What proportion of psychology doctorate holders
work in the psychology field?
1 National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT). (2013).
Survey of Doctorate Recipients [Generation of custom tables]. Retrieved from www.nsf.gov/statistics/sestat/. This report includes weighted estimates on
approximately 840,000 individuals with research doctorates in science and engineering fields, including about 120,000 psychology doctorates. The use of
NSF data does not imply NSF endorsement of the research, research methods, or conclusions contained in this report.
2 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015). Labor force statistics from the Current Population Survey. Retrieved from http://data.bls.gov/
timeseries/LNS14000000. The reference period was February 2013.
3 Totals do not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
News from APA’s Center for Workforce Studies
In 2013, psychology research doctorates reported
low unemployment relative to the overall
unemployment rate ( 8 percent) in the United
States. 1, 2
About 87 percent of people with psychology
research doctorates were employed, 1 percent were
unemployed and 11 percent were not in the labor
force. 1, 3
Psychology doctorates also reported lower
unemployment than the scientific workforce. About
86 percent of people with science and engineering
doctorates were employed, 2 percent were
unemployed and 12 percent were not in the labor
Of those employed, the most common
occupations were psychologists ( 47 percent),
social science postsecondary teachers ( 19 percent),
and top- and mid-level management positions ( 8
percent). 1 Nearly all psychology doctorates reported
working in jobs closely or somewhat related to their
— Karen Stamm, PhD, and Peggy Christidis, PhD
For more information, contact APA’s Center for Workforce Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How related is your job to your doctorate? 1