Careers as a Psychologist

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Develop Your Career In Psychology and Prepare Yourself for the Job Market

The need for psychologists is continually growing.  The current number of employed psychologists in the United States is 174,000 according to the Bureau of Labor, and this number is expected to increase to almost 211,600 by the year 2020.  On a percentage basis, that's an increase of 22% over current totals, which signals a huge need for qualified professionals in the immediate years to come.

Becoming a licensed psychologist involves years of education and professional training in the field.  There is little doubt that the educational path of an aspiring psychologist will be challenging both personally and academically, but the career outcome is worth the effort.  Psychology consistently ranks as one of the top careers in terms of job outlook and job satisfaction.

The directory below provides career descriptions, licensing information, internship opportunities, and interviews with experts in the field.  Use this directory to find all the information you need to begin your career in psychology.

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Professions Job Responsibilities

Airforce Psychologist

What is an Air Force Psychologist? An Air Force psychologist is a mental health professional that works with individuals associated with the United States Air Force. This professional will often be a part of an airman’s life before, during, and after his military career. One of the main duties of an air force psychologist is to evaluate potential airmen before Continue Reading


Army Psychologist

What Is an Army Psychologist? Army psychologists are the professionals responsible for the mental well-being of Army soldiers, veterans, and their families. Like traditional psychologists, these professionals diagnose and treat a variety of different mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Unlike traditional psychologists, however, Army psychologists are trained to deal specifically with the special needs of members Continue Reading


Biogerontologist

What Is Biogerontology? Aging is a normal part of life on our planet. Everyone and everything ages. Growing old, however, has its own set of problems and complications. We, as humans, have nearly been obsessed with slowing and even reversing the aging process for centuries. Before we can do this, however, we must first attempt to answer one question… "Why Continue Reading


Child Psychologist

Child psychologists are responsible for studying, analyzing, and diagnosing the mental, social, and emotional development and behavior of children from birth through adolescence. Some of the things that child psychologists study include genetics, personality and brain development, social maturation, and language development. They are also charged with helping identify, prevent, and treat social, emotional, and developmental issues that inevitably arise in children.


Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists are the psychologists in charge of analyzing, identifying, treating, and preventing mental disorders and issues. Don’t mistake them for medical doctors as they can’t prescribe medical treatment in most of the country, instead they work in private practice, or state-run hospitals, or an academic environment and study psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. Their job is to help their patients identify, understand, and treat both common and serious mental disorders.


Cognitive Neuroscientist

Cognitive neuroscientists examine and understand brain functions and how they relate to behavior and development. Their primary job responsibility is to study and conduct research on how and why humans think and behave the way they do. They combine science and psychological knowledge to try and understand how behavior and actions are controlled by neural activity and functions.


Cognitive Psychologist

Cognitive psychologists study the human thought process by examining how people process and store information, especially in regards to subjects like language, decision-making, deductive reasoning, and problem-solving. Their research consists of intensive study of the aforementioned subjects and then applying that information so they can help solve real-world problems and help people understand their behavior and the behavior of others better.


Community Psychologist

Community Psychologists have the unique job of studying, researching, understanding, and analyzing the relationships of people with their immediate and broader communities. They try to understand the reasoning behind community issues, how people interact with their communities, and how people behave and act with others within their community. A relatively new discipline, community psychology is important in understanding community mental health and well-being.


Consumer Psychologist

Consumer psychologists study and analyze how thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, ideas, and impulses impact people’s behavior as consumers. They study how and why people use, buy, and experience certain products and then they draw psychologically-based conclusions surrounding consumer behavior, trends, and patterns. Consumer psychologists often look at factors such as decision-making, impulse control, and social and cultural influences when examining consumer behavior.


Counseling Psychologist

Counseling psychologists focus on the emotional, social, educational, and developmental behavior on people and use that research to help encourage and facilitate more successful personal and interpersonal behavior. Counseling psychologists do everything from consulting work for government agencies and large schools to individual and group therapy for those suffering from substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and many others.


Cultural Psychologist

Cultural psychologists are part of a new frontier of the industry as psychologists learn to study the importance of cultural meanings and practices and how they influence both individual and group human psyches. As the world becomes more culturally diverse and intertwined, understanding that certain groups do or do not show the same tendencies under different social and cultural conditions can tell these psychologists a great deal about how the mind works. Most cultural psychologists work in academia as the nascent sub-field lends itself to academic research more so than proactive practice, but many universities have begun offering cultural psychology education programs to help uncover and understand controversial cultural differences in psychological processes.


Developmental Psychologist

The primary function of developmental psychologists is to study and understand human social and emotional growth and development over the course of time. Developmental psychologists are often asked to evaluate and diagnose patients with developmental disabilities, understand the origin and problems with language development, and work with people of all ages and personalities to pinpoint their developmental obstacles and successes.


Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologists have the unenviable job of studying and understanding how people are capable of learning in educational settings, the efficacy of certain educational methods, and the effectiveness of the instructional process. They help identify gifted and disabled learners and try to drill down to the root of the problem in hopes of identifying and treating issues in the early stages. Educational psychologists take a proactive rather than reactive approach to the job and use their research to improve educational experiences for people of all learning styles.


Engineering Psychologist

Engineering psychology is the science of human behavior in the operation of systems. This means engineering psychologists are primarily focused on anything that affects the performance of those who operate the system. This means studying and applying ergonomic equipment designs and optimizing the efficacy of the machine design. This also means analyzing and applying training procedures and principles that will help get the most out of human operators of the systems as well.


