PsychologistUniversity of South CarolinaColumbia, SC
PsychologistIntegrated Pain Management Medical GroupFairfield, CA
PsychologistDeaconess Health SystemsEvansville, IN
PsychologistIndian Health ServiceMescalero, NM
School PsychologistInvo HealthCare - Progressus TherapyDavis, CA
Personnel Research PsychologistAir Force Civilian ServiceUniversal City, TX
PsychologistWestern Washington Medical GroupEverett, WA
Licensed PsychologistDeer Oaks Mental Health AssociatesWilmington, DE
Virtual Telehealth PsychologistCHE Behavioral Health ServicesEast Orange, NJ
Clinical PsychologistMatrix ProvidersDenver, Colorado
So you have attained a psychology degree, and you are ready to venture into the big world and look for a highly rewarding job. Even though the concept might sound frightening, it does not have to be that way, because there are tons of job options for individuals who are interested in the human psyche.
Without further notice, here is everything you need to know about psychology jobs; from the basic duties of a psychologist to the work schedules and job prospects.
About Psychology Jobs
What Do Psychologists Do?
Simply put, psychologists are skilled in the ways of the human mind. They study the emotional, social, and cognitive processes, as well as the behavior of fellow humans. Psychologists do this by watching, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to each other and their surroundings.
According to facts on psychologist jobs, some professionals work alone or as a vital part of a healthcare team. Most importantly, psychologists promote overall wellness and treat different types of illnesses.
The general duties of psychologists include:
- Watching and interviewing people
- Conducting scientific studies of brain function and behavior
- Identifying emotional, psychological, organizational, and behavioral problems and diagnosing illnesses
- Talking with patients about the treatment of issues
- Writing research papers and articles to educate other people
- Supervising clinicians, counseling professionals, and interns
In brief, psychologists seek to comprehend and explain complex emotions, feelings, behavior, and thoughts of their clients. To do this, they utilize different techniques like observation, experimentation, and assessment. Other duties of psychologists include gathering information and evaluating clients through psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, or controlled laboratory experiments.
Let’s take a look at the seven most common types of psychologist jobs.
- Clinical Psychologist Jobs
Clinical psychologists are specifically trained to use effective psychological techniques such as psychoanalytic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat different forms of mental illnesses. Their main duties include assessing, diagnosing, and treating emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders, as well as helping individuals deal with short-term personal problems and chronic, more severe problems. Furthermore, they may take part in activities such as research, teaching, and psychological testing.
- Counseling Psychology Jobs
People go to counseling when they need help with complex emotional, mental, and physical health issues, as the main duty of these psychologists is to help clients alleviate anxious feelings by providing them with professional advice and an improved sense of well-being. In simpler terms, these experts help clients understand and deal with issues in the workplace, community, or at home.
- Developmental Psychology Jobs
Developmental psychologists differ from other types of experts in the field because they mainly focus on the growth of humans and the changes they go through throughout their lifetime. These changes include cognitive, psychological, perceptual, personal, emotional, and social growth. Most importantly, these professionals mainly study issues of adolescents and children, but they may also focus on issues older adults may be facing.
- Forensic Psychology Jobs
Professionals in the forensic psychology field focus on studying the profile of criminals and their felonies to work out the different traits certain kinds of criminals have. To do this, they typically interview criminals, as well as their closest circle, or the victims of the crime. Furthermore, forensic psychologists help attorneys, judges, and other specialists to understand the case from a psychological viewpoint.
- School Psychologist Jobs
If a student is having minor or more complex behavior, mental, or emotional struggles that affect their well-being and performance in school, then school psychologists come to the rescue. These professionals use their skills to help improve the lives of all students, as well as boost their academic performance, support their emotional health, and promote their social functioning. Plus, these pros may also talk with other experts who are school-based to suggest further improvements in learning and teaching.
- Rehabilitation Psychologist Jobs
Rehabilitation psychologists are specifically skilled in treating clients who are suffering from issues and disabilities which make their everyday life more challenging. Most of these disabilities and injuries are acquired or congenital, such as from a stroke or an accident. Most frequently, rehabilitation psychologists work with the disabled population and the elderly, but some specialize in working with kids.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Jobs
Everyone knows for a fact that the workplace can be a stressful and depressing place (especially if you hate your job). Individuals who are having trouble at their workplace may turn to industrial-organizational psychologists for professional advice. These experts utilize research methods and psychological principles to effectively solve issues in the workplace and significantly boost the quality of life. Also, they help development and training managers, specialists, and top executives with employee training, screening, and policy planning.
According to the facts on psychology jobs, there are many workplace options for these skilled individuals. While some prefer to work independently, with clients coming to their office, others are employed in medical schools, nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics, pain clinics, mental and community centers, and rehabilitation facilities. Furthermore, psychologists can choose to work alone or as a part of a healthcare team.
Injuries and Illnesses
Individuals who choose careers in psychology need to be aware of the fact that each type of profession is mentally challenging and extremely draining. Psychologists are constantly exposed to the problems and concerns of their clients, as well as their emotional struggles. Hence, it is safe to say that the biggest reward of being a psychologist is helping people; but it can also be the biggest challenge!
Fortunately, with time and practice, psychologists can learn how to help their patients find effective methods for dealing with their issues without taking the issues on themselves. Most importantly, the most successful professionals have to separate their personal and work life.
Professionals in the clinical psychologist career typically work on a nine-to-five basis, anywhere between 35–40 hours per week. Nevertheless, others may need to occasionally work in shifts, during weekends, and holidays such as Christmas. Experts who have their own private office may choose to have more flexible work schedules, while some work part-time as independent consultants.
