Different Kinds of Psychology Positions

To view and apply for a position in the Department of Psychology, please visit umjobs.org. A list of available positions is listed under "lsa psychology." 

View open positions on the umjob.org Website.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Overview

This occupation uses principles of Psychology in the context of management, human resources, business administration, and other policy issues and organizational issues in relation to work structure.  This career would be suited to students interested in applying psychological principles to real world corporate or business settings, and investigating and improving various business conditions.

Skills

Skills required for this industry include management of others, assessment of skills and abilities of employees, adept analytical skills, and knowledge bases that can include: human resources, sales and marketing techniques, customer service, and administration and management. 

This career involves complex problem solving and leadership abilities, and would suit those who are skilled with interpersonal interactions, interpreting others and managing others, and communicating and consulting with others to make and identify improvements.

Education

Many Industrial-Organizational Psychologists hold a Doctoral or professional degree, though many others complete a Master’s Degree.  

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: Human Resource Managers, Training and Development Managers, and Market Research Specialists.

Dietitians and Nutritionists

Overview

This occupation promotes health and control of disease through counseling, nutritional research, and development of educational and training materials for patients or organizations. Dietitians and nutritionists often create manuals, plans, and dietary modification regimens to help counsel patients.

Skills

Students interested in this career must have psychological-based knowledge including: counseling abilities, management and interpersonal skills, knowledge of human behavior and research, and skills pertaining to (medicinal) treatment of behavioral and affective disorders. 

Problem-solving skills, as well as communication and active listening abilities, are also important in this career since building a relationship with clients is essential in improving patient health and teaching others about nutritional plans and dietary information.  It is important to know how to personally care for others, as well as understanding others and implementing decisions through analytical thinking.

Education

This career usually requires a graduate degree. Degrees can range from a Master’s Degree to a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D.

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: Medical and Health Services Manager, Health Specialties Teacher, and Nursing Instructor or Teacher.

Clinical Psychologists

Overview

This occupation involves diagnosing or evaluating mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and formulating and administering programs of treatment. It includes interaction with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve development and adjustment.

Skills

The skills needed for this occupation include a sufficient knowledge of human behavior and performance, excellent interpersonal skills and social perceptiveness, along with critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgment, and decision making abilities.

Education

Most of these occupations require graduate school.  For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: School and Counseling Psychologists, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, and Marriage and Family Therapists.

Rehabilitiation Counselors

Overview 

This occupation deals with people from all walks of life who are having general personal or social issues—this includes those with addiction, illness, birth defects, stress-related issues, and accident-related issues.  This career involves counseling, training, and working with clients to discuss options, goals, and plans for the future. This often involves working in treatment centers and planning activities for patients, as well as working with them for job placement opportunities.

Skills

Skills required for this industry include strong abilities in analyzing client medical history, consultations and emotional input, and the needs of particular clients.  Students interested in this occupation should understand human behavior in the context of learning, motivation, and group dynamics (sociology) and how to treat affective and behavioral disorders. This job requires helping patients overcome personal (or physical) barriers to improving lifestyle and emotional well-being, and thus requires management and personal service skills.

This career involves complex problem solving and leadership abilities, and would suit those who are skilled with interpersonal interactions, interpreting others and managing others, and using critical thinking skills to approach patient/client problems successfully.

Education

Education can range from only having a High School Diploma, to having a Bachelor’s degree. Most also complete a Master’s Degree.  

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor, Child, Family, and School Social Workers, and Healthcare Social Workers.

Human Resource Managers

Overview

This occupation uses principles of Psychology in a business context to coordinate and direct the staff members of an organization. This can include helping people to resolve work-related issues, as well as planning new employee orientation events and maintaining a positive workplace environment.  The career can also involve administering or altering compensation and benefits to employees, hiring job applicants, supervising work activities of employees, and dealing with other staff-related issues.

Skills

This career demands strong interpersonal skills, especially skills pertaining to the management of others. A background in counseling/therapy or training is also ideal, as helping others deal with work-related problems (and teaching behavioral strategies to staff) is one of the most important aspects of human resources work. Knowledge of law, including codes, procedures, and corporate rules are also vital for management.

This career also involves skills in coordinating with others, judgment and decision-making, and negotiation.  Being able to solve problems, both individually and by working with others, is an important skill to have, as well as strong communication and social perceptiveness.

Education

Most Human Resources Managers have a Bachelor’s Degree, but many also have a Master’s Degree (and to a lesser extent, some have an Associate’s Degree). 

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: Sales Managers, Training and Development Specialists, and Purchasing Managers. 

Mental Health Counselors

Overview

This is a counseling occupation emphasizing prevention. Mental health counselors help individuals and groups deal with a wide variety of issues--from addictions and substance abuse to marriage and family problems--in order to promote the mental and emotional health of their clients. 

Skills

Being a people-focused career, good people skills are important in this field. Such skills would include the abilities to actively listen and effectively communicate (in writing and speech), as well as social perceptiveness, critical thinking and judgment skills.

Education

Most Mental Health Counselors hold a Master's Degree (M.S.W.), though some have only a Bachelor's or Associate's Degree.  

