What is Psychology?
Utah is home to a number of colleges and universities that offer psychology programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students interested in studying psychology in Utah can choose from a variety of specializations including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, forensic psychology, and more.
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychologists strive to understand how people think, feel, and behave. They may use their knowledge to help people improve their cognitive, emotional, and social functioning or to help improve our knowledge of these things.
Psychologists work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, businesses, and private practices. They may work with children, adolescents, adults, or families. Psychologists typically have a master's degree in psychology, though those wishing to reach the highest levels of the field usually do earn a doctorate in psychology.
Psychologists are trained to use a variety of research methods to collect data about behavior and mental processes. They use this data to develop theories about how these processes work and to design interventions that can help people improve their lives.
Online Psychology Education in Utah
There are many different types of psychologists, each specializing in a different area of study. For example, some psychologists may focus on clinical work with patients suffering from mental illness, while others may conduct research on human development or cognition. Still others may work as industrial-organizational psychologists, helping businesses select and train employees or improve work conditions.
Most states require licensure for practicing counselors, which generally requires completing an accredited master’s program and passing a professional exam. Some states also require continuing education credits to maintain licensure. However, not all psychology professions require licensure. This is something you might want to consider when you decide you want to enter this field.
Online Associate Degree in Psychology (AS)
Online associate degree programs in psychology are becoming increasingly popular and can be a great entry point for a wide range of careers, though you won’t be able to gain licensure in most counseling roles. You can earn licensure as a substance abuse counselor with an associate degree, but other counseling roles require that you earn a master’s degree. However, the good news is that many careers are predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow in the next 10 years, including those in social and human services and psychiatry. Associate degree programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs that will help them advance into higher-level positions or to prepare them to move into a bachelor’s degree program. There are schools that already have transfer agreements with four-year institutions, where you can complete an associate degree, transfer your earned credit hours to a bachelor’s program, and complete your bachelor’s in just two more years.
Associate degrees in psychology usually require a high school diploma or GED. Some programs will also require transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Students must also complete general education coursework in math, writing, and science. Some associate degree programs may also be offered online.
On-campus or online associate degree programs in psychology typically take two years to complete. This program is a foundational introduction to the field and can lead to a career in behavioral or practical psychology.
Online Bachelors Degree in Psychology (BS)
An online bachelor's degree in psychology can be an excellent foundation for many different career options. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and effective communication. They will also gain basic knowledge in research and analysis techniques and a degree at this level can prepare students for graduate school.
Online bachelor’s degree programs in psychology typically require 120 credit hours of coursework. Students will take a variety of classes, from the basics of psychology to more advanced courses in cognition and human behavior. Bachelor's degrees in psychology focus on the biological, cognitive, social, and cultural aspects of people. In addition, students learn research methods and statistics.
Online Masters Degree in Psychology (MS or MA)
An online master’s degree in psychology is an advanced degree that signals to employers, clients, and the academic community that you have achieved a level of mastery in your field. It also allows you to pursue licensure as a counselor in a variety of specializations: family and marriage therapy, child counseling, psychometrics, mental health counselors, and more.
States require counselors and psychologists to be licensed in order to practice, though you might find your way into research without this type of licensure. The requirements for licensure of psychologists and psychiatrists vary by state, but most require completion of an accredited doctoral program and passing of a standardized exam. A few states will accept a master’s degree in place of a doctorate, but this is becoming increasingly rare.
A master’s degree in psychology can lead to careers in research, teaching, or clinical practice. Clinical psychologists provide psychological services to individuals, couples, families and groups. They work in hospitals, clinics, private practices and other settings.
Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)
In the United States, a PhD is the highest degree one can earn in any field, including psychology. It typically takes five to seven years to complete, including two to three years of coursework and two to four years of dissertation research.
A PhD in psychology prepares students for careers as psychologists, researchers, or academics in a variety of settings such as colleges and universities, hospitals, clinics, private practice, and corporations. Many psychologists with a PhD also work as researchers or consultants.
Those who wish to become licensed psychologists must complete an internship and pass a licensure exam. Some states require that psychologists complete a postdoctoral fellowship before they can be licensed.
Online Psychology Certifications
Psychology certifications are available at the bachelor's, masters, and doctoral level. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers certification in three areas: clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology. To be eligible for APA certification, candidates must have completed an accredited doctoral program in psychology and a one-year internship. APA certification is voluntary but can be helpful in securing employment and advancing one's career.
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) offers certification in several areas of counseling including mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, and marriage and family counseling. To be eligible for NBCC certification, candidates must have a master's degree in counseling from an accredited program and pass a written exam. NBCC certification is also voluntary but can be helpful in securing employment and advancing one's career.
Become a Psychology Professional in Utah
Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. It is a scientific discipline that aims to understand individuals and groups by studying their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. If you are interested in becoming a psychology professional in Utah, there are several things you need to do.
Step 1: Choose a specialty or subfield of psychology that interests you
There are many different areas of psychology to choose from, so it's important to pick one that you're passionate about. Do some research on the different subfields of psychology to see which one best fits your interests and goals.
Step 2: Complete an accredited bachelor's degree program in psychology
Completing an accredited bachelor's degree program in psychology is a great way to prepare for a career in the field and is necessary to gain entry to a master’s program, which you must do to earn most forms of licensure. There are many accredited programs to choose from, so it’s important to do your research before selecting one. Once you have completed your degree, you will be prepared to enter the workforce, but you’ll need to gain a master’s or even a doctorate for higher levels of licensure.
Step 3: Earn a master’s or even a doctoral degree
You must earn a master’s degree for most forms of licensure in counseling, and you must ern a doctorate to gain licensure as a psychologist or psychiatrist. You may be able to find some kind of job or career before completing your education, but licensure will mostly be off the table.
