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Psychologist Job Description, Career as a Psychologist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

psychologists psychology private research

Education and Training: Master's degree or doctorate

Salary: Median—$54,950 per year

Employment Outlook: Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Psychologists are scientists who study behavior. Their work usually involves teaching, research, or social service in schools, clinics, government agencies, and private industry. About forty percent are in private practice.

To learn about behavior, they may conduct tests and laboratory experiments, record case histories, or take surveys. Using their research, they develop theories to explain the reactions of people to their environment. They also use their knowledge to help emotionally or mentally disturbed people adjust to life. Some psychologists work with medical and surgical patients who must cope with illness and injury.

Psychology is a broad field with several areas of specialization. In experimental psychology, for example, psychologists carry out research projects to develop theories about learning, motivation, and other aspects of behavior. Developmental psychologists study the growth and change that takes place throughout life. They may concentrate on one particular stage of development, such as adolescence or old age. Other specialties include educational psychology, comparative psychology, social psychology, and psychometrics.

Just as there are many areas of specialization, there are also many kinds of psychologists. The largest group is made up of clinical psychologists, who often provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy for people with emotional problems. Clinical psychologists help emotionally or mentally unstable people understand and cope with their problems. They constitute the largest area of specialization within the field of psychology. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.) They may implement behavior modification programs. School psychologists work with teachers and parents to create supportive learning environments for all types of students. They often give tests to identify gifted, handicapped, and emotionally disturbed students. Industrial and organizational psychologists study problems of motivation and morale in offices and factories. They may advise companies on personnel, management, or marketing methods. Other kinds of psychologists include engineering psychologists, counseling psychologists, and environmental psychologists.

Education and Training Requirements

Competition for graduate programs in psychology is stiff. All applicants must have bachelor's degrees in psychology or related fields. Those who want to work as school psychologists must earn specialist degrees, which require three years of graduate study and a one-year internship. Master's degrees may be sufficient in some areas. Clinical or counseling psychologists in private practice and those in teaching and research positions usually need doctorates, which require from five to seven years of graduate study. Clinical and counseling psychologists must spend at least a year in internships. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists are not physicians.

All states require that psychologists be certified or licensed to start private practices. Candidates for licenses usually need doctorates plus two years of experience. The American Board of Professional Psychology recognizes professional achievement by awarding specialty certification in areas such as clinical, counseling, school, and industrial and organizational psychology. Candidates for certification must have doctorates, five years of experience, and professional endorsements.

Getting the Job

Job seekers can apply directly to agencies or get help from school placement offices. Professional associations can provide information about opening private practices. Professional journals, newspaper classified ads, and job banks on the Internet list openings for psychologists.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement depends on many factors, including education, experience, and other personal qualities. Psychologists can expand their private practices or move into high-level jobs in research, teaching, counseling, or administration. Some psychologists advance by serving as consultants to government or industry or by writing about their special fields.

The employment of psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. Job opportunities should increase slightly in health maintenance and preferred provider organizations, in nursing homes, and in alcohol and drug abuse programs. More opportunities will arise in businesses, nonprofit organizations, and research firms, especially for psychologists who work as consultants. Companies will employ psychologists to design and analyze surveys and to help employees with personal problems.

Working Conditions

Working conditions vary widely. Psychologists in private practice usually have comfortable offices. Most work forty hours per week. However, their schedules vary according to the type of work and may include some evening and Saturday hours. They spend additional time studying the latest developments in the field. Psychologists must be emotionally stable, intelligent, and able to communicate with a wide variety of people. Those involved in research must be suited for detailed work.

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary with education, experience, and type of work. In 2004 the median earnings of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were $54,950 per year.

Where to Go for More Information

American Psychological Association
750 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(800) 374-2721
http://www.apa.org

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
PO Box 241245
Montgomery, AL 36124-1245
(334) 832-4580
http://www.asppb.org

American Board of Professional Psychology
300 Drayton St., 3rd Fl.
Savannah, GA 31401
(800) 255-7792
http://www.abpp.org

Benefits for salaried psychologists usually include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans. Psychologists in private practice must provide their own benefits.

