The average psychologist salary is pegged at $65,000 per year. A fresh graduate can expect to start his career at $40,000/year. Psychology is a creative, dynamic and exciting subject that explores human mind and behavior. Psychology as a subject first made its appearance in 1870 and since then has gone from strength to strength. It is a very broad subject that covers biology and sociology and everything connected in between. APA or American Psychologist Association is the governing organization of all psychologists in America.
The Psychologist’s Role
A psychologist has a doctoral degree. He studies how the brain functions and its relationship with real-world human behavior. He also studies the relationship between the environment and human behavior. He conducts basic and applied research as well.
A psychologist follows scientific techniques. He observes, experiments, analyzes his patient’s intelligence and personality and then judges him. He must be creative and innovative because every patient that walks into the psychologist’s clinic is different from each other and no one treatment can work for all.
A psychologist plays a very important role in building national health because most of the medical conditions affecting society today are lifestyle-related. A psychologist can use his persuasive powers to influence people to lead a healthy lifestyle and think straight. This is why the psychologist salary is so high.
Psychology – Subfields
Psychology is a very challenging subject. It’s not just about making people lie down on the couch and talk about their life. Here’s a list of the different specialties that a psychologist can choose:
- Clinical psychologists analyze and treat emotional behavioral and mental conditions such as phobias, depression, adolescent conflict and schizophrenia.
- Cognitive psychologists engage in the study of how humans think and learn, how their memory ticks, how they create language, and their powers of perception.
- Community psychologists empower communities and organizations by helping them understand how to access resources and collaborate for success. For example: getting communities together to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, getting communities together to prevent neighborhood crime, etc.
- Development psychologists engage in the study of human psychological development from birth to death. This has been necessitated because life expectancy has shot up and therefore every nation must understand the demands of an aging population that’s increasing by the day.
- Educational psychologists focus on teaching and learning. They study student motivation, ethnic, cultural, and race-related factors, etc.
- Engineering psychologists study the interaction between man and machine. They then work on optimum methods of interaction that can reduce human stress and fatigue, and enhance production.
This list is rather long and every psychology student can find gainful employment in a range of industries. Here are the other areas that a psychologist can specialize in:
- Quantitative and Measurement
Psychologist – Job Outlook
Psychologists will always be in demand and the psychologist salary will continue its upward trend. According to the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the demand for psychologists will continue to grow over the next decade because of the increased demand from schools, hospitals, community service agencies, and organizations. America’s aging population will also keep the demand high.
The biggest mission before psychologists is to cure America of its lifestyle ills. The government expects psychologists to counsel Americans to give up on an unhealthy lifestyle that includes procrastination, junk food, alcohol, and smoking, and return to good old American values.
Doctoral graduates in psychology will be preferred over others and such graduates will easily find employment of their choice. The Doctoral psychologist salary will be the highest in its class. Master’s Graduates will come in second and such graduates will mostly find employment in schools, marketing/business research areas and in industries/corporates. Bachelor’s graduates will come in last and such graduates will likely find employment as school teachers.
What Does a Psychologist Do?
A psychologist performs duties depending on his work environment. No matter where a psychologist is employed, there is one thing that he has in common with every other psychologist – and that is the study and analysis of human mind and behavior, and learning how humans think, feel and act. Psychologists also study other animals. Here is a typical list of activities that psychologists engage in:
A psychologist conducts research in a variety of settings. Every psychologist conducts research on how the brain functions and how individuals think and behave. Psychologists study mentally ill people, criminals, aged people, children, students, CEOs, and just about anyone else you can think of. The research is conducted in labs and at the workplace and can happen in a university laboratory or on the highway or in an asylum.
A psychologist studies social development. He studies and analyzes the psychological and behavioral changes that occur in one’s lifetime. The study of social development includes language development, adolescent issues, family behavior, aging population behavior, and more.
A psychologist teaches and mentors students, youth and families. He can focus on cognitive issues or provide psychological assistance in an educational setting.
A psychology helps improve the mental and even the physical health of patients. He listens to the patients and discovers what is ailing him. Such psychologists can have their own practice or work in hospitals, clinics, community health centers, etc.