Environmental Psychologist

Environmental Psychologists take part in the study of environment and the psychological interaction that takes place in certain types of environments. It is believed that the understanding of an environment and how people interact with it can help to increase productivity, increase or decrease comfort, increase or decrease creativity, etc.


Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychologists are the intermediaries between the field of psychology and the justice system because they are responsible for applying psychology to the field of justice, criminal investigation, and law. Forensic psychologists are called upon during legal disputes like custody battles, insurance hearings, and other types of lawsuits. They investigate reports, evaluate the behavior of both parties, and determine mental competency of defendants.


Geriatric Psychologist

Forensic Psychologists are the intermediaries between the field of psychology and the justice system because they are responsible for applying psychology to the field of justice, criminal investigation, and law. Forensic psychologists are called upon during legal disputes like custody battles, insurance hearings, and other types of lawsuits. They investigate reports, evaluate the behavior of both parties, and determine mental competency of defendants.


Gerontologist

Not to be confused with geriatrics, gerontologists study and research all the aspects of aging, including social, psychological, developmental, and biological influences. Gerontologists study the physical and social changes in people as they get older; they study the actual aging process; they study the importance of an increasingly aging population, and they identify, analyze, and attempt to understand the reasoning behind age-related disease.


Health Psychologist

By understanding the mental, emotional, and socioeconomic factors that might lead to certain illnesses, doctors can also have a better understanding of how to prevent these illnesses. Health psychology also plays a role in helping medical professionals understand the mental and emotional effects of certain illnesses. This not only refers to the effects of certain symptoms on patients, but also the behavioral, social, and economic ramifications that illnesses might have as well.


Media Psychologist

Media psychology is the intersection between our media-rich society and psychology, and media psychologists are charged with examining and studying that intersection and trying to answer questions by merging their understanding of human behavior and emotions and how it relates to their use, consumption, and reaction to media. They measure motivations of the content producer, user response to the content, user perceptions and reactions, and research about technological development in order to help better understand how people interact with the media and technology.


Military Psychologist

Military psychologists use psychological research to identify, treat, prevent, and combat mental, emotional, and developmental issues with military personnel and units. Military psychologists can be deployed with active duty troops or they can work in hospitals and government agencies, and they assess individuals to identify things like emotional trauma, stress disorders, traumatic brain injuries and many other awful side-effects of war. They research behavior, emotions, and social development to try and nip serious issues in the bud before they become a problem.


Navy Psychology Careers

What Is Navy Psychology? Military careers are well known for causing a number of mental and emotional health problems. A Navy career is no exception. Being trapped on vessels at sea for days, weeks, or even months at a time can lead to a variety of problems and negatively affect a person's psyche. Navy sailors are also at risk of Continue Reading


Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychologists study the relationship of abilities, behaviors, and cognitive functions of people. They are in charge of assessing, diagnosing, and then clinically treating abnormal development, medical, psychological, or neurological conditions and problems. They study brain anatomy, diseases, and dysfunction in hopes of better understanding neurological issues that afflict people everywhere.


Organizational-Industrial Psychologist

Organizational-Industrial psychologists are scientists who study employees, the workplace environment, and organizational structure. They are tasked with determining how to make a organization more productive and efficient by examining employee behaviors and the motivations behind them, external workplace influencers, and infrastructure in place and how it can be improved. They try to identify spots where effectiveness and efficiency can be improved through hiring best practices, feedback, and training drills.


Positive Psychologist

It sounds campy on the surface but Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that impact individual and community success. Positive Psychologists work under the belief that people want to lead fulfilling and impactful lives in order to make their personal experiences better.  The idea is that understanding positive emotions such as love and happiness and contentment or positive ideals like justice, peace, and work ethic will help the community and people within it thrive. So much of psychology focuses on human suffering, but positive psychologists believe understanding human strengths is equally as important to enhancing the quality of life.


Psychometrician

A psychometrician is someone who measures a person’s psychological attributes such as knowledge, skills, problem-solving ability, and other abilities that someone might need to work in a particular field or profession. They conduct data analyses, measure the validity of an exam program, or create language tests. They also may develop test specifications and define the parameters of certain exams and tests to make sure they conform to industry standards.


Rehabilitation Psychologist

Rehabilitation psychologists have the ever-important job of helping patients suffering from neurological trauma, chronic illness, chronic pain, and other physical disabilities with the psychological impact of their issues. They are often called upon to perform psychological interventions so that people are better able to manage their emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal problems and issues.


School Psychologist

School psychologists have the job of aiding children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally by collaborating with others in the school environment to provide the most supportive learning environment for students. They are trained in education and psychology and often deal with child development, learning disabilities, external factors, curriculum and instruction, and other factors that may influence an educational environment.


Social Gerontologist

What Is Social Gerontology? As we approach old age, things in our lives will begin to change drastically. Not only do our bodies begin to deteriorate, but our social interactions become more difficult as well. Friends that we once had to lean on might pass away or become otherwise incapacitated. Family members and other loved ones often become busy with Continue Reading


Social Psychologist

The job of the social psychologist is to study social factors such as perception and interaction and determine how they affect and influence the behavior of individuals or large groups. They spend a lot of time researching and analyzing human behavior in hopes of better understanding the psychology influenced by social factors. Their primary job is to observe and analyze human interaction in certain social settings.


Spiritual Psychologist

Spiritual psychologists have the job of helping people unlock their spiritual secrets by helping them overcome hidden or subconscious issues and overcome their fears. They help patients evolve spiritually and consciously and in turn that helps them grow stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. Spiritual psychologists tap into a patient’s emotions and inner-psyche to help them feel more content with their lives.


Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists work with athletes, teams, coaches, and parents to help them overcome any psychological issