2002: Master's, Specialist's and Related Degrees Employment Survey
Darnell Singleton, Antoinette C. Tate, Jessica L. Kohout
APA Center for Workforce Studies
In 1993, in direct response to a lack of data on the educational and employment patterns of graduates with master’s-level training, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Research Office launched a new survey effort in order to gain comprehensive employment data based on a nationwide sample. That Spring, the 1993 American Psychological Association Nondoctoral Employment Survey became one of the routine survey projects conducted by the Research Office. The 2002 Master’s Employment Survey (MES) represents the third effort, initiated in the Spring of 2001, to gather, analyze and disseminate information on graduates with master’s and related degrees in psychology. This survey departs from the 1993 and 1996 efforts, which gathered data for only the previous academic year graduates. The 2002 report presents information on the employment and educational experiences of a sample of 2001 and 2002 graduates with master’s and specialist’s degrees. It also provides information on demographic characteristics and explores data such as employment status, perception of the job market, starting salaries and other relevant characteristics.
The Master’s Employment Survey (MES) was conducted the year following receipt of the degree. Department chairs were contacted for the names and addresses of persons awarded master’s and specialist’s degrees during the previous two academic school years. In 2002, a survey was mailed to these individuals requesting information on their experiences entering the labor force and the relevance of their graduate training to their employment situations.
Chairpersons from a sample (100) of master's-granting departments in the United States and Canada (49 doctoral departments and 41 terminal master’s departments) were contacted in June 2001, and were asked to provide the names and addresses of individuals who received/will receive their master’s and specialist’s degree between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001. A postcard reminder was sent in July 2001 to chairs who did not respond to the initial request. A final attempt to collect names and addresses was made in the Fall of 2001 to chairs who still had not responded. The request for names and addresses of recent master’s degree recipients between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001 yielded a small sample of students’ names and addresses. Hence, a second recruitment of names and addresses of recent master’s recipients was initiated in April 2002 to include graduates between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2002.
The second recruitment of names of recent master’s graduates included an initial request in the first week of April 2002, followed by a reminder in the last week of April 2002 requesting names and addresses of students who were/will be awarded terminal master’s degrees between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2002. A final reminder letter was sent in August 2002 to the department chairs who still had not responded to the names and address request. The list of departments offering Masters of Arts (MA), Masters of Science (MS), Masters of Education (MEd), Masters in Counseling (MC), Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) and specialist programs was compiled from the files of the APA Research Office, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the Council of Applied Master’s Programs in Psychology (CAMPP).
Of the 100 graduate departments of psychology sampled, 54% provided names and addresses of students who were/will be awarded terminal master’s and specialist’s degrees between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2002. The department chairs provided names and addresses of 879 master’s and specialist’s degree recipients.
Prior to the invitation to participate in the 2002 MES, all respondents were contacted in March 2002 to verify their contact information (i.e., e-mail address, address). The 2002 MES was an internet-based survey and utilized a secured website for all data collection. A post card was mailed to each graduate the first week in July 2002 inviting them to participate in the survey, which included the website address and directions on how to access the survey. A reminder postcard was sent to non-respondents the third week in July 2002. Finally, a complete survey packet including a cover letter, survey and business reply envelope was sent in August 2002 to those graduates who still had not responded to the survey. The appendix of this report contains a copy of the questionnaire.
Five hundred and sixty-three of the 879 master’s and specialist’s degree graduates that were contacted, responded, yielding an overall response rate of 64%. Although the sample is considerably smaller than that of the 1996 survey, the 64% response rate is substantially higher than the 40% reported in 1996. Based on the gender distribution (78% female and 22% male) reported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966-2000, it appears that the present sample was representative of master’s-level degree recipients nationwide with respect to gender. Over the past several decades, women have been entering the field of psychology in increasing numbers (Hill, 2002). In addition, the present sample was also representative of master’s-level degree recipients nationwide with respect to ethnicity. According to the NSF, minorities represent 20% of master’s-level degree recipients.
Notes and Caveats
Analyses are based on the number of respondents who provided information on a specific item/question unless otherwise noted. Thus, the “total” column may change from one table to another. Percentages for several characteristics are reasonably complete; however, readers should be aware that non-response could introduce error.
Caution is advised when interpreting statistical results based on small Ns.
For salary data, statistics are not provided for employment settings where there are less than five respondents. As always, caution should be exercised when interpreting statistics based on small numbers (10 or less) and/or where the standard deviation is large.
As can be seen in Table 1a, over three quarters of respondents were women. Women represented 82% of master’s recipients in psychology between 2000-02. As reported by the National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966-2000, this gender distribution in favor of women (77%) is also apparent among new baccalaureates in psychology. However, it is somewhat less among new doctorates.
Approximately 81% of 1996 master’s degree recipients were White and just over 5% were Black. Hispanics represented 4% of the respondents, while Asian or Multi-racial/Multi-ethnic were reported at 3% each. Multi-racial/Multi-ethnic were respondents that chose two or more race/ethnicity categories. The “other” category was less than 2% of master’s degree recipients. This category represented those individuals who indicated that the categories provided did not describe their racial/ethnic background adequately. Only one of the respondents was Native American. In 1996, the percentage of master’s degree recipients who were racial/ethnic minorities was 11% compared to roughly 18% in 2002. This represents a marked increase in the number of minorities earning master’s degrees. The increase for the sample is similar to the increase reported nationally by the NSF, which reported 15% in 1996 compared to 20% in 2000.
As seen in Table 1a, over half of the respondents were younger than 30, while 18% were between the ages of 30-34, and 7% were between the ages of 35-39. A little more than 6% were between the ages of 40-44, and about 14% of master’s degrees were awarded to students over the age of 45. Less than one percent of the respondents did not specify their age. The average age of the respondents was 32, which is the same mean age that was reported in the 1996 Master's Employment Survey (MES).
As seen in Table 1b, over half of the respondents (54%) earned the MA degree, while 26% earned the MS degree, and 14% earned a MEd/MSEd degree. Three percent of the respondents earned the master of counseling (MC) degree, while 2% obtained a Specialist’s degree. One percent of the respondents received a certificate of advanced graduate study (CAGS) degree. Two of the respondents that reported other type of degrees, indicated the PhD degree as their highest degree.
Tables 2a and 2b present the subfield of respondents by degree type. Almost two thirds of respondents (62%) attained master’s degrees in health service provider subfields. Of this total, 56% received degrees in counseling, 26% in clinical, and 12% in school psychology. The remaining 38% of the respondents had obtained their degrees in the traditional research and “other” subfields. The most common subfields in this group were educational (22%), general (16%), industrial/ organizational (12%), and experimental psychology (10%).
MA and MS degree holders were represented in nearly every subfield. The Specialist and the CAGS degree graduates were only found in school and counseling psychology, while the MC was found only in counseling and community psychology.
Terminal vs. Non-Terminal Degree Holders
In the MES, graduates were asked if they considered their Master’s/Specialist’s/CAGS/ MC degree to be a “terminal” degree. “Terminal” was defined as having no immediate plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology and believing that the master’s level of education and training sufficiently met their career goals. Over half (53%) of all respondents did not consider their degree to be terminal (see Table 3). However, 53% of students in identified terminal master’s programs consider their degree to be terminal. For those students in identified doctoral programs that may have non-terminal or terminal master’s programs, only 43% of students consider their degree terminal. These statistics seem to indicate that students’ perceptions with regard to the terminal nature of their program was more a function of believing that the master’s level education and training sufficiently met their career goals, rather than a report on the program’s terminal status. Typically, the master’s degree is the highest degree you can receive in a terminal master’s program and the opportunity to pursue a higher degree (i.e. doctorate) is not afforded, without application and acceptance into a specific doctoral program. What’s more, the statistics provided in Tables 3, with reference to “terminal” degree/program, are solely based on students’ perceptions. Therefore, these data may not accurately reflect the department/institutional formal designation of the program’s terminal or non-terminal status.
In the present survey, full-time employment was characterized as a minimum of 35 hours per week, including situations where the person held multiple positions totaling 35 or more hours. Part-time employment included situations where persons held one or more part-time positions totaling less than 35 hours per week.
Sixty-seven percent of all respondents were employed and 21% were enrolled in further graduate study. Nine percent were unemployed and seeking work and 3% were unemployed and not seeking work. Of the 21% of the students that reported further graduate study, 78% were enrolled in doctoral programs and 10% in master’s programs. Twelve percent of the respondents indicated they were enrolled in other types of graduate programs. Twenty percent of the respondents who earned a MA degree were currently enrolled in doctoral programs, while 16% of MEd and CAGS graduates were currently enrolled in doctoral programs, compared to only 9% of MS graduates.
