14 Awesome Careers in Developmental Psychology (2022)

What Does Developmental Psychology Involve?

Developmental psychology involves the study of the types of changes that can take place in human beings during the course of their lifetimes. While once only focusing on the development of babies and children, the field has now been expanded to focus on adolescent development, adult development and the ageing process over the entire life span of human beings.

The field of developmental psychology focuses on examining changes over a wide range of topics including cognitive development, conceptual understanding, moral understanding, personality, motor skills, problem solving, and social and personal development.

Developmental psychologists will often focus on areas such as how environmental factors can affect and altar a person’s behavior, or on whether children learn through experience or are born with certain mental structures.

Their studies in these areas tend to focus on showing how people change over time, with the majority of the focus taking place in childhood, as this is the point in a person’s lifespan when the majority of changes take place.

Developmental psychology has a part to play in many diverse applied fields, including in child psychopathology, educational psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and forensic psychology.

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Some of the areas that developmental psychologists are currently focused on exploring include attachment theory, nature versus nurture, and social development theory.

What are the Careers in Developmental Psychology?

Adolescent Development Specialist

As the job title indicates, an adolescent development specialist is a developmental psychologist that works exclusively with children in the adolescent stage, which is typically 13 to 19 years old.

For example, you might use your understanding of the hormonal changes that occur during this part of the life stage to help kids understand how their body is changing and why, as well as to develop the skills needed to effectively deal with these changes on an emotional and behavioral level.

Behavioral Therapist

The purpose of behavioral therapy is to assist clients in identifying and overcoming problematic behaviors in their lives. To do so, you would utilize your understanding of human development and how factors over the lifespan (i.e., family relationships, school pressures, work pressures, divorce, death) can heavily influence how a person behaves and interacts with others.

Caseworker

If you pursue employment as a caseworker, one of your primary jobs will be advocating on behalf of your clients. With regard to developmental psychology, it would be important to bear in mind the developmental stage of your client when pursuing resources for them to function better in their daily lives.

For example, the services needed for a young adult with a Downs Syndrome would be greatly different than the services needed to assist an elderly person in finding hospice care.

College Professor

Many workers with experience in developmental psychology find employment in the education sector. In particular, you could work as a college professor. In this career, your focus would shift from counseling or otherwise working directly with clients to an educative role in which you use your work experience to teach the next generation of developmental psychologists.

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Developmental Psychologist

A developmental psychologist’s role is to study the growth and development of humans throughout their entire lifespan. Some developmental psychologists will focus on a specific type of patient, such as young children who are exhibiting developmental delays; while others will work with a particular age range of people, such as teenagers or adults.

Some of the main tasks that a developmental psychologist may be involved in include examining ways to help elderly people keep their independence for longer; evaluating young children to see if they are showing signs of a developmental disability; or researching the ways in which children show moral reasoning.

Some areas where developmental psychologists may be employed include in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, homeless shelters, or assisted living homes for people with a disability.

Early Childhood Education Specialist

With a background in developmental psychology, you can work as an early childhood education specialist. In this career, you work with children in preschool and elementary school to help them reach developmental milestones as appropriate for their age. For example, you might work directly with a four-year-old to help them develop the social skills required to share toys with other children.

Education Consultant

As an education consultant, you would likely serve in an advisory role to assist teachers, school districts, and other stakeholders in developing developmentally-appropriate educational standards, learning targets, classroom policies and expectations, and so forth.

For example, using developmental psychology principles, you might help a sixth-grade teacher develop unit-by-unit learning targets that challenge students of that age, but which aren’t too advanced or complicated, either.

Group Home Manager

For some children and adolescents, a group home is a recommended solution for helping resolve major life issues, like behavioral problems that have led to running away, drug or alcohol problems, or even legal problems.

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As a group home manager, having an intimate understanding of the developmental obstacles that children must overcome is a must.

For example, if a child is referred to group home care because of outbursts of anger and violence, you might explore the roots of the anger with the child to determine why they’re angry and help them identify ways in which they can express their anger in a more productive manner.

Hospital/Hospice Facilitator

An important function of a career in developmental psychology is understanding old age and end of life issues. You would employ your understanding of these topics on a daily basis as a hospital or hospice facilitator.

Not only would you be responsible for ensuring that your clients get the physical care they need, but you’d also be responsible for providing emotional support and counseling for elderly people and those that are near the end of their life.

Rehabilitation Counselor

A rehabilitation counselor is focused on helping people with disabilities to identify and achieve their goals in the areas of their personal lives, career path and independent living. They do this role through a counseling process.

A rehabilitation counselor can work with a wide variety of clients, including people who are suffering from physical disabilities; sufferers of psychological disabilities; former offenders; disadvantaged youths; or the long term unemployed. They may also work in conjunction with other professionals including medical, rehabilitation and therapy professionals in their role as a rehabilitation counselor.

