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What is the Future Outlook for Careers in Psychology?

The future outlook for careers in psychology varies depending on the degree you hold and your area of specialization. Read on for more information about the projected growth of various careers in the field of psychology, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


A psychologist is a researcher or clinician who studies human behavior, and who typically has a doctoral or master’s degree. This field is expected to grow by 12 percent over the next 10 years, resulting in approximately 18,700 new jobs. Growth for psychologists will be driven by greater demand for these services in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and social services agencies. However, one area of the field, industrial-organizational psychologists, is one of the fastest growth areas in the United States, with a 53 percent increase by 2022. These psychologists specifically focus on workplace behavior for the purpose of hiring and retaining employees.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors have a master’s degree and specialize in working with patients with mental health disorders. Growth for this career is projected at 29 percent, much faster than average for other occupations. Increased need for these services will result in an estimated 48,200 new jobs by 2022. The need for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, a subset of this field, will increase by 31 percent over the next ten years.

School and Career Counselors

These professionals have a psychology background and typically work in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities to help students develop social and academic skills, apply to colleges, and forge a career path. 31,200 new jobs are expected to be created in this field by 2022, an average growth rate of 12 percent.

Social Workers

These professionals help individuals cope with everyday life, and may also diagnose and treat mental health issues and disorders. Jobs for social workers are expected to increase by 19 percent over the next ten years, with approximately 114,100 new jobs created. Jobs for child and family social workers, who specifically deal with problems within the family unit, will increase by 15 percent over the next 10 years. Mental health and substance abuse social worker careers will increase very quickly in this period, by a rate of 23 percent, as more individuals seek help with these issues. The fastest growth field for social workers is in the medical field, a career that is expected to grow by 27 percent. These social workers specifically focus on patients in hospitals and long term care settings.

The American Psychology Association is an excellent resource to learn more about careers in psychology. You can also access reports on these jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, online at This page provides extensive information about the future outlook for psychology careers.