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Psychology Associate Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

David Munyaka - March 05, 2022


The fascinating field of psychology explores the complexity of mental health. A degree in psychology can open doors to various fields, including educational psychology, social development, and industrial psychology. In this article, we will look into psychology associate degree programs, as the demand for psychologists has skyrocketed over the years.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this demand will grow by 8 percent in the next ten years . The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends earning a doctoral degree in psychology for industrial organizational positions. However, earning an associate degree in psychology is an excellent entrance into the field. Read on to learn about the best colleges for psychology associate degrees.

What Is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind. Psychologists, the professionals in this field, study human behavior, mental processes, cognitive abilities, and emotions. Psychologists need to employ critical thinking in the psychology field. Interestingly, this field can be traced back to ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, but it wasn’t formally recognized in American history until the 1870s.

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What Is a Psychology Associate Degree?

A psychology associate degree is an educational program that introduces aspiring psychologists to this field. An associate’s degree in psychology covers fundamentals like thought processes in infants, adolescents, and adults. Unlike a four-year college degree, an associate degree takes about two to three years to complete. This program also costs significantly less than an undergraduate degree.

Psychology Associate Degree Requirements

Different colleges impose different admission requirements on students wanting to enroll in a psychology associate degree program. They require education requirements like a high school diploma or GED to pass standardized ACT/SATs before enrolling in these education courses. Some colleges require students to pass standardized math and English tests

How Much Does a Psychology Associate Degree Cost?

A psychology associate degree program costs about $4,230. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition cost for an associate degree program is $15,736 in private colleges and $3,812 in public colleges. This cost goes up significantly with factors such as on-campus living arrangements, books, supplies, and other expenses.

Psychology Associate Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Psychology Degree

Different colleges offer different financing options to help ease the cost of tuition and related fees. These include federal student aid programs such as Federal Pell Grants, federal student loans, and private student loans. However, be sure to consult with your preferred college of choice before making any further decisions.

Best Psychology Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Carroll Community College Arts and Sciences, Psychology Concentration, A.A. Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Century College Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology The Higher Learning Commission
Community College of Philadelphia Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Georgia State University through Perimeter College Psychology Pathway, A.S. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools:
Ivy Tech Community College Associate of Science Psychology TSAP The Higher Learning Commission
Lake Michigan College Psychology Associate in Arts The Higher Learning Commission
Los Angeles City College Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology /Human Services: Human Services: Addiction Studies Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Merced College Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools
and Colleges
Nashville State Community College Psychology A.A. and A.S. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Pierce College Associate in Psychology Program Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Best Colleges for Psychology: Top Psychology Associate Degree Programs

Below are detailed descriptions of some of the best psychology associate degree programs. These programs are available to students on-campus. Later on, we’ll explore online programs, as well.

Arts and Sciences, Psychology Concentration, A.A. | Carroll Community College

Carroll Community college is known for its excellent liberal arts, general studies, sciences, humanities, and health-related programs. This is a 60 credit program that prepares students to transfer to a four-year program. You’ll learn human sexuality, social psychology, and clinical psychology, among other topics.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | Century College

This is a 60-credit program that covers general psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, human development, and human adjustment. Century College has tailored this program to allow students to transfer to a Minnesota State University to earn bachelor’s degrees.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | Community College of Philadelphia

The Community College of Philadelphia offers an associate degree in psychology program that covers child psychology, social sciences, human sexuality, and cognitive psychology. This is a 61-credit course that requires students to maintain a C-average to satisfy graduation requirements.

Psychology Pathway, A.S. | Georgia State University/Perimeter College

Perimeter College, through Georgia State University, offers this on-campus program which can also be completed online. You’ll need to complete 60 credit hours before you can graduate. Many of Perimeter’s students receive financial assistance.

Associate of Science Psychology TSAP | Ivy Tech Community College

Psychology instructors at Ivy Community College will help you learn and apply psychological knowledge in the workplace. Education coursework includes human sexuality, abnormal psychology, and theories of personality. Graduates of this program will seamlessly transfer to a four-year institution.

Psychology Associate in Arts | Lake Michigan College

Lake Michigan College is a good community college that offers a wide variety of programs including psychology programs. During this program, you’ll work on a research project that will be published in the Lake Michigan College Journal of Psychology.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology/Human Services: Human Services: Addiction Studies | Los Angeles City College

If you live in LA and are looking for a good community college to pursue a career in psychology, consider Los Angeles City College. There are two options, one of which focuses on general mental health issues, while the other focuses on addiction studies.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | Merced College

If you want to gain an understanding of how psychological theory and research apply to real-life experiences, enroll in Merced College. This California-based college covers the behavioral and personality concepts of psychology.

Psychology A.A. and A.S. | Nashville State Community College

Nashville State offers a psychology associate degree program that will help you transfer to the bachelor’s degree program at Tennessee Public University. You’ll learn forensic psychology, abnormal psychology, and personality types.

Associate in Psychology | Pierce College

Pierce College’s psychology program covers essential principles in psychology that prepare you for vocational certification and licensing in this field. Upon completion, you can choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Central Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington Tacoma, of Western Washington University.

Best Online Psychology Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Ashworth College Associate Degree in Psychology Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Bergen Community College AA Degree Program in Liberal Arts – Psychology Option (AA.LA.PSY) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education
California Coast University Associate of Science (AS) in Psychology The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Coastline College Psychology AA-T Degree The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Lansing Community College Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Liberty University Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSCOC)
Monroe Community College State University of New York A.S. in Psychology The Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Regent University A.S. in Psychology The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSCOC)
South Texas College Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSCOC)
University of the Cumberlands Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission

Best Colleges for Psychology: Top Online Psychology Associate Degree Programs

Below are some of the best online associate degree programs in psychology for online students.

Associate Degree in Psychology | Ashworth College

Ashworth College offers some of the best online programs and education courses among community colleges in the US. This program features a curriculum covering human relations, social psychology, abnormal psychology and personality types.

AA Degree Program in Liberal Arts—Psychology Option (AA.LA.PSY) | Bergen Community College

Choose this program if you want to learn major concepts in psychology, including theoretical perspectives and empirical findings. You’ll need to complete 64-66 credit hours before you can earn your associate degree.

Associate of Science (AS) in Psychology | California Coast University

The curriculum developed by California Coast University will provide you with a solid foundation in this field. Counseling psychology, abnormal psychology, and personality theories are among the things you’ll learn in California Coast University’s two-year degree program.

Psychology AA-T Degree | Coastline College

Coastline College offers two psychology courses: AA-T degree and AA degree major. Both of these options teach students major perspectives in human behavior, including behavioral and psychodynamic concepts.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | Lansing Community College

This program is designed for students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a four-year institution in Michigan. This 60 credit program covers abnormal psychology, social psychology, psychology of personality, and human growth and development.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | Liberty University

This program is designed for students who want to enter the human services field or begin their college career. Unlike many schools, Liberty University offers affordable and flexible online associate degree programs. This program typically takes two years to complete but can be completed sooner, depending on your course load every semester.

A.S. in Psychology | Monroe Community College

Monroe Community College offers a program designed to help students launch their careers in clinical psychology, human resources, communication, and sports psychology. You’ll need a minimum English placement of TRS 200 and a minimum math placement of level 4.

A.S. in Psychology | Regent University

Regent University in Virginia offers an Associate of Science in Psychology program that can be completed online or in-person. This 64-credit program starts March 22 and covers fundamentals such as abnormal psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and marriage and family.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | South Texas College

This is an excellent transfer program since the core curriculum mirrors most of the topics that will be covered in the first two years of a four-year degree. Some of the topics you’ll learn are psychological disorders, statistics, therapy, and human sexuality.

Associate in Arts (A.A.) in Psychology | University of the Cumberlands

If you want to learn more about human behavior and mental processes, this online degree from the University of the Cumberlands might be for you. The tuition rates are the same for military veterans, international students, and Kentucky residents.

What’s the Average Psychology Associate Degree Salary?

Money on a table Psychology Associate Degrees
Choosing an associate degree as your educational path can lead to a wide range of psychological career options and a high median salary.

Top Psychology Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Psychology Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors $59,364
Family Advocate $56,631
Youth Counselor $55,956
Psychiatric Technicians and Aides $49,812
Social and Human Service Assistants $38,230

Best Psychology Associate Degree Jobs Explained

Psychiatric Technicians and Aides

  • Average Annual Salary: $49,812
  • Job Outlook: 11 percent
  • Number of Jobs: 145,600
  • Highest-Paying States: California, Washington DC, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii

Psychiatric aides and technicians offer care services to patients with mental illness and developmental disabilities. These professionals work in psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse hospitals, state government, and mental health facilities.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

  • Average Salary: $59,364
  • Job Outlook: 23 percent
  • Number of Jobs: 327,500
  • Highest-Paying States: Nevada, Utah, Alaska, New Jersey, Oregon

These professionals advise patients suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, and other types of mental problems. They work in a wide variety of settings, including mental health centers, prisons, and private practice.

