A career in psychology requires a comprehensive study on how people, or groups of people, actually think and feel. There are various fields of psychology to specialize in along with different degrees to obtain ranging from an associate to a doctorate. Here is a detailed list of the diverse fields of psychology.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychology focuses on mental issues or disorders. Some clinical psychologists specialize in different areas such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or even grief. This area of work calls for either a masters or doctorate degree in psychology.

Counseling Psychologist

This field primarily deals with an education in psychology. Counseling psychologists typically work with clients in order to offer advice regarding a wide variety of both social and personal issues. They generally work in such settings as rehabilitation centers, hospitals, or perhaps maintain a private practice. This area of expertise requires a master’s degree.

Research Psychologist

This particular field addresses research and experimental psychology and can be performed either at a university or a business. A research psychologist generally studies human and/or animal behavior and how they relate to the environment. It is possible to work in this field with just a bachelor’s degree, but the work will be very limited. Either a master’s or doctorate degree is required to work as an instructor of research psychology as well as be “known” for in-depth evaluations in a university setting.

Psychology Branches

There are many branches of psychology to work and specialize in. A few may include criminal or forensic psychology as well as dedicating your expertise to sports psychology, just to name a few.

List of Degrees

Associate’s Degree

An associate degree consists of a two year program. With an associate degree, you could choose to work as a technician in a mental health unit at a hospital. However, client contact is very limited. For example, your clinical duties would primarily include helping patients with their meals, grooming, and general monitoring.

Bachelor’s Degree

The career options are more vast with a bachelor degree versus an associate degree. For example, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology you may choose to work as a parole or probation officer, recreation or career specialist, psychiatric assistant, mental health case manager, or lab assistant, along with many other options. Earning a BS or BA degree in psychology generally takes four years.

Master’s Degree

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, it generally takes another two years to earn a master’s degree in psychology. However, some online universities today offer the opportunity to complete a master’s degree in just eighteen months if the classes are taken on a full-time basis. Many career options are available with a master’s degree such as teaching, development, research, or counseling psychology.

Doctoral Degree

A doctoral degree in psychology is the highest degree you can achieve. Generally, a doctorate in psychology will require an extra three to seven years to finish, depending on how many courses you take and how much time it takes for you to complete the dissertation. There are basically two choices relative to psychology degrees – either a PsyD or a PhD. A PhD is primarily a research degree and requires that you complete a standard dissertation prior to receiving your degree. On the other hand, a dissertation is not usually required with a PsyD. Instead, the focus is more on clinical training and involves passing a variety of exams before receiving your degree. With regards to a doctorate degree, the career options are wide open ranging from research work to owning and operating your own private practice.