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almost 7 years ago

Hello,



I am a young 17 year old boy, We are doing a Career Cruiser in school to see what we are best suited for in our career choices when we get older. Mine happened to be Psychology. It it a strong point of mine in real life and with people who i am close to or have just met. People tend to tell me i am an open person and they love to get advice from me. This page helped me understand a little bit more about how i should think or handle things when i actually get out of high school and go into a college course. Thank You so much.





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almost 9 years ago

Oh man thanks :) this helped me with my research project for Grad Transitions.

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over 8 years ago

This is a wonderful thing. I really needed to look into this not only as a school project but also as a career choice. =)YA

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over 6 years ago

I am enrolled at a university for psychology and I have to say for a masters or doctorate that pay is not the best...

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over 8 years ago

I am a double major with Law/Psychololg and this was very helpful to me I appreciate it. To all of you out that will and already majoring Psychology may God bless you.

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over 6 years ago

This site really helped me.. thank you to who ever made it. it is really helpful for college and high school students that really take SCHOOL serious. I am a sophomore in High School and about to be a sophomore in College. Thank you again. God Bless You!

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almost 6 years ago

I am really interested in being a psychologist can somebody tell me if this job will make me a good amount of money?

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almost 6 years ago

honors degree BSC PSYCHOLOGY

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almost 6 years ago

I am 17 and interested in becoming a Forensic Psychologist. I have always loved forensics and the study of the mind. We are doing a school project on what we want to persue out of high school. This sight was very helpful. thank you

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almost 9 years ago

thank you to who ever made this site .

it is very helpful .

because i have to do a pare weekly and this really really helps .

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almost 6 years ago

I would love to become a psychologist when I get older because I find the human brain overly intriguing and also because I would like to be a profiler in the BAU in the FBI.

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over 7 years ago

Hello,

I would like to thank whom ever did this page. It has alot of beneficial information. I am a current student majoring in psychology and I have experienced and enjoyed the many courses I have had to take for psychology and understanding behavior and life. There are so many questions still unanswered, as well as soo many people to help.

Psychology is so important to me... and I would like to make a difference if not in the world then in a person. thank you for this wonderful page.

sincerely,

gabriela

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almost 9 years ago

This site is very informational. I have to do a paper on physcologists..&& this was the perfect site for me. It helped me a lot. Thank You A Whole Lot.

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almost 7 years ago

I am 14 We are doing a career research project. This page helped me a lot, but I would love if it included bonuses, travel expirience, and anything about promotions.

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over 9 years ago

Thank you. I had to do a research project on my dream job, and you had everything I needed.

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about 9 years ago

This site helped me solidify my choice in the field of Psychology. I am about to enter my junior year at my University, I discovered my passion for Psychology last semester but could not pin point what I wanted to pursue. This site has greatly inspired my choosing, thank you.

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over 8 years ago

this site really was helpful to me!!
i had to help kids understand what this career was about and it really was helpful for them too.
tks again :)

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almost 9 years ago

Thank you so much! I'm only in high school as a freshman but I know this is what God put me on the earth to do so this really helps me understand what they really do! Thank you! :)

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almost 5 years ago

what are some promotions or honors a psychologist can get?

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about 5 years ago

I am a young 16 year old girl,I would love to become a psychologist when I get older besides,I am really interested in being a psychologist.
So thanks a lot who ever made this site. :)



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about 5 years ago

this helped my research project so much.. psychology really interests me and i look forward to the study of it :)

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over 5 years ago

this site is really helpful i wish i had found it earlier i think that it is very infromative and i like how it tells you the field work and everything so keep up the god work

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over 5 years ago

really good information. i have started my first module in psychology, and i needed to do a resume and cover sheet for this particular field.
i find that the information that i recieved from this site was very helpful in makint preparations to do my assigned work task.
i will also be using this site when the time comes for me to search the job market in the psychology field. thanks, and keep up the good work.