Researcher

A popular career for developmental psychologists is in research. In this capacity, you would seek to answer crucial questions about human development. For example, you might devise a research question that seeks to determine why ADHD develops in some populations of children and not in others.

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Naturally, the purpose of this kind of research would be to develop an understanding of ADHD, its causes, its prevalence in different populations of kids, and to posit potential interventions that might reduce the incidence of ADHD.

Residential Youth Treatment Specialist

As a residential youth treatment specialist, you will work in a residential treatment facility that’s designed to help children and adolescents overcome mental, emotional, or behavioral problems.

For example, with an understanding of how the brains of children develop, you might design a drug education program that helps youth that have used drugs to better understand the negative impacts that drug use has on their mental development.

School Counselor

A school counselor provides a safe environment for children to turn to when they are feeling troubled. They are employed in schools and offer advice and guidance to children who seek their help.

School counselors are employed to aid students in coping with the demands of school and personal issues, as well as offering them support to help them succeed academically.

School counselors also offer counseling services in the areas of education and career paths to students. They can offer advice on which classes to choose and which colleges or universities to attend, as well as explaining various career options.

Substance Abuse Social Worker

A substance abuse social worker provides therapy sessions to individuals and groups who are suffering from addictions, such as drug addiction or alcohol addiction. The role of the substance abuse social worker is to help their patient find the root of their addiction and help them address this cause as they continue their journey in sobriety.

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There are a wide range of areas in which substance abuse social workers may be employed, and many of them find work in treatment settings such as outpatient centers, healthcare facilities, rehabilitation units, social agencies, correctional institutes, and residential centers.

Substance abuse social workers may also work with the family members of addicts to help them to cope with the problems of their loved one. Areas such as eating disorders or gambling addiction may also be treated by substance abuse social workers.

Related Reading

  • How to Become a Drug Abuse Counselor
  • How to Become an Addiction Counselor
  • Difference Between Child Psychology and Developmental Psychology

References

FAQs

What can I do as a developmental psychologist? ›

Developmental psychologists can find employment in academia, conducting research and/or teaching, or in clinical settings working with patients. However, some professionals also find work for government agencies, schools, or private organizations.

Who is the most famous developmental psychologist? ›

Jean Piaget, (born August 9, 1896, Neuchâtel, Switzerland—died September 16, 1980, Geneva), Swiss psychologist who was the first to make a systematic study of the acquisition of understanding in children. He is thought by many to have been the major figure in 20th-century developmental psychology.

What is the best career option in psychology? ›

Top 6 Interesting Career Options in Psychology in India [2022]
  • Psychologist.
  • Psychotherapist.
  • Counselor.
  • Educational Psychologist.
  • Psychology Professor.
  • Research Psychologist.

Where do most developmental psychologists work? ›

Developmental psychologists work in a variety of settings, including academia, government agencies, health care facilities and schools. Those working in colleges and universities tend to focus primarily on research or teaching.

What are the 3 major issues in developmental psychology? ›

There are three major debates in the field of developmental psychology: (1) nature vs. nurture, (2) continuity vs. stages, and (3) stability vs. change.

Is developmental psychologist in demand? ›

Demand for clinical, counseling and developmental psychologists is expected to grow as more people want help with their problems as they age. More people also want to understand how the human brain develops and changes with age, so developmental psychologists will be needed in greater numbers.

What are the 4 big ideas in psychology? ›

There are four big ideas used to teach psychology. They include: critical thinking, the biopsychosocial approach, the two-track mind, and exploring human strengths.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
OCCUPATION2021 MEDIAN PAY
General internal medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Family medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Emergency medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows

What do most psychology graduates do? ›

Common Jobs for Psychology Degree Holders

Therapy and counseling. Training and development. Private healthcare education. Mental health support.

What jobs can you get with a PhD in developmental psychology? ›

Developmental psychology careers are found in a variety of settings, including but not limited to:
  • Academic institutions.
  • Advocacy and policy organizations.
  • Community youth organizations.
  • Crisis intervention programs.
  • Early childhood and other education centers.
  • Entertainment industry (toy/game or media)

What is a typical day like for a developmental psychologist? ›

Day-to-Day Duties

In an academic setting, developmental psychologists spend their days performing research, teaching courses and working with students. They can teach undergraduate and graduate courses, and some tenured professors may work with doctoral students throughout their PhD or PsyD programs.

How many years does it take to become a developmental psychologist? ›

Students pursuing a developmental psychology doctorate take advanced courses in psychological research methods and clinical practice. They also perform original research, compose a doctoral thesis, and complete a one-year internship. Most candidates graduate in 4-6 years.

