5 Psychology Jobs That Don’t Require You to Work With Patients

psychology jobs that are not patient centered

Non-Patient-Centric Psychology Jobs

  • Teacher or Professor
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
  • Policy Writer
  • Expert Witness
  • Research

Psychology is a broad and interesting field. Many people who are fascinated by psychology shy away from it as a career because they buy into the myth that psychoanalyzing patients is the only possible job for psychologists. Counseling and therapy are simply not for everyone, regardless of how captivating the subject is. These five jobs prove that there are plenty of rewarding careers in psychology that do not require working with patients.

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Teacher or Professor

Everyone knows that old adage: those who can’t do, teach. Most education roles in psychology lie in higher education. Start by teaching introductory courses part-time at community colleges. From there, one can begin teaching more specialized courses, teach part-time at universities, or apply for full-time positions. This path offers both face-to-face and online from-home work options. It requires at least a master’s and most likely a doctorate degree to proceed to university full-time positions. With a bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential, one can teach advanced placement psychology at high schools that offer this elective.

Industrial-Organizational (IO) Psychologist

I0 psychologists practice therapy and counseling, but they do so with entire organizations rather than with individual human patients. IO Psychology is the field of helping workplaces and institutions run efficiently and productively. This is the perfect role for people who love to actively solve logistical rather than emotional problems.

Find a degree: 5 Best Ph.D. Industrial and Organizational Psychology Online Programs

Policy Writer

Policy writers directly apply psychological knowledge and improve peoples’ lives without entering the clinical realm. This requires a graduate degree. These positions are with local, state, or federal government organizations, so a background in political science is an asset. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is one of the nation’s leading organizations on mental health policy and a great place to begin a career in this area.

Expert Witness

If forensic psychology and the justice system strike your fancy, a career as an expert witness is ideal. Expert witnesses are called upon in the courtroom to analyze and testify about people, events, and crime scenes. This is usually a role that one plays alongside one of the many other possible roles at first, but a great deal of people transition into expert witnessing full-time. Earning a college degree in forensic psychology is the best way to start. The higher the degree earned, the more plentiful and intriguing the expert witness jobs will become.


If you are a perpetual student and ask a lot of questions that your professors cannot answer, there is a way to continue learning for a lifetime and turn it into a lucrative career. Become a psychological researcher. Researchers can choose between working at research institutions, working on research teams at a wide variety of companies and organizations, and working for a university in conjunction with teaching. This generally requires a doctoral degree. Research internships from the very beginning of the academic journey increase chances of landing the best research positions.


Not one of these five careers in psychology requires sitting down with a patient. Nevertheless, they are all highly valuable and easily obtainable. There is a wide professional world out there for people who want jobs in psychology that do not require working with patients.

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