The field of behavioral psychology examines the intersection of thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Behavioral psychology careers look at how our brains influence our behaviors. Positive and negative reinforcement are classic examples of concepts in this psychological field.

Below, you can find more information about careers that can be pursued with a behavioral psychology degree. The following sections explore potential career paths, possible salaries, and useful resources.

Why Pursue a Career in Behavioral Psychology Careers?

Careers for a behavioral psychology major typically include regular interactions with other people. Most psychology careers take place indoors in an office or clinical setting, either as part of a hospital or a private practice.

In many cases, professionals who choose careers in behavioral psychology work with people who have mental health problems or related issues.

Behavioral psychology professionals should hold a keen interest in psychology and mental health. Essential skills for professionals in this field include the ability to conduct scientific research and make sound diagnoses. They should also have excellent communication skills and be able to work closely with other people, including other psychologists and patients.

Behavioral Psychology Careers Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn an average annual salary of $87,450.

Industries with the highest levels of employment for these professionals include elementary and secondary schools and offices of health practitioners. Psychologists can also find work in individual and family services.

The BLS reports that the most lucrative industries for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists differ from the industries with the highest employment numbers. Child day care services and home healthcare services typically offer the highest annual mean wages.

The following table provides the median annual salaries for a few behavioral psychology careers based on a worker's experience.

Median Annual Salary for Behavioral Psychology Careers Careers
Job Title Entry-Level
(0-12 months)
Early Career
(1-4 Years)
Midcareer
(5-9 Years)
Experienced
(10-19 Years)
Behavior Analyst $50,730 $57,970 $61,940 $65,030
Behavior Therapist $38,640 $39,350 $49,070 $49,670
Mental Health Counselor $39,190 $40,970 $45,530 $49,180
Social Worker $40,940 $44,390 $49,670 $54,160

Source: PayScale

Skills Gained With a Behavioral Psychology Careers Degree

Behavioral psychologists build skills by enrolling in academic programs before earning state licensure. Four-year programs provide the core psychological concepts and research training students need to pursue both entry-level careers and graduate programs.

At the master's and doctoral levels, students complete clinical training and advanced research projects that prepare them for careers as therapists, counselors, and scientists.

Psychological Knowledge

Students must develop core knowledge of behavioral, abnormal, and developmental psychology. They explore historical trends, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings. Learners apply these frameworks to analyze human thoughts and behavioral problems through research.

Scientific Inquiry

Students develop the scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills needed to gather, evaluate, and apply psychological information. They learn to design and implement research plans with respect to the scientific process and sociocultural factors. By critically assessing findings, learners can draw conclusions about psychological phenomena to prove or refute the validity of an argument.

Interpersonal Communication

Communication skills help professionals convey information in written, oral, and multimedia formats. Psychologists must present complex and technical ideas to diverse audiences, including students, colleagues, government officials, business professionals, and patients.

Leadership

Learners cultivate the integrative leadership skills required to work as project managers and program directors. They develop the ability to recruit diverse talent, manage multicultural team members, and bolster team capacity. Students also learn to incorporate ethical standards into their decision-making processes, strengthening social responsibility within their organization.

Client Assessment

To work as counselors and clinical psychologists, professionals must be able to assess clients for signs of drug abuse, mental illness, and behavioral disorders. Psychologists also diagnose coexisting conditions that may require additional social services and/or medical treatment. Furthermore, they need to ensure a client meets the eligibility criteria for program intake in accordance with government regulations and organizational policies.

Behavioral Psychology Careers Career Paths

Behavioral psychology opens the door to many different psychology career paths. Graduates seeking careers with a behavioral psychology degree can work with patients or pursue research. This industry also allows for specialization; professionals can pursue careers in fields like children and family psychology and addiction counseling.

Below are several potential careers for a behavioral psychology major.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors work with individuals seeking counseling for issues such as addiction and eating disorders. These professionals design and implement treatment plans specific to each patients' needs. This career requires a bachelor's degree, and professionals earn a median annual salary of $46,240. The BLS projects 25% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029 — much higher than the average projected growth rate for all occupations (4%).

Psychologist

Psychologists study emotional, behavioral, and cognitive processes to help people receive proper treatment for behavioral or mental disorders. These professionals diagnose disorders and create individualized treatment plans for patients. This job requires a graduate degree, and professionals earn a median annual salary of $80,370. The BLS projects 3% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029.

Social Worker

Social workers help individuals, groups, and communities work through everyday problems, including mental or behavioral issues. These professionals typically work with marginalized groups. Depending on a worker's specific role, this job requires a bachelor's or master's degree, and professionals earn a median annual salary of $50,470. The BLS projects 13% growth among social worker positions between 2019 and 2029. 

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists help patients work through emotional or behavioral issues that affect familial relationships. These professionals may work as counselors to individuals, couples, or families. This job requires a master's degree, and professionals earn a median annual salary of $49,610. The BLS projects 22% growth for this field between 2019 and 2029.

School Counselor

School counselors work with students to address academic or behavioral issues. These professionals typically work with K-12 students. This career requires a master's degree, and professionals earn a median annual salary of $57,040. The BLS projects 8% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029.

How to Start Your Career in Behavioral Psychology Careers

Degree level and certification/licensure greatly influence the types of behavioral psychology careers you can pursue. By earning a bachelor's degree, you qualify for support positions like laboratory assistant and healthcare administrator. You can also work as a health educator or community service coordinator.

In the private sector, psychology professionals often excel in marketing and advertising positions. The BLS projects 18% job growth for market research analysts between 2019 and 2029.

A master's degree can lead to counseling and social work careers. You can also pursue a career as a family and marriage therapist — the BLS projects 22% job growth for this position between 2019 and 2029. Additionally, earning a graduate degree can prepare you to become a business leader, coordinating human resources or overseeing a company's marketing and advertising efforts.

Doctoral degrees prepare you to work as a clinical psychologist or dedicated researcher. You can also pursue a career in postsecondary education or administration

Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Psychology Careers

Bachelor's programs in behavioral psychology typically require at least 120 credits, which full-time students can complete in four years. Somes schools also offer accelerated online programs. In these programs, distance learners may take shorter courses throughout the year to graduate in less time.

Undergraduate behavioral science courses usually cover general sociology and developmental psychology. They also delve into social deviance and psychopathological perspectives. Most psychology programs allow you to personalize the curriculum by choosing electives and/or concentrations. Typical concentration options include clinical psychology, childhood development, and abnormal psychology.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Careers?

Laboratory Assistant

Working under the guidance of laboratory directors, laboratory assistants help carry out experiments and analyze findings. They oversee record keeping, ensuring the security and accessibility of documents. Laboratory assistants also manage administrative functions like answering emails and phone calls, stocking supplies, and cleaning up facilities.

Salary: $35,400

Health Educator

These professionals promote wellness and teach people about disease prevention. Working with government officials and social services leaders, health educators assess the needs of communities and develop outreach projects. They help people manage existing health conditions, train staff, allocate resources, and evaluate program effectiveness.

Salary: $46,910

Correctional Treatment Specialist

Also known as correctional counselors, these professionals develop rehabilitation plans for parolees and probationers. They work with clients and correctional officials to coordinate release plans. Correctional treatment specialists assess clients to determine the best rehabilitation methods. They also connect clients with support resources like job training and affordable housing initiatives.

Salary: $54,290

Market Research Analyst

These business professionals analyze market conditions to determine potential sales of products, services, and programs. They train in marketing psychology, learning how to identify and influence consumer behavior through advertisements and promotional incentives. They monitor economic trends and gather data on consumers and competitors. Market research analysts also assess data using statistical software and present findings to company leaders and stakeholders.

