When the word psychologist comes up, most of us picture the stereotypical image of someone sitting with pen and notebook calmly listening to a patient stretched out on a couch unburdening their innermost secrets. The field of psychology, however, is so much broader than just clinical psychology. If you’re considering a career in psychology, here are a few unusual niches to specialize in.

Forensic Psychologist

TV shows like Criminal Minds has popularized forensic psychology and for those interested in what makes the criminal mind tick, this is a fascinating career. As a forensic psychologist, you will work closely with the legal system in child custody disputes, child abuse cases, pre-trial psychological evaluations of defendants, criminal profiling, and even insurance claims.

Forensic psychology is a fast-growing and lucrative field. According to Maryville University, salaries for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences increased by 14 percent from 2015 to 2016, and that number is expected to rise.

Traffic Psychologist

Not many people have heard of a traffic psychologist. Despite being an inconspicuous arm of psychology, this job is crucial to traffic and road safety. Traffic psychologists analyze accidents, interpret driver behavior, and conduct transportation research.

The findings from studies done by traffic psychologist are often used in traffic safety education campaigns, rehabilitation programs, and law enforcement initiatives. They work closely with city planners, transportation officials, local government, engineers, and automobile manufacturers to design safer roads and vehicles.

Market Research Analyst

When you buy a product, you probably don’t give much thought to the psychology behind it. There is, however, a methodology involved. Market research analysts play a key role in sales and marketing. They study the market and analyze consumer trends to gain insight into what products people want, the factors that influence their buying decisions, who is likely to buy a product, and at what price.

To work as a market research analyst, additional skills and knowledge like business administration, economics, statistics, and research is useful. Jobs in market research are on the increase and expected to grow up to 19 percent by 2024. A degree in psychology, communications, mathematics, statistics, or marketing will all allow you to pursue a career in market research.

Probation Officer

If you think being a probation officer is simply about keeping tabs on ex-cons, then you have a one-dimensional view of this job. To work with criminals, a probation officer needs in-depth knowledge of the justice system, criminal behavior and motivators, substance abuse problems, and mental and psychological disorders.

Probation officers also need sound counselling and mentoring skills to assist parolees in assimilating back into the community. They deal with criminals across races, genders, and diverse backgrounds. To help further understand the specific challenges parolees face, they can benefit from additional short courses like Incarcerated Women offered by ContinuingEducation.com. This course provides psychologists with practical skills to help women successfully reenter the community.

Media Psychologist

There’s no denying that the media, whether in the form of movies, television, video games, books, or social media, has a powerful influence on us. Media psychology is another fascinating area of psychology that studies the effect various forms of media has on people’s behavior, choices, and psyche.

Media psychologists may consult with media companies and studios to give insight into their audiences and inform their decisions on producing shows. Media psychologists also conduct research to determine the impact certain media has on violent or criminal behavior.

With ongoing advances in technology, the way we consume and interact with various media streams is constantly shifting. Media psychology is likely to evolve right along with that. It’s a dynamic career with exciting prospects.


Another specialized discipline within psychology is geropsychology, also called geriatric psychology. This area of psychology deals with the mental health and wellbeing of the elderly. As life expectancy increases, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2030, people over the age of 65 will make up 12 percent of the global population and this figure is set to increase to 16.7 percent by 2050. As the older population grows, so will the need for health professionals who work with the elderly.

Older persons face both physical and mental decline. As a geropsychologist, you will help them manage and overcome some of these problems. Geropsychologists help the elderly cope with depression, anxiety, loss, bereavement, retirement, financial difficulties, and fears around facing their mortality. Geropsychology is also an interesting specialty within healthcare, as you will learn about the aging brain and age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Psychology plays a role in almost every aspect of life. If you’re interested in a career in psychology, explore the various disciplines and find the niche that best suits you. Psychology is an exciting and well-paid career with a median annual salary of $77,030. It’s also a career that offers lifelong learning through seminars, conferences, and courses that update practitioners’ knowledge and skills.

Author's Bio: 

Blogging Expert.