Steps to Earning Your Psychology Degree

Top schools offer a wide variety of psychology degrees & specialization courses. Read a guide on the steps to earning your psychology degree in 2021.

Career professional psychologists are highly educated, dedicated individuals who place an emphasis on helping others resolve personal, emotional, mental and other issues. If this sounds like a match for your career goals it might be time to learn the steps to earning your psychology degree. How long are psychology degree programs? What are the education requirements to earn my degree?

Undergraduate education, graduate education and licensing requirements are all necessary aspects of becoming a psychologist in 2021. Many top schools are available offering a wide variety of psychology degree types and specializations. What is the process to begin my education and enter the workforce? Read ahead for an informative guide on the steps to earning your psychology degree in 2021.

Benefits of a Psychology Degree

The primary job description of a psychologist also functions as one of the many benefits this career offers. Your training & education allows you to help other people better manage emotional, mental, personal, domestic and other issues. This is immensely satisfying on many levels.

Salary is another main benefit of obtaining a psychology degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states the median salary for psychologists in 2020 was over $82,000 per year or $39.51 per hour. Job growth rate for this vocation is also three percent higher than the national average through 2029. In addition to helping others, a psychology degree/career also helps you become more self-aware. Personal growth is truly a major benefit to obtaining a psychology degree.

Courses taken while obtaining a psychology degree are also interesting and diverse. Study topics range from clinical to child-related, health to industrial/organizational, sports and even forensic psychology. The career path of a licensed psychologist is also flexible. A psychology career provides consultation opportunities with various companies, businesspeople and others in need of directional guidance pursuant to dealing with employees, students, competitors and more.

Steps & Process

Several main steps are involved in earning your psychology degree in 2021. The first step is to choose an accredited school based on the type of degree you are pursuing, school location, tuition affordability and other factors. Accredited on-campus and online schools are both available. Next, choose your level of education as applicable. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required but psychology education extends into doctoral programs as well.

The next steps are to pursue masters and doctoral degrees as applicable. Once these goals are accomplished you will finish a postdoctoral or internship program in the specialization field/concentration for which you studied. A subsequent Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology must be passed ion order to then obtain your license and become eligible to practice psychology professionally.

How Long It Takes to Earn

The length of time it takes to earn a psychology degree depends on the type of degree pursued and the availability of accelerated scheduling at your school. A bachelor’s degree requires four years of study to complete. Masters and doctoral programs add several years of required education time as well.

The steps required to become a licensed practicing clinical psychologist also add time to the length of the overall process. Internships and testing for your license might take a year of time. Are you also pursuing additional certificates to bolster your earning potential and maintain control over your career? Psychology certificate programs take approximate three to twelve months to complete. All in all in takes between four and twelve years to earn your psychology degree depending on if you obtain a bachelor’s, masters or doctoral degree. Obtaining a minimum of a master’s degree gives you the best hiring potential and chance at earning the highest entry salary possible.

Undergraduate Requirements

An undergraduate degree in psychology and/or a related field is required to become a psychologist. Bachelor’s degrees in educational psychology, anthropology, sociology, human behavior and more all apply. Regardless of your choice of approved study topic(s) a four-year bachelor’s degree is required to begin any career (such as a social worker) in psychology.

Graduate Requirements

Some graduate education requirements for becoming a licensed psychologist vary in each state. Most higher paying and intensive psychology career paths require a master’s degree and some also require a doctoral degree. For example, licensed counselors, sports psychologists and school psychologists all require master’s degrees to be considered for hire. A doctoral degree is strongly recommended for forensic psychologist careers, and jobs as a social, child and clinical psychologists all require them outright. Postdoctoral training lasts for approximately one year and is required for you to become a licensed, practicing psychologist in your state.

Most Popular Psychology Schools in 2021

Various types of psychology degrees and specializations are offered at the most popular psychology schools today. Are you pursuing a master’s degree in health psychology? Are you interested in how employees behave in the workplace and therefore pursuing an Industrial/organizational psychology degree? Would you rather work with children as a school counselor? These types of high-quality psychology degree programs and more are available at tops U.S. schools such as: