California, nick named as The Golden State, happens to be one of the most popular as well as populous of states in the U.S. It’s economy is dominated by transportation, farming, education, health services, aerospace and hospitality. Sports is a very large sector of California’s entertainment and competitive industry.
The job of a sports psychologist is quite simple – to ensure that athletes are mentally, emotionally and psychologically geared for a sport or competitive game and that there are no mental setbacks that may adversely affect performance on or off the field.
If you are interested in starting your career in sports psychology it is best to look for a degree program that satisfies your interests and career requirements. While an undergraduate degree is great for developing a foundation, advanced degrees such as a master’s or a doctorate may help you chose your focus and specialization in sports psychology courses.
Related: Becoming a Sports Psychologist
Sports Psychology Training Programs
John F. Kennedy University
This university offers a comprehensive and high value sport psychology program to interested students. With a rich and highly experienced faculty, this program is able to offer students a holistic and yet concentrated exposure to sports psychology. Some of the sports psychology degree programs offered at this university are MA in sports psychology, MA in sports psychology – Clinical PsyD Dual Degree, and graduate certificate in sports psychology.
The MA in sports psychology has a total of 77 units that students must complete. A prerequisite course to this degree is Introduction to Psychology – but students are given the chance to complete this in the first year of the graduate program. Multiple financial aid options such as loans, scholarships and grants are provided for eligible students.
California Southern University
The California Southern University offers a fresh and dynamic sports psychology program to students. The program is an MS in psychology with a focus on sports psychology. The courses offered by the university in this sports psychology program include Applied Sports Psychology 1, Applied Sports Psychology 2, Psychology of Coaching, Current Issues in Sports Psychology and Enhancing Performance: Preparation / Motivation. These courses will earn students 3 credits each upon successful completion.
It needs to be noted that California Southern University does not offer financial aid. Instead it has flexible payment plans to help students manage the financial burden without debt.
San Diego University for Integrative Studies
A certificate (non-degree) in sports psychology is awarded by the San Diego University which is a great option for students looking to experience the theoretical and practical side of sports psychology. To earn this certification, a student must successfully complete 40 units. These units can also be counted towards the degree prerequisites of a PhD in Sports Psychology or MA in Sports Counseling.
A 2 year MA in Sport-Exercise Psychology is offered by the Argosy University to help interested students get a solid advantage as they plan their career in sports psychology. The program curriculum is guided by the industry needs recognized by the Association of Applied Sport Psychology. Students looking to enter their sports psychology industry may greatly benefit from this degree.
Like all programs, this one has admission requirements as well. Broadly speaking, a student is required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program and a minimum GPA of 2.7. Successful completion of this degree comes after 48 credit hours and maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.0, among other things.
Career Opportunities in California
Sports is an extremely popular segment of the entertainment and recreational industry in California. Whether in the professional or amateur segments, competitive sports and games are taken seriously. As a sports psychologist you may find work opportunities in medical facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and research companies. If you work hard you may even provide your services to a school or national team. The university offers flexible tuition payment plans as well as financial assistance options to students.
Salary and Employment Outlook in California
The earning potential of a sports psychologist depends largely on their level of experience and the number of cases they have worked on. The average annual salary for sports psychologist in California is $165,000.
Apart from national teams, school, college and university sports teams are quite active which is great for the employment outlook of sports psychologists. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth of psychologists in general will change by 18,700 new jobs during the period of 2012 to 2022 as stated.