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How To Become A Psychologist

What is a Psychologist?

A psychologist is a medical professional who analyzes and studies the functioning of the human mind. During his study, the psychologist looks at aspects such as behavior, cognition, and affect. Psychology is a broad field and it has various specializations within, which range from psychotherapists to clinical psychologists.

Psychotherapists provide mental health services to their patients, whereas clinical psychologists perform lab research to understand the human mind. Some of the subfields in the psychology discipline are abnormal, mathematical, evolutionary, cognitive, social, neuro, and transpersonal psychology.

Job prospects in this discipline are very attractive, and at times, quite lucrative as well. A psychologist who can promote his services through the right marketing channels can command higher fees for rendering his service.

Psychology is a medicinal branch that investigates the complexities and depths of the human mind. It is, at times, undertaken with the goal of assisting patients during therapy, or in the effort to find out more intriguing data about human beings.

Human populations and studies relating to their activities in different scenarios is a major aspect of psychology, and are often helpful in explaining social phenomena. Psychologists can also develop skills that are aimed at business and profitability. For instance, comprehending things such as a man’s response to persuasion and marketing are business uses of psychology.

To most people, a psychologist is an individual placed in a dusty office, rendering therapeutic services to his patients. Though it is true to some extent, people must understand that it is just a facet of psychology and does not represent the entire discipline. A clinical psychologist offers different kinds of therapies, which range from hypnotherapy to long-term analytical treatment.

The kind of services offered by psychologists also depends on the school of psychology followed by them. However, psychologists cannot prescribe medicines during the course of their treatment.

Apart from the subfields in psychology, a psychologist also has the option of specializing in specific patient types. Some psychologists, for instance, prefer working with kids and they, therefore, focus on assessments and psychological care for children.

Others could prefer working with trauma and accident victims. General psychologists usually do not have such specifications and they offer their services to a wide range of patients. If you are seeking the services of a psychologist for the first time, it is advisable that you take recommendations from friends and families relating to the psychologist.

In addition, you should also look into the working methodology and treatment approach of the psychologist to determine a good match.

Not all psychologists learn the subject for making a professional career out of it. There are some who are interested in the field simply due to their curiosity about learning things about the human mind. Some psychologists also study animals to learn about their fundamental behavior mechanisms.

Such psychology is also utilized as a teaching tool for educating students who are keen in knowing about their mind. Research psychologists, on the other hand, are seen in labs and on the field doing their research work.

psychologist-and-patient

How to Become a Psychologist

A master’s degree is the minimum education that is required to become a psychologist. However, it is important to note that many jobs require that psychologists possess a doctorate of psychology. For that reason, students who are interested in this field can anticipate spending at least six years in school. High school students who are interested in this field should start taking courses in psychology and sociology.

The first step in becoming a psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field.   However, there are some psychology graduate programs that do not require that students possess a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Some students who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology spend time working in the field of business, sales or education before they attend graduate school.

Almost all states require that psychologists be licensed before they can legally practice. Psychologists are required to complete an internship and pass the Professional Practice of Psychology Examination before they can earn their license. Additionally, many psychologists opt to become board-certified. The American Board of Psychology offers certification in 13 areas including, clinical health and rehabilitation.

What Are Some of the Skills That Are Necessary for Becoming a Psychologist?

Psychologists are required to spend a lot of time researching, so analytical skills are pertinent to this field. They are also required to be patient because researching and treating patients can take a long time. Furthermore, psychologists are required to be trustworthy. Clients will be more likely to open up to their psychologist if they feel that he or she is trust-worthy.

What Is the Job Outlook Like for a Psychologist?

The number of jobs in the field of psychology is expected to be plentiful. In fact, this field is expected to grow by 22 percent between now and 2020. There is a great demand for psychologist in schools, mental health services, hospitals and social service agencies. Job prospects will be greatest for people who have a doctorate degree.

There has also been an increased demand for industrial-organizational psychologists. The number of jobs available for industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to increase by 35 percent within the next 10 years.

What Is The Typical Work Week Like for a Psychologist?

Most psychologists work a standard 40-hour week. However, some psychologists are required to work evenings and weekends in order to accommodate their client’s schedules. Self-employed psychologists have the option of setting their own hours. Approximately 34 percent of psychologists are self-employed, 29 percent work in schools  and 20 percent work in health care settings.

The Perks that Come with a Career in Clinical Psychology

Being a clinical psychologist is not an easy job. This particular career takes a long time to study for hence making it necessary to earn a significant clinical psychology salary once the studies are over.

There are varieties of issues that a psychologist deals with. Some of these include a variety of mental disorders, learning disabilities of all kinds as well as plenty of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems.

It is important for a psychologist to use techniques that will work for each client, which may involve either individual or group therapy. Psychologists are also responsible for creating and implementing programs for clients that will cause behavior change where necessary.

Several things determine a clinical psychologist salary. One of these factors is the amount of education the professional has as well as the type of working environment being provided. It is also usual to find clinical psychologists who will get higher salaries because they have high profile clientele who raise their professional value. Experience is also another factor that counts for something.

Psychologists usually earn more in the private sector most of the times as compared to those who work in the public sector. This is because the private sector clients are willing to spend more money for a more individually tailored session as compared to their public counterparts who may not be able to afford the high fees.

The upside of the public sector however, is that it is possible for a clinical psychologist to interact with more patients thus gaining more experience within a similar amount of time, as would a private psychology practitioner.

The clinical psychology salary of a professional in the health care service is the highest in the industry. Those psychologists that practice in clinics and psychotherapy sectors come second as far as salaries are concerned. The lowest paid professionals are those who work within educational communities as well as community centers.

While the median salary for a clinical psychologist is nearly $67000 on average, this amount varies in the field depending on the factors mentioned previously. There is still gender imbalance as far as clinical psychology professionals are concerned with women getting paid way less than their male counterparts. This is quite unfair considering that female professionals in this industry constitute at least 65% of the whole workforce.

In the right circumstances should a clinical psychologist have all the right qualifications, the right working environment as well as the necessary amount of experience, then it is possible for a clinical psychologist salary to go up to $170000 annually. In such situations, which affect around 10% of the employees in this sector additional certification plays a huge role in adding value to the services offered. This goes a long way to enable the professional psychology service provider to be more versatile in terms of what they offer their patients.

Money however is not the only thing that most clinical psychologists work for with many doing their jobs to make a difference in their societies. Ultimately, this should be driving factor when selecting this career because it is in essence, a calling.