Salary: $63,790

Technical Writer

These professionals write journal articles, instructional manuals, and how-to guides that convey complex and technical information. Technical writers with a background in behavioral psychology may work for hospitals, medical publications, and other health-related organizations. They can operate as freelancers or find employment with a single company.

Salary: $72,850

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Master's Degree in Behavioral Psychology Careers

A master's degree in behavioral psychology is the minimum educational requirement for most careers in counseling, therapy, and social work. These programs generally include 30-40 required credits, which students typically finish in two years. Some accelerated online programs allow students to graduate within one year.

Master's programs include core classes like functional analysis, behavioral interventions, and ethics. Most programs also require clinical training, an internship, and/or a capstone project.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Behavioral Psychology Careers?

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

These professionals help clients overcome drug addiction, eating disorders, and mental health issues. They evaluate a client's condition and prepare them for treatment. Substance abuse counselors work with clients and their families to develop action plans, connecting them to external social services as necessary. They regularly check up on client progress and intervene when situations arise that undermine their recovery.

Salary: $46,240

School and Career Counselor

School counselors help students tackle social and behavioral problems. They also assist with college and career planning, ensuring learners develop the academic skills needed to succeed. Career counselors conduct assessments to help clients discern skills and interests. School counselors at public schools must earn state licensure. Licensure criteria vary by state, so candidates should consult the American School Counselor Association for further details.

Salary: $57,040

Marriage and Family Therapist

These professionals help individuals and families manage relationship problems. They encourage clients to discuss their experiences and emotions. Marriage and family therapists also guide clients through decision-making processes, using methods like cognitive behavioral therapy to replace harmful thoughts and actions with positive ones. Marriage and family therapists must hold a master's degree from an accredited counseling program. They must also obtain state licensure.

Salary: $49,610

Social Worker

Social workers assist at-risk individuals and underserved communities. These professionals help clients adjust to life challenges, like divorce and unemployment. They also develop and coordinate community resources, including childcare, healthcare, job placement, and food stamp programs. To work as clinical social workers, professionals need to earn a master's degree and a state license. The Association of Social Work Boards provides information about this process.

Salary: $50,470

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers work with their teams to develop campaigns that generate interest in products and services. They oversee market research and develop pricing strategies to reach targeted consumers. Marketing managers also direct staff, plan budgets, and communicate with stakeholders.

Salary: $135,900

Source: BLS

Doctoral Degree in Behavioral Psychology Careers

A doctoral degree in behavioral psychology allows you to pursue advanced career opportunities. Ph.D. programs emphasize research and teaching, while Psy.D. programs focus on practical skill development in clinical settings.

Doctoral programs require 50-80 credits, which students usually complete in 4-7 years. Most students spend the first two years completing designated coursework in areas like experimental analysis of behavior, supervision and consulting in applied behavior analysis, and clinical psychopharmacology. Learners spend the rest of the program completing independent research and clinical training to prepare for a dissertation defense.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Behavioral Psychology Careers?

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders, including short-term personal issues and chronic conditions and illnesses. A psychologist's work greatly depends on their specialization but commonly includes conducting client interviews and assessment tests. They also facilitate individual, family, and group therapy sessions. Many psychologists focus their services on a population group, like children, veterans, or the elderly. Depending on the state, clinical psychologists may prescribe medication.

Salary: $80,370

Postsecondary Teacher, Psychology

Postsecondary teachers offer laboratory and classroom instruction in their area of expertise. They help students gain internships and plan for professional goals. College and university professors pursue their own research, publishing findings in scholarly journals and presenting at academic conferences. Within their departments, these professionals help develop curricula and recruit students.

Salary: $76,620

Research Scientist

Research scientists seek new knowledge in their field of study. These professionals may work with private laboratories and government agencies. Research scientists often conduct experiments to facilitate the development of products, services, and programs.

Salary: $80,120

Sources: BLS and PayScale

How to Advance Your Career in Behavioral Psychology Careers

Professionals can take concrete steps to advance their careers in behavioral psychology in many different ways, without simply relying on accumulated experience. Behavioral psychology professionals should seek out additional training or education that can give them an edge.

