A bachelor’s degree in Psychology is one of the most popular degrees pursued by undergraduate students. In fact, an estimated 116,000 students earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology every year. While some students decide to pursue graduate study after earning their bachelor’s in Psychology, some decide to pursue a career after graduation. While it’s not possible to work as a licensed therapist without a master’s degree, there are a number of careers that bachelor’s degree holders can pursue in the psychology field. If you want to use your degree to help others, it is possible to earn psychology certifications that can open up opportunities to work in the field.
Here are some of the psychology certifications you can earn after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and how they can be used.
1. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis is a therapeutic method that centers on behavior as well as its consequences. This kind of analysis can be used in a variety of areas including education, health and fitness, substance abuse treatment, geriatric care, and the treatment and education of individuals who have Autism and/or intellectual disabilities. Those who hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology are qualified to earn Board Certification as an Assistant Behavior Analyst. Candidates for this certificate must complete 1,300 supervised field work hours or 1,000 concentrated supervised fieldwork hours before sitting for their exam. They must also complete coursework through a program at an accredited university that offers a Verified Course Sequence. Professionals who have earned their Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA certification) can assist behavioral analysts as they conduct behavior assessments. They can gather data, maintain records, and more.
2. Certified Alzheimer Caregiver
For graduates who are interested in working with geriatric patients or patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, earning certification as an Alzheimer Caregiver could be a good choice. In order to be eligible for this certification, candidates must meet the qualifications set out by the National Certification Board for Alzheimer and Aging Care (NCBAC). Eligibility is reliant on a candidate having a minimum of one year experience working 15 hours per week (paid or unpaid) with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Candidates must also complete specific dementia care training (the NCBAC does offer a training course to this end, as well as an apprenticeship program). If these qualifications are met, candidates can sit for the certification examination.
3. Certified Sexuality Educator or Counselor
For students who are interested in working in the important field of sex education or counseling, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) offers varying levels of certification. Those who have earned a bachelor’s degree can qualify to become a certified sexuality educator or counselor. These candidates must have a bachelor’s degree plus three to four years of professional experience in either sex education or professional counseling. Candidates must have completed academic coursework in sexuality education and be capable of correctly answering questions pertaining to ethics and ethical behavior, developmental psychology, socio-cultural and familial factors in relation to sexual values and behaviors, intimacy skills, and more. Knowledge and training in these areas can be earned through a variety of environments including academic classrooms, seminars, and AASECT sponsored trainings. Additionally, applicants must complete a minimum of 25 hours of supervision with an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator Supervisor or 30 hours of supervision with an AASECT Certified Sexuality Counselor or Sex Therapist Supervisor.
4. Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)
BS graduates who are interested in working with individuals who suffer from mood disorders should consider earning certification in Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy. This methodology is meant to empower people to understand their biological and social rhythms. By understanding these aspects of their lives, they can develop the skills needed to manage stressful life events, improve medication adherence (if applicable), understand their moods, and reduce disruptions to social rhythms. IPSRT can be used to help people protect themselves against the negative impact of depressive or manic episodes. The training itself can be completed in 8 hours, online. By receiving this training and, later, certification, you’ll be able to help any of the 20.9 American adults who suffer from a mood disorder!
Earning a certification in psychology can broaden your career opportunities, and also set your application above the rest if you do decide to pursue graduate study later in your career. If you’re considering a career in the field of psychology, earning certification communicates a high level of dedication and seriousness to others. Of course, while earning certification isn’t a professional requirement for some positions, having psychology certifications can set you apart when you apply to jobs. Certification also provides specialized training in a specific area of psychology, covering topics that may not be explored in depth during a bachelor’s degree program. If you’re considering your future education and wondering what your options are after graduation, psychology certification can pave the way to even more opportunities than a degree on its own.
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