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Psychology Careers, Fields and Schools

Psychology, counseling, therapy and social work. Explore
the world of psychology and learn how fundamental
concepts explaining human behavior and emotions are
reshaping the way we live our lives.

Explore a comprehensive list of psychology fields and
career options. And finally, learn how psychology
schools
can provide you with an education to succeed.

The World of Neuropsychology

Explore the field of neuropsychology and the wide variety of interesting
concepts you can study if you decide to enter this field...

Mental Health Concepts

Whether one finds contentment with life through a satisfying job,
yoga classes, exercise or through the aid of a mental health professional,
we all have needs that must be met in order to experience happiness
in our lives.

As our world becomes more complex, the need for more information
about the process of stress relief or anxiety mitigation becomes
much more important. Mental health counselors, therapists and
psychologists are continuously developing and refining methods
of treatment and options to help individuals live better lives.

Learn more about various mental health topics here.

Substance Abuse, Dependency & Addictions

Prevention programs, treatment methods, counseling options and education programs - explore substance abuse, dependency, and addiction counseling...

Gerontology - A field growing rapidly with age...

As we grow into old age, our bodies and minds undergo many changes.
With the help of gerontology professionals, many ill effects of aging
can be mollified.

Depression - A silent, indiscriminate killer...

Depression is something each and every one of us face at certain points in
our lives. However, some individuals suffer at the hands of depression
worse than others. For those individuals, education is the greatest weapon.

Teenagers - Issues, articles and advice...

Being a teenager has always been tough. Limited coping mechanisms, dealing with peer pressure and the overall stress of teenage life can wreak havoc on the teenage mind and body.

Creativity - in business, in art and our minds...

Creativity has been the cornerstone of America's economy. In difficult financial times it's no wonder why we are seeking to encourage creativity in current and future generations...
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Psychology Salary

Learn about earning & growth potential as a clinical psychologist, therapist, educational psychologist and more. Find out what kind of salary you might be expecting in various psychology careers.

Psychology Schools

Find schools in your area offering Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and PhD or PsyD programs in psychology and related fields. Education is the toolbox for professionals in any psychology related field.

Licensure Information

Most psychology professionals need to be licensed by their state. Follow the necessary steps toward earning your license as a Psychologist, Counselor, Social Worker and more.

Psychology Careers

Whether they were studying human motivation or the meaning of dreams, psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Sigmund Freud found the inner world of human beings so intriguing that they spent their lives involved in research and theory. Like their predecessors, modern psychologists are also interested in finding out what drives humans to do the things to do, but they can specialize in areas that vary from clinical to school psychology or even sports to forensic psychology. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychology is a broad field that takes a look at the connection between the human mind and behavior or the environment and human behavior at its core. For this reason, careers in psychology may be best suited to people who have an interest in human emotion, behavior and thought and who are committed to pursuing the higher education that is typically needed to enter the field.

Career Paths in Psychology

Because psychology is such a broad field, it allows professionals to seek career paths in many different areas. This can include working with people who may have behavioral, emotional or mental disorders, or even conducting research in a niche field. Some of the more conventional career paths for psychologists to pursue include:

  • Clinical psychology: Psychologists in this field assess a variety of disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and specific phobias. They may assist clients who are looking for short-term solutions or help in treatment of more long-term chronic problems. They also might work with specific groups ranging from families and couples to teens to members of the gay and lesbian community.
  • Counseling psychology: These professionals help clients to find the motivation and resources to reach their goals, make changes in the quality of their lives, or otherwise takes steps toward improvement on one or many levels. They may also utilize the treatment of psychotherapy, which aims to resolve conflict or issues through talk or other collaborative means, such as cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Industrial-organizational psychology: Psychologists specializing in this field look at the science of the workplace and apply their knowledge in areas as varied as assessment, business, coaching, organizational development and talent management, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) reports.
  • School/child psychology: In this specialty area, psychologists apply their knowledge about behavior and mental health to help children and students succeed on a number of levels, ranging from academic to social. In a school setting, they may team up with teachers, administrators and families to build a safe and supportive environment and to provide guidance as much as possible.

Career Education in Psychology

Students interested in careers in psychology do need to make an academic start by completing an undergraduate degree. This does not necessary need to be in psychology unless they are planning on looking for very entry-level work in the field or at employment in another field, such as business administration, education or sales, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

However, courses in psychology at the undergraduate level may be helpful to seeking admittance to a graduate level psychology program. Students may want to take undergraduate classes that include an introductory psychology course, research methods, statistics and even several content courses. Typically, students looking at careers in psychology pursue graduate education at one of the following levels:

  • Master's degree: This education is often adequate for those wanting to pursue a career in industrial-organizational psychology, according to the BLS. The degree may also allow other graduates to work in a clinical setting such as clinical, counseling and research psychology, but under the direction of a doctoral psychologist.
  • Educational Specialist degree: Graduate students wanting to work in school psychology may want to consider the education specialist, or Ed.S. degree. An Ed.S. typically requires a student to complete 30 hours or more of graduate education beyond the master's degree , but is not necessarily a doctoral degree. The BLS reports that the Ed.S. or a doctoral degree in school psychology are common paths for this career.
  • Doctoral degree: Professionals wanting to enter the field of clinical and counseling psychology typically need to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology, or Psy.D. The Ph.D. is more research based and can include a dissertation while the Doctor of Psychology provides more of a clinical education and is often built around examinations and practical work, according to the BLS.

In most states, psychologists who practice independently need to seek licensure. These regulations vary by state, but typically require those working in counseling and clinical psychology to have a doctoral degree, a completed internship and some experience working under the supervision of a licensed professional. Once professionals have obtained their licensure, they typically need to pursue some type of continuing education to be able to renew their license in the future. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) provides contact information for licensing boards by U.S. state and by Canadian province.

Career Outlook in Psychology

Why think about the different types of careers in psychology at all? The career path a student chooses may significantly impact the type of work they do, the people they work with, and the setting they work in. As well, it can affect their overall pay with experience, setting and certification level also being other factors. For instance, the BLS reports that those working in clinical, counseling and school psychology in the U.S. earned mean annual wages of $72,710 as of May 2013, but that those employed as industrial-organizational psychologists earned mean annual wages of $87,960.

Overall, job opportunities for psychologists are expected to grow about as fast as average nationwide from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS. However, the field of industrial-organizational psychology is expected to be particularly strong, with U.S. job growth expected to increase by 53 percent over the decade. This is considered to be much faster than average, but it might only lead to the availability of 900 new jobs nationwide, as the workforce in that career is relatively small. A successful career in psychology might be most affected by the level of education obtained; this may be why the BLS reports that those with doctoral or specialist degrees may find the best job prospects.


Sources:

"Psychologists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-6

"Careers in Psychology," American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers.aspx?item=2

"What are School Psychologists?" National Association of School Psychologists, http://www.nasponline.org/about_sp/who-are-school-psychologists.aspx

"What is I-O?" Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, http://www.siop.org/

"Master of Arts in Psychology," Boston University, http://www.bu.edu/psych/graduate/masters/

"Education Specialist Degree," The University of Alabama Graduate School, http://graduate.ua.edu/academics/eds.html

"Contact a Licensing Board," The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, http://www.asppb.net/?page=BdContactNewPG

"Industrial-Organizational Psychologists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193032.htm

"Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm



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