In the following sections, you can learn more about career advancement methods for a behavioral psychology major. These methods include earning certification and/or licensure, pursuing continuing education, and using professional organizations to find networking opportunities.

You should always research specific job requirements or speak to a career counselor to determine the best path forward for career advancement.

Certifications and/or Licensure

Some behavioral psychology careers require licensure, which typically comes from the state or federal government. Almost all states require some form of licensure for practicing psychologists and counselors. Professionals often need a certain number of clinical hours and a passing score on an exam to earn licensure. You can learn more about the licensure process for psychologists here.

Certification typically comes from professional organizations. Employers may require certification for some behavioral psychology jobs, but professionals can also earn these credentials to gain proficiency in new skills and pursue career advancement. Certification may also require clinical hours or an exam.

Professionals can gain certification from organizations like the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. Behavioral psychology professionals can also seek certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Certification varies depending on the specific career. You can research which organizations offer the right certification for your career path.

Continuing Education

Continuing education options include earning another degree, completing a certificate program, and enrolling in online or in-person courses.

Earning an advanced degree demands significant time and money but can lead to many new career options. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors only need a bachelor's degree to qualify for entry-level work. However, professionals should consider earning a graduate degree if they want to open their own practice or enter a managerial role at their current office.

Many colleges also offer certificate programs that take a year or less to complete. These certificates offer specialized training in areas like applied behavior analysis and addiction studies. Certificates and online courses allow professionals to learn new skills and techniques at a lower cost.

Next Steps

Behavioral psychology professionals and students should consider joining a professional organization. Professional organizations may offer online and in-person workshops, certifications, scholarly publications, and training courses to help professionals learn new skills and stay current with new research in the field.

Depending on your target career, you can also consider joining organizations like the American Psychological Association, Association for Behavior Analysis International, Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

These organizations and others like them also provide networking opportunities. Professionals and students can use networking events to learn about new career options, solve problems, and make connections with like-minded individuals. Most professional organizations reserve full access to their resources for members only.

How to Switch Your Career to Behavioral Psychology Careers

In most cases, professionals switching careers to behavioral psychology come from another field of psychology or a related psychology career. These professionals do not need another degree, but may need different licensure or certification depending on their new career or their state of residence.

Professionals from non-psychology fields choosing new careers in behavioral psychology usually need to earn another degree. Licensure typically requires educational requirements that professionals must meet.

When considering a career change, be sure to research specific career requirements or speak to a career counselor to determine their best path forward.

Where Can You Work as a Behavioral Psychology Careers Professional?

Behavioral psychology careers span multiple industries and settings, although most professionals work in health and human services as social workers, counselors, therapists, and community managers. Psychologists can also pursue private sector careers as marketing specialists, survey researchers, and corporate trainers.

The following section breaks down behavioral psychology careers by geographical location and industry.

Industries

The BLS reports that the largest number of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists work in elementary and secondary schools and health practitioner offices. The following table covers five popular industries for behavioral psychology careers and the roles professionals typically fill within each.

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Elementary and secondary schools employ behavioral psychologists to help students with academic or behavioral issues in the classroom. These professionals work closely with students and help design learning plans.

Average Salary: $80,180

Physician Offices

Physicians help patients through a variety of health problems. Behavioral psychology professionals in this setting aid patients through emotional, mental, or behavioral problems, especially as they relate to other health issues.

Average Salary: $95,960

Other Health Practitioner Offices

These settings include mental health clinics, as well as the offices of physical and speech therapists. Behavioral psychology professionals can help individuals or groups of patients through behavioral issues.

Average Salary: $100,300

Individual and Family Services

Individual and family services deal with familial units, either alone or together. Professionals in this field help people work through relationship problems and other behavioral issues.

