Interesting Careers in Psychological Science

The career options for psychological scientists extend beyond faculty and research positions within academic institutions. APA aims to inform both graduate students and established psychologists about the broad range of non-academic positions in which they can apply their scientific knowledge and skills. Psychological scientists have many opportunities and much to contribute in such fields as business, communications, design, education, engineering, government, health, human services, law, public policy, safety and transportation.

The essays below are written by doctoral-level psychological scientists who have pursued a variety of career paths. Writing in a personal and informal style, these psychologists discuss their training, how they came to learn about and obtain the positions they have held, the nature of their work and work settings, what it takes to be successful in their fields, the advantages and disadvantages of the positions they have held and other opportunities for psychologists in their fields.

Most of these first-person accounts were originally published in APA's Psychological Science Agenda (PSA). Included below is a sample of the stories that have appeared since 1994. (The series was paused in 2005 and restarted in 2009.) Additional stories will appear in future issues of PSA and will be posted here as well.


Name Title Year
Kathleen Kremer User experience researcher for a toy company 2013
Kathryn E. Keeton Strategic consultant at NASA 2012
Katherine McMillan Culp Research scientist at an education research organization 2012
Julie Blackman Trial Strategy Consultant 2012
Robert Gerlai Industry scientist and professor 2012
Barbara Wanchisen Science advocate and policy advisor 2012
Jill Egeth Scientist at a federally funded research and development center 2010
Ellen Mandinach Education Researcher at Non-profit Organizations 2010
Thomas Paskus NCAA researcher 2010
Lise Saari Industrial/Organizational Researcher within Private Corporations 2010
Wayne Camara Vice President of the College Board 2009
Jill Denner Adolescent Development Researcher at a Non-profit Organization 2009
Adam Long Executive for a Workplace Health Services Company 2009
Tim Nichols Video Game User Researcher 2009
Emanuel Robinson Transportation and Safety Research Psychologist 2009
Gabe Rousseau Federal Transportation Official 2009
Jennifer Veitch Environmental Psychologist at a National Laboratory 2009
Sunny Becker Experimental Psychologist in a Behavioral Science Research Firm 2004
David Boninger Social Psychologist in Rehabilitation Technology 2004
James R. Callan Engineering Psychology in Research and Development 2004
Jacqueline Ogden Animal Programs Psychologist 2004
Simon Budman Psychology Emerges in a Multimedia World 2003
Yihsiu Chen Techonology Consultant in the Telecom Industry 2003
Liz Gehr Human Factors Expert 2003
Cynthia Null NASA Research Psychologist 2003
Anthony Pinizzotto Forensic Psychologist in the FBI 2003
Siri Carpenter Becoming a Science Writer 2002
Mary Czerwinski Research Psychology at Microsoft 2002
Neil S. Hibler Police Psychology in the Federal Government 2002
Peter Ramsberger Human Resources Research Organization 2002
Peter Snyder Neuropsychologist Prospers in Pharmaceuticals 2002
E. Belvin Williams Psychology meets Philanthropy 2002
Dale Glaser Statistical and Methodological Consultant 2001
James A. Griffin Psychologist in the White House 2001
Holly R. Landwehr Human Factors Psychologist in Aviation 2001
Robert S. McCann NASA Research Scientist 2001
Hilary R. Weiner Expert Witness is Employment Discrimination Cases 2001
Yael Bat-Chava Research Director for a Non-Profit Organization 2000
Peter Nathan University Provost 2000
Susan Lee Painter Design Psychologist 2000
Robert R. Tyler Aviation Human Factors Practitioner 2000
Marilyn Sue Bogner Medical Error Consultant 1999
Hendrick Ruck Corporate Investment Strategist for the Military 1999
David Stonner Policy Scientist for a Federal Agency 1999
Margaret Diddams Cognitive and I/O Psychologists in the Technology Industry 1998
Pamela Flattau Policy Scientist as an Independent Consultant 1998
Julia Mennella Chemical Senses Specialist 1998
Anne C. Petersen Foundation Executive 1998
Tom Puglisi Federal Regulatory Officer for Protection of Human Subjects 1998
Carolyn Copper Social Science Analyst in the Public Sector 1997
Susan Ferguson Highway Safety Research Analyst 1997
Richard Garfein International Market Research Consultant 1997
Richard J. Katz Clinical Neuropsychopharmacologist 1997
John K. Lauber Human Factors Psychologist in Aviation 1997
Philip M. Smith Organizational Development Consultant 1997
Judith Amsel Acquisitions Editor 1996
Mary Carol Day Human-Computer Interface Designer 1996
Stephen Kraus Market Research Consultant 1996
Laura M.W. Martin Science Museum Education and Research Specialist 1996
Christine Sannerud Federal Drug Science Specialist 1996
Joy Stapp Trial Consultant 1996
Robert L. Balster Behavioral Pharmacologist 1995
Naomi Schwartz Executive Search Consultant 1995
Robert P. Lowman Research Administrator 1994