An Overview of Psychology-Human Services

Are you the type of individual who enjoys studying people and is intrigued by why they behave the way they do? Do you have a fervent desire to know what makes people tick? If so, a career in Psychology or Human Services is worth considering.

Psychology-human services has become one of the most popular programs offered at the collegiate level. A degree in psychology will help put you on track to work in a variety of different professions. With additional schooling you can focus your skills to a specific, high paid psychology field. You may decide to work directly with clients to help them better understand their behaviors and develop coping mechanisms. Or maybe you’re more interested in doing research on the workings of the brain and interpreting data that will generate a greater understanding of why we behave the way we do. This degree offers expansive career growth, and a career in psychology and human services can be very rewarding. A psychology profession gives you the opportunity to directly impact an individual’s life and/or the community as a whole.


Degrees in Psychology-Human Services

Earning a degree in psychology-human services can open up a plethora of career opportunities. Students can customize their areas of interest to a degree that will focus on the specialty they have selected.  The potential paths are almost limitless. Students may consider becoming an:

  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor
  • Behavioral Disorder Counselor
  • School Psychologist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Autism Behavior Therapist
  • Child Abuse Worker
  • Preschool & Childcare Center Worker


The majority of the positions listed above require a minimum of a Bachelors degree from an accredited university. Earning a degree in psychology-human services is considered to be advantageous in fields one might not have previously considered. Many companies look for a psychology degree when hiring for other positions, unrelated to psychology and Human Services. 


Psychology-Human Services: Continuing Education

According to the American Psychological Association, “Psychology is a doctoral-level profession.” Most students who want to go into practice as a psychologist, social worker, counselor, etc. continue their education by moving on to graduate school. Even here there are choices to be made.  Most practitioners with Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) enter into private practice where their work is based on proven scientific models and utilization of experimental research and problem solving.

Doctoral graduates who have earned their Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) tend to work on a direct practitioner model and perform clinical work.  This is a newly evolved doctorate program that is gaining popularity within the fields of psychology and human services. For those seeking higher education in the field of psychology with an interest in the legal system, a J.D. (Juris Doctor) is available at some universities. This psychology and law degree applies the scientific and professional aspects of psychology, and relates them to issues involving the legal system.

Upon completion of an upper level psychology-human services degree, it is necessary to complete the requirements for a license in the state in which you wishes to practice.


Psychology-Human Services: The Salary

With the enormous diversity of the psychology-human services profession, comes a wide range of salaries. There are several factors that can affect the yearly income of a psychology degree graduate. One significant factor is educational background. Those who graduate and move on to higher education, achieving a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. will most likely earn more than those holding a bachelors degree in psychology. The field of focus also will affect one’s salary; for example, a Neuropsychologist may earn more than a Clinical Psychologist, who may earn more than a School Psychologist. Each specialized field has its own median salary.  Other factors that can influence one’s psychology-human services career salary include previous work experience and geographic location.


Profession                                                                   Median Annual Salary (2012)

Behavioral Disorder Counselor                                                     $38,520

Rehabilitation Counselor                                                               $33,880

Social Worker                                                                                $41,530

Residential Counselor                                                                   $24,520

Marriage & Family Therapist                                                         $46,670

Mental Health Counselor                                                               $40,080

Clinical Psychologist                                                                      $67,650

Psychology Professor                                                                    $68,020

Guidance Counselor / School Counselor                                       $53,610

Sociologist                                                                                      $74,960

Speech Pathologist                                                                        $69,870


Psychology-Human Services: The Benefits

There are many benefits associated with a psychology degree. One major benefit is that the degree can open the door for a variety of career prospects. The recipient of the degree can tailor their education to a specialty area or go into a field that encompasses a psychology-human services bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in psychology-human services can lead to further career growth in other areas of interest that may seem completely unrelated to the field of psychology, such as sports, life skills, corporate culture and family life.

Careers stemming from a psychology and human services degree display significant future growth. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Job Outlook for the Psychologist profession, (which only requires a master’s degree and appropriate state licensing) the career is projected to grow 12 percent in the next ten years. Other fields such as a >Substance and Behavior Disorder Abuse Counselor, Social Worker, and Rehabilitation Counselor, are also expecting significant career growth. The demand for psychology graduates in hospital, schools, and rehabilitation centers is continuing to grow. However, it is recommended that psychology prospects should obtain a doctoral degree in an applied specialty.

A career in psychology-human services can also be very rewarding. Professionals have the opportunity to help their patients through tough times by creating routines or programs to teach them how to cope with their issues. Other psychology degree holders use their education to conduct research to expand on the current scientific knowledge. The challenges that present themselves in a psychology-human services career can be very fulfilling when resolved.

A psychology degree is impressive to potential employers and covers a variety of broad areas. A study done by Graham Davey in 2007 entitled Complete Psychology indicated that 15 to 20 percent of individuals who’ve obtained a psychology degree go on to become a psychologist or professional counselor. The other three-quarters of psychology-human services majors worked in various professions such as marketing, advertising, business, education, public affairs, and human resources, to name a few.





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