Average Salary: $85,140

Outpatient Care Centers

Outpatient care centers provide services for patients who do not require overnight care at a hospital or other medical facility. Behavioral psychology professionals may offer counseling sessions or other types of therapy.

Average Salary: $99,870

Locations

Employment opportunities and salary potential differ based on a professional's level of education, level experience, and location. Some of the states with the highest mean annual salaries for behavioral psychology professionals include Oregon and California.

Additionally, the states that currently employ the most behavioral psychologists include California, New York, and Texas.

Florida FL Texas TX New Mexico NM Arizona AZ Alaska AK California CA Nevada NV Utah UT Colorado CO Oregon OR Washington WA Idaho ID Hawaii HI Oklahoma OK Montana MT Wyoming WY North Dakota ND South Dakota SD Nebraska NE Kansas KS Minnesota MN Iowa IA Missouri MO Arkansas AR Louisiana LA Mississippi MS Alabama AL Georgia GA South Carolina SC Illinois IL Wisconsin WI Michigan MI Indiana IN Ohio OH Tennessee TN Kentucky KY North Carolina NC West Virginia WV Virginia VA Pennsylvania PA New York NY Maine ME Vermont VT New Hampshire NH Rhode Island RI Connecticut CT New Jersey NJ Delaware DE Massachusetts MA Maryland MD District of Columbia DC

Interview With a Professional in Behavioral Psychology Careers

Ashleigh Diserio

Ashleigh Diserio

Addiction Therapist

Ashleigh Diserio, founder of Ashleigh Diserio Consulting has 13 years of experience as a behavioral analyst, working with government and private sector clients. Ms. Diserio's experience applying psychological principles in various investigative, operational, and national security settings allows her to help organizations understand an individual's mindset, motivations, behaviors, and intentions. She has a BS in psychology and a master's in forensic psychology.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in behavioral psychology? Was it something you were always interested in?

I knew from a young age that I desired to help people in some way. I also enjoyed learning about how people think and feel, the reasons and motivations behind their behavior, and if it was possible for people to change. I was interested in this not just on an individual level, but at a societal level as well.

In undergrad, I thought about a career helping abused and neglected children, but I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to stomach listening to stories of what happened to abused children, nor view abuse images. I didn't want to "waste" my education on a career that I might not be able to handle.

To remedy this, I approached different organizations and asked if I could work for them for free, and in return they would allow me to learn about the work they do and witness some of the things that I believed I might have a hard time with.

I ended up with two organizations that allowed me to volunteer with them. While volunteering, I realized that if it was my job to help individuals, I had no issue handling the types of things I thought might be too much for me. Once I realized that I could do this work, I was then able to expand my career search to different types of opportunities.

Working with abused and neglected children at these organizations opened my eyes to all aspects that surround abuse, such as domestic violence, the legal system, victim behavior, and offender behavior. That is when I knew that combining my psychology degree with forensics would allow me to work in all areas that I had a passion for.

What is so valuable about earning a degree in this field right now?

The number of individuals majoring in psychology and other behavioral science fields has grown tremendously over the years. This makes it competitive to get into educational programs and obtain your ideal career, but don't let that deter you.

You will just need to work hard, be a bit unconventional in your job search, and learn to set yourself apart from others in the field, but it will be worth it when you are doing rewarding work that you are passionate about.

There are many valuable aspects to having a degree in psychology or another behavioral science field.

My favorite is that these degrees allow you to have a vast assortment of career paths. Since they typically focus around people and behavior, that allows you to use your education in many diverse settings and within a plethora of businesses, schools, healthcare organizations, government agencies, or even the military. You can tailor your education to specialty areas that appeal to you and even switch career paths with ease.

Second, since these programs educate individuals on behavior and people, you gain knowledge that gives you a greater understanding of both others and yourself. With your new masterful people skills, you will be able to predict behavior better, take the perspective of another, be more compassionate and empathetic toward others, regulate your own emotions, and much more. These are invaluable skills to have!

