Do you know what to do after graduation? What are your expectations for a career in psychology? Or are you a psychology graduate who sees their friends earning the “big bucks” and are questioning your career choices? Within this post we will explore the potential salary expectations with a career in psychology to see if you’re in this for the money or the experience.
Ok let’s be honest, you’re not in this for the money (and if you are then you’ll be deeply horrified to learn that, for the amount of work you’ll have to put in, its seriously not worth the money). Recently I had a psychology graduate say to me “I wouldn’t accept anything after graduation that’s less than 25k”. Needless to say I took great pleasure in bringing him back down to earth with a few home truths about potential earnings within this field. However that inspired me to write this post to manage the expectations of Psychology Graduates.
About to graduate? Check out the 6 Jobs for A Psychology Graduate straight out of university?
Looking for Assistant Psychologists Jobs? Check out the 5 Tips on Getting that Assistant Psychologist Job
Not sure how long it will take to get to where you want to be? check out the Timeline of a Psychology Graduate
Getting interviews but no luck? Check out the 7 Themes in any Assistant Psychologist Interview
Support Worker/HCA 0-17k
Now even though support work is one of the best clinical experiences you can have on your CV, there notoriously underpaid for the work you do. I know exactly how it feels to work 40hrs a week, doing so many clinical jobs, only to see around £900 arrive in my account at the end of month. It can be very demoralising especially when you see all your university friends already earning 25k+. You have to remember that this is where most psychologists started out and the skills you learn within this role will shape your late career.
Top Tip: Seek out a Psychologist within the team or the wider team. See if you can shadow them and gain some Honorary Assistant Psychologist that will act as a stepping stone to gaining paid AP work.
PWP £19,409 (Trainee) – £22,128 (Qualified)
Now this is where the graduate “Big Bucks” start to come in. I have said in previous posts that if could go back to graduation; I would have applied for these types of roles. Now don’t think just because you are a graduate, you will walk into these types of roles. Believe me when I say, THEY ARE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE! However after a few months of gaining experience as a Support Worker or Health Care Assistant, you should be fine to apply.
Top Tip: Have a look at the IAPT system (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) to see if that system works for you. Keep in mind that this system requires you to hit targets which some people may feel uncomfortable with.
Assistant Psychologist £19,409 – £22,128
As you have probably noticed, being an Assistant Psychologists doesn’t necessary mean you’re on high pay. In fact, a lot of Assistant Psychologists roles are starting at band 4 and are fixed term contracts. Nevertheless, this role gives the most specific experience to the career you want to eventually pursue. Again, these roles are notoriously hard to get and can receive up to 150 applicants per position.
Top Tip: This is where experience over money is important to remember. Keep in mind that by the time you reach this level, other people who you went to University with will most likely be buying houses and appear to have money to burn. Remember it’s normal to have some envy; however it will all be worth it in the future.
Research Assistant 17k-30k
Now before your eyes light up with ideas of what you would spend the money on, remember one thing. THESE ROLES OFTEN HAVE COMPETITION FROM GRADUATES, MASTERS GRADUATES AND PhD STUDENTS. It does also depend on the research project and how much funding is available as the more money is offered, the more competition it attracts.
Top Tip: Get in contact with your old academic supervisor and see if there are any projects you could help out with either with them, or with the University. This will build up your experience and there are always paid opportunities you could be offered once you prove yourself.
Thank you for reading this week’s post by PsychAssist. Hopefully you are pursuing a career in psychology to help people; however we are human and need to pay bills and eat ,so money can’t be overlooked. Hopefully this post will give you the much needed insight into the salary expectations once you graduate.
Remember LIKE!! SHARE!! ENJOY!!
Follow PsychAssist on Twitter @Psych_Assist