A psychologist helps empower communities by helping them collaborate and conduct social work that benefits the society.
A psychologist helps enhance industrial and service productivity by studying the interaction of man with his work environment and then suggesting methods that will increase production and reduce human stress.
A psychologist even helps athletes excel in their area of sports.
What you have read above are a few examples – psychologists are required in every sector you can think of. An aging population, mental health problems, and a lifestyle gone haywire will always ensure that the demand for psychologists is robust. So, if you are thinking of psychology as a career – don’t think twice, just jump in. You will find that the psychologist salary number will continue to rise and by the time you graduate from a reputed university, you will be in a position to write your own paycheck.
Many people want to understand the difference between a psychiatrist vs psychologist. Some people are of the belief that they are one and the same thing. While, there is much overlapping between the two professions, there are some subtle differences that people should know about. Both professionals help people to work through their issues. Their approaches are quite different.
The training that these two therapists receive is quite different. Psychiatrists need to have medical training while psychologists have no need for medical training. Both will need to have a degree in psychology, and both can study further in the field. In Britain, psychiatrists need to spend at least twelve months studying medicine.
Psychiatrists are therefore, able to prescribe medication to patients and psychologists are not permitted to do this. There are exceptions whereby nurses can study to have the right to permit sleeping tablets to certain patients. Psychologists are not permitted to prescribe sleeping pills to their patients. Psychiatrists need to spend much time on pharmacological studies so that they understand how medicine works on patients. They also need to understand any contraindications that medicine can have on patients.
Psychologists, therefore, need to utilize other resources to bring about good mental health in their patients. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe drugs, which might serve to suppress certain symptoms. The former therapy involves discussing problem-solving skills and discussing various behaviors for patients to become better. Psychologists use psychological testing to assess the mental status of their patients and use this information to determine which therapeutic approach will work best.
Psychiatrists have the mandate to involuntarily detain patients in hospital if the patients present a clear and present danger to themselves and or other people. Psychologists do not have this mandate and therefore have to refer such patients if the need arises. Psychiatrists certainly have more power over their esteemed colleagues.
Using anxiety as an example of how the two professionals approach the condition, psychiatrists might be quick to prescribe tranquilizers, while psychologists address the behavioral issues of these patients. Sometimes intervention techniques are used to bring about relief from the anxiety. It is quite clear that the difference in approach is stark to say the least. Some quarters believe that addressing behavioral issues is better as it brings about long-lasting change. Prescribing medication simply brings about temporary relief and can create a crutch for patients. When the medication is stopped, the anxiety will return.
Psychiatrists focus on patients understanding themselves and teach the patients how to behave differently. They also focus on patients changing their thought processes in order to be able to behave in a different way. While this approach might seem to take longer, it does bring about lasting change provided the patients work together with the therapists.
The debate between a psychiatrist vs psychologist will continue for a long time to come. Patients must decide whether they want a quick fix or lasting results. Many people today, are moving away from medicine and looking towards holistic approaches to improve their lives. It is also more cost-effective to get treated without the use of medicine.
A forensic psychologist has an extremely interesting job as he gets to work with the law and psychology. This professional has many job opportunities as he can work for himself in private practice, the government, schools, legal companies, for the police department, the prison services to name a few options. The practice of this type of psychology encompasses crime, human behavior and the legal system.
These professionals have a wealth of experience in working and education. They are extremely clever as they have a doctorate in psychology. Some of them have a Juris Doctorate which is the type of degree that attorneys hold.
While they must be qualified to practice, they also need a license that is obtained from the State Board of Psychology. This is issued after they have completed a doctorate degree and they have completed doctoral training. There are unique cases where professionals are given government exemption to practice without a license. This is only for a limited time though.
Professionals who work for the prison services, help inmates to manage their anger and work through any issues that they may have. This can be done on a group or individual basis. They also spend time in consultation with court personnel such as advocates and attorneys for the defense and prosecution. This is because the court has ordered that accused people need to have a psychological assessment.
