, a good listener and a communicator make the road seem less of a challenge.

While family and friends are the first ones to turn to during emotional struggle, sometimes problems are rooted deeply, and it compels youto look for solutions beyond your inner circle.

One of the reliable solutions is seeking the help of a psychologist. Psychologists not only help in analyzing your problems; they also make you aware of your inner self.

Keeping aside the emotional aspect, have you ever wondered why people behave differently? Well, psychology offers insight into an individual’s behavior and personality.

Besides opening doors for personal growth, a degree in psychology allows exploring a wide range of career options from clinical to forensic psychology.

Understanding human nature comes in handy in various job settings like social services, marketing, politics, and health care. 

One of the primary reasons you should pursue a career in psychology is the increased demand in schools, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals.

While a bachelor’s in psychology can be a starting point, some of the best clinical psychology masters programsfurther open doors to new opportunities.

Let’s look at some of the options to give you an idea.

1.  Forensic Psychologist

Although the term ‘forensic psychologist’ brings to mind thoughts of solving criminal cases, the reality of the job is far from what is portrayed on television. The life of a forensic psychologist isn’t as exhilarating as it seems, but that does not mean you won’t learn anything.

 If you want to learn how a criminal mind works, then a career in forensic psychology is the pathway for you. Every case has a psychological aspect that requires specific expertise to understand every detail.

Forensic psychologistsprimarilywork with those exhibiting extreme emotional distress. Though these individuals primarily work in the criminology department.

Their responsibilities are disturbed broadly, from child custody evaluation and child abuse investigation to psychological screenings of employees.

Along with working behind the scene, a forensic psychologist also testifies as a witness to help with various casework.

As a forensic psychologist, you can practice and pursue legal training independently. The salary range depends on the expertise, years of experience, and education.

The annual salary ranges somewhere around $98,010, per the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

2.  Military Psychologist

The role and responsibilities of a military psychologist are similar to those found in a clinical setting, except that all the clients belong tothe military or the armed forces.

Individuals looking forward to becoming military psychologists have to assess, counsel, train, and provide psychoeducational programs to military personnel.

Analyzing the extent of emotional trauma and recommending the appropriate course of treatment are some of the responsibilities you will have to fulfill as a military psychologist.

Those serving in the army often experience PTSD and anxiety; the course of treatment recommended is usually cognitive or behavioral therapy.

Although working as a military psychologist is incredibly stressful, with day-to-day challenges wearing you down, the job isn’t always demanding.

You can also work at military bases or with clients going through an emotional breakdown.

Families of military personnel can also benefit from the services offered by military psychologists. The salary depends on the rank occupied by an individual in the military.

3.  Guidance Counselor

A guidance counselor is a certified professional hired by schools or academic institutions to advise students about personal or professional decisions.

Academic excellence plays a significant role in every student’s life, and to help achieve that, guidance counselors are ever available.

These professionals work in middle, secondary, and post-secondary schools. Besides helping students overcome academic challenges, counselors provide guidance regarding stress management in daily life.

Apart from one-on-one counseling sessions, sometimes circumstances also require family members to be a part of the session.

Students are often withdrawn and hesitant in voicing their opinions; however, a guidance counselor instills freedom in students to voice their concerns.

To become an exceptional guidance counselor, you should have great listening skills to understand the issues and offer guidance accordingly fully.

Based on geographical location, experience, and educational background, an average salary of a guidance counselor is $ 56,310per year. 

4.  Recreational Therapist

Physical, emotional, and social well-being are critical to an individual’s overall health. A recreational therapist ensures that a person does not lag in these elements.

What makes recreational therapists unique is that they incorporate art, music, and sports, among other recreational activities, to stimulate activity levels.

These professionals work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. One of the reasons people cannot escape the dark looming cloud of sadness is a lack of motivation.

This is where recreational therapists play their part by developing motivation and willpower through various techniques.

For instance, a patient whose one side is paralyzed can learn to swing a golf club with the other. Through these techniques, disabled individuals learn to play an active role in society.

As a recreational therapist, you will also be working with other healthcare professionals to assess a patient’s progress and design the care plan accordingly.

5.  Industrial-organizational psychologist

An organization’s success merely depends on its workers’ efficiency and productivity.To ensure that it’s up to its standards, industrial-organizational psychologists are hired.

Since psychology is all about understanding human behavior and its connection to the surroundings, these professionals assess employee behavior and its impact on work efficiency.

An organizational psychologist has keen observational skills to understand the management needs and propose appropriate recommendations.

Psychologists working in this area of expertise can re-direct workflow, design ways to structure teams, and suggest improving work-life balance.

As an industrial psychologist, you will work in various organizations, from non-profit to government. What makes industrial-organizational psychologists different from usual psychologists is they incorporate the understanding of human behavior in finding viable solutions to problems.

Being aware of human behavior is beneficial for hiring employees, making it easy to find a suitable candidate for the required job.

An industrial-organizational psychologist also bridges the communication gap between workers and employers. 

The salary package depends on the years of experience, educational background, and position within the industry.


One of the complexities of life is deciphering human nature and understanding how they act. Though it might be challenging, with effort, it is possible.

Psychology is that door that allows a peek into the workings of the human mind.

Besides providing vast knowledge regarding why we humans are the way we are, it offers numerous opportunities to explore how humans behave in other aspects of their lives.

From guidance counselors to forensic psychologists, seeking higher education will fuel your career and enhance your knowledge.