What Can You Do with an Associate’s in Psychology
When we hear the words psychology or psychologist, we often think of graduate or doctoral degrees, but there are many careers available with an associate’s in psychology degree. Individuals who are interested in psychology but don’t want to be in school for several years can choose from three associate degrees:
- Associate of Arts in psychology
- Associate of Science in psychology
- Associate of Arts in applied psychology
Here are some careers available to individuals with an associate’s in psychology degree.
What is an Associate’s Degree?
An associate’s degree is an academic award that students earn in a program that usually takes about two years. There are four main kinds of associate’s degrees:
- Associate of Arts
- Associate of Science
- Associate of Applied Science
- Associate of Applied Arts
The Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees are often more practical, dealing more with the hands-on side of things. In contrast, the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees usually focus more on theory than practice. Often, these degrees are designed for people who want to continue their education after their associate’s degree, often with a bachelor’s degree.
Why Not Just Earn a Bachelor’s Degree?
There are several benefits to getting an associate’s degree. One of those benefits is cost effectiveness. Since an associate’s degree takes less time to earn, it will cost less money than a bachelor’s degree. Also, since the time to completion is shorter, you will be able to get a job sooner and start making money sooner than if you were earning a four-year degree.
Another factor is your likelihood of graduating. If you only have to commit two years to studying, there’s more chance that you will finish it, as opposed to the time and money that are needed for a four-year degree.
What is Psychology? Why Study Psychology?
“What is Psychology,” by Dr. Saul McLeod, defines psychology as this: “the scientific study of the mind and behavior.” If you are interested in why people think the way they do or act the way they do, this may be a good field of study for you. The study of the mind and behavior began many years ago in ancient Greece. There it was mainly discussed in relation to philosophy. Thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle made contributions to the field.
In the 1800s, psychology became a discipline in its own right. Two schools of thought were founded. One was called structuralism. This focused on what the brain was doing at a given moment. It was mainly studied by introspection, where the researcher would describe what was going on in their mind during a given task. The other was known as functionalism, which focused on why the brain did what it did. It was more effective than structuralism because it was not as subjective.
Later, three main approaches to psychology were founded. One was psychoanalysis, founded by Sigmund Freud. He placed importance on understanding the unconscious motivations in someone’s mind. There was also behavioralism, which did not place emphasis on the unconscious, but rather on conscious thoughts. The humanistic approach was founded later and focused on subjective experience.
Psychology, according to McLeod, has four main goals. The first goal is to describe. This can help researchers to understand how human behavior works in general. The next goal is to explain. Researchers will come up with theories as to why a common human behavior takes place.
The third goal is to predict. From the theories they have developed about human behavior, the researchers will predict what the outcome will be. If they are wrong, they will return to the second goal and revise their theory as to why the behavior takes place. Once they are past the first, second, and third goals, the fourth goal remains. The fourth goal is to change. The psychologist can proceed to use their findings to try to modify behavior that is harmful or detrimental.
For hundreds – even thousands – of years, people have been striving to understand how the human mind works and why it works the way it does. If you have an intense interest in these things, this may be a good field of study for you.
What Can You Do with an AA Degree in Psychology? Top Associate’s in Psychology Jobs
Psychology aide is one of the top AA degree in psychology jobs. However, this job is not limited to those with an Associate of Arts, or AA degree. Those with an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science can also fill this role.
Psychology aides assist psychologists as they assess and treat patients. They may assist with some patient therapy, and they can administer and score psychological tests. They also perform many administrative and office tasks like answering phones, greeting patients, documenting patient information, and interviewing patients.
Psychology aides may work in hospitals, clinics, or mental health facilities. Zippia.com reports that the average annual wage for psychology assistants is $62,856.
What can you do with an associate’s degree in psychology? Here is one of the top AA in psychology jobs. Administrative assistants working in a psychology department are often in a mental health clinic or facility. They perform many administrative duties, such as answering phones, maintaining financial records, depositing funds, screening clinic guests and calls, maintaining clinic rosters, processing office paperwork, and coordinating the daily management and operations of the facility.
The administrative assistant also provides support to the psychology department as needed. U.S. News & World Report states that administrative assistants earned a median salary of $41,080 in 2021.
Youth counselors work with young children and adolescents to assist them in solving problems. They also make referrals to appropriate agencies if it can improve the child’s physical and emotional well-being.
Youth counselors typically work in outpatient care centers, but they may also provide their services to families and individuals. They try to help the youths overcome emotional and mental disorders, and they also work with individuals who have behavioral or substance abuse problems.
Those pursuing careers with associate’s in psychology degrees often find this job highly rewarding. Youth counselors earn a median annual wage of $38,153, according to PayScale. This is one of the top AA in psychology jobs, providing yet another answer to the question, “What can I do with an associate’s degree in psychology?”
Psychiatric Nursing Assistant
Psychiatric nursing assistants work under the supervision of RNs or psychiatrists while they administer personal care to mentally challenged individuals in a mental health facility, clinic, or hospital. They closely observe patients and their mannerisms to acknowledge and record conditions that could be harmful to the patient or others. They assist patients in performing their daily living activities, support the doctors and nurses in handling emergencies, and help administer therapeutic treatment.
Other duties include assisting in restraining patients, documenting patients’ information, ensuring patients are clean, and maintaining a good relationship with staff.
Psychiatric nursing assistants earned an average annual wage of $31,570 in 2020, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This comes out to an hourly wage of $15.18. What can you do with an associate degree in psychology? Here is one of the best options among AA in psychology jobs.
Home Care Aide
Home care aides provide care for mentally or physically ill, disabled, or injured patients who are living in residential care facilities or confined to their homes. They work under the supervision of licensed nurses.
Home care aides also provide daily care to disabled patients who work outside of their homes. They often assist with daily personal care needs, assist in administering medication, and assist with use of medical equipment. The BLS reports that home care aides earned an average annual wage of $27,080 in 2020, which is about $13.02 per hour.
Conclusion About Associate’s in Psychology Jobs
Associate’s in psychology degrees have increased in popularity in the past decade or so, and they continue to do so. While one degree type can act as a stepping stone towards graduate degrees, another may prepare the student for entry-level work in psychology. Whichever degree is chosen, there is an abundance of excellent careers available with an associate’s in psychology.
It is our hope that this list, outlining the best jobs with an associate degree in psychology, may have helped answer the question, “What can I do with an associate’s in psychology?”
Resources related to associate’s degree in psychology jobs:
- Top 10 Associate’s in Psychology Online
- How Can You Specialize an Associate’s in Psychology Degree?
- 5 Top Careers with an Associate’s in Psychology
- 5 Fast-Growing Psychology Careers