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about 6 years ago

this has greatly assisted me in my assignment

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about 6 years ago

I have always been interested in peoples behaviours. At a very young age of 10 years old i started to learn about people and how they behave in the world. I learned how people can snap and go " crazy " I learned how people act when they lie and how they behave in a manner when speaking to someone It has intested me and this page has helped me.

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almost 6 years ago

Thanx (: THis site was helpful. I'm 15 and deciding my career and i would LOVE to be a Forsenic Psyhcologist :) I hope they don't mind girls on their teams! ;D Wish me luck :3

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almost 6 years ago

hye my name is siti salma and i'm from kuala lumpur,malaysia and i'm really interested in psychology and wanted to become a psychologist....i'm starting to have interest in this sice i went for counseling sessions..............starring frm there i'm interested in this field but the course fee 4 diploma is very high and i'm confused on doing what????plzz give some suggestion

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almost 6 years ago

I am a college student at University of Phoenix. I am wanting to change my career goals to becoming a physicists. I have more passion for this than I do for Accounting. This information was very helpful to me. Thank you

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over 6 years ago

thanks for the citing material !!!!

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over 6 years ago

Thank you soooo much. This site is really helpful.

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over 6 years ago

Im Janelle and we're doing a research project at school and this helped me a lot also:)

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almost 9 years ago

this site was/is very help full with my papers i have to do weekly .



thanxxx to ever who made it .

your a life saver .

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almost 9 years ago

this is very good and helpful infomation but there is no information about students in the caribbean who would like to persue psychology.can u please provide information for caribbean people.

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over 6 years ago

As part of my A Level Health and Social Care unit, I needed info on the job role of Psychologists and tbh, this was quite useful. :)

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over 6 years ago

thanks for the info... but aren't psychologists and pschiatrists almost the same? Do you need to study Math in psychology?if yes, please tell me why?

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over 6 years ago

well this page really informed me alot about what i wanna do fresh out of high school im 17 and had a reserch paper on what i would really see my self working in and be happy doing so i had chose psychology i think i'll be great with ppl because all the ppl that i have met i have mostly all said that they feel like they know me like for ever because they just open up to me even their like deepest of thoughts or problems. well thanks a lot for all the info...........:):):)

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over 6 years ago

Thank you for this amazing page=)

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over 6 years ago

this was really super helpful for my career project as well so thanks again people who are responsible for this fantastic site....yeah!

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over 6 years ago

Hi,

This article is wonderful! Who ever created THANK YOU! I am doing a research paper in my Senior English class for my final and this thing was a God sent life saver! :D

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over 6 years ago

hi my name is jason, we r doing things in class thank u have a nice day:) may god bless!





just kidding! im going to be serious this time, ok here it goes.....



hi my name is jason, we r doing things in class thank u have a nice day:) may god bless!

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almost 6 years ago

yal so gay

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almost 7 years ago

Thanks so much for who ever wrote this ! im a freshman in high school and we took a test to see what we should be doing after high school and I want to help people with problems and give and advice to people and this helps me understand the job so much more ! thanks a tonn

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about 7 years ago

This page provided helpful info. As a school psychologist, i just have one correction. Training in school psychology includes three years of graduate study. This time includes the one year internship along with some additional field experience. There isn't an additional year of internship after 3 yrs of grad study.

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about 9 years ago

I have got an insight through this site and got inspiration to choose the apt stream for me as a carrier in psychology.

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over 9 years ago

This website was a really good source for me. It answered all the questions I had in mind. Good Job!! :)

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over 6 years ago

this was very useful to me

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almost 9 years ago

oh yeah AMAZING this site is .

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over 5 years ago

first of all da gaim second of all i like unicorns

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over 5 years ago

most of these people will never become psychologists because they are immature. Most of you are beyond retarded... you will never be able to compare with me. How can mere retards ever become psychologist.. oh they can because we live in the retarded society known as the united states.
That can be the case,but it is really most of the people in the world. You losers make me laugh...you will never
even pass high school let alone become a psychologist.

