5 Careers in Performance Psychology

performance psychology jobs

Performance Psychology Jobs

  • Psychotherapy
  • Training
  • Higher Education
  • Research
  • Fitness and Nutrition

There is little mystery about the field of performance psychology. The name speaks for itself. It is an area of psychology focused on helping people achieve their best performance, in all areas of life. This opens up a great deal of variety and flexibility for those interested in pursuing a career in this area. Here are five such careers for inspiration.

Featured Programs

1. Psychotherapy

Performance psychologists are just as eligible as those in any other branch of psychology to pursue licenses to practice psychotherapy. Which license to pursue will depend on what each personal wishes to specialize in, as well as on which state each person practices in. Performance psychotherapists will specialize in helping clients set and obtain personal goals within specific areas, from general happiness, to life planning, to overcoming an addiction or mental health disorder. One perk of practicing psychotherapy is the option to work in a wide variety of settings, from hospitals and treatment centers to private practice.

2. Training

Performance psychologists are trained trainers. They have learned the best techniques for helping other achieve success. Hiring professional third parties to come and train employees is a growing practice in many businesses. This is another path that offers a great deal of variety and flexibility, as one can specialize in corporate or small business training, and training in workplace issues from safety to motivation and productivity to maintaining healthy and appropriate professional relationships. It is possible to fill this role within agencies, organizations, and private practice.

3. Higher Education

Someone has to always teach the next generation of performance psychologists. Another career option is therefore college and university instruction. Since this field is centered around helping others set and meet goals, and learn as much as possible as efficiently as possible, professionals in this field naturally enjoy and excel at teaching. Teaching can be a lifelong career in itself, and it can also lead to administrative roles within higher education. Teaching can be a part-time or full-time job, and it can be done both online and at institutions.

Related Resource: 15 Most Affordable Online Sport Psychology Programs

4. Research

Performance psychologists are specially trained to ask questions and find solutions. This sets them up for rewarding careers in research. Performance psychologists will typically conduct research regarding human motivation and goal achievement factors. This might coincide nicely with research in social psychology, occupational psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, educational psychology, and human factors (or the working relationship between humans and technology). People can conduct research in conjunction with teaching at an institute of higher education, or through a wide variety of research institutions.

5. Fitness and Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy physical lifestyle is one of the areas in which people need the most training, guidance, and encouragement. Performance psychologists can help out in this area through work at fitness and nutrition centers all the way up to professional athletic organizations. Those particularly interested in athletic performance might consider a double major or sub-specialization in sports psychology. The American Psychological Association offers an in-depth exploration of this exciting and rapidly growing career path.


As reflected in these five career paths, performance psychology is a field that allows people to combine their personal interests with their professional qualifications. There are infinite ways to help others succeed in infinite areas of life. No matter which career one chooses, there will never be a shortage of professional opportunities.

Featured Programs

Related Resources: