The Best Job in the World

Or: The Best Jobs in America. This Bureau of Labor Statistics info (via this post) lists the top 37 jobs in America. At the top is systems engineer. But let's look a bit below that...

Coming in at number 3: college professor. Median salary: $US70,400; top pay: $US115,000. Hmm, I don't work at a college, and I'm not a professor. In the US, "college" means "university." In Canada, "college" generally means either a post-secondary diploma-granting institution, or a bachelor's degree-only community college. But still, it does specify "professor." I guess there's a lot of good that comes with tenure.

In the number 23 spot is clinical psychologist (and 24 is psychiatrist). Ooh, close, but that's not me, either. Clinical psychologists are the ones who see patients (whoops, I mean "clients") and help them with psychological disorders, as do psychiatrists. Interestingly, this listing is not for professional psychologists, which in addition to clinical psychologists also includes counseling psychologists. Anyway, let's check out the pay. Median salary: $US81,100; top pay: $US172,000. Wow, that looks pretty good! (Naturally, psychiatrists make even more--remember, they can make $500 per session in private practice.) I've heard that clinical and professional psychology programs are now the hardest to get in to--even harder than medical school. If you're planning on this as a career, you better have straight As, research experience, and probably some volunteer experience, too.

While I'm rattling off stats, here are some more psychology numbers, from an APS Observer article:

  • 6% of the 1.5 million bachelor's degrees earned by students in 2006-2007 were awarded in psychology
  • psychology bachelor degrees awarded rose 17.3% from 2001 to 2007
  • in the academic year 2006-2007, over 90,000 bachelor's degrees were awarded in psychology
  • 21,000 master's degrees were awarded in psychology
  • and just over 5,000 doctoral degrees were awarded in psychology
(Did I mention that I love my job? I really do. I think I do have the best job in the world. It sure beats working retail.)

Why aren't you studying?


Jordan Lee Clemens said...

As someone who really wants to go into clinical psych, it bothers me that it's becoming as hard, if not harder than, medicine! Is there any future for us budding young psychologists? I better hope my honors thesis gets published...

Looking forward to your advanced perception class next semester, Dr. Loepelmann!

Karsten Loepelmann said...

@Jordan: Yeah, but you see, it's worth it! Totally worth it! You'll end up near the top of the pyramid. Or, well, the top of the diamond/Xmas tree-shaped figure. And, hey, being in an Honours program means your chances of getting in are that much higher. Good luck to you!

SB said...

Are clinical and professional psychology programs offered at the u of a?

Karsten Loepelmann said...

@SB: The Department of Psychology does not offer graduate study in professional/clinical psychology.

However, the Department of Educational Psychology (in the Faculty of Education) does offer M.Ed. and Ph.D. programs in counselling psychology, and a Master's in school counselling.

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