Family Advocate

  • Average Salary: $39,021
  • Job Outlook: 12 percent
  • Number of Jobs: 715,600
  • Highest-Paying States: Washington DC, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York

A family advocate offers services by creating, facilitating, and coordinating family and community activities that promote overall well-being. They assist families in community programs and resources, conduct parent meetings with families, and conduct an outreach and recruitment process to ensure enrollment of eligible children.

Social and Human Service Assistants

  • Average Salary: $38,230
  • Job Outlook: 17 percent
  • Number of Jobs: 417,600
  • Highest-Paying States: Washington DC, North Dakota, California, Alaska, Connecticut

Social and human service assistants provide a wide variety of services for clients including support for families. Many social and human service assistants work either as individuals or as members of the state of local government.

Youth Counselor

  • Average Salary: $55,956
  • Job Outlook: 11 percent
  • Number of Jobs: 322,000
  • Highest-Paying States: California, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland.

Youth counselors work with children and teenagers. They study them and offer solutions to challenges they may be facing. You can also work as a school counselor. Consider this career path if you enjoy working with young children or adolescents.

Benefits of a Psychology Associate Degree

Psychology can be a rewarding career. Below are some advantages of earning an associate degree in psychology.

  • It’s only takes two years. In comparison to a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree in psychology takes a shorter time to complete. On average, these degrees take two years to earn.
  • It’s flexible. The degree program will allow you room to explore different topics in psychology. You can easily choose a specialization in a four-year degree program, once you transfer.
  • You can enter the workforce sooner. Compared to other forms of education, an associate degree will help you join the workforce a bit earlier. It only takes an average of two years for a student to graduate and start their career in psychology.
  • Associate degrees are cheaper. Compared to four-year degrees, associate degrees are much cheaper to earn. According to Education Data, the average tuition of two-year degree institutions is $3,621.
  • It is a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. You can use an associate degree in psychology to gain entry into a four-year degree program. Associate degrees help in gaining substantial academic credits that lead to a bachelor’s degree.

Should You Get an Associate Degree in Psychology?

If you have psychology career goals, then you should get an associate degree in psychology. It’s a good introduction to psychology that doesn’t require you to go into student debt. Once you’ve earned your associate degree, you can enjoy practicing your psychology skills in a wide range of entry-level jobs.

Credits you earn in associate degree programs are transferable to -accredited four-year institutions. Earning a bachelor’s afterward will open the door for many more employment opportunities with higher salaries. Whether you want to earn your associate degree and join the workforce or you want to use it as a stepping stone to a doctorates degree, it’s a great investment.

Psychology Associate Degree FAQ

Is an associate degree in psychology worth it?

Yes, an associate degree in psychology is worth it. Acquiring a two-year degree is an ideal step if you want to pursue entry-level jobs in the field while completing your bachelor’s degree. Associate degree programs are affordable and reputable and provide you with the option to transfer to a university for a bachelor’s degree.


Can you practice psychology with an associate degree?

Yes, you can practice psychology with an associate degree. You can become a teacher aide, psychiatric aide, home care aide, family advocate, youth counselor, psychiatric technician, or social service assistant, using the two-year degree.

What type of psychology professional earns the most?

The type of psychology professional that earns the most include psychiatrists, mental health technicians, psychotherapists, psychology professors, clinical psychologists, or counselor psychologists.

What is an associate degree in psychology called?

An associate degree in psychology is called an Associate of Science (AS) in Psychology, Associate of Arts (AA) in Psychology, or Associate of Arts (AA) in Applied Psychology. These are the three options available for students seeking two-year degrees in psychology.

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David Munyaka

About the author: David is a business researcher, developer, and consultant. His writing has appeared online in various human resource and finance publications. David has over a decade of experience writing about career-related topics, and he also has a background in web development languages like HTML. He holds a Bachelor of Business in Commerce and Finance from Kenyatta University.

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