Subfield of Degree
As shown in Table 1b, graduates in the health service provider subfields had only marginally higher rates of employment than those in research and other subfields (68% and 66%, respectively). Research graduates were more often enrolled in doctoral programs (20%) than were health service provider graduates (14%). Rates of unemployment were similar for both subfield areas, with graduates in the health service provider subfields seeking employment at a slightly higher rate than those in research (9% versus 7%). Three percent of those in the health service provider subfields and 2% in research were unemployed but not seeking employment.
Eighty-six percent of respondents reported being employed full time, while just over 13% were employed part time. Eighty percent of respondents who reported being employed full time held only one position (they did not have a second or third position). The remaining 20% were employed in an additional part-time position or two part-time positions. Only 3% of respondents with more than one position were employed part time in two or more part-time jobs.
Table 4 contains data on the employment settings of respondents by employment pattern. The single highest proportion of master's recipients with a full-time position was in school and other educational settings (25%), followed by business/government/other settings, other human service settings, and hospitals and clinics, each at 19%. Thirteen percent of the respondents were employed in university and college settings.
The patterns found in employment settings revealed that master’s graduates were concentrated in those settings for which master’s-level education in psychology is particularly strong and organized. These were schools, businesses, and organized human service settings. Although some small percentages were found in “independent practice” in general, those reporting independent practice did so as a secondary position.
Table 4 also provides information on those who were employed part time in psychology (those with one or more positions totaling less than 35 hours). Twenty-four percent were employed in business/government/other settings, followed by universities and colleges (22%), and hospitals and clinics and other human service settings at 17% each. Fifteen percent of the respondents with part-time employment were in school and other educational settings.
Women represented 82% of the respondents who were employed part time, with men at 18%. Women and men gave different reasons for choosing part-time employment. The largest single proportion (37%) of women worked part time because of family responsibilities. Men were more apt to choose part-time employment because of other specified reasons (i.e. supplement salary, required by department) (44%).
Full-time Employment Settings by Subfield
Table 5 illustrates the primary full-time psychology-related employment settings by degree subfield. Sixty-four percent of the graduates were in health service provider fields. The majority of these graduates were in counseling, clinical or school, and were employed in school and other educational (25%), and hospitals and clinics (23%).
The single highest proportion of respondents from research subfields was employed in university/colleges (24%), followed closely by business/government/other settings (23%). Nineteen percent each were employed in school and other educational settings and other human service settings (e.g., substance abuse facility, other community social service agency, nursing home). Thirteen percent of the respondents were employed in hospitals and clinics.
Employment Positions by Subfield
Data on full-time employment positions by subfield of degree are provided in Table 6. As expected, the majority of respondents with degrees in health service provider subfields were employed in direct human services positions (75%). Thirty-four percent of respondents with degrees in research and other fields were employed in direct human service positions, while 17% reported employment in other types of position. Thirteen percent of the respondents with degrees in research and other fields were employed in research positions, followed by administration of human services at 12%.
Five percent of full-time positions were faculty positions. Sixty percent of faculty positions were not tenured, with 40% not on tenure track and 20% in positions with no tenure system. Thirty percent had tenure and 10% were on tenure track; seventy-five percent of those on the tenure track or already tenured were in research and other subfields.
Perceptions of Graduate Training and Current Employment Situation
Tables 7a-7e present the perceptions of employed Master’s and related degree recipients regarding aspects of how their graduate training related to their current job, their level of job satisfaction, and the general state of the current job market.
Relevance of Graduate Training to Current Primary Position
Table 7a presents data on respondents’ perceptions of how closely their graduate training was related to their current position. Graduates were asked to evaluate the relevance of their graduate training in general, and also in terms of specific aspects of their training. Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that their graduate training in general was closely related to their primary position, while 28% reported that their graduate training was, in general, somewhat related. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported the perception that graduate courses in their major field were closely related to their primary position, followed by 25% of respondents who indicated that their graduate courses in their major field were somewhat related.
Sixty percent or better found both graduate training in general and courses in their major subfields to be closely related to their present employment. Thirty-one percent of MA graduates versus 19% of MS graduates reported graduate training (in general) to be somewhat related to the current position. MS graduates were slightly more likely than MA graduates to indicate that the question was not applicable. Slightly less than one-quarter of both of these groups indicated that courses in their major field were somewhat related to their current position.
Specialist degree recipients were most likely to report that graduate training in general and courses in their major field were closely related to their current position. All respondents who were recipients of CAGS reported that both their overall graduate training and their courses in their major subfield were closely related to their current position. These results were consistent with the findings of 1996 MES. Caution should be exercised when interpreting data where the n size is less than 5.