Step 4: Complete an internship or practicum
An internship or practicum in psychology can provide students with valuable real-world experience in the field and working under a licensed supervisor is often required to gain full licensure. These opportunities can help students to learn more about the day-to-day work of a psychologist and to gain hands-on experience working with clients. Internships and practicums are typically completed during the final year of a psychology program, and students may be able to earn academic credit for their work. Some internship may even lead to full-time job offers after graduation. If you're considering a career in psychology, an internship or practicum is a great way to get started. Talk to your school's career center or department of psychology to learn more about opportunities in your area.
Step 5: Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology
In order to be a practicing psychologist in Utah, one must first pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The EPPP is a 225-question, multiple-choice exam that covers eight major content areas: history and systems, biological bases of behavior, cognition and perception, development, learning and motivation, psychopathology, assessment and diagnosis, and treatment.
What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Psychology?
A bachelor's degree in psychology can lead to many different career paths, though it’s not enough for licensure in most cases. With a bachelor's degree in psychology, you can work settings such as businesses, hospitals, and more, but you will not be able to treat patients or meet one-on-one with clients. However, many roles are supported by a knowledge of human behavior, such as those in human resources or marketing, so you could find a new career without continuing your education. You might even work as a freelance writer and write about psychology topics, or you could work as an editor. After all, your psychology courses will give you plenty of experience in following a style guide, which you can put into action in editing for a magazine, newspaper, content marketing firm. Or you could shift into social work and find a job in that field. There are a huge number of options, despite the fact that licensure will not be available to you at this level.
Potential Careers for Psychology Graduates
- Psychiatric Technician:
A psychiatric technician is responsible for providing direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional. The technician may also provide support to the professional in the form of administrative duties or clinical tasks.
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- Certification from an accredited psychiatric technician program
- A valid state license (if required)
- The median annual wage for psychiatric technicians in the US in 2021 was $36,230
- The mean annual wage for psychiatric technicians in Utah is $31,030
- Social Worker:
A social worker will provide professional social work services to clients in order to promote their well-being. They will assess the needs of the clients, develop a plan of action, and provide direct services such as counseling and case management. A social worker will also advocate on behalf of the clients and collaborate with other professionals to provide the best possible care.
- A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from an accredited school of social work
- A master’s degree in social work (MSW) from an accredited school of social work (preferred)
- A valid state license to practice social work
- The median annual wage for social workers in the US in 2021 was $50,390. Healthcare social workers earn $57,630 and mental health and substance abuse social workers earn $48,720
- The mean annual wage for child, family, and school social workers in Utah is $48,450. Healthcare social workers earn $66,040 and mental health and substance abuse social workers earn $50,700
- Administrative Service Manager:
An administrative service manager is responsible for the overall efficiency and performance of the administrative support staff. They will develop and implement policies and procedures to streamline workflows and improve productivity. They will also be responsible for managing budgets, scheduling, and resource allocation.
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration or related field
- 5+ years of experience in office management or administration
- Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
- Excellent communication and organizational skills
- Proficient in MS Office
- The median annual wage for administrative services and facilities managers in the US in 2021 was $99,290
- The mean annual wage for administrative services and facilities managers in Utah is $89,030
- Guidance Counselor:
A guidance counselor provides support to students in areas such as social, emotional, and academic development. They work with students to identify goals and develop action plans to achieve those goals and will also work with parents and teachers to support the student's overall success.
- Master's degree in counseling, social work, or a related field
- Licensed by the state in which they work
- 2-5 years of experience working with students in a school setting
- The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
- The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Utah is $55,890 and clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn $79,780
- Victim Advocate:
A victim advocate is responsible for providing support to victims of crime and their families. This may include providing information about the criminal justice system, helping to obtain protection orders, and assisting with filing for victim compensation. They may also provide crisis intervention and referrals to other services.
- Bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or related field
- Previous experience working with victims of crime preferred
- Knowledge of the criminal justice system
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- The median annual wage for social and human service assistants in the US in 2021 was $37,610
- The mean annual wage for social and human service assistants in Utah is $33,130
- School/Education Psychologist:
School psychologists work with students, teachers, and families to create a positive and successful learning environment. They help identify and address academic, social, and emotional problems.
- Master's or doctoral degree in school psychology
- State license or certification in school psychology
- Knowledge of child development, learning theories, and assessment methods
- Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
- The mean annual wage for school psychologists in the US in 2021 was $82,770
- The mean annual wage for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Utah is $79,780
- Substance Abuse/Addictions Counselor:
A substance abuse addictions counselor is responsible for providing counseling and support to individuals with substance abuse and addiction problems. This counselor will work with clients to help them understand their addiction, develop coping and recovery strategies, and make positive changes in their lives. They will also provide support to family and friends of addicts.
- Master's degree in counseling, social work, or a related field
- 2+ years of experience working with substance abuse and addiction issues
- Knowledge of 12-step recovery programs
- The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
- The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Utah is $62,250
- Psychology Researcher:
A psychology researcher will be responsible for conducting psychological research in order to further understanding of human behavior. This may involve designing and conducting experiments, analyzing data, and writing up findings for publication. They will also be responsible for maintaining ethical standards in accordance with professional guidelines.
- A PhD in Psychology
- Experience conducting psychological research
- Excellent written and communication skills
- The median annual wage for psychologists in the US in 2021 was $81,040 and survey researchers earned $59,870
- The mean annual wage for psychologists, all other in Utah is $93,280 and survey researchers earn $56,810 Learn More About All Psychology Careers