Elder Care and Research Careers--Doctoral Degree in Psychology

hand of baby, hand of adult, and hand of elder After receiving my Psychology degree, what are my career options involving Elder Care and Research with a Doctoral Degree in Psychology?

Once you have a Psychology degree, you may decide to get a Doctoral degree. Psychologists with a Doctoral degree generally work in one of several areas related to issues of elder care and research. These areas include jobs at a school, private clinic, a non-profit organization, or government. Given your training, private practice is also an option.

Clinical (PhD or PsyD)--deal with psychopathological (mental health disorders) populations and behavioral health.

Counseling (PhD)--deal with vocational and career processes, human diversity, and professional training.

Experimental (PhD)--research the human growth and development process

Non-profit Organizations/Government Agencies (Phd or PsyD)--work with organization/agencies that are designed to further a specific purpose or mission

Program and Policy Consultants (PhD or PsyD)--provide expert advice to various organization, government agencies, etc.

If you decide to become a Clinical Psychologist or become a consultant you can earn one of two degrees. You can earn a PhD (Doctor of Philosphy) or a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology), whereas in the other career areas you typically receive a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). You should also be aware that a PhD follows the completion of a Master's (MA or MS) degree, either from the same school or another school. The time to complete a PhD takes between 4-6 years of graduate school, and your degree will be earned after you complete a dissertation (research project). With regard to a PsyD, it takes a little less time to complete than a PhD. In addition, a PsyD does not involve a research project. Another interesting fact about earning a Doctoral degree is that typically when you are working toward your PhD you do NOT pay tuition, and you receive what is called a "stipend" (salary for working as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant). However, the same is not true for a PsyD. Finally, both a PhD and a PsyD offer greater job opportunities and a greater salary than a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, and both a PhD and a PsyD allow you to be licensed by a state to do certain activities (e.g., testing, therapy). Read about a comparison between Masters and PhD degrees in psychology here. Also, read about a comparison between a PhD and a PsyD here.

Upon completion of your Doctoral degree, job locations include working at a school, at a private clinic, with a non-profit organization, or with the state or local government. 

Salary Information

apa.org lists the median yearly income for a PhD in Clinical Psychology at $80,000.

apa.org lists the median yearly income for a PhD in Counseling Psychology at $85,000.

zipcruiter.com lists the average yearly income for a PhD in Developmental Psychology at $71,000.

payscale.com lists the average yearly income for a PsyD at $77,000.

Click here to see career salary information for ALL careers listed in scoutiescareersinpsychology.org.

Click here to read important steps to be an MA/MS or PhD Psychologist.

To learn more about applying to Psychology graduate school check out the following:

American Psychological Association

Columbia University

Mitch’s Guide

Other links on scoutiescareersinpsychology.org

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Click on the links below to read about another Elder Care and Research career that only requires a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:

Elder Care and Research Careers--Elder Adovcate/Fundraising

Elder Care and Research Careers--Aide to Elderly

Click on the links below to read about other Elder Care and Research careers that require a graduate degree:

Elder Care and Research Careers--Master's Degree in Psychology

Elder Care and Research Careers- Master of Social Work

Elder Care and Research Careers--Psychiatrist