Lastly, I have witnessed these career fields grow and not contract over the years. There is a growing demand for services centered around these degree programs. I see these areas continuing to grow, so job security is not an issue.

What did your career trajectory look like after you graduated? How did you end up in your current position?

After undergrad, I went directly to graduate school. My graduate program required us to complete an internship. I accepted an internship with an investigative agency where I consulted on criminal and intelligence investigations.

At the end of the internship, I was supposed to become a federal agent, but I enjoyed the work I was doing so much that I no longer wanted a career as a federal agent. I desired to continue working in the behavioral sciences division, assisting federal agents on criminal and intelligence investigations. I asked the agency if it would be possible to stay on doing what I was doing.

Thankfully, they were able to create a position for me, where I continued the same work I was doing in my internship.

Over the years, the job expanded to include other duties, such as helping military members prepare for deployment and reintegrate back into society upon their return, helping conduct research, assisting military families while one member was deployed, and supporting families who sadly lost a member during deployment. I stayed in this position for eight years.

I was then eager to gain more experience in the intelligence and insider threat arena. I sought out another opportunity where I was able to gain that experience. I was in that position for three years before eventually starting my own company doing work similar to that which I have done in my prior positions, as well as focusing on victim advocacy.

What are some of the most challenging aspects of working in behavioral psychology and counseling? Some of the most rewarding aspects?

While I have not experienced this, I have witnessed it happen to others, and I have heard many speak about the fact that this type of work can be emotionally demanding and stressful at times. In these career fields, you often have to deal with other people's problems and turmoil daily. This can become taxing and cause people's thoughts and emotions to veer off in a downward spiral when it becomes too overwhelming.

It is critical that individuals working in these career fields monitor their thoughts, understand the importance of self-care, develop positive coping methods and effective stress management techniques, and learn how to separate their work life and personal life. Individuals need to engage in activities outside of work that fill them up with joy and peace. This helps shake off the habits and thoughts that might be draining or less-than-awesome to have a solid emotional and mental footing.

To me, the most rewarding aspect of working in the field is being able to make a real difference in people's lives. In these fields, you often get to help explain people's behavior to others, assist with fact-finding in cases, work to end the stigma behind mental health disorders and disabilities, and help people overcome adversity and trauma, ultimately increasing their well-being and quality of life. It is a very gratifying and fulfilling occupation.

What are some of the necessary skills or traits someone needs to be successful in a behavioral psychology career?

Being able to communicate is critical. You will need to describe observations in an accurate manner, practice active listening and communicate back what you think you hear to make sure you correctly understand what another person is trying to convey, ask questions where appropriate clarification is needed, and relay helpful information to others.

You also need to recognize and correct your biases when they creep in and be willing to change your mind when new information is presented. We all have unconscious biases, which are attitudes or stereotypes that we have but are not generally aware of. These biases can occur due to our personal and cultural experiences.

There are times when we make impulsive judgments and assessments of people or situations without realizing it. We must be able to catch ourselves when doing this and hold the belief that everyone is equal, while taking all of the information about that person or situation into account in order to do the best possible job that we can.

Lastly, being compassionate and empathetic is critical. You will often be working with individuals who have been in traumatic situations or simply need others to understand their situation without judgment. Treating people with compassion, empathy, and kindness goes a long way in these careers.

Also, being compassionate can improve our own physical health, emotional well-being, and relationships, so not only does the other person reap the benefits of us being compassionate, but we do as well. Furthermore, being able to understand another's point of view fully and instilling hope and optimism is necessary.

What advice would you give to recent behavioral psychology graduates seeking a job in the field?

Before students even make it to graduation, I encourage them to seek out internships, job shadowing opportunities, and other experiences where they get a taste of actual job experience and develop experience to build their resume.

Schools can only teach so much. Getting the opportunity to have hands-on experience allows individuals to apply the skills, theories, and concepts they learned in school, as well as gain valuable life experience.