Counselors provide a wealth of information for attorneys when they assess the accused. Full assessment and profiling help attorneys to make their case for against the accused. They can even help to determine who should get custody of children in divorce cases. Counselors who work for the Police Department can help in a myriad of ways as well. Crisis management, anger management and counseling are three such services that these educated people offer to the employees of the Police Force.
Teaching is another important field within this line of work. Professionals can teach this subject in a number of areas, including visitation on children, custody separation, the after-effects of divorce, jury selection, treatment for substance abusers, treatment for sexual offenders and criminal trends and profiling. Anyone interested in this field certainly has a wealth of options open to them.
It must be quite interesting to create a profile for a criminal who is on the run from the law. The professional has to gather endless information about the perpetrator in order to create a profile. This profile is then given to the police so that they can track the criminal down.
There is no doubt that a career as a forensic psychologist is both exhilarating and rewarding on a personal level. There must be huge satisfaction experienced when all the hard work over months results in a dangerous criminal being apprehended. This is certainly an occupation that will suit someone who wants to make a positive difference to society. Putting dangerous criminals behind bars must be one of the most rewarding jobs around. Knowing that one has put a stop to more murders and brutal crimes must leave one feeling truly satisfied.
Counseling psychology encompasses therapy for a number of psychologically related symptoms. It is a speciality within the field of psychology that enhances interpersonal and personal functioning in people. The focus is on organizational and developmental concerns as well as health, educational, social, vocational and social matters.
Counselors who practice this type of psychology help patients to resolve their issues. However, there are other career types within the field that counselors can follow. Some of these include vocational counseling, teaching and research. These people enter the field to use theory to help patients to conquer their challenges and become all that they can become. It certainly seems like a field worth studying for those who are interested in this field.
More than fifty percent of students graduate in this field each year. It is similar in many ways to the clinical version of the subject. Clinicians spend more time on patients who are seriously mentally ill. Therapists who practice counseling psychology work with patients who only have minor symptoms. Clearly, treatment approaches would differ for the two different types of medicine.
Clinicians view patients in a medical light while counselors adopt a broad approach towards treating their patients by using a number of psychotherapeutic options. Therapists have the option to use all the resources available to them based on their training and educational background. The therapists have their own individual theories, and they use these theories to help bring about healing for their patients.
Therapists need to obtain any one of an ED. D, Psy. D or Ph. D to qualify to do this type of work. A Doctor of Education degree can be obtained from a college of education. A Doctor of Psychology or Doctor of Philosophy degree is obtained by studying at a university. Most of these programs are accredited by the APA (American Psychological Association). Students should ensure that they take an accredited course if they want their degree to be recognized.
There is huge demand for these professionals in todays times. Modern day living has placed much stress on people, and they need help with coping with day to day living. Thankfully, there are many professionals who patients can consult with in order to get their lives on track.
Patients must show a willingness to be treated. Therapists cannot achieve the desired results if patients are uncooperative. There is nothing worse for a therapist than having to drag a patient through the therapeutic process. Therapists want to help patients and need cooperation in order for success to be achieved. Some patients might believe that there is a stigma attached to this kind of therapy. This, however, is not the case. It shows huge responsibility on behalf of patients who arrive at therapists for treatment.
Patients can rely on counseling psychology to work through a number of generalized issues. This could include poor self-esteem, relationship issues and lack of confidence. Doing the work to overcome these issues is worthwhile in the long run. Subtle changes can make a world of difference to their lives. It will have a ripple effect as other people who come into contact with these patients will notice the difference, and this will improve relationships significantly.
A clinical psychologist has to study and understand theory and science in order to be able to understand just how the human mind functions. These therapists work on the behavioral, social, psychological, biological, emotional and intellectual aspects of human workings. Sometimes it is necessary for counselors to understand how people from other cultures function. This is especially the case when it comes to the different socioeconomic groups across society.
Therapists are trained to work with people who have emotional and mental challenges. They help patients source resources that will assist them in coping better with life. People who have lost someone to death or recently gotten divorced will usually need the services of a therapist. Unlike psychiatrists, these therapists are unable to prescribe medication, so they have to give patients certain life coping tools and strategies so that the patients can become normal functioning people in society.