Graduates were also asked to rate the relevance of their practicum or internship experience to their current position. Specialist degree, MC, and CAGS recipients overall reported that the experience was closely related to their current position most often, at 100%, 87%, and 82%, respectively. Over half of MA and MEd/MSEd recipients rated their practicum or internship experiences as closely related to their current positions, and 65% of MS recipients felt there was a close relationship between the two. While just 1% of the specialist and related degree respondents indicated that the item was either not related or not applicable, 20-25% of each subgroup of MA, MS, and MEd/MSEd recipients so indicated.
Importance of the Master’s/Specialist’s/Related Degrees
Graduates were asked to evaluate how important their graduate degree in psychology was in attaining their current position, followed by how important any graduate degree was in attaining their position. The overall response supported the importance of an advanced degree to obtaining work. The largest single proportion of respondents in each category (56%) reported that the graduate degree in psychology and that any graduate degree were essential qualifications to attaining their current jobs.
More than three quarters of MA, MS, and MEd/MSEd degree recipients afforded some level of importance to their graduate degree as a qualification for attaining their present position (see Table 7b). This held true when respondents were asked to evaluate the importance of their degree as a degree in psychology, as well as when respondents evaluated the importance of their degree in relation to obtaining any graduate degree. The graduate degree in psychology was rated as essential to attaining their present position by 52% of MA degree recipients, 58% of MS degree recipients, and 48% of MEd/MSEd of degree recipients. An additional 35% of MA graduates, 28% of MS graduates, and 31% of MEd/MSEd graduates reported that their degree in psychology was helpful, but not essential in attaining their current employment. When asked how important any graduate degree was in attaining their current position, the largest single proportion of respondents for MA (54%), MS (57%), and MEd/MSEd (56%) degree recipients indicated that it was an essential qualification. Twenty-eight percent of MA graduates, 22% of MS graduates, and 36% of MEd/MSEd graduates reported that any graduate degree was helpful, but not essential.
Similarly, more than three quarters of CAGS and MC respondents evaluated the graduate degree in psychology and any graduate degree, both, as important qualifications in attaining their present position. For CAGS degree recipients, 100% considered their graduate degree in psychology an essential qualification in attaining their current position, while 80% reported any graduate degree was essential to attaining their current position. For the MC degree recipients, the graduate degree in psychology was identified as an essential qualification by 80% of the respondents, and as a helpful, but not essential qualification by 13% of respondents. Eighty percent of respondents in the MC group believed that any graduate degree was essential in attaining their current position, and 7% in the MC subgroup reported that it was helpful, but not essential.
The responses of Specialist degree recipients diverged from the general pattern of the groups discussed thus far. One hundred percent of graduates with Specialist degrees indicated that the graduate degree within psychology was essential to attaining their current position, while 46% indicated that any graduate degree was essential to attaining their current position.
Notably, inferences based on these data are limited because there were a small number of respondents within this subgroup. By design, specialist training is highly focused and field specific and unlikely to be interchangeable with other graduate training.
The vast majority of respondents, across all degree types (93%), reported that their graduate training adequately prepared them for their current jobs. Proportionately, these results for each degree are increases from those noted in the 1996 MES.
Just over half of all respondents (55%) indicated that their current primary position was their first preference (see Table 7c). Specialist degree recipients were most likely to report that their current position was their first choice (91%). Two-thirds of MC and CAGS recipients, each, reported that it was their first choice, followed by MEd/MSEd recipients. About half of MA and MS graduates (54% and 51%, respectively) indicated that they currently held positions that had been their first choice.
For graduates who indicated their current position was not their first choice, applied psychology positions were chosen most frequently (4.1%) overall as their preferred position, followed by other types of positions (3.3%), and direct human services positions (2.4%). Six percent of respondents indicated that they would prefer to keep their same position but work in a different institution or organization.
Forty-nine percent of all degree recipients did not consider themselves to be underemployed in their current position (see Table 7d). Graduates with a CAGS, Specialist degree, or MC were proportionately more likely to indicate that they did not perceive themselves as underemployed (83%, 73%, and 67%, respectively) and none of these respondents reported working outside their field. Caution should be exercised when interpreting data where the n size is less than 5.
Of those who indicated that they felt underemployed, 12% reported that their job was not commensurate with their level of training and 7% reported that their job was not commensurate with their level of experience. Ten percent each indicated that they would like a more challenging position or are currently looking for a more commensurate position. Another 10% reported that, though they felt underemployed, they preferred to stay in their current position for personal reasons.