How to Become a Psychologist?
Generally, applicants interested in becoming psychologists require a doctoral degree in psychology. However, a master’s degree may be enough for various positions.
Applicants interested in jobs in psychology need to possess the following qualities:
- Communication skills (experts need to be skilled in speaking with and listening to clients)
- Analytical skills (they must be able to examine data)
- Integrity (patients must be able to confide in them)
- Observational skills (they must be skilled in behavioral patterns)
- Interpersonal skills (they must be able to work well with patients and other experts)
- Patience (since treatment and research may take a long time, psychologists need to be patient)
- Problem-solving skills (they must gather information, evaluate programs, come up with research, and find effective solutions to clients’ problems)
Even though there are jobs for psychology majors with only a master’s degree, the majority of positions (research, counseling, and clinical psychology) will require a doctoral degree. Applicants can attain a Ph.D. in psychology by taking an inclusive exam and writing an authentic dissertation. When it comes to counseling, health service, school, or clinical settings, students of psychology must complete a one-year internship as an important part of the doctoral curriculum.
School psychologists have to attain an advanced degree and either licensure or certification to be able to start working. The two most common advanced degrees are doctoral degrees and education specialist degrees. Furthermore, jobs for psychologist candidates in schools require applicants to go through 1,200 hours of supervised internships, with a minimum of 600 hours spent in school settings.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
In the majority of states in America, professional psychologists need to have a valid license. Furthermore, in every state and the District of Columbia, self-employed professionals must be licensed. However, licensing laws in the United States are different, and they vary by the type of psychologist job in question.
For example, counseling and clinical psychologists require a doctorate in psychology, professional experience, and an internship. Furthermore, psychologists with a license need to attend different education courses to retain their licenses.
When it comes to certification, it is important to mention the American Board of Professional Psychology, as they award specialty certification in 15 different areas of the field, such as couple and family psychology, rehabilitation psychology, and clinical health psychology. Furthermore, certification in neuropsychology is offered by the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology.
Most jobs for psychologists do not require professionals to have certification. However, this is not the case in clinics and hospitals, as these medical facilities require professionals to be certified.
Students of psychology may be able to get relevant work experience through practicum experiences or internships, and as they finish their undergraduate or master’s degrees, they may be introduced to entry-level psychology jobs.
When it comes to psychologists who want to go into research instead of counseling or clinical practice, it is recommended they think about becoming research assistants. This position helps the employees become familiar with the basics of the research process and be a part of a research team.
The more experienced psychologists pursue advanced roles in academic settings such as becoming deans or heads in universities. The counseling psychologist job type may take managerial roles at different rehabilitation and mental health facilities, or open their private office.
Additionally, it has been reported that a large number of professionals with advanced degrees are currently aiming to prevent emotional and mental health disorders in patients instead of waiting for them to manifest.
So which are the highest-paying psychology jobs? Based on data from 2019, psychiatrists make the most money in the field; their average salary is an estimated $216,090 per year. Furthermore, industrial-organizational psychologists make around $102,530, whereas neuropsychologists earn $90,460 per year.
According to data from 2018, the median annual wage for all psychology jobs was $79,010. Furthermore, the numbers show that the lowest 10% earned $43,800 or less, while the highest 10% earned $129,250 or more. On the other side, the title of the lowest-paying psychology job belongs to psychiatric technicians, as they earn just around $29,144 yearly.
The number of available psychology jobs is increasing, as the total employment of psychologists is expected to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028. Due to a much greater need for services of psychologists in hospitals, schools, and social service agencies, the employment of counseling, school, and clinical psychologists is projected to grow rapidly.
Furthermore, psychology experts will be needed to help individuals deal with physical and mental changes as they become older, and for brave veterans coping with war trauma. Also, psychologists will be in demand for patients with different developmental illnesses, such as autism or ADHD.
The number of jobs for psychology experts who want to work in schools will drastically grow due to the rising awareness of the link between learning and mental health. Also, students with special needs, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities will require the assistance of school psychologists.
Last but not least, organizations will require the help of industrial-organizational psychologists to increase efficiency and productivity, retain and pick out the best employees, and lift the spirit of the office.
Job prospects will vary for each individual type of psychology jobs. Industrial-organizational psychologists will have to compete for positions due to the gigantic number of qualified candidates. Nevertheless, it is certain that applicants who have an education specialist degree or a doctoral degree with extensive post-doctoral work experience will have the best chance of being hired in counseling, school psychology, or clinical positions.
What jobs can you get with a bachelor’s in psychology?
Even though a master’s or doctorate degree is mandatory for most, individuals with a bachelor’s degree can still find work. Some of the most common career paths in the field and outside of it include:
- Advertising agent
- Case manager
- Child care worker
- Psychiatric technician
- Probation and parole officer
- Rehabilitation specialist
- Technical writer or newspaper reporter
- Sales representative
What jobs can you get with a master’s in psychology?
There are many jobs for individuals with a master’s degree in psychology that were not previously mentioned in this article. Some of these jobs include:
- Human resource manager
- Market researcher
- Project manager or coordinator
- Family service worker
- Social service manager
- Instructor at a community faculty
- Employee trainer
- Health project coordinator
- Research assistant
- Data analyst
- Organizational consultant
- Intervention advocate
Hopefully, this article on psychology jobs helped you find out more about this fascinating and rewarding field. Based on the most recent data and projections for the future, it is definitely a smart decision to pursue a career in psychology. So whether you are interested in forensic, school, rehabilitation, or counseling psychology, we recommend you go for it!