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Jobs for Undergraduate Psychology Students

Updated April 17, 2017

Undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology have a surprising number of job opportunities. They can enter the field of mental health, psychology education, marketing research or teaching. Undergraduates work as camp counsellors for at-risk youth, assist psychologists in private practice or community health settings, become childcare workers, or mentor youth from low-income backgrounds. Career opportunities are diverse.

Human Services Worker

The human service field is one of the most popular for undergraduate psychology majors looking for obs. Non-profit and governmental organisations hire those undergraduates with strong people, analytical and writing skills. Even if your job is not directly dealing with mental health, your psychology major has prepared you to think critically and act with compassion--two necessary skills for working in human services. Some common jobs in the human service field include administrative assistant at a non-profit organisation, childcare worker for a school, and summer schoolteacher in an inner-city environment.

Mental Health Camp Counselor

Another common job for undergraduate psychology majors is mental health counsellor. A mental health counsellor isn't someone who is necessarily licensed, but someone who can provide hands-on, intervention care for a specific population, such as at-risk youth. Places such as Wediko Children's Services, a psychiatric camp in New Hampshire, will hire undergraduate psychology majors to work as camp counsellors for the summer. This is not your typical camp counsellor position. You will be expected to provide care for troubled teenagers 24/7 for eight weeks. You will be trained on restraints, crisis interventions, and the needs of this specific population. This training is a great stepping stone to future jobs in hospitals and psychiatric wards working with children.

Research Assistant

Research assistant is another popular job for undergraduate psychology majors. Graduates can contact their own academic institution or nearby institutions to inquire if psychology professors are hiring for summer or winter research assistants. The assistant will often help professors with tasks such as coding and checking data and designing studies. Skills for a successful research assistant include a background knowledge of general psychology, strong listening and people skills, the ability to be empathetic and a willingness to spend long hours in front of a computer.

Being a research assistant for one or two years will pave the way for a career as a researcher. If your writing skills are strong and you share the research interests as your employer, you may also get the chance to co-author a publication.

Teaching

Most four-year institutions allow undergraduate psychology majors to double-major in psychology and education or minor in education. If you are one of these students, a career in teaching may be for you. While you are completing your degrees, consider volunteering in a classroom or at-risk youth centre.

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About the Author

Kathryn Wagner currently lives in Uganda. She has more than six years of professional writing experience and her poems and essays have appeared in "Nidus," "the North Dakota Quarterly," "Big City Lit," "Identity Theory" and the "Tucson Weekly." Wagner has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Arizona.