5 Top-Paying Psychology Concentrations

Five Lucrative Concentrations in Psychology

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Engineering Psychology
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Psychology is essentially the study of the human mind including motivation, cognition, and personality among other things, and given this broad base, depending on a professional’s interests, there are a variety of high-paying psychology specialties to pursue. In some cases, these skills are obtained through an undergraduate emphasis as part of a bachelor’s degree track, but often, they require a master’s or doctorate degree along with experience in the field. Some popular psychology concentrations include the following.

1. Clinical Psychology

This is one of the most common high-paying psychology specializations. These professionals work with psychiatrists to diagnose and treat psychiatric illnesses. Some states even allow them to prescribe psychotropic medications independently. Entering this profession usually requires a doctoral degree along with a residency period before licensing, but then, clinical psychologists can find work in a variety of environments including hospitals, schools, and private practice.

2. Forensic Psychology

This branch of psychology focuses on the overlap of psychology, criminal justice, and law. These professionals evaluate defendants before trials and then testify in court as to their findings. They may also perform assessments of police offers and other criminal justice professionals before hiring and after incidents. In other situations, they examine evidence and help solve crimes by developing profiles of criminals based on their behaviors.

3. Neuropsychology

This is one of the highest-paying psychology concentrations due to the complexity and breadth of the field including neuroscience, biochemistry, and physics as well as psychology. Neuropsychologists study the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior and the actual biochemical processes in the brain. They rely on cutting-edge imaging technology to examine brain function of both humans and animals in different situations. Many of the careers in this field focus on research, but some neuropsychologists have very practical jobs diagnosing and treating patients suffering from brain damage.

4. Engineering Psychology

Using many of the principles found in engineering, these professionals study the interaction between humans and technology. They often work for corporations on product development or software design teams to help more technical employees make products that are helpful for the less savvy general public. These psychologists need a solid understanding of data analysis and statistics as well as the ability to evaluate the effects of technology, both on the individual user and on society.

5. Industrial-Organizational Psychology

I-O psychologists combine business and management practices with psychology, and their main goal is increasing productivity while creating a positive work environment for employees. Talent recruitment and retention, developing training modules, and ensuring the wellness of employees, both mentally and physically, are some of the main focus areas of these professionals. According to Business Insider, this position will become increasingly important as workplaces are overall becoming more toxic. They use statistical modeling to determine problem areas and also to measure the effectiveness of new programs or policies.

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Since psychology essentially involves the study of individuals and their relationship with themselves and the outside world, there are many different focus areas within the broader field. Many of these areas are top-paying psychology concentrations because they require years of education and practice.