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Old 03-19-2013, 06:10 PM   #121
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That belief is based on information from my Psychology professors that are also practicing clinicians. According to what they've shared, earning potential is great when you own a practice, work in an independent practice, or work for certain agencies.
I would be reluctant to put very much stock in their advice: not because they are necessarily disingenuous, but because their experience is probably outside the norm. You need to find out what a newly-minted Ph.D. typically makes, not what a highly-regarded and well-established professor who practices on the side can earn.

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They didn't make it seem like I will automatically make over $100,000 per year with that degree, but it is definitely possible depending on how I choose to use it.
It is certainly possible, but that income would be atypical. According to the official government data, the median income for a psychologist in 2010 (the last year available) was $68,640. See further http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical...ists.htm#tab-5

According to the following site, starting salaries for psychologists in the US range from $45,000-$55,000. The same source says that annual earning can increase up to the $90,000-$150,000, but further makes it clear that is uncommon and only after 10-20 years experience: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2002/so-...-psychologist/

Considering that approximately four or five years of grad school will be required, possibly followed by one or two years of post-doc work, it is apparent that while psychology is a worthy career, it doesn't pay particularly well.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:14 PM   #122
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That belief is based on information from my Psychology professors that are also practicing clinicians. According to what they've shared, earning potential is great when you own a practice, work in an independent practice, or work for certain agencies. They didn't make it seem like I will automatically make over $100,000 per year with that degree, but it is definitely possible depending on how I choose to use it.
But what's the true %-age of such people who earn $100K? Have you also thought that those professors might be biased to their own profession + promoting their profession to keep high interest = high demand from students so their tenure is guaranteed with nice pay packages.

Anyway, I didn't read every post, but you have loads of wonderful advice from other people. I must say that I admire your strength and energy. I considered myself strong at the time when I attended a college in the evenings and worked FT doing odd jobs during the day, but you have another 0.5 job PLUS a child and expecting another one with no spouse/BF with good support, my hat goes off to you BIG TIME. Wow...

I would definitely agree to grandma's help for the baby. I maybe even ask to take care for the 3y.o. until you transfer her to the cheaper DC. E.g. pull her out immediately and let grandma take care of her and then put her in the cheaper place when you're ready to go back to work after your unpaid maternity leave. It would same you $2-4k. Then dump that money towards the principal of your Rio. I also agree with other not to get another car unless this one totally breaks down.

Good luck. And BTW, are you good in sales? Your education might come handy there.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:54 AM   #123
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Aida, thanks for replying!!! Sales is not my forte. Honestly, I hate the sales I have done. I felt like I was constantly begging people for money.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #124
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I would be reluctant to put very much stock in their advice: not because they are necessarily disingenuous, but because their experience is probably outside the norm. You need to find out what a newly-minted Ph.D. typically makes, not what a highly-regarded and well-established professor who practices on the side can earn.

It is certainly possible, but that income would be atypical. According to the official government data, the median income for a psychologist in 2010 (the last year available) was $68,640. See further Psychologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to the following site, starting salaries for psychologists in the US range from $45,000-$55,000. The same source says that annual earning can increase up to the $90,000-$150,000, but further makes it clear that is uncommon and only after 10-20 years experience: So You Want to Become a Psychologist? | Psych Central

Considering that approximately four or five years of grad school will be required, possibly followed by one or two years of post-doc work, it is apparent that while psychology is a worthy career, it doesn't pay particularly well.
All of this news makes me so sad. I hate for money to take more priority than my passion, but I just can't afford to be saddled with $100,000+ in student loans, but only making an average of $68,000. I need a career with a greater ROI. I'm still looking...
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #125
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Well...kaharris...there are also other avenues to use that masters or PhD I have not seen specifically mentioned. It isn't all about setting up a private practice and waiting for clients who want marriage counseling or family counseling, etc.

I know of a couple of people who had "only" their Masters and chose the route that hooked them into the mental health initiatives in their state. Also got on the court list for DUI offenses. Courts often order "some counseling" especially for repeat offenders.
They do this in addition to any private clients they may have. They make a tremendous amount of money. Over $200,000 a year.

One guy I know of is the largest pensioner in the state of N.C. and with a Masters became head of a regional mental health facility. His salary and compensation was more than the governor's as is his yearly pension. There was an uproar over this....so ...bear that in mind. Also bear in mind whether or not one can do that today with a Master's may be questionable.

Another young lady has her PhD and works for a school system in Illinois and makes fairly good money as well.

Just food for thought....
Thank you! It's good to know other options I will have available if I choose that route...
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:40 AM   #126
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Sales is not my forte. Honestly, I hate the sales I have done. I felt like I was constantly begging people for money.
That being the case, I suggest ruling out a private practice in psychology (where attracting new clients, and maximizing revenue from existing clients, are both very important).
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #127
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That being the case, I suggest ruling out a private practice in psychology (where attracting new clients, and maximizing revenue from existing clients, are both very important).


OK I want to throw a new idea at you all. When I first started considering degree options (during high school) I was undecided between Nursing and Psychology. Researching and talking to you all for the past few days has shown me that Psychology may not be the way to go. I have done some research about Nursing though. Seems like a much higher demand and greater possibilities for advancement. I still won't start school for that until my car is payed off (so probably January 2014 or August 2014), but do you all think a career in the medical field is better suited for a (possible) single mom of 2 needing a better income?
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:20 PM   #128
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OK I want to throw a new idea at you all. When I first started considering degree options (during high school) I was undecided between Nursing and Psychology. Researching and talking to you all for the past few days has shown me that Psychology may not be the way to go. I have done some research about Nursing though. Seems like a much higher demand and greater possibilities for advancement. I still won't start school for that until my car is payed off (so probably January 2014 or August 2014), but do you all think a career in the medical field is better suited for a (possible) single mom of 2 needing a better income?

I would look at the cost of getting your Nursing degree compared to your potential salary...

I have a sister who is a nurse (RN for 30 plus years), she was able to get her license with a two year school... that is not the case today... in fact where she works has threatened to get rid of any nurse who does not have a 4 year degree, skill level be damned... (my sis is the most requested nurse in the operating room at a top hospital here in Houston).. so, she thinks she has only a few more years of work...

SO, if you have to go another 4 years to get where you need to be for nursing.... it does not look like a great investment... you might as well stay where you are (not sure what you do, but you said you make more than $13 to $21 per hour) and see if you can move up with experience...
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #129
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OK I want to throw a new idea at you all. When I first started considering degree options (during high school) I was undecided between Nursing and Psychology. Researching and talking to you all for the past few days has shown me that Psychology may not be the way to go. I have done some research about Nursing though. Seems like a much higher demand and greater possibilities for advancement. I still won't start school for that until my car is payed off (so probably January 2014 or August 2014), but do you all think a career in the medical field is better suited for a (possible) single mom of 2 needing a better income?
I tend to go along with you-what is good depends at least partially on the doer. But depending on what training you would need, you may qualify for nursing much faster, and it is much easier to get a well paying job, that the field is not overcrowded, and it is portable should you have the need or desire to relocate.

I am editing in light of Texas'post above- run down all this stuff for up up to date information, because only up to date accurate information will help.

As to advancement, there is administration, and specialties like nurse anesthetist or physician’s assistant, and you will certainly make enough money to care for your 2 kids and live a good life. Not only that, you can get qualified faster and wind up with much less debt.
One thing you might consider- research doing this in the military or VA system. I am not up to date, but a woman who was our friend when I was married get left with two small kids by her pothead husband. She was late 20s. She did not have your education, so she went in at a lower qualification, but the life was transformative for her and her children, who had been getting started wrong.

There are both nurses and military on this board, who can tell you much more and give you more to consider.

I am hoping that as time permits, you will stay in touch with us here at this forum; you are quite refreshing.

Ha
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #130
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I was thinking of your going into nursing because you seem drawn to the helping professions, but I figured you need to pick your own career.

What do you want to do with the next stage of your life? If providing for your children is your first priority, then you seem to be doing that to the best of your ability thus far -- except maybe for making the baby daddy/ies pony up to provide for their offspring.

You don't seem to have time or money for more school just now. You need to make money, and more schooling right now is only going to put you further behind.

However, if you want to do nursing, have you considered working in the nursing field? Getting a CNA certification and working in a nursing home, say, where such training is often provided at no charge? Or doing in-home health care?

I imagine nursing is a very rewarding, challenging, and often heartbreaking job, and I hope that any nurse caring for me is doing it for love of caring for others.

I have several nieces and nephews pursuing various nursing degrees. The attitudes of a couple of them disturb me and I would never want to be in their care; one in particular would be texting while changing my IV, and I'd be a goner.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:12 PM   #131
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Hi KH, just a quick note, regarding the psychology profession. Both my husband and I have PhD's in Clinical Psychology. We both have to work full time in a hospital, and private practice these days is a struggle of health insurance panels, managed care, restricted sessions and a nightmare of paperwork. That is all after getting into a school(can you say GRE's?) and 4 years and intership (1 yr no or low salary) and state licensing (another few months of near full time study and expense). I tell prospective students only to do this if psychology is truly your calling, your passion, and you have the focus to handle the technical side of the profession. If you want to help others, you will be better off with social work, nursing, or other medical professions such as lab staff, sonography tech etc.