Level of Satisfaction with Current Primary Position
Overall, 60% of respondents were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the salary of their current position, while almost three-quarters of the respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their benefits (see Table 7d). Higher proportions of respondents overall (more than three-quarters) indicated satisfaction with opportunities for personal development, supervisors, co-workers, and working conditions than with other aspects of their jobs, a pattern also indicated by 1996 graduates on the MES. Smaller proportions of respondents reported satisfaction with the perceived professional opportunities in their positions.
Seventy-one percent indicated satisfaction with their opportunities for recognition and 52% indicated satisfaction with their opportunities for promotion. Though not a large proportion of the overall sample, there was a notable difference between the percentages of respondents who rated opportunities for promotion as “not applicable,” in comparison to any of the other categories. Twelve percent of respondents reported opportunities for promotion were not applicable, while just 6% indicated benefits were not applicable. Fewer than 3% of respondents endorsed “not applicable” for each of the remaining 6 categories.
Table 7e presents data on the length of time and search methods used for graduates to obtain their present employment. Almost half of all 2001 and 2002 graduates who completed the MES were in their present employment position either when they began their program (14%), or prior to completing their degree (33%). Twenty-three percent found employment within three months of graduation, while 8% were employed within four to six months after completing their degrees, and 10% reported that it took more than six months after completing their degrees to find their current position. One respondent did not specify the length of time required to find employment. More respondents on the 2002 MES reported being employed in their current position prior to completing their requirements than in 1996 (26%) and a greater number of respondents on the 1996 MES had indicated that it took more than half a year to find their current positions (14%).
Respondents were asked to indicate the job methods used in obtaining employment and to rate which methods were most successful. The three methods rated as most successful by the highest proportion of respondents were informal channels (including colleagues or friends) at 19%, and newspaper advertisements and internet/electronic resources at 11% each. The response option Internet/electronic resources was added to the MES in time for this administration. Twenty-one percent of respondents overall reported utilizing some type of internet/electronic resource during their job search.
Perceptions of the Job Market
As a whole, 36% of degree recipients perceived the job market as “fair,” 32% reported that it was “good,” and 10% said that it was “excellent” (see Table 7f). Twenty-one percent of the respondents overall perceived the job market to be “poor” or “bleak.” Respondents receiving the MA degree were least likely to supply a positive perception of the job market (mean rating = 3.1).
Twenty percent of all respondents indicated that they were pursuing further graduate study. Sixteen percent were enrolled at the doctoral level, with 89% in doctoral programs of psychology and 11% in doctoral programs in another field. Two percent of respondents were currently pursuing a second master’s-level degree and 2% were enrolled in another type of specialist or continuing education program. Fifty-six percent of the 87 respondents enrolled in doctoral programs reported that they were also working while in a graduate program.
The demographic composition of the 2002 MES doctoral enrollees reflected patterns similar to those of the 1996 MES doctoral enrollees. Seventy-five percent of the respondents who were enrolled in a doctoral program were women. Overall, 78% of the doctoral enrollees indicated Caucasian as their ethnicity. Seven percent indicated African American, 5% indicated Asian, and 1% indicated Hispanic as their ethnicity. Six percent of respondents (3% each) claimed “Other” or “Multi-racial/Multi-ethnic”, and the remaining 1% chose not to specify their ethnic background.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents enrolled in a doctoral program were less than 35 years of age. The largest single proportion of doctoral enrollees was between the ages of 25 and 29 (65%). Students aged 35-39 were represented at 4%, 3% of students were aged 40-49, and 7% of students were over 50 years of age. Two percent of respondents chose not to specify their age. Doctoral enrollees ranged in age from 23 to 60 years of age with an overall mean age was 30 years.
Sources and Levels of Support for Graduate Training
Table 8 presents data on all sources of financial support along with the primary source of support used during graduate training. The most frequently used source of support was personal resources (90%), followed by non-university loans (49%). These were also the resources cited most often as the primary source of support. Forty-nine percent of respondents indicated personal resources were their primary source of support and non-university loans served as the primary source of support for an additional 25% of respondents. This indicates a debt load for most graduates and is an increase over the data from the 1996 graduates. Thirty-nine percent of 1996 graduates cited personal resources as their primary source of support, and 29% were supported primarily by non-university loans.
Fifteen percent of the 2001 and 2002 graduates relied primarily on university research/teaching assistantships compared to 17% in 1996; and 10% were supported primarily by non-university grants and other sources compared to 6% in 1996. The remaining 1% did not specify any sources of support.
Primary sources of support were examined among various demographic groups. On the 1996 MES, there was a 5% difference between the genders for university support received, with men more likely to receive support. In 2001 and 2002, 12% fewer women than men (33% versus 45%, respectively) received financial support from their universities through teaching and research assistantships. The proportion of respondents using personal resources or non-university loans as a source of support, however, was similar among male and female respondents.
Almost all women (91%) reported using personal resources as a source of support, while 85% of men supported themselves using personal resources. Forty-three percent of male respondents and 50% of female respondents used non-university loans as a source of support. Consistent with the results of the 1996 MES, Minorities and Whites had similar response patterns in relation to their primary sources of support. Ninety percent of white respondents and 88% of ethnic minority respondents used personal resources as a source of support. Ethnic minority graduates from 1996 had reported receiving university support through research and teaching assistantships at marginally higher rates than white graduates (39% and 33% respectively).
The reverse was found for 2001 and 2002 graduates in that 27% of ethnic minority respondents reported research and teaching assistantships were a source of support, while 37% of white respondents reported the same. 2001 and 2002 Minority graduates were 6% more likely to use non-university loans than White graduates those years (54% versus 48%), and were 10% more likely to use non-university loans in 1996 (53% versus 43%).
Levels of Indebtedness
Tables 9 and 10 present data on the education-related debt incurred by graduates. The level of debt reported by 2001 and 2002 graduates is similar to that reported in the 1996 MES. Sixty-one percent of degree recipients reported having debt after graduation. Sixty-four percent of respondents who earned degrees in health service subfields indicated that they were carrying debt after graduation compared to 57% of those who earned degrees in research or other subfields. Analyses of debt related to undergraduate and/or graduate education upon receipt of degree by type of subfield revealed that the largest single proportion of graduates reported more than $30,000 in debt. The median amount of debt reported among the 223 health service degree recipients was $26,000, while the median level of debt reported by the 107 degree recipients from research/other was slightly lower at $20,000. In relation to gender, 62% of female graduates reported having debt after graduation while 8% fewer male respondents (54%) reported having debt. Of those graduates who reported having debt, females and males indicated the same median level of debt ($25,000).
Salaries of New Master’s, Specialist’s, and Related Degree Recipients
The starting salaries for recent master’s and specialist’s degree recipients with full-time positions related to psychology by position and employment setting are shown in Table 11. Direct human services salaries are listed separately for graduates in subfields with 5 or more respondents. The highest median among 11-12 month salaries was reported by Master’s degree recipients employed in applied psychology settings ($48,000), followed by direct human service positions in School Psychology ($41,250, overall) and “other types of positions” in business-industry settings ($42,000).
The graduates in fields where there are established occupational niches for the master’s degree tended to report higher salaries (e.g. school and industrial/organizational psychology). Examining the data by subfield of degree, graduates working in direct human services positions in general clinical psychology reported the lowest median salary ($30,000). In terms of employment setting, the lowest median salary ($29,000) was reported by clinical psychology degree recipients working in direct human services positions in community mental health centers (among the groups where there were 5 or more respondents).
Auguste, R.M., Wicherski, M. & Kohout, J.L. (1999). 1996 Master’s, Specialist’s, and Related Degrees Employment Survey. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Gehlmann, S.C. (1994). 1993 Employment Survey: Psychology Graduates with Master’s, Specialist’s, and Related Degrees. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Science and Engineering
Degrees: 1966-2000, NSF 02-327, Author, Susan T. Hill (Arlington, VA 2002)
Psychology Master's, Specialist's, and Related Degree Recipients
Master's, Specialist's, and Related Degree Recipients in Psychology
The 2002 Master’s, Specialist’s, and Related Degrees Employment Survey was conducted by the APA Research Office in collaboration with the Council of Applied Master’s Programs in Psychology. We are grateful for the continued support of Norman Anderson, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the APA and L. Michael Honaker, PhD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
The authors would like to thank Kyle Fennel and Marlene Wicherski for overseeing database construction and data collection procedures. Further, the support, counsel and cooperation of various associations and organizations concerned with the training of master’s, specialist’s, and related degrees (e.g. CAMPP, NASP, SIOP) are greatly appreciated.
Finally, we are most appreciative of the 2001 and 2002 master’s, specialists, and related degree graduates for taking the time to respond to this survey and provide feedback. The comments provided will be used to enhance future surveys of this nature.