Individuals should not be scared to approach organizations that they might want to work for to ask if the organization might be able to create an internship for them if there are none available. You never know what could happen if you don't ask.

Also, there are plenty of free and low-cost webinars taught by those already working in these career fields that provide relevant education. Gathering these experiences will help you stand out when applying for positions or other educational programs. The more you have on your resume, the better!

Individuals should start creating a network of connections before graduation. This happens through the experiences mentioned above, as well as by simply asking individuals you might have met through friends or online who are in career fields you are pursuing if they have other knowledge that might be helpful to you and/or would be willing to meet with you for coffee.

In this meeting, you might discuss career thoughts or questions you have. The network you create will be a stepping stone to opportunities in the future.

Lastly, graduates should ask for what they want and not take "no" too seriously. Often, people sit in silence hoping others will read their mind in regards to career-related desires and life in general. We must learn to voice our desires, goals, and hopes in order for them to materialize. If you ask for something and the person you are asking says no, explore other options to make it happen.

Sometimes, the person you ask is not the one who can actually make the decision or get the information for you. Is there another person you can go to? Are there other avenues to take to make it happen?

Roads to your goals and dreams are not a straight line. There will be curves and detours, but keep going in order to make it to your destination. Let your passion and self-confidence be your superpower.

Resources for Behavioral Psychology Careers Majors

Students and professionals in the field of behavioral psychology can make use of the following lists of professional organizations, free online courses, and scholarly publications. These resources may lead to educational and networking opportunities.

Professional Organizations

American Counseling Association: Established in 1952, ACA is the largest organization for professional counselors. The association advocates for the counseling profession at every government level. Members can connect through online forums, regional meetings, and national conferences. ACA offers licensure and certification guidance for each professional counseling field and delivers career support and continuing education programs.


American Society of Addiction Medicine: Founded in 1954, ASAM now represents thousands of professionals in the addiction medicine field, while also funding research awards and student scholarships. Members benefit from career support, including job postings and certification information. They can access in-person continuing education programs and webinars through the e-learning center.


Association for Behavioral Analysis International: ABAI strengthens the science, teaching, and application of behavioral analysis. Professionals collaborate through online communities, special interest groups, and global conventions while keeping abreast of emerging theories and challenges by accessing the association's research publications and newsletters. ABAI's career center publishes job listings and provides placement services for professionals and employers.


Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies: ABCT is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of human problems through the application of evidence-based behavioral principles. The association offers research tools, grant resources, and clinical training programs. Professionals also benefit from continuing education services and conferences. Students can learn about academic programs and gain support from personal mentors.


Association for Psychological Science: APS supports the research and application of psychological concepts across disciplines and geographical borders. The association maintains a vast online catalog of research topics and journals, allowing professionals to connect online and through worldwide conventions. APS offers career development resources, job listings, and a postdoctoral exchange program that places candidates in fellowships.


Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers: APPIC helps doctoral and postdoctoral psychologists find clinical training opportunities. The association provides comprehensive internship guidance and application support, as well as a vast directory of training programs. APPIC offers information on scholarships, academic programs, and certification. The association also offers diversity resources for students of color, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.


National Association of School Psychologists: NASP serves over 25,000 school psychologists, related professionals, and students in more than 20 countries. Members can learn how to choose the right graduate program, prepare for certification, and fulfill individual state requirements for licensure and practice. In addition to job listings, the association offers an online learning center where professionals can access webinars and other continuing education resources.


National Association of Social Workers: Established in 1955, NASW serves more than 120,000 members by funding research initiatives and advancing public policies. Professionals connect through national conventions and collaborate on community advocacy projects. They can access job search tools, credentialing and certification guidance, and continuing education programs. NASW also offers support to social workers seeking specialty training in areas like child welfare, behavioral health, and school social work.