These therapists focus mainly in introducing behavioral changes in the patients. This is done by helping patients to alter their feelings and thoughts about certain life issues. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, these counselors need to attend six years of advanced schooling. During this time, they are taught how to work with people who have emotional and behavioral problems.
Training includes both practical and theoretical material. Once they have completed their doctorate, they work for twelve months giving patients therapy under the guidance of qualified personnel. Furthermore, these therapists are exposed to working with groups, organizations, individuals in a number of fields. Some of these include public policy, program evaluation and consultation, teaching, supervision, research and development, human welfare and psychological science. These experiences help them to hone their skills so that they become proficient at helping patients work through their issues.
They work to prevent or intervene with problems and adjustment issues. In some cases, patients will need to be hospitalized, and the therapists will play a role in this process as well. Patients can range from babies all the way to old adults. In some cases, entire families need counseling.
This is usually the case when a family has been exposed to a trauma such as family murder or if one of the family members is an abuser. It is also required in cases of divorce, illness or when kids struggle when moving or a new baby. Therapists introduce intervention methods that help individuals or groups to better cope with their own realities. While one cannot change the past, it is possible to develop a new set of coping skills to deal with the trauma.
Researchers collate information based on the study of this subject. Research papers are published, which help the entire industry deliver better mental health care to patients. These professionals share information and data bases with their peers.
Clinicians are involved in developing programs that improve the level of service delivered to patients. Some of these programs even affect public policy as it pertains to mental health. A clinical psychologist also work with individuals with a view to identifying the causes of the stress and emotional upheaval.
A child psychologist is a specialist who deals with research, testing and counseling young kids. Children may need psychological services for several reasons such as learning disabilities that require assessment or the need to adjust to difficult situations like divorce. Traumatized children can be difficult and tight-lipped. Their stories are also heart breaking. There are certain attributes that a practitioner must possess so that they can help disturbed kids effectively.
One of these qualities is patience. It may take some time before a patient opens up about a particular relationship or subject. They may also be hostile to direct discussions on sensitive issues until the psychologist has won their trust. This process may take some time. Once this happens, the treatment process may require weeks or months to become effective.
Such a specialist should also be observant. While normal children are usually forthright in expressing their opinions, their traumatized counterparts may hesitate to discuss certain issues. It is therefore important for one to be observant of the behavior of a patient, their attitude and reactions to certain things. Keen observation helps the specialist to unveil problematic issues in the life of a child.
Such a specialist should also have the ability to inspire confidence from a child. This enables them to open up about the problematic issues in their lives. To win the required trust, one has to give the patient an assurance that whatever issues they discuss remain between the two of them. Most children are worried that some of their intimate thoughts may end up being shared with their caretakers/parents by the specialist. But once privacy has been guaranteed, most children would be willing to open up.
In addition, one has to have the ability to spot problematic issues and emotional patterns causing erratic behaviors in kids and understand the difficulties they are facing. This is usually achieved through solid scientific research. They should also have the ability to document all their findings. This helps them provide more details on the cognitive and mental abilities of their patients.
They also have to use the gathered information to point out existing correlations with identified behavioral patterns. With this, one is able to determine the best approach to adopt when dealing with young patients. This may require long hours of consultation with the patient.
Children are some of the most fragile beings that one can encounter. To help those that are emotionally stressed or those with erratic behavior, one must be compassionate and demonstrate a great deal of patience. They should also be willing to team up with parents, teachers and guidance counselors so as to find an effective solution to the issue at hand.
One also has to be aware and take control of their emotional issues. Personal issues must never be allowed to interfere with patient consultations. Being in control enables one cope with the stress of helping others deal with their own issues. A good child psychologist also has to be open minded when dealing with patients. Personal beliefs must be set aside when dealing with patients.
People join different professions due to different motivational factors. The same principle applies to become a psychologist. This field of professionalism is best suited for those who have great interest in offering mental therapy through in depth understanding of human behaviors and feelings. Psychologists are very smart people and people who are very understanding about people’s mental problems. Psychology can be divided into various categories giving one a wider choice to make the decision. Some of these categories include neuropsychology, social psychology, and sociology of feelings, mathematical psychology, and evolutionary psychology among others. The path to becoming a psychologist is not for everyone but only for those with great interest and passion in this field. For someone who’s mind is set up, preparation starts from high school by having a good GPA and pass in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics and psychology studies.