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over 5 years ago

this isnt a career i would like to major in, i want to be a crack dealer when i grow up

ps. im only 15 xD









love Mo Mo*

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about 6 years ago

thanks 4 d info. its useful for prospective psychologists like me. helful and sufficient.

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almost 7 years ago

Hello,

I am a young 16 year old girl, We are doing a Career Cruiser in school to see what we are best suited for in our career choices when we get older. Mine happened to be Psychology. It it a strong point of mine in real life and with people who i am close to or have just met. People tend to tell me i am an open person and they love to get advice from me. This page helped me understand a little bit more about how i should think or handle things when i actually get out of high school and go into a college course. Thank You so much.

Kelsey Cusick, Washington State.

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over 4 years ago

Hi, my name is Alex, I'm 16 and for a long time I've been really confused as to what I'd like to do with my life after highschool. Well finally my Dad told me that I have three months, three months to research and find careers that interest me and schools that I would like to go to that would help me with this, and I've finally managed to get my life together, I've narrowed my outlook on jobs to about five, psychology being one of them. this website really helped me to understand what the jobs I was looking for were about and I would just like thank the person whom made this site, and the people who made relevant comments. Thanks to you I can finally get serious about my life.

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about 5 years ago

Hello,

I am doing a career project for school and was wondering about some of the benefits. Do they just apply to the psychologist or do they apply to the persons family? For example the health insurance and extra with the retirement plan. And how much does it cost to get help from the angencies to help with the school offices? Please respond when able. Thank you.

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over 6 years ago

WWWOOOWWWW:) :0 . . . . . HEEHEEHEE . . . TEEHEE

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over 4 years ago

This is great! I'm writing a research paper for my Psychology class and it totally helped me out. Thanks so much! : )

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over 6 years ago



david is a poopy head. waaaaaaaaah



a biiiiiiig poopy head.



so big, that he's a big poop.



word home daWg.

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almost 5 years ago

yttyjtfrjyyj

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over 5 years ago

hello sir,

how is your day? mine is very good. hola. what a fine website you have here. enjoy your rest of the day. sorry for keeping you frm doing your job, by reading this not important email.

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over 5 years ago

I want to be a psychologist when I get out of college. So far, my plan is to move too ENgland and be a psychologist there.

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over 4 years ago

helped bunches, thanks

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over 4 years ago

helped bunches, thanks

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over 2 years ago

I will need information for psychology careers. Mr. Oliver.

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almost 4 years ago

i want to become a clinical psychologist what school is best for that?

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over 4 years ago

helped bunches, thanks

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over 4 years ago

helped bunches, thanks

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over 4 years ago

helped bunches, thanks

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over 4 years ago

helped bunches, thanks

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over 4 years ago

This helped me alot tankss(:

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over 4 years ago

Excellent and decent post. I have found much informative, what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

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over 4 years ago

I ve just passed 10th examination in this year 2013 . And my aim is to become a Psycologist. But What should i do in studies after my 10th to become a Psycologiest. PLease Help!!

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over 4 years ago

I like this cite i learned a lot but i still want to know how much it costs for the education for a psychologist.


Thanks

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over 4 years ago

 Post Graduation in” Psychology” 2009 from V.B.S. Purvanchal University Jaunpur with 58%

1-Psychometric Method

2- Cognitive Process – 2

3- Clinical Psychology

4- Psychology of Organizational Behaviour

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almost 5 years ago

Thank you sooo much for this information! It's helping me for my career center class that i'm taking as a sophomore in high school, this has helped me choose what I wanna be when i finish in 2 years ! Thanks again

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about 5 years ago

ok so were doing a 6th grade project on jobs and i chose psychology but im having trouble finding the benefits of it. for an example one can work as a doctor or something and get health insurance.... someone please help me

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about 5 years ago

Hi, I am very much interesting psychology working in any ngo's or institution