Psychology is the study of human minds and behaviour, and as a degree subject can open doorways to many different career pathways. The main topics you will focus on in a psychology degree are clinical, health, occupational, research, counselling, forensic, sport, and several others.  


Being a psychologist is a very rewarding career pathway to take. Psychology is a subject that is growing in popularity every year, in fact it is one of the most common degrees to take in the UK and the US. It is a career that is relevant in science and arts; psychologists can be found in many sectors that you might not think of immediately, like business, education and sports.  

Occupational Psychologist 

Occupational psychology is concerned with human behaviour in the workplace, so a psychologist in this role would aim to improve a company’s or organisation’s productivity and job satisfaction, and of course employee mental wellbeing. To do this they would focus on understanding how effectively organisations functions, through psychometric assessments, career development and counselling for employees across the board, to increase their working relations and motivation.  

Occupational psychologists would provide coaching and guidance to workers to help them manage their jobs as well as design performance systems to maximise success while avoiding anything that might take away from overall employee job satisfaction or happiness. 

Salaries for this role can begin anywhere between £20,000 to £29,000 depending on the level of experience. At senior level you can reach earnings of up to £50,000, with an ultimate earning potential of £80,000 per year in this sector.  

The role of an occupational psychologist is very important as most professionals looking to bolster management at a company often deliver it at the expense of the employees, whereas psychologists would make wellbeing in the workplace the priority. If you have a job as a psychologist in this field, you know that you’ll be someone improving lives and making people happier in their own jobs every day. 

Ultimate Earning Potential  

Position in Career Associated Salary (UK) 
Trainee Occupational Psychologist An occupational psychologist will need an accredited degree in psychology to apply for a Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is required £20,000 – £29,000 
Qualified Occupational Psychologist A qualified psychologist in this sector will need either a master’s in occupational psychology or have completed Stage 1 of BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology, then Stage 2 which includes two years of supervised practise to register for the Health Professions Council, and have the status of a Chartered Psychologist £35,000 – £50,000 
Senior Occupational Psychologist  Senior occupational psychologists in this field typically earn more and gain this level as they acquire more experience and relevant specialised knowledge  £80,000 

Top 10 Employers  

  1. Capita  
  1. Cabinet Office  
  1. Gatenby Sanderson 
  1. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory 
  1. Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL) 
  1. Health Partners Ltd 
  1. National Health Service (NHS) 
  1. Arctic Shores 
  1. Assess First 
  1. HireVue 

Top Employers and What They Want  

Now that you’ve read about some of the different types of psychologists and how much they earn in comparison to others, you might want to know about where exactly they’re employed. In the UK, the top employer for many psychologists and those working in the mental health sector are employed by the NHS, and can usually progress upwards in their career starting out as trainees here.  

Other employers may offer similar positions that could help you on your way to becoming a qualified psychologist, so don’t worry if you don’t get hired immediately as a trainee psychologist. In fact, graduates with more work experience have higher chances of being successful in their application to jobs, as employers can see that you are truly interested and passionate about your work. A way to gain work experience is to reach out for voluntary work – sometimes this is easier than finding places that offer paid work experience. With voluntary work you’ll have the benefit of getting an edge over other candidates, as you will develop skills and a deeper understanding of the work you’ll be doing. So, try and consider getting some previous experience in the sector you want to join onto your CV before applying to employers, and you’ll be someone top employers will be vying to hire. 

Careers in psychology can be quite competitive, but remember with resilience and a positive outlook you can definitely achieve your aim of becoming a qualified psychologist – whatever field you decide to work in.  

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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