Should I Become a Social Psychologist?
|Education Required||Master’s or Doctoral degree|
|Key Skills||Analytical Skills, Communication Skills, Integrity, Observational Skills, Patience, Interpersonal Skills and Problem-Solving Skills.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$87,450 (Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||14% (Psychologists)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Social psychologists have an interest in groups of people and their behavior pattern. They focus on how people influence each other- the influence can be positive or negative. Society is facing various social problems like prejudice, bullying and substance abuse etc and social psychologists play an essential role in figuring out the causes of these issues.
Jobs for psychologists are expected to grow by 14% from 2018-2028 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They will be in demand in multiple facilities like mental health centers, hospitals and schools, etc. in the coming years. The demand for their services is likely to increase as more people will come to them for help in solving their problems. Social psychologists can work in various fields like non-profit organizations, government agencies, educational institutes, private companies and hospitals.
Steps to Become a Social Psychologist
- Obtain an Undergraduate Degree
Aspiring social psychologists have to earn an undergraduate degree in psychology as a first step towards their goal. Some schools offer a bachelor’s degree in social psychology and students are recommended to opt for it as it will create a strong foundation.
- Earn a Graduate Degree
Students have to obtain a master’s degree to take their career forward in their desired field. They can obtain a master’s degree in social psychology or choose a co-concentrated program in applied social psychology and evaluation. Social psychologists can find employment with a master’s degree; however, some employers may require applicants to have a doctoral degree.
- Get a Doctoral Degree
Prospective social psychologists who want to practice in a clinical setting need to obtain a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. While those who are interested in research have to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. It is a 2-4 year program where students are required to conduct a research and write a dissertation. Students also have to complete an internship so they can gain professional experience.
- Obtain Licensure
Social psychologists do not necessarily have to be licensed unless they want to practice in a clinical setting. Each state has its own requirements. A few general requirements include having a doctoral degree, finishing an internship and getting the required professional experience. Students are required to pass the licensing exam as well.
Even though it is not mandatory, some candidates choose to get certified in their field. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) offers certifications in 15 different areas such as behavioral and cognitive psychology, clinical health, group, couple and family and many more.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Psychologist?
Aspiring social psychologists have to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree followed by a 2-year master’s program. Some students choose to get a doctoral degree as well. Once students complete their education, they have to get professional experience so they can apply for licensure.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Social Psychologist?
Following are the requirements to become a social psychologist:
- Get a bachelor’s and master’s degree
- Obtain a doctoral degree
- Earn the required professional experience
- Get licensure
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Social Psychologist?
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists were receiving an annual mean salary of $87,450 in 2019.