The human mind is a complex and powerful place. It influences how we feel, learn, make decisions, manage stress and relate to others. Psychology seeks to understand this complex place and harness its power to help people live better – so it’s no wonder that there is increasing demand for these skills across various industries.
If you’re reading this to learn what jobs or career options are possible with a psychology degree, you may be surprised by how many opportunities you can explore - both in the field of psychology and related fields.
Whether you’re looking to become a practising psychologist, upskill in the mental health industry, apply psychological science to become indispensable in a different industry, or simply learn about the mind, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) provide the perfect getaway – even if you have no relevant qualifications.
So, what jobs can you get with a psychology degree? Read on to find out.
Psychology careers in the mental health sector
In the wake of COVID-19, the demand for mental health services in Australia has never been greater. This has created a huge number of career opportunities for psychology graduates looking to truly transform lives. These include:
As a practising psychologist, your role may involve conducting one-on-one sessions with patients in a hospital, workplace or private setting, designing effective treatment plans, plus researching and report-writing. In Australia, entry-level positions can average $90,000+ per year, and you certainly won’t struggle to find work. Reportedly, the demand for sessions rose by an average of 70 per cent year-on-year since 2020.
If you’re interested in a career path as a registered psychologist, the Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) provide the perfect first steps. Both are accredited with conditions by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) to provide the necessary qualifications for advancement toward becoming a psychologist.
Want to take your qualifications even further? A career in clinical psychology may be calling. Clinical psychologists undergo postgraduate study to specialise in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders and mental health conditions. Where general psychologists have a broader scope of practice that can include fields of teaching, research and consulting in non-clinical settings, clinical psychologists typically work directly with patients suffering psychological distress in a clinical setting - often hospitals or psychiatric institutions.
Psychological assessment, clinical formulation diagnosis and psychotherapy are central in this field. Clinical psychologists can work in public mental health services and private practices, with entry-level positions averaging at $105,000 per year.
A counsellor works with individuals, couples and families struggling with issues such as stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties or grief. In Australia, counsellors are not required to be registered - unlike practising psychologists - so you wouldn’t be required to undergo further study after completing the Graduate Diploma in Psychology and/or Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced). Both are guided by the latest American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines and the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP), equipping graduates with the most up-to-date industry skills.
Counsellors tend to take more of a person-centred approach to therapy, and can specialise in certain areas such as addiction, rehabilitation, school counselling and family and marriage counselling. With the demand for counsellors expected to grow by 14.2 per cent in the five years leading up to 2026, there’s certainly no shortage of roles. In Australia, entry-level positions average around $84,000 per year.
Aged care support worker
Psychology qualifications can be put to great use as an aged care support worker, where building personal connections and creating positive relationships with clients are key. Responsibilities may involve helping clients with daily tasks like eating, bathing, dressing and grooming - and generally taking an empathetic interest in their lives. These clients will benefit from your expertise in how people think, feel and behave.
In Australia, entry-level positions average at $70,000 a year and experienced workers average $130,000 a year. Australia is also facing a significant shortage in this industry, so job opportunities won’t be an issue.
Community services and development officer
Community development officers are typically hired by governments, schools, councils or community groups. Specific roles can vary, but responsibilities generally involve developing and implementing strategies to support better emotional, health and educational outcomes for disadvantaged communities. Because this role is centred on empowering individuals, fostering relationships and bolstering well-being, a degree in psychology is one of the strongest qualifications to have. The average entry-level salary for this position in Australia is $86,000+.
Psychology can be the perfect starting point for a number of roles in healthcare. Positions like general practitioners (GPs) and nurses, which are in very high demand in Australia, combine physical healthcare with the mental health skills you’ll learn. The Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) provide the necessary qualifications for advancement toward a number of healthcare roles. Starting salaries depend on which profession you choose, but - much like its job security - the earning potential in healthcare is high.
This is just a sample of possible jobs with a psychology degree in the mental health sector. Others include social worker, therapist, youth worker, and - with further study - psychiatry, research psychology and many more.
With a psychology degree under your belt, the mental health industry is your oyster. But it’s not the only industry you may consider.
Psychology careers outside the mental health sector
Psychology is centred on understanding how the mind works to harness its power for good, a skill that’s invaluable in multiple industries. You may think careers with a psychology degree are limited to the mental health sector, but there are many - often lucrative - doors a qualification can open in business, public service, the creative industries and more.
So, what jobs can you get with a psychology degree that aren’t actually in psychology? Let’s take a look.
Media, marketing and advertising
Expertise in consumer psychology will put you in great stead for a number of positions in the creative and media industries. Understanding what drives people to think, feel, act and purchase one product over another is essential to succeed in marketing, advertising and public relations positions.
Psychology graduates can also make for strong writers, journalists and media professionals - where an understanding of how to connect with others is key. Job avenues in this industry are ample - you can work for an agency, in-house for a business, or even start your own.
Salaries are position-dependent, but current senior marketers in Australia earn an average of $200,000 per year.
Human resources (HR) professionals can have any number of responsibilities including employee acquisition and management, staff retention and compensation, training and development and workplace safety. As all of them involve the management and support of people, a degree in psychology is an asset in this industry.
Career options in this sector are broad; you can work for an HR agency or in-house across multiple sectors from finance to travel - every organisation needs human resource management.
If you’re curious by nature and love to learn, you may want to consider a career in researching, such as a research analyst or research assistant. Researchers often work as specialists in the fields of medical research, scientific research, market research, education and more. Generally, the role involves conducting studies, collecting and analysing data and sharing findings.
Depending on what field you want to specialise in, further study may be required - but a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and/or Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) provide the perfect place to start. Entry-level positions in Australia start at around $90,000 per year.
Regardless of the industry, a fundamental skill in business management is the ability to understand people. Afterall, that’s what organisations and markets are made of. In Australia, the business market is projected to grow by 9.38% in the five years leading up to 2027 - so work opportunities abound.
If you’re interested in a dynamic career in business, postgraduate psychology is a strong step in the right direction. Salaries are industry and position-dependent, but entry-level roles can start at $100,000 per year in Australia.
Urban planners are responsible for projecting, designing and managing the urban development of cities and towns. While it may not sound like it, this profession is closely interwoven with psychology. Why? Because the development of cities and towns is driven by the behaviour of the humans who live in them. Cities rely on urban development to keep their inhabitants thriving and healthy.
And as Australia’s population steadily increases, so will its need for well-planned urban environments. In Australia, starting salaries can average at $91,000 and earning potential well exceeds $100,000.
The public service industry covers a wide range of government-employed roles that support the wider community. This can include law enforcement, firefighting, the army, navy and air force, government and more. Earning potential depends on the specific industry and role you choose, but in Australia salaries can range from $69,000 to over $500,000 per year.
Working in behavioural insights involves analysing and applying research and data on human behaviour to encourage people to make better decisions for themselves and the wider society. In Australia, these positions can be in the public sector as Behavioural Insights Units, in the private sector as in-house advisors or teams (often for tech and banking organisations), or as independent agencies like The Behavioural Insights Team servicing all the above.
Whether you wish to become a full-time psychologist, or you want to apply your skills to a human-centred profession, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) can provide the perfect launchpad for your career ambitions.
Developed by academics at the forefront of psychological science and informed by the latest APA guidelines, these postgraduate courses will help you harness the power of the human mind to help people think, feel, relate, perform, and live better.