What Subject Can I Teach With a Psychology Degree?


A psychology degree often conjures images of therapy sessions and complex diagnoses. However, this versatile degree unlocks doors to a wider world than you might think, including the exciting realm of education. What Subject Can I Teach With a Psychology Degree? It’s important to know everyone so, let’s see here.

While directly teaching psychology at the high school level is a natural avenue, there are numerous other subjects where your psychology background can shine. Let’s see how to become a teacher with a psychology degree and which subjects you can teach with the degree.


How to Become a Teacher with a Psychology Degree?

Aspiring to become a teacher with a psychology degree? This guide provides a clear roadmap, navigating you from a psychology graduate to a certified educator.


1. Define Your Teaching Goals

The journey begins with defining your teaching goals. What age group or subject ignites your passion? This decision is crucial, as different age groups and subjects require varying certifications. Consider whether you’re drawn to general education or the specialized world of special education, where your psychology background can be particularly valuable.

Having clear goals empowers you to choose the right certification and preparation program, ensuring a smooth transition into your teaching career.


2. Understanding State Requirements

Teacher certification requirements vary across states. Researching your state’s specific requirements is crucial. Typically, you’ll need to pass basic skills and subject-specific tests, like a psychology content test for high school educators. Some states might also require the completion of a teacher preparation program before certification. Familiarize yourself with these requirements early on to avoid any roadblocks.

Become a Teacher with a Psychology Degree

3. Completing Teacher Preparation Programs

Enrolling in a teacher preparation program is your next step. These programs, offered online or in-person, offer essential training in teaching methods, classroom management, and curriculum development. Student teaching placements are often integrated, providing invaluable hands-on experience under the guidance of seasoned educators. As a psychology graduate, your prior coursework might be recognized, potentially shortening the program duration. Remember, completing this program is usually mandatory for certification.


4. Gaining Classroom Experience and Certification:

Gaining classroom experience is a cornerstone of becoming a teacher. These placements provide real-world experience, allowing you to apply your understanding of psychology in an educational setting. Once you complete your program and the required tests, you can apply for your teaching certification. With certification in hand, you’re ready to embark on your journey as an educator, and potentially pursue continuing education to stay updated on best practices.


What subject can I teach with a psychology degree? An Overview

Students who obtain a teaching certificate in addition to their bachelor’s degree in psychology have the option to pursue a career as a teacher. Some graduates may decide to utilize their psychology knowledge by teaching at elementary or middle schools, while others may prefer teaching psychology at high schools.

Possessing a psychology degree opens up a wide range of subjects that can be taught. Let’s delve into some of the potential options:

  1. Social Psychology: Dive into the intricacies of human behavior, group dynamics, and social influence. Social psychology courses allow you to explore topics like conformity, prejudice, and interpersonal relationships.
  2. Explore the enigmas of mental health, psychological disorders, and their treatment by studying Abnormal Psychology. Delve into conditions like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia through the teachings of abnormal psychology.
  3. Educational Psychology: This subject focuses on understanding how people learn and develop. As an educational psychology teacher, you’ll explore theories of learning, motivation, and instructional strategies.
  4. Neuroscience: If you’re passionate about the brain and nervous system, teaching neuroscience can be a rewarding path. Topics may include brain anatomy, neural pathways, and cognitive processes.

Your expertise in psychology can enhance students’ understanding of themselves and the world.


Subjects That You Can Teach With a Psychology Degree:

1. Psychology

This is the most obvious choice and with good reason. Your educational psychology knowledge positions you perfectly to ignite young minds’ curiosity about human behavior, learning, and mental processes.

2. Health and Life Skills

Understanding human behavior and development is crucial for these courses. Your knowledge of social psychology, motivation, and emotional intelligence can empower students to navigate relationships, build resilience, and make healthy choices.

3. Special Education

Your psychology background equips you to understand diverse learning needs and develop inclusive learning strategies. You can support students with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, or those on the autism spectrum by fostering a positive learning environment and individualized approaches.

Read also: Is Special Education Teacher Capitalized?

Why is Special Education Important To Teachers?

4. History or English

Psychology sheds light on historical figures’ motivations, societal trends, and the evolution of human thought. You can integrate psychological concepts into your lessons, fostering deeper understanding and critical thinking skills in students.

5. Law and Government

Your grasp of human behavior can be invaluable in these subjects. You can explore the psychological underpinnings of crime, analyze legal decision-making, or discuss the psychology of political persuasion, making your lessons engaging and insightful.

6. Career and College Counseling

Your understanding of personality, career development, and decision-making can empower students to navigate their academic and professional journeys. You can help them identify their strengths, explore career options, and make informed choices about their future.