When joining university to start your psychology degree program, it is important to ensure that you join an institution that has been approved by the state to ensure that with your degree you will be licensed to work in the state. There are various degree programs offered in the university all leading one to become a psychologist. One should pursue a line that impresses him most. You can decide to follow the path of child psychology, counseling degree, bachelors of psychology or an associate degree in psychology. All these degree will lead you to becoming a psychologist. However at this level, you will work as a psychologist assistant. If you need to work as a professional psychologist, then you will have to earn more academic achievements.
Working as a professional psychologist requires you to have a master’s degree in psychology. At this level you can perform mental therapies without supervision. Advancing to PHD level will give you an opportunity to train other psychology students in universities and also offer consultancy services. You can also work in research institutions.
Every state requires all psychologists to be licensed before they start operating. You will only be licensed after certifying the registration board that you have successfully passed the necessary examinations. It is therefore important that anyone studying psychology gets to know the various requirements to ensure successful registration. It should be noted that different states have different licensing requirements and therefore one should be aware of the requirement in his specific state. The licensing board may at times require you to pass a certain licensing examination and also to finish certain number of residency hours to get the certificate. After finishing all these requirements, you can now start your career as a psychologist. However to ensure that you are equipped with the most current skills, all the licensing boards will require you to complete regular courses. This will ensure that you retain your practicing certificate.
Becoming a psychologist will ensure that you live a comfortable life as the remuneration is good enough. However, if your motivation is money, psychologist may not be the best profession for you. Just like any other field in health, people join this field of career for the deep desire to help people in need and not to become rich.
Psychology is one of the hottest careers anybody can get into today. There are many unfolding factors that have brought about this situation and most of them are based on the increasing demand for psychological care and counseling which has been caused by the rigors and blinding pace of modern living. Not to mention the increased violence, crime and terrorism that has ushered in an era of pressures and trauma never witnessed since the beginning of time. The result is that more and more people are finding themselves in a situation where they have no other option but to find a way to cope with extremely troubling situations.
There is also the fact that due to increased competition in business, executives have started to see the need to be more thorough when creating products and services and many have decided to employ the skills of psychology experts to take a deeper look at the way their customers respond to and handle the new products they regularly launch into the marketplace.
The result of all this and many other factors not mentioned here is that today there are just too many opportunities for psychology professionals to work in a wide range of different industries and situations. Indeed there are few careers that are as hot as psychology is right now.
For instance professionals in this field can work as career counselors not only in various learning institutions but also in the corporate world. Rapid and ongoing changes in the job market have brought in the kind of upheavals never seen previously in the long history of mankind. And so more and more people have found themselves in the situation where they have no other option but to switch careers or switch jobs unexpectedly. A vocational counselor is often required to assist in a successful transition. Not only can a professional help such a client build up the required skills but usually the special insight they are trained to have on the character and traits of people will always be invaluable in helping anybody select the right career based on their interests experience and character.
Ever heard of an engineering psychologist? Smart companies are now making use of psychology to grasp human behavior in relation to the use of their products. This helps these companies design better products for consumers.
Psychology professionals are also going into what is called genetics counseling. Here the genetics counselor will work with patients coping with genetic disorders which can be quite harrowing in some instances.
Some corporations are now actively hiring Industrial organizational psychologists who use psychology principals to increase worker productivity. There are also instances where the same professional will be required to select employees who are most suited to certain jobs based on their psychology profile.
Clearly the field of psychology has changed dramatically over the years and today huge and numerous chances exist for any professional to get immense job satisfaction as well as an exciting career the kind that was not possible in the field of psychology just a few short decades ago.
The medical field is one of the most lucrative and expanding fields at this time. There are so many different choices of careers within this field. One such career choice is a psychologist. A psychologist is a medical doctor that studies and helps sort out the mind of their patients. They also help patients work through problems and work at having a normal life. There are many types of psychologists such as clinical psychologists, forensic psychologists, school and staff psychologists.
