A social psychologist, also known as a personality psychologist, takes a scientific approach to examining how people interact socially, at work and under specific conditions. They may work in a variety of distinctly different areas including: university research and teaching, marketing research, consulting related to corporate work environments and systems designs.
Social psychologists explore the traits and attitudes of people, individuals or specific groups, combined with societal norms and motivations to study such social topics as racial discrimination, violence, interpersonal relationships (romantic and platonic), conformity and more.
While you could practice as a social psychologist with a master’s degree, most people in this profession hold a Ph.D. Typically, university research and teaching requires a doctorate while corporate consulting and market research social psychologists may operate with only a masters.
Social psychologists who teach and conduct university research may work in psychology departments as well as businesses, educational institutions and medical offices to impact those fields. Other jobs often held by this type of psychologist include marketing research and directing, public relations, political strategist, corporate consultant and technology designers.
A Social Psychologist could spend the average day:
A degree in social psychology opens many doors and offers an abundance of professional opportunities. A social psychologist may choose to work in private practice as a consultant, for the federal government in a number of departments, in the corporate arena or with non-profit agencies.
Psychology positions are expected to increase by 15% over the next decade according to the Department of Labor. Specifically, a social psychologist’s salary ranges from $50,000 to $140,000 and up annually depending on whether the job is in the non-profit field, government, university or corporate arena. Consultants tend to earn more than employees in this field.