7. Language Arts

Your understanding of human development and cognition sheds light on how students learn to read and communicate. You can use this knowledge to create engaging lessons that cater to different learning styles and foster a love for language.

8. Mathematics

Psychology delves into problem-solving and critical thinking, crucial skills in mastering mathematics. You can use your expertise to explain complex concepts in a way that resonates with students, making math less intimidating and more enjoyable.

Read also: 15 Issues and Concerns in Teaching Mathematics

Why math is so boring?

9. Social Studies

Social psychology, a branch of psychology, explores how individuals interact within groups and how social forces shape behavior. This knowledge equips you to bring historical events and social movements to life, fostering critical thinking and civic engagement in your students.

10. Science

The scientific method is the backbone of both psychology and many scientific disciplines. You can leverage your understanding of research design, data analysis, and the scientific process to guide students through their scientific exploration, fostering a spirit of curiosity and discovery.

11. Art & Media

Psychology explores the link between creativity, self-expression, and well-being. You can use your knowledge to design art and media classes that not only encourage artistic expression but also promote valuable life skills like emotional regulation and self-awareness.

12. Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Psychology can play a surprising role in CTE, particularly in subjects like healthcare, criminal justice, or even cosmetology. You can help students understand the human aspects of their chosen professions, such as communication, client interaction, and ethical practices.


Does Teaching with a Psychology Degree Pay Well?

While a psychology degree opens doors to diverse career paths, many graduates find themselves drawn to the rewarding world of education. But before embarking on this journey, it’s natural to be curious about potential salary ranges.


Here’s a breakdown of factors influencing the salaries of teachers with a psychology degree:

  • Teaching Level: Salaries typically increase with the level of education you teach. Elementary school teachers generally earn less than middle or high school teachers.
  • Location: Geographic location plays a significant role. Teachers in urban areas and states with a higher cost of living often command higher salaries compared to their counterparts in rural areas or states with a lower cost of living.
  • Experience: As with any profession, experience translates to higher earning potential. Teachers with more years under their belt typically earn more than those just starting.
  • Additional Qualifications: Holding advanced degrees like a Master’s or pursuing specialized certifications can lead to increased salary potential.
  • School District: Public schools generally have set salary schedules based on experience and qualifications, while private schools may offer more variability in their compensation structures.


Here’s a general range to consider (as of February 2024):

  • Average annual salary: $49,603 (source: Salary.com)
  • Salary range: $41,418 – $60,504 (source: Salary.com)

It’s important to remember that these are just averages, and your salary may fall outside this range depending on the factors mentioned above.


Additional factors to consider

  • Benefits: Many teaching positions offer benefits packages that include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, which can significantly impact your overall compensation.
  • Job satisfaction: While salary is important, many teachers find immense satisfaction in shaping young minds and making a positive impact on their students’ lives. This intrinsic reward can be highly motivating and contribute to overall career fulfillment.

Ultimately, while a psychology degree might not lead to the highest-paying teaching positions, it equips you with valuable skills and knowledge that can be incredibly beneficial in the classroom. If you’re passionate about education and find fulfillment in helping others learn and grow, then teaching with a psychology degree can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice.

A psychology degree offers a strong foundation in communication, critical thinking, and research skills – valuable assets for educators across various disciplines. Don’t limit yourself to the traditional path – explore your interests and discover the unique teaching opportunities that await you with your psychology degree.


What are the Requirements to Be a Psychology Teacher in High School?

To become a High School Psychology Teacher, you need the following requirements:

  1. Education: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Some schools may require a master’s degree or higher for teaching positions.
  2. Teacher Certification: Obtain a teaching certification or license. This usually involves completing an approved teacher education program and passing relevant exams.
  3. Experience: Gain experience through student teaching or other educational roles. Practical classroom experience is valuable.
  4. Continuing Education: Stay updated with developments in psychology and education. Attend workshops, and conferences, and pursue professional development opportunities.
  5. Passion for Teaching: A genuine interest in helping students learn and grow is essential. Effective communication and classroom management skills are also important.

Inspiring young minds and fostering a love for psychology can be incredibly rewarding.


Final Note

In conclusion, we can say that a psychology degree opens doors to a surprisingly diverse range of teaching opportunities. From igniting young minds in elementary classrooms to delving into the complexities of human behavior with high schoolers, your unique skill set can be applied across various subjects and age groups. 

Remember, the journey from psychology graduate to certified educator requires specific steps, but the rewards of shaping young minds and fostering their intellectual growth can be truly fulfilling. So, if you have a passion for education and the desire to make a lasting impact, don’t hesitate to explore the exciting possibilities of teaching with a psychology degree.


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