National Avg. Salary

$76,040 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

19.7% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

PhD or Professional Programs & Degrees →

Attributes

  • Good Entry Level Salary
  • Investigative
  • Office Work Environment
  • Problem Solving

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Vocational psychologists use their advanced knowledge of personalities and behaviors to conduct vocational counseling and coaching. They help college students and unemployed/underemployed adults find suitable careers, and they provide coaching and guidance to career seekers using a variety of tools.

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Job Description

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in vocational psychologist roles:

  • Conduct career aptitude tests, personality tests, and other forms of testing to narrow down potential careers for patients
  • Provide career counseling by listening to a career-seekers wants, needs, and dissatisfactions, and providing relevant suggestions
  • Explain the job and educational requirements for career-seekers interested in specific careers
  • Work with businesses and human resource departments to develop processes and initiatives designed to increase employee productivity and happiness
  • Assist job seekers with job acquisition tasks like resume building, job searching, and application

A Day in the Life of a Vocational Psychologist

Vocational psychologists are high-level career counselors who use their understanding of the brain and personalities to assist career-seekers in selecting and pursuing careers. Vocational psychologists help job seekers create resumes and cover letters, find open positions, and apply for roles, but their responsibilities go much further than simply helping people find work. Because they’re experts in thought, behavior, and personality, vocational psychologists can use their in-depth knowledge and research to point career-seekers towards positions that match their wants and needs perfectly.

Vocational psychologists use a variety of methods to evaluate career-seekers and make career recommendations. They may administer psychological tests like career aptitude and personality tests to determine what careers a person is suited for. They may also conduct in-depth counseling sessions with career seekers in order to learn about what each individual is looking for. After studying a career-seeker’s personality, the vocational psychologist provides more detail about potential careers.

Vocational psychologists work with many different types of individuals. They may work in schools where they provide career guidance to high school or college students. They may work in government where they assist unemployed or underemployed individuals with finding new careers. They may also work in business, helping companies form processes, initiatives, and workplaces that are productive, happy, and conducive to reducing workforce turnover and building a positive company culture.

Typical Work Schedule for Vocational Psychologists

Most vocational psychologists work full-time during normal business hours. They may need to occasionally work evenings or weekends to accommodate patient schedules.

Typical Employers

Most vocational psychologists work in education for high schools or colleges, or in government for federal, state, or local agencies. Some may also work for businesses and corporations alongside human resource departments and company leadership.

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Vocational Psychologist Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

Low Range

$53,190

Average

$76,040

High Range

$116,960

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$26/hr

Average

$37/hr

High Range

$56/hr

How do Vocational Psychologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Vocational Psychologist's can make an average annual salary of $76,040, or $37 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $53,190 or $26 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #163 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

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How To Become

The first step in becoming a vocational psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree. While studying for a bachelor’s degree, psychology or sociology majors are common, though any degree may be sufficient for gaining admittance into a graduate program. Aspiring vocational psychologists may benefit from taking courses in introductory psychology, statistics, research methods, business administration, and human resources, regardless of what specific major they choose.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, students must then move into a master’s degree program. Both general and career-specific master’s degree programs are commonly available, so students may choose to study general psychology or pursue a more specific degree like organizational psychology, counseling, or life coaching. With a master’s degree, aspiring vocational psychologists may be able to work as psychology assistants or career coaches, but you’ll need a doctoral degree to practice as a psychologist.

Two options are available for doctoral degrees for aspiring vocational psychologists: a Ph.D. is a research-focused degree, and a Psy.D. is a clinical-focused degree. Most vocational psychologists pursue a Ph.D. because the work of a vocational psychologist is research-based work. After earning a doctoral degree, aspiring vocational psychologists may also need to obtain state licensure to practice as a psychologist, which may include supervised experience requirements and passing a written test.


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Quick Summary

  • Optional

    It’s possible to work as a career counselor and gain some experience in the field with only a master’s degree.

  • Recommended Min. Degree

    PhD or Professional

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Vocational Psychologist. a PhD or Professional is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Vocational Psychologist

  • 49.3%   Doctorate
  • 44.3%   Masters
  • 5.6%   Bachelors
  • 0.2%   Associates
  • 0.2%   College
  • 0.2%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

155,300

2024 Est. Jobs

185,900

Job Growth Rate

19.7%

Est. New Jobs

30,600

How does Vocational Psychologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 30,600 jobs for a total of 185,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 19.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #53 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

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What Companies Employ The Most Vocational Psychologists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 47,500 16,100 16%
Elementary and secondary schools; local 38,300 2,300 2%
Offices of mental health practitioners (except physicians) 13,500 5,300 5%

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