How to Become a Psychologist
A psychologist works with clients, analysing their emotions and behaviour to study their mind and help make positive changes in their life. There are many specialisms in psychology, and the work of a psychologist will vary depending on their niche.
Psychologists study the mind and implement positive changes in individuals and society using their insight and knowledge. It is a very varied career, with trained psychologists specialising in many different fields.
These fields can include:
- Clinical – helping individuals with mental health problems using talk therapy, typically in a designated mental health clinic. This can also include counselling.
- Occupational – assisting businesses with improving their employee’s performance through psychology.
- Educational – helping children with mental health issues and improving their performance in education.
- Neuropsychology – treating people with brain injuries and difficulties.
- Forensic and criminal – investigating crimes using psychology, as well as rehabilitating criminals.
Due to the range of different specialisms, a psychologist’s day to day work will vary greatly. However, the duties of all psychologists involve staying up to date with psychological theory and using it to make suggestions to the individuals or teams in their care. Psychologists can only offer talk therapy and their treatment is wholly based on psychological research; psychiatrists, on the other hand, have a more medical perspective.
Psychologist education requirements are to have a masters level degree. Having an undergraduate degree in psychology is the easiest and quickest way to get accepted on a masters programme, although there are other steps to become a psychologist – some graduates take a conversion course and then continue to postgraduate education. During tertiary education, a psychologist will decide on their specialism; although they can change this while working. Many higher-ranking psychologists also have a PhD, which is recommended to progress in the field.
Psychologists must be sensitive and understanding, and have excellent people skills. However, they must also be firm and assertive, and show resilience as they will often find themselves dealing with emotionally challenging situations.
Psychologist’s salaries are as varied as their job descriptions; wages can change depending on their experience, sector, specialism and location. However, most psychologists have a higher wage than average, and this increases as they become more experienced and specialised.
Some psychologists work 9-5, whereas others will work evenings and weekends; when help is needed most or around their client’s schedules.
What degree is most commonly held by a Psychologist?
- Master in Psychology
- Master in Clinical Psychology
- Master in Counselling Psychology
- Master in School Psychology
- Master in Educational Psychology
- Master in Counselling Psychology
- Master in Forensic Psychology
- Master in Organisational Psychology
- Master in Occupational Psychology
- Master in Health Psychology
- Master in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Career Transportability across Countries
What is the Salary of a Psychologist?
|Experience||Average salary | year|
|Manager (Psychology, Counselling & Social Work)||3-7 Years||$110,000||£62,000||$110,000|
|Director (Psychology, Counselling & Social Work)||8+ Years||$175,000||£96,849||$140,953|
What skills are needed to become a Psychologist?
- Mental Health
- Psychological Assessment
- Group Therapy
- Clinical Psychology
- Counseling Psychology
- Clinical Supervision
- Clinical Research
- Family Therapy
- Mental Health Counseling
- Stress Management
- Psychological Testing
- Public Speaking
- Crisis Intervention
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
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Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and NurtureLearn how a psychological understanding of our emotions and behaviour gives us new ways to improve mental health and wellbeing.Show course overview
Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and PerceptionLearn how our sensory systems work together to help us to perceive and respond to the world around us.Show course overview