Who is father of psychology? ›

Wilhelm Wundt is the man most commonly identified as the father of psychology.

Who invented developmental psychology? ›

Jean Piaget: Father of Developmental Psychology.

What is an example of developmental psychology? ›

Developmental psychologists often utilize a number of theories to think about different aspects of human development. For example, a psychologist assessing intellectual development in a child might consider Piaget's theory of cognitive development, which outlined the key stages that children go through as they learn.

Which question is most important to developmental psychology? ›

Answer and Explanation: The most important question in developmental psychology is: How does our genetic makeup and our experiences influence our development? This debate is also referred to as nature versus nurture.

What are the 5 theories of development? ›

They are (1) maturationist, (2) constructivist, (3) behaviorist, (4) psychoanalytic, and (5) ecological. Each theory offers interpretations on the meaning of the children's development and behavior.

Why is it important to study developmental psychology? ›

Developmental psychology is often used to explain issues that a person faces in their adult life stemming from experiences—or lack of experiences—when they were younger. Thus, no matter how old you are, developmental psychology can help you understand yourself, including how you think and feel.

Can you be a developmental psychologist with a master's degree? ›

To work in this vital role, one must have, at minimum, a master's degree in developmental psychology. For most job opportunities, however, a Ph. D. or PsyD in Developmental Psychology is the optimum degree qualification.

Can a developmental psychologist diagnose? ›

Job Outlook for Developmental Psychologists

The demand for professionals to assess, evaluate, diagnose, and treat students with mental, developmental, and emotional issues may help spur a need for developmental psychologists.

Who is the best psychologist? ›

  • B. F. Skinner. ...
  • Jean Piaget. Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development had a profound influence on psychology, especially the understanding of children's intellectual growth. ...
  • Sigmund Freud. ...
  • Albert Bandura. ...
  • Leon Festinger. ...
  • William James. ...
  • Ivan Pavlov. ...
  • Carl Rogers.
28 Mar 2020

What is critical thinking in psychology? ›

“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

Is critical thinking smart thinking? ›

Big Idea 1: Critical Thinking Is Smart Thinking. critical thinking thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, uncovers hidden values, weighs evidence, and assesses conclusions.

What are social psychology big ideas? ›

Topics examined in social psychology include: the self concept, social cognition, attribution theory, social influence, group processes, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal processes, aggression, attitudes and stereotypes.

What jobs make 1m a year? ›

Jobs that better your chances of becoming a millionaire
  • Professional athlete.
  • Investment banker.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Lawyer.
  • Certified public accountant.
  • Insurance agent.
  • Engineer.
  • Real estate agent.

What is the fastest growing occupation? ›

Fastest growing occupations: 20 occupations with the highest projected percent change of employment between 2021-31.
...
Fastest Growing Occupations.
OCCUPATIONGROWTH RATE, 2021-312021 MEDIAN PAY
Nurse practitioners46%$120,680 per year
Wind turbine service technicians44%$56,260 per year
18 more rows

How can I make 300k a year? ›

If you want to earn a high salary, look at some of the jobs that pay $300,000 a year to the top earners.
  1. Radiologist. ...
  2. Chief executive officer (CEO) ...
  3. Chief financial officer (CFO) ...
  4. Principal software architect. ...
  5. Obstetrics and gynecology physician. ...
  6. Emergency medicine physician. ...
  7. Psychiatrist. ...
  8. Physician.

Is it hard to get a job with a psychology degree? ›

Yes, psychology is difficult to find a job if you have only a Bachelor's Degree. You will need at least a Master or PhD to practice and get a job. When choosing a college career, your final decision sometimes depends on the job options you will have in the not too distant future.

What certifications can I get with a bachelor's in psychology? ›

What certifications can I get with a bachelor's in psychology?
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) ...
  • Certified Alzheimer Caregiver ™ ...
  • Certified Co-Occurring Disorder Specialist. ...
  • Certified Sexuality Educator or Counselor. ...
  • Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying, and Bereavement. ...
  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapist (EAGALA)
3 May 2021

What master's degree can I get with a bachelor's in psychology? ›

There are several graduate degree options that may be available to you with a completed bachelor's degree in psychology. These options may include master's degrees in counseling, criminal justice, education, health sciences, or social work.

What do developmental psychologist seek to understand? ›

Developmental psychologists aim to understand what normative development looks like for humans and how and why individual development may differ from what's typically expected. Developmental psychologists hope to use this understanding to optimize human development, helping all people reach their full potential.

What are careers in psychology? ›

Some psychologists work alone, with patients and clients coming to the psychologist's office. Others are involved in health care teams and typically work in hospitals, medical schools, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, pain clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and community health and mental health centers.

