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Psychology Jobs: Opportunities with an Associate’s Degree

Career opportunities in the field of psychology likely involve working to improve the lives of others. From becoming a substance abuse counselor to a child psychologist, careers in psychology can prove to be fulfilling and rewarding in many ways. While many professions require varying degrees of undergraduate or graduate level higher education, there are several growing opportunities for those who hold an associate’s degree in psychology. Earning an AA in Applied Psychology can lead to several career paths, including the opportunities listed below.

Career Paths for AA in Applied Psychology

Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant

Professionals in this role support patient recovery efforts within hospitals, substance abuse centers or private rehabilitation facilities. Addiction rehabilitation assistants aid in implementing clinical services according to treatment plans developed by mental health professionals, such as substance abuse counselors. Duties vary depending on the facility; however, they may include helping patients with daily tasks, including helping patients participate in social and recreational activities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors, a broader category, is projected to increase by 23% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The position of addiction rehabilitation assistant is an entry-level job in this growing field.

Because salary potential and employment opportunities may vary depending on factors such as a candidate’s education and experience, as well as regional market conditions, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research.

Psychiatric Technician

While education and training requirements vary for psychiatric technicians and aides, entry-level positions are available for those who hold an associate’s degree. Psychiatric technicians and aides work with people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. They typically work in psychiatric hospitals, mental health facilities and related healthcare settings. Duties include monitoring and reporting patients physical and emotional well-being as well as collaborating and assisting with doctors, psychologists or rehabilitation therapists to help treat and rehabilitate patients.

Job growth for this profession is projected at 6%, which is the average for all occupations, between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. The average annual income was $36,070 in 2017.

Social and Human Service Assistant

Social and human service assistants provide client services in a variety of fields, including psychology, rehabilitation and social work.

A growing elderly population paired with rising demand for social services, the BLS reports, is the cause for a 16% projected increase in social and human service assistant positions between 2016 and 2026. While the minimum educational requirements for those in this role is a high school diploma, candidates with higher education, including an associate’s degree, may be preferred.

Professionals in this role work in clinics, hospitals, group homes and shelters. Duties include helping clients identify and access benefits and services, as well as work with clients and other professionals to develop treatment plans. Additional responsibilities may include coordinating services and helping clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs. Social and human service assistants work in a variety of settings including clinics, hospitals, group homes and shelters.

Child Care Provider

Because child care providers play an important role in a child’s development and well-being, earning an associate’s degree in psychology could provide professionals with the knowledge and understanding needed to work with children.

Nearly 30% of child care providers are self-employed, with 25% working in child day care services, the BLS reports. Childcare workers are generally responsible for taking care of the basic needs of a child, including supervising and monitoring safety, organizing learning activities and developing and following a curriculum depending on the age of the children you work with. Additional responsibilities include observing and watching for signs of emotional or developmental problems and alerting parents of any concerns.

According to the BLS, childcare workers are projected to grow 7% between 2016 and 2026. The average annual salary in 2017 was $23,760.

Youth Counselor

Generally, youth counselors work with children and adolescents who may be facing mental or physical issues including substance abuse issues, disabilities and more. While roles and responsibilities vary depending on the work environment. Settings include community and youth services agencies, hospitals, correctional facilities and religious organizations.

For example, community or youth services may require youth counselors for after school or summer programs for local children. In such roles, a youth counselor would work closely with children by assisting with any development or implementation of curriculum, including physical fitness based activities. While educational requirements for youth counselors vary depending on employer, candidates with at least an associate’s degree are preferred.

AA in Applied Psychology: Florida Tech’s Program, 100% Online

Florida Tech’s Associate of Arts in Applied Psychology provides students an understanding of major concepts in applied psychology including methods that identify, understand and develop practical solutions for individuals facing a variety of challenges. The curriculum features principles of effective research, critical thinking and personal development.

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