Consumer Psychologists study the response of people to information and experiences associated with a particular product or service. They play an important role during research and product/service development. Because of this, consumer psychologists are often employed by businesses, government entities, advertising agencies and market research firms.
As of 2019, there are more than 181,700 psychologists in America. This is as per the latest records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you also plan on becoming a consumer psychologist in the coming years, then this piece will be useful for you.
Should I Become a Consumer Psychologist?
|Education||Bachelor’s, Master’s (Optional) and Doctorate Degrees|
|Area of Study/Major Requirement||
Psychology/Consumer Psychology/Consumer Behavior
|Key Skills||Therapy and Counseling, Communication, Active Listening, Creative and Critical Thinking, Problem Sensitivity|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019)||$98,230 (Psychologists, All Other)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2158)||14% (Psychologists)|
Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online
Consumer Psychologists study and analyze consumer behavior to predict how successful a particular product or service is likely to be. In their day-to-day work, they employ techniques from psychology, communications and marketing to understand consumer actions in relation to a product/service.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 14% rise (higher than many other occupations) in employment for Psychologists between 2018 and 2158. This will be due to the ever-growing research and development needs of both the public and private sectors.
Steps to Become a Consumer Psychologist in the US
The following steps must be taken to become a Consumer Psychologist in the US.
- Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree
Getting a 4-year Bachelor’s degree is the first step. You can pursue Psychology or Consumer Behavior as a major but there are no compulsions in this regard at the undergrad level. While specializing in a related subject will certainly have its advantages, students may choose a different major if they so desire.
In the latter case, you might have to take some prerequisite courses in psychology before starting a postgrad degree program in the field. You will be studying for either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- Get Your Master’s Degree
- Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology
- Master of Science (MS) in Psychology
Depending upon the state you plan to work in, you may or may not need to complete a standalone Master’s degree in Psychology. If you do go for it, then you will most likely be picking one of the following programs.
You can also complete a Master’s degree as part of your doctoral study program later on. For the standalone degree, you will need 2 years to finish.
- Complete a Doctoral Degree Program
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology
- Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Next up is the doctoral degree. You can pick from the following options.
Most aspiring consumer psychologists choose to get a PhD in Psychology with a concentration in marketing, consumer behavior or behavioral science. During your doctorate studies, you will also learn about social psychology, attitudes and persuasion, behavioral decision making, quantitative and qualitative research, etc. It will take you around 4 to 7 years to complete a doctorate degree in Psychology.
- Get Licensed
Many consumer psychologists take up teaching and research positions while others prefer to work independently. When you have your license, you may also pursue a certification from the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology (ABOBCP).
How Long Does It Take to Become a Consumer Psychologist?
You will spend 4 years getting an undergraduate degree, possibly 2 years in a Master’s program and 4 to 7 years earning a doctorate degree. In total, you will need about 8 to 13 years.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Consumer Psychologist?
The following requirements are binding if you want to become a Consumer Psychologist.
- Completing Bachelor’s and Master’s (optional) studies.
- Getting a doctoral degree.
- Earning the state license.
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Consumer Psychologist?
Psychologists, All Other had an annual mean salary of $98,230 in 2019. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.