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: Behavior Analyst, Behavior Support Specialist (BSS), Case Manager, Clinician, Correctional Counselor, Counselor, Mental Health Counselor, Mental Health Specialist, Mental Health Therapist, Therapist.

Higher Education Administrators

Overview

Administrators in higher education are responsible for planning, directing, or coordinating research and student services at post-secondary institutions, including colleges, universities, junior colleges, and community colleges. Some tasks of Higher Ed Administrators may include advising students, recruiting, hiring, and training faculty and staff, directing or planning student recruitment and admission, or coordinating the variety of activities that take place at a post-secondary institution.

Skills

Since the Higher Education environment is strongly focused on students, it is important for people in this field to have good people skills such as active listening and effective verbal and written communication skills. There is also a good amount of administration required in this field, so skills such as critical thinking, the ability to monitor and assess performance, problem-solving skills, and coordination skills are also necessary.

Education

Most of these occupations require some type of graduate degree. About half of the people working in this field hold Master's degrees, about a quarter hold Doctorate degrees, and another quarter hold only Bachelor's degrees. 

Related Field

Occupations related to this field include deans, registrars, provosts, and admissions directors.

Physician Assistant (P.A.)

Overview

Physician Assistant typically performs many tasks similar to a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Tasks may include conducting complete physicals, providing treatment, counseling patients, and sometimes prescribing medication.

Skills

Skills necessary for a successful P.A. include effective communication skills--including writing, speaking, and active listening--the ability to think critically and effectively make judgments and decisions, and complex problem-solving skills.

Education

P.A.s must graduate from an accredited educational program for Physician Assistants, which often require the completion of the pre-medical undergraduate courses.

Related Fields

Health Specialties Teachers, Nursing Instructors, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners.

Speech Language Pathologist

Overview:

Speech-language pathologists work with children and adults who have a variety of different speech-related disorders. They help assess, treat, diagnose and prevent different speech-related disorders and are also known as speech therapists. They may work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, private practices, schools, and nursing homes. Speech-language pathologists that work in hospital settings may provide direct clinical services to patients who have trouble with swallowing or with communication. Additionally, SLP’s may help prepare future professionals in colleges/universities, manage in clinics, private practices,or hospitals, or work in research to help establish more effective treatment options, etc. SLP’s may work with physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, teachers, or others as part of a team setting. Some who work for corporations may work closely with other employees to improve communication with their own customers. Therefore, the work environment and people who you work with can greatly vary.

 

Skills: 

Speech pathologists must be detail-oriented, good-listeners, problem solvers, and very patient, because their client’s progress might be slow. They must also have excellent concentration. It is also helpful for them to be objective yet supportive while working in order to meet their client’s emotional needs.

 

Education: 

Most speech-language pathologist jobs require a master’s degree. Most states also require licensure in order to obtain certification. They must obtain a passing score on the national examination on speech-language pathology. In addition to a master’s degree and a passing score on the national examination, speech-language pathologists must also complete 300-375 hours of supervised clinical experience, and 9 months of postgraduate clinical experience. Speech pathologists who work in schools may be required to obtain different/extra licensing requirements depending on their states’ regulations.

 

Related Occupations:

Speech therapists, audiologists, occupational therapists

 

Additional Resources:

http://www.truity.com/career-profile/speech-language-pathologist

http://www.asha.org/careers/professions/careers-in-speech-language-pathology/

Child and Family Social Workers

Overview

Provides social services to children & families to improve their social and emotional well-being. Some services may include: arranging adoptions, finding foster homes, and assisting parents or teachers at home or at school.

Skills

Being a people-focused career, good people skills are important in this field. Such skills would include the abilities to actively listen and effectively communicate (in writing and speech), as well as social perceptiveness, critical thinking and judgment skills.

Education

Most Social Workers hold a Master's Degree (M.S.W.).

Related Occupations

Counseling Psychologists, Mental Health Counselors, Social Services Assistanta, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

School Psychologists

This occupation deals with interpreting and teaching psychological principles in an educational setting to aid in educational problems.

Skills

Skills required for this industry include collecting and analyzing data (concerning behavioral management), consulting parents, teachers, and administrators, working with students and communicating effectively with them about issues, and helping to solve problems concerning learning and adjustment. 

This career also involves reporting sensitive cases concerning abuse or neglect, as well as skills pertaining to treatment and rehabilitation in a therapy/counseling context. This role involves critical judgment and decision-making skills, as well as active listening, social perception, and being able to assess individuals’ needs on a case-by-case basis, which often involves administering and interpreting psychological tests.  

Education

Most School Psychologists have a Master’s Degree, but some have a Doctoral or professional degree, and to a much lesser extent, a Bachelor’s degree.  

Related Occupations

Similar occupations include: Education Administrators, Healthcare Social Workers, Counseling Psychologists, and Marriage and Family Therapists.

Juvenile Detention Specialist

Overview

The Juvenile Detention Specialist works under the supervision of the youth center director in order to ensure the safety and security of all residents and visitors to the juvenile detention facility. The Detention Specialist also works to create and maintain the various day to day activities that go on within the facility. The Juvenile Detention Specialist spends a significant portion of their time designing and assisting in various educational and occupational programs offered by the facility as well as being available in potential crisis response situations.

 

Education

A minimum of a two year degree in a child development related field is recommended, however a bachelors in child development or a related field (psychology) is preferred.

 

Requirements/Skills

As the Juvenile Detention Specialist spends a great deal of time coordinating and assisting with events and programs within the facility, it is required that they hold the strong organizational skills needed to put on such events

A major part of the job as a Juvenile Detention Specialist is dealing with other people (be it residents, visitors, or coworkers) therefore strong interpersonal skills are a must. Many times the Juvenile Detention Specialist will be asked to deal with residents who are disagreeable, and may be in opposition to the facility and the staff, therefore strong conflict resolution (and potentially some counseling) skills would be greatly beneficial. Juvenile Detention Specialists must also be in decent physical shape as they may be required to physically act in order to ensure the safety of staff and residents in crisis response scenarios.

More Info

http://pe.ingham.org/Portals/PE/Descriptions/JuvenileDetSpec-YouthCtr.pdf

http://www.co.monroe.mi.us/government/departments_offices/human_resources/docs/Juvenile_Detention_Spec.pdf

Brand Manager

Overview

The position of brand manager involves working at an advertising agency, involved extensively with a client and their specific brand or product.  This person typically serves at the primary contact between the client and the agency, and will also serve as the manager of the specific advertising projects (i.e. commercials, magazine ads) for which the agency has taken responsibility.  Therefore, the brand manager is also responsible for keeping the team on schedule throughout projects, overseeing the work, and contributing to the projects throughout the process. 

Skills

Successful brand mangers are often both extremely creative and organized.  In order to help motivate the team to produce their best work, it is important that brand managers have their own creative ideas to bring to the table, and are able to recognize particularly valuable ideas that their team members generate as well.  Additionally, it is imperative that the manager is able to keep track of each aspect of the project, and frequently check in with team members to assure things are going well.  Therefore, interpersonal skills are extremely important.  Not only does the brand manager serve as the point-person between the client and the agency, but they are often the “mentor” to the agency’s team as they work together the successfully create quality solutions for the client.  Therefore, being able to communicate with employees about their successes, and the areas where they could continue to improve, is a necessity.    

Education

Those pursuing a career in Brand Management often begin with a social science undergraduate degree.  While some business background knowledge is also helpful, a degree in psychology is a solid foundation, as it gives students an understanding of how to effectively work with their employees at the agency, but also as to how to be appeal to potential customers of the client, which is extremely important when creating advertising materials.  Therefore, a focus on social and organizational psychology is likely the best track for undergraduate education, and a graduate degree in business or a related field would be a logical secondary step.  

Related Occupations

Within advertising agencies, there are multiple positions that resemble that of a brand manager, particularly as a brand associate, leading specific aspects of a given project.  Additionally, an account management at a public relations firm would be a similar position, leading projects of public relations clients, rather than advertising campaigns. 

Sources for additional information: 

Career outline and job strategies: http://marketing.about.com/cs/marketingjobs/a/careers_3.htm

 Example job posting: http://jobs.jnj.com/job/Skillman-Associate-Brand-Manager%2C-Johnson%E2%80%99s-Baby-Job-NJ-08558/50033600/?feedId=41100&utm_source=Indeed&utm_campaign=Postings_Indeed

Community/Social Services Manager

Description

On the whole the job of the community/social service manager is to adhere to the needs of populations in need of social help (elderly, children, families of veterans, etc.). This work is done through a variety of ways. One of the major responsibilities of the community/social service manager is to design and oversee programs designed to help the target community. This involves presenting information and coordinating discussions between the audiences as well as coordinating employees. It is important to evaluate the effect of these programs so it is often the job of the community/social service manager to gather and analyze statistics about various programs and presentations. Community/ social services managers are often employed by private human and social service organizations designed to help with a target demographic determined to be in need (homeless, diseased, at risk children, etc), therefore the community/ social service manager must be able to work within the organization to promote cohesion and synergy. This could involve coordinating the intake of employees, supervising subordinates and just general communication with fellow professionals.

Education

Generally a bachelor’s degree in social work, public administration, civic studies, or a related field (psychology) is required in order to get into the field. Generally employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in social work, public policy, or public health however this is not a requirement.

Skills

Since a good deal of the work done by a community/social services manager is held in presentation format, good communication and/or public speaking skills are a great benefit. Speaking in front of groups as well as helping to coordinate groups of employees are definitely things that the community/social services manager has to be comfortable with. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of programs the community/social services manager often takes time to gather statistical data from the population being helped.  This data is then analyzed in order to evaluate how programs are effecting the target population. Therefore it is very important for the community/social services manager to have a strong background in analytical skills

 

Community/social services managers often work closely with a group of employees who help them host programs and presentation. In order to get the best work out of their employees it is very important for the community/social services manager to have very strong interpersonal and managerial skills.

Additional resources for information

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-2

http://www.newenglandcollegeonline.com/social-service-manager-job-description-and-salary/