Just an inside look from 2 who've done it for 25 years. Rewarding, but not a financial decision. Our plumber makes more than us.

good luck as you move forward, you'll do great, take it slow, enjoy your children and make the best of your current situation without gambling on the future.

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #132
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If you want to help others, you will be better off with social work, nursing, or other medical professions such as lab staff, sonography tech etc.
kitty
This is a really good opening up of possibilities. My friend, a man, just retired from a career as a respiratory tech. He made good money, he helped people, and he was not absolutely frazzled by the end of his shift. I have no idea about training, but these are niches not everyone thinks of, so it may be reasonable to get into.

Truth is, most of these occupations could be learned very quickly, but there is an institutional need to upgrade, and restrict entry into occupations. A major purpose of school is to keep people out of the workforce.

Ha
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:52 PM   #133
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This is a really good opening up of possibilities. My friend, a man, just retired from a career as a respiratory tech. He made good money, he helped people, and he was not absolutely frazzled by the end of his shift. I have no idea about training, but these are niches not everyone thinks of, so it may be reasonable to get into.

Truth is, most of these occupations could be learned very quickly, but there is an institutional need to upgrade, and restrict entry into occupations. A major purpose of school is to keep people out of the workforce.

Ha

I will also say that doing a tech job might be the better current investment...

Heck, I was just looking and there is a job listing of a Psychiatric Technician. Pay can start in the low $20s and go to $30ish... still less than what you are being paid...

The salary that looks to be a nurse is about $70ish... but I did not see how many years... I just looked up a job and it said $30 to $34 per hour...


Edit to add... when I was talking about my sister... she works in a top hospital... the 4 year degree is something that most top hospitals are moving toward... you can still get a job with an associate degree at other locations, so do the research and make an informed decision...
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:24 PM   #134
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Kaharris...if you decide to go the nursing route which I think is a great idea if it is something you are passionate about, don't rule out Nursing Practitioner as another goal after the RN degree. Point being you don't have to stop at the RN level. I no longer know if this is a full time 2 year degree addon or if you can go part time while working as an RN.

I see a continued huge demand for Nursing Practitioners as our health care system is overhauled. It used to be another 2 years after the RN but I'm not sure what it is today.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:28 PM   #135
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My views on a nursing career for kaharris. I was an atypical nursing student. I went back to college with an old and dusty AA degree at age 40. I spent the first year back in school mostly working on prerequisite courses for the BSN program. I got accepted to the BSN program which takes the last two years of the four year degree. What I noticed right away in nursing classes was that the classes took a lot more work than other classes I had taken at the same college. In an english or history class I could go to class, take notes, write a couple papers, take a couple tests and make a very good grade. In the nursing classes there were lots of group projects, clinical experiences, guest lectures, research projects, labs, LENGTHY papers and also the classes and tests. It was my experience that a 3 hour nursing class took at least twice as much time and work as a 3 hour academic class anywhere else on campus. It was not that anything in those classes was especially hard but that it was just very time consuming. Out of my class of 45 there was exactly one person who worked full time. She had strong academic skills and was a respiratory therapist. Her job and the nursing program had her sleep deprived all the time. Most of the rest of my class had parttime jobs and were young and living at home with parents helping pay the bills. A couple of us were married veterans with spouses and the GI bill paying the expenses. I would think that you probably already have most of the core classes done. If you are interested in this field you should talk to the dean of nursing or admissions at a college with a BSN program to see where you would need to go in class selection to get the core courses out of the way. Perhaps you could get your 4 year degree at the same time you finish up the core classes. There are also BS to MS nursing programs at a very few colleges and one of them might be a good fit for you. However, MSNs working as floor nurses usually do not make much more than BSNs. You can make pretty good money in nursing. There is lots of extra money for working at night. Getting into critical care can get you extra money but not a lot more in most cases. It was my experience that many critical care nurses got into critical care so they would have fewer patients to care for. Nurse management is not particularly lucrative. The nurses making the most money are nurse pracitiioners and nurse anethesthetists (sp). There are even floor nurses who work extra shifts and only work at night and make over 100K. The work pace for a floor nurse can be brutal at times though it also very rewarding. Floor nurse do not need to ever watch TV. They get ALL the drama they can stand in real life. If you can get into the military you should consider their nursing programs. Be warned that many people cannot get into the military because of health problems, poor physical fitness, legal problems etc. I recently talked to a young Navy recruiter who had recently had two applicants who were college graduates fail the entry tests (ASFAB I think is still the test they and the rest of the military use). His thinking was that they had no experience doing math problems without a calculator and failed because of that. If you enlist with a 4 year degree and acceptance to a nursing school you can have the military pay for your nursing education and support you and your kids while doing it. The military would probably require you to spend 4 to 6 years with them after you finish their nursing school. They may also help with your student debt repayment in exchange for spending more time with them. At some point along there you might consider staying in 20 so you you can retire with a pension. If any of that still interests you you should talk to a military nurse recruiter. Be careful if you go talk to a regular recruiter first. They may try to get you to enlist for something you do not want and tell you you can get into a military nursing program later and that may or may not be easy to actually do.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:11 PM   #136
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I tend to go along with you-what is good depends at least partially on the doer. But depending on what training you would need, you may qualify for nursing much faster, and it is much easier to get a well paying job, that the field is not overcrowded, and it is portable should you have the need or desire to relocate.