The psychologist salary is varied. It will depend on several factors such as location, specialty and experience. The average psychologist in the United States currently makes about $60,000 dollars a year after you have graduated from an accredited program and received your degree. Psychologist with five or more years of experience can start out making around $70,000 per year. After ten years as a psychologist you can expect to make around $100,000 per year.
The location that you work in will also affect your rate of pay. The top paying states to work in are California, New York and Texas. In California, you can expect to make more than $150,000 per year. Rural areas such as places in Iowa and Arkansas offer the lowest psychologist salary. Iowa psychologists on average only make about $65,000 per year.
The job outlook for the future for psychologists is also expanding rapidly. There is a 20% increase in jobs for psychologists in the next six years. School and clinical psychology jobs will see the most growth in the coming years. There are more job opportunities for psychologists that hold doctorate degrees. This type of psychologist is in great need. There are not many opportunities or job potential for a psychologist with just a bachelors degree.
A psychologists education is a very important factor in their salary. You can get a bachelor’s degree in psychology but it is recommended that you also go to graduate school and get your doctorate. This will not only give you all the training that you need but also allow you to get your license. During graduate school you have two choices, you can get a PHD or doctor of philosophy degree or PSYD degree, a philosophy doctor degree. The PHD is the preferred choice but you can get either one. Both types of degrees will take about five years to complete in graduate school.
If you want to get the highest salary possible, then there are a few things that you can do. First you want to make sure that you have all the education that you need. The highest paid psychologist have a PHD degree. You also can move to an area that offers higher salary potential such as New York or California. Also, the type of work that you do can affect your salary too. Clinical and school psychologists are among the highest paid in the industry. Keeping these factors in mind will help you to achieve the highest salary possible as a psychologist. A psychologist is more than just money, it is a job that allows you to help people and a job you can be proud of.
Psychology is a fascinating field to work in. Clinical psychologists have the opportunity to help people learn and grow everyday, and they play a crucial role in our society.
However, becoming a clinical psychologist is not easy. To become a clinical psychologist, you must complete a four year undergraduate degree in psychology, and a four year graduate degree in psychology.
Majoring in psychology as an undergraduate is not difficult. Psychology at the undergraduate level is much easier than mathematics or even biology.
It is in graduate school that studying psychology becomes difficult. Most graduate schools are extremely competitive, and all the students there must work long hours to complete assignments and theses.
Graduate school also tends to be expensive, which means if you can’t get a grant then you are going to have to take on some student loan debt. Student loan debt is a big problem for graduates and you need to think carefully about borrowing money to support your schooling. You definitely do not want to end up in a situation where you limit your future by going deeply into debt.
After graduate school, most aspiring clinical psychologists start a private practice. Starting a private practice takes a significant amount of time, and is something that is developed over years of hard work and sustained effort. No one starts a private practice overnight.
After about five years, if you are a good psychologist with a decent reputation for working with people, you should be able to make about $50,000 a year.
Within ten years, you should be able to make $60-90,000 a year. After ten years, some clinical psychologists succeed in growing their practices to the point that they can easily make $100,000 or more a year.
Being a clinical psychologist is of course about more than money. Clinical psychologists are uniquely positioned as workers to help individuals in their daily lives in ways that most of can’t.
Clinical psychologists have both the opportunity and the duty to help people with mental disorders, eating disorders, problems relating with people, and problems feeling good about themselves.
Clinical psychologists often work with people that have moderate to severe mental disorders, and while this can be challenging, it is definitely worthwhile and of enormous benefit to the individuals helped and even their families.
Of course, there are downsides to being a clinical psychologist. Clinical psychologists often suffer from an issue known as “burnout.” “Burned out” individuals are individuals that feel overwhelmed with their lives and jobs. Clinical psychologists see so much of the negative aspects of human psychology that it can be difficult for them to maintain a positive mental attitude, and carry on with their daily lives after their counseling sessions are over.
To reduce the risk of burnout, clinical psychologists are advised to look at the positive aspects of human psychology as well as the negative aspects, and to try to put their problems in perspective. Even though helping others can be difficult, and can sometimes be emotionally draining, it is possible to maintain a certain degree of equanimity.