What do educational and developmental psychologists do? ›

An Educational and Developmental Psychologist has specific training and experience providing a range of psychological assessments for children and adolescents (including pre-schoolers). They also have experience in providing evidence based psychological interventions for children and adolescents.

What are the 3 developmental theories? ›

The three theories discussed in this paper are the Theory of Social Development, Stage Theory of Cognitive Development, and Social Learning Theory.

Is developmental psychology basic or applied? ›

Developmental psychologists conduct basic and applied research in such topics as age-related changes in neurobiological development, emotional and social development, and cognitive- intellectual development and language acquisition.

What are the three main issues studied by developmental psychologists quizlet? ›

Developmental psychologists study physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the life span.

What training is typically needed to become a developmental psychologist? ›

What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Developmental Psychologist? Anyone interested in a developmental psychology career must earn a four year Bachelor's degree in psychology at an accredited university. To start their careers, however, more advanced degrees are usually necessary.

What does a cognitive psychologist do? ›

What Is Cognitive Psychology? Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes, including memory, attention, perception, and language processing, and how they impact human behavior. Cognitive psychologists develop strategies to help people who are experiencing difficulties with one or more of these processes.

What is neurological psychology? ›

Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology. It is concerned with how a person's cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on how injuries or illnesses of the brain affect cognitive and behavioral functions.

What is a typical day like for a developmental psychologist? ›

Day-to-Day Duties

In an academic setting, developmental psychologists spend their days performing research, teaching courses and working with students. They can teach undergraduate and graduate courses, and some tenured professors may work with doctoral students throughout their PhD or PsyD programs.

What jobs can you get with a PhD in developmental psychology? ›

Developmental psychology careers are found in a variety of settings, including but not limited to:
  • Academic institutions.
  • Advocacy and policy organizations.
  • Community youth organizations.
  • Crisis intervention programs.
  • Early childhood and other education centers.
  • Entertainment industry (toy/game or media)

Can a developmental psychologist diagnose? ›

Job Outlook for Developmental Psychologists

The demand for professionals to assess, evaluate, diagnose, and treat students with mental, developmental, and emotional issues may help spur a need for developmental psychologists.

What is an example of developmental psychology? ›

Developmental psychologists often utilize a number of theories to think about different aspects of human development. For example, a psychologist assessing intellectual development in a child might consider Piaget's theory of cognitive development, which outlined the key stages that children go through as they learn.

How many years does it take to become a developmental psychologist? ›

Students pursuing a developmental psychology doctorate take advanced courses in psychological research methods and clinical practice. They also perform original research, compose a doctoral thesis, and complete a one-year internship. Most candidates graduate in 4-6 years.

Why do you want to study developmental psychology? ›

The study of developmental psychology is essential to understanding how humans learn, mature and adapt. Throughout their lives, humans go through various stages of development. Developmental psychologists study how people grow, develop and adapt at different life stages.

Can you be a developmental psychologist with a master's degree? ›

To work in this vital role, one must have, at minimum, a master's degree in developmental psychology. For most job opportunities, however, a Ph. D. or PsyD in Developmental Psychology is the optimum degree qualification.

What are careers in psychology? ›

Some psychologists work alone, with patients and clients coming to the psychologist's office. Others are involved in health care teams and typically work in hospitals, medical schools, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, pain clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and community health and mental health centers.

What do educational and developmental psychologists do? ›

An Educational and Developmental Psychologist has specific training and experience providing a range of psychological assessments for children and adolescents (including pre-schoolers). They also have experience in providing evidence based psychological interventions for children and adolescents.

Is autism part of developmental psychology? ›

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder encompassing severe abnormalities in reciprocal social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, accompanied by restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests. These behavioural symptoms are present in very early childhood, before the age of 36 months.

What questions would a developmental psychologist ask? ›

Big Questions of Developmental Psychology
  • Nature vs. Nurture. ...
  • Individual Differences. How come we begin life as babies, who are so similar to one another, and yet we grow into such distinct adults?
  • Social Context. How do we come to understand ourselves and our relationships with others? ...
  • Passive vs. ...
  • Quantitatve Change vs.

Is developmental psych hard? ›

Developmental psych is incredibly easy as well. For me, there was no real studying involved in doing well. A&P II is much easier than A&P I (in my opinion). I'm no good at judging concepts or volume, but overall, that's how I would rank the classes.

What are the 7 stages of development? ›

There are seven stages a human moves through during his or her life span. These stages include infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood and old age.

Which question is most important to developmental psychology? ›

Answer and Explanation: The most important question in developmental psychology is: How does our genetic makeup and our experiences influence our development? This debate is also referred to as nature versus nurture.

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