How Do I Go into Community Psychology?

Whitney Leigh White

Your career path can go in many ways if you go into community psychology. Some of the most popular community psychology jobs include substance abuse counselors, criminal justice specialists, and nurses, many of which are found in both private and public institutions. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree to go into community psychology, and a doctorate is necessary for some occupations, such as a becoming a community psychologist. No matter what type of degree you obtain, your studies will include general education courses, so complete these as quickly as possible.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Going into community psychology to become a substance abuse counselor is regarded as one of the most challenging career paths for psychological health therapists. Becoming this type of counselor provides you with the opportunity to work in correctional facilities, half-way houses, treatment facilities, and more. If you attend college full-time and take summer classes, you can become a substance abuse counselor in as little as 18 months. In the United States, most states will require you to obtain a master’s degree and to also become licensed before providing your services to the public. This profession is a very advantageous way to go into community psychology because you get to choose from obtaining a master’s in arts, science, or social work.

Becoming a criminal justice specialist is another excellent way to go into community psychology. If you choose this occupation, it is important that you decide during the early part of your studies what type of institution for which you want to work. A bachelor’s degree in social work will easily land you a job as criminal justice specialist in a correctional facility, but if you prefer to work for a place such as an investigative bureau, concentrate your studies in science.

If you are seeking a doctorate degree in community psychology and enjoy administrative work, consider becoming a community psychologist. Through your extensive studies, you not only learn how to create and implement psychology programs for counseling clinics, but you also sharpen your administrative skills. Obtaining a job as a program director for counseling clinics is very common for people in this profession.

Another way to go into community psychology is through nursing programs. Employment as this type of nurse is often found in community-based programs, as well as mental health centers. There are also many medical research centers that employ nurses with a background in community psychology as well.

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