Psychologists essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $90,020
- 2012, number of jobs: 10,350
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 22 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s, specialist or doctoral degree
Psychologists; what they do:
If studying human behavior, helping individuals work through difficult issues and developing treatment plans sounds interesting, then a psychology career is in your future. A psychologist observes, evaluates and diagnoses a patient’s mental or emotional disorder and provides clinical treatment.
A typical day for a clinical psychologist involves interacting with patients and conducting sessions that will ultimately help them to gain insight, define long term goals, and form action plans that provide essential personal, social and occupational development.
Psychologists identify specific mental, behavioral, social and emotional disorders and collaborate with physicians to formulate treatment plans for many of these issues.
Clinical psychologists spend several hours gathering information through observation, interviews, tests and other clinical methods and use this information to help patients find trends that will help them understand and change certain behaviors.
Psychologists provide clinical services for a large variety of individuals and group sessions including but not limited to school and work programs, law enforcement and government agencies, sports teams, child, couple and family counseling groups.
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Psychologist job titles:
- Child Psychologist
- Cognitive Physiologist
- Developmental Psychologist
- Health Psychologist
- Sports Psychologist
- Family Psychologist
- School Psychologist
- Licensed Psychologist
- Pediatric Psychologist
- Industrial Psychologist
- Behavioral Psychologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Health Psychologist
- Criminal Psychologist
Psychologists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Psychologists typically need a master’s, specialist or doctoral degree to enter the field as well as licenses or certifications, especially if practicing in schools. Psychologists usually attain a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. A Ph.D. in psychology is primarily a research degree and a Psy. D. is a clinical degree.
Professionals with a specialist degree, called an Ed. S. degree, or a master’s degree in psychology can work in areas such as school psychologist or industrial-organizational psychology. Master’s or specialist degree graduates can also work in areas such as counseling and research, but only under the direct supervision of doctoral psychologists.
In certain areas of psychology, students are required to complete an internship as part of their training.
In most states, practicing psychologists, especially in clinical and counseling areas, need licensure or certification and those who practice independently need a license in all states.
Psychologists must have a minimum of 60 graduate school hours, 1200-hour internship, and pass the National School Psychology Exam to become nationally certified.
To obtain a license, psychologists need to meet certain criteria in one or more of the following areas: some form of supervised experience before or after attaining a doctorate; an internship or completion of a residency program. In addition, attending continuing education seminars and courses are a must for all practicing psychologists to keep their licensure.
Psychologist programs cover subjects such as:
- Abnormal psychology
- Educational psychology
- Applied psychology
- Crisis management
- Organizational psychology
- Social psychology
- Psychology of culture
Psychologists Job Outlook
Forecast: 22 percent employment growth for psychologists between 2010 and 2020, faster than average for all occupations. The demand stems from the ever-growing need for psychologists in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and social services agencies.
The health care industry is a popular area for psychologists to find employment. Medical professionals work in conjunction with psychologists to manage patients with mental and behavioral disorders and they also work together on social, health and wellness programs.
Increased enrollment in area schools and the need for special educational services are also contributing factors in the overall growth of psychology jobs. Industrial-organizational psychologists are also in high demand to help employers increase productivity and keep key staff members employed.
- 2012 median annual wage: $90,020
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $104,540
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $65,560
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