As a field of study in India as well as a prospective career, Psychology can be hugely rewarding for those who are dedicated to their work and want to reap the benefits. It is a field that is brimming with opportunity and growth.
The primary reasons for this are the fact that there are always exciting new discoveries taking place in any given sub-field of psychology, and the fact that there are unique fields that emerge from the intersection of psychology with other domains – such as, for example, criminology and art aesthetics, to name just a few.
All this goes to show that the field is both as vast as it is deep and that anyone who is willing to dip their toes into this ocean should also be willing to go to its depth, for numerous rewards await there!
If you’re curious to know what your salary is going to be once you’ve completed a degree in Psychology, read on!
What Kind of Professions are There in Psychology?
Given the immense breadth of this field, it’s extremely hard to give a fully comprehensive statement regarding the kind of professions available in the realm of psychology. But at the basic level, one classification can be made: there are some careers that are linked directly with psychology, while others use psychology more as an informational foundation upon which other things are added due to necessity.
For example, if you are a counselor, then you will necessarily be using the psychological concepts you’ve learned and mastered on a daily level, with every individual client. However, if you have a career in public relations or marketing, you will only be using your psychological skills to inform other work that will be specific to your requirements. Learn more about the skills needed to be psychologist.
Thus, there are two types of professions in psychology: psychology-dominant and psychology-affiliated. Since psychology-affiliated careers don’t have a mandatory requirement for psychology (since people without psychology degrees also have careers in public relations and marketing), we will only focus on psychology-affiliated careers for this article.
The general term “psychologist” refers to a practitioner who can engage with a distressed person, whether in personal or institutional capacity. Their patients or clients trust them to make helpful suggestions to them and make them aware of their own patterns of thinking as well as behavior.
While this term alone refers to a non-specialized position, there is significant scope for specialization, should a person desire to venture in that direction. However, with that said, it isn’t as though no specialization doesn’t leave any scope for movement.
To be a psychologist is still one of the most popular professional choices for individuals across the world today – and it also offers one of the top psychology salaries in India! You can earn ₹2.9 Lacs at the beginning of your career, and as it progresses forward, you can make ₹3.5 Lacs at the 5 year-mark, ₹5 Lacs at the 9-year mark, and earn up to a whopping ₹6.2 Lacs within 15 years!
2. Clinical Psychologist
A clinical psychologist is in some senses more equipped than a typical psychologist since they are licensed to provide diagnoses of various kinds, including all mental disorders as well as any other adjustment disorders. A clinical psychologist typically works either in a personal or an institutional capacity, and they are often found not only in hospitals but also in halfway homes and de-addiction centers, to mention just a few locations.
Yet another coveted career for many in the ranks of the psychology stream, this too offers a formidable psychology salary in India. A typical clinical psychologist earns around ₹3.12 lacs as they start out, reaching the ₹3.5 lacs mark by their 7-year mark.
Once they’ve worked for around 12 years or more, the salary reaches ₹5 lacs – and that’s just from a job, not from personal clients, which can help you earn a lot more. So, all in all, this is a lucrative as well as satisfying profession for you.
3. Forensic Psychologist
At the intersection of crime and psychology is the interesting field of forensic psychology, which uses psychology in a way that is predictive rather than preventative. The interesting thing here is that it makes perfect sense to think of psychology here as both a foundational concept as well as a central execution pillar – because this is different from a career in advertising or management!
And much like in other psychology fields, here to the financial prospects are plentiful, with the starting salary of a forensic psychologist being around ₹406,946, which can go up to as high as ₹3 Cr with over a decade of experience!
4. Counselling Psychologist
A counselling psychologist works with their patients to make sure that they can tackle the issues that come up on a daily basis. While a typical psychotherapist will work on the more repressed or buried parts of one’s psyche (depending, of course, on the school), a counselling psychologist addresses the various issues that prop upon at the level of proper function, such as issues with time management, or stress management, or workload issues, and other issues of this nature.
This is a promising field of study for all psychology graduates, not only because they can earn a lot of money through this, but also because they will feel a huge sense of purpose as they go about their work every single day – and that counts for a lot! A counselling psychologist at a hospital makes about an average of ₹362,758, and by the time they’ve spent 10 years in their career, this amount rises to ₹730,000!
A neuropsychologist works at the interface of psychology and neurology and straddles both worlds in such a way that they seamlessly blend into each other. This field will be of particular interest to those who not only want to pay attention to social and personal cues when it comes to analysing how and why a person behaves the way they do, but who also want to look at objective data at the level of different parts of the brain and how they interact with other systems of information.
A neuropsychologist earns around ₹500,000 as and when they start out, and if they stay consistent with their performance and word about their services spread, they can earn up to a whopping ₹60 lacs after 10 years in the industry!
While not typically considered to be a career that is recommended for most psychology students, this is actually the rare career that has just enough psychology to make it interesting for people who are not from that core background. The catch with this career is that you need to have a medical degree to be able to practice it, but once you’re able to get that secured, you should be good to go as a psychiatrist!
As a psychiatrist you will be able to prescribe medicines to patients, and will typically work with psychologists – unless you know how to provide therapy yourself, in which case, you won’t need to. Typically, a psychiatrist earns around an average of ₹981,232, and by the time they’ve reached 15 years in their career they can be making as much as a humongous ₹30 lacs each year!
7. I/O Psychologist
Industrial/Organisational Psychologists are indispensable to organisations of any kind, whether they be large or small, whether they be working in the product or services sector. Why? Because organisational structures are often created by people who have very little idea of how people respond in real-time to structural impositions and limitations.
Here is where I/O psychologists really add value, by serving as a conduit between the two parties, the organisation, and the employees. Successfully navigating this conflict in a way that enriches the relationship that the two parties share is a sure-shot formula for success! I/O psychologists earn an average of ₹479,616 each year, which can rise to as high as ₹30 lacs if they’ve spent a significant amount of time in their career!
Take the Leap into Psychology?
As we’ve already explored above, psychology is a field that is rife with possibilities, with discoveries waiting to happen, intersections still to be found, and lives yet to be enriched! Beginning your career in psychology is the best way to earn a top salary in psychology in India – no matter where you’ve completed your education from, it is bound to come in handy as there are a huge number of opportunities in India.
Each profession takes time to establish, so the sooner you get started the better! There is success at the end of each road – so start on your path today!
The best pathway to establishing a solid foundation in Psychology is to take up courses or programs in this domain. While you can opt for traditional undergraduate courses, you can also opt for diploma or certification programs in Psychology. For instance, upGrad has partnered with the University of Essex Online to deliver a host of excellent choices in Psychology