The results of my Career Bridge assessment placed Human Services and Arts as the top two recommended categories. I chose Consumer Psychology because it carries aspects of both. My personal top two desired fields of study are psychology and graphic design. Consumer Psychology relates those two things. Many of the traits potential employers desire, such as trustworthiness and patience, are major parts of my psyche.
Being a company/business’s consumer psychologist means that I will have a large influence over their product and the overall image of the company, including how they treat, see, and value their customers and therefore how the customers see the business. As a Consumer Psychologist, I would study factors that may or may not influence consumer purchases, as well as observing the behavior of potential customers.
Consumer psychology can be applied in many, many areas, so consumer psychologists have a lot of options. Positions related to consumer psychology fit under many departments, such as education, marketing, and product design. A few options for me in consumer psychology are:
- Providing research for the marketing departments of businesses.
- Being a researcher or consultant for educational facilities, organizations or corporations.
- Teaching at a college/university.
- Working with or assisting government agencies.
- Writing informational books/pamphlets about research I have done
I can either work as a self-employed consultant or as a full-time employee at an advertising/marketing agency, a specific business/company/corporation, a government agency, or a university.
If I were to work for a business, they would use my data to make their products and services more marketable and desirable, same as an advertising agency, government agency, or university.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, a general psychologist makes roughly $93,440 on average per year. As a consumer psychologist specifically, I can make about that, depending on location, experience, education, and other factors. The main factor being education. As expected, the higher the degree you have, a. the more money you can make, and b. the more likely you are to get and hold a job. Getting licensed will also help with those two things. When hiring, employers also consider communication, analytical, people, and problem-solving skills, as well as patience and trustworthiness.
As far as education goes, consumer psychology can be demanding. Consumer psychologists tend to start their careers at entry-level positions with a four-year undergrad degree in psychology. But in order to progress and get more opportunities, getting a master’s and/or Doctorate Degree is highly recommended.
Getting a Doctorate has been a milestone of mine for a long time. If I succeed, I will be the first person in my mother’s family to do so, which is even more special because my mom was the first in her family to get a master’s. Licensing and Board Certification is also available and recommended. As someone interested in this career, I plan on taking courses/classes related to consumer psychology. Including business, general psychology, economics, statistics, art, consumer trends, and marketing.
The founding of consumer psychology is accredited to John Watson, who was the first person to consider the relationship between a costumer’s emotions and their purchases. As a branch of psychology, consumer psychology originated in the 1940’s, though the term “consumer psychology” wasn’t used until the late 50’s. The consumer psychology division of the American Psychological Association was founded in 1962. Then, in 1981 the first Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference was held. In 1988, the Society of Consumer Psychology was incorporated as an independent entity.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in industrial-organization psychology (consumer psychology falls into this category) are expected to increase by 53% by 2026. 900+ new consumer psychology jobs are expected to emerge over the next decade. An 11-12% growth by 2026 is expected for psychological careers in general. The increase stemming from an increase in businesses. The business market boom is expected to continue for up to 20 years.
As long as there are businesses trying to sell things, and henceforth competition to sell more things than one-another, there will be a demand for consumer psychologists. This means that it is almost guaranteed that when finish my education, or even just enough of it for a base-level job, there will be opportunities for me in the field of consumer psychology.
I want to pursue consumer psychology because I am interested in psychology, design, and advertising. My desire to become a consumer psychologist will also help motivate me in my education, and remind me of the value of hard work, trustworthiness, and patience.