National Institute on Drug Abuse: NIDA is a government agency dedicated to preventing drug addiction through research, professional training, and community engagement. The institute maintains a comprehensive online library of scholarly journals, industry magazines, and research findings, allowing professionals to benefit from research training and grant funding opportunities. NIDA also awards academic scholarships and provides career development resources.


Society of Addiction Psychology: SoAP supports clinical practice and research related to addictive and disordered behaviors, including drug abuse, alcoholism, eating disorders, and gambling. Members can access evidence-based practice guidelines and in-depth information on the opioid crisis. The society provides specific resources for students and early career addiction professionals and funds research grants and academic scholarships.


Open Courseware

Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Science: This journal publishes theoretical articles and empirical research about behavioral science. The publication also explores interdisciplinary research in psychology and other fields, such as law, consumer behavior, and religion. All articles in the magazine undergo peer review and an editorial screening process. Readers may subscribe to a printed or electronic version of the publication.


Counseling Today: This online publication is overseen by ACA. The magazine looks at current events happening in the field of counseling, providing in-depth articles on counseling techniques, a space for knowledge sharing between counseling professionals, and online exclusives. The magazine publishes new content each month.


Journal of Counseling & Development: Also published by ACA, this journal provides articles about current counseling issues and theories. Past article topics include an examination of counseling, multiculturalism, and social justice. This journal includes counseling and psychology articles across 18 different disciplines and discusses all facets of counseling from diagnosis to treatment. Readers can also find information about cutting-edge research and practices.


Behavior Analysis in Practice: This peer-reviewed journal provides science-based articles and information about the practice of behavioral analysis. The magazine is written specifically for front-line service workers, school personnel, and researchers. Readers can learn about new behavioral analysis techniques and how to overcome implementation issues in real-world settings.


Perspectives on Behavior Science: This journal offers research on theoretical and applied topics in behavioral science. Readers can also find informative book reviews and interpretations of scientific data. This publication offers insights into new trends in behavioral science while also exploring current experiments and research aiming to expand knowledge in the field.


Behavior and Social Issues: This interdisciplinary journal offers peer-reviewed articles about how behavioral analysis can influence important social issues within a community. Readers can learn about behavioral analysis and its relation to social justice and human rights.


Publications

Health Behavior Change: From Evidence to Action - Yale University: This 16-hour course examines how social and behavioral issues impact how individuals make lifestyle decisions. Through experience-based lessons, students learn about health behavior science and how to improve community and individual health practices. This course targets students interested in healthcare and public healthp>


Psychological First Aid - Johns Hopkins University: This six-hour class teaches students how to employ the RAPID method of psychological first aid: reflective listening, assessment of needs, prioritization, intervention, and disposition. This course delves into nonphysical injuries and traumas and explains how students can recognize them and begin treatment.


Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers - Yale University: This 14-hour course helps students improve diagnosis and treatment techniques for patients with addiction. Students learn to assess patients for substance use disorder risk and determine the best treatment plans. The class also explores conditions that may limit a patient's access to treatment and how to overcome them. 


ADHD: Everyday Strategies for Elementary Students - University at Buffalo: This eight-hour class deals directly with ADHD diagnosis and treatment, focusing on children. Students take an evidence-based approach to learning diagnosis methods and setting up treatment plans.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is a degree in behavioral psychology worth it?

A degree in behavioral psychology opens the doors to many different psychology careers. Professionals in this field help people of all ages and backgrounds through different problems, including issues with addiction and mental health. Behavioral psychologists can create a profound impact on peoples' lives and help them on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle.

What kind of jobs can you get with a behavioral psychology degree?

Behavioral psychology offers many specializations, leading to careers in addiction counseling, children and family therapy, and career counseling. Graduates can also pursue careers in education and human resources.

How much do behavioral psychology majors make?

Salary potential differs based on a worker's location, education, and experience. According to the BLS, psychologists earn a median annual salary of $80,370, while school and career counselors make a median annual salary of $57,040. Additionally, psychology professionals in postsecondary teaching roles earn a median annual salary of $76,620.

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