I am editing in light of Texas'post above- run down all this stuff for up up to date information, because only up to date accurate information will help.

As to advancement, there is administration, and specialties like nurse anesthetist or physician’s assistant, and you will certainly make enough money to care for your 2 kids and live a good life. Not only that, you can get qualified faster and wind up with much less debt.
One thing you might consider- research doing this in the military or VA system. I am not up to date, but a woman who was our friend when I was married get left with two small kids by her pothead husband. She was late 20s. She did not have your education, so she went in at a lower qualification, but the life was transformative for her and her children, who had been getting started wrong.

There are both nurses and military on this board, who can tell you much more and give you more to consider.

I am hoping that as time permits, you will stay in touch with us here at this forum; you are quite refreshing.

Ha
Thanks for all of your help! You, along with many others, have been here since I first posted, and I appreciate all the help! I will definitely stick around. I have learned so much. The advice you all have given is invaluable.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:40 PM   #137
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Hi KH, just a quick note, regarding the psychology profession. Both my husband and I have PhD's in Clinical Psychology. We both have to work full time in a hospital, and private practice these days is a struggle of health insurance panels, managed care, restricted sessions and a nightmare of paperwork. That is all after getting into a school(can you say GRE's?) and 4 years and intership (1 yr no or low salary) and state licensing (another few months of near full time study and expense). I tell prospective students only to do this if psychology is truly your calling, your passion, and you have the focus to handle the technical side of the profession. If you want to help others, you will be better off with social work, nursing, or other medical professions such as lab staff, sonography tech etc.

Just an inside look from 2 who've done it for 25 years. Rewarding, but not a financial decision. Our plumber makes more than us.

good luck as you move forward, you'll do great, take it slow, enjoy your children and make the best of your current situation without gambling on the future.

kitty
Thank you for an insider look at the profession!!! It is definitely beneficial to hear from someone living the life I want(ed) to live. Money isn't everything, but if I can't support my children all of this education is in vain. I appreciate your response!
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:52 PM   #138
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My sister in law got a 2 year degree in nursing, and started as a nurse at a hospital. While there, she managed to obtain her 4 year (BSN?) degree in nursing. She ended up making $50-60k/yr for not quite full time work in the OR. Maybe some weekend work, not sure. She averaged 24-30 hrs/wk. I know she said they paid a few bucks/hr extra for weekend shifts, same for night shifts, and there were other ways (training, extracurricular volunteering, etc) to make a few more dollars per hour.

She quit that job and became a travel nurse (3 month contracts, and possibility to have to move every 3 months). I get the feeling the pay is around $70-80k now. She is ~30 years old so maybe 10 years experience total.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #139
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extracurricular volunteering ... to make a few more dollars
When I think of volunteering, I think of unpaid labour. Perhaps I am simply naive!
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:32 PM   #140
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When I think of volunteering, I think of unpaid labour. Perhaps I am simply naive!
I think her employer's plan was something like this: participate in at least eight volunteering activities (chosen from a pre-approved list of activities) during the calendar year and you get a few thousand dollar bonus or a couple dollars per hour added to your wages (I don't recall the exact details).

It seems strange to me too, even though technically I get paid to volunteer up to 3 days per year at my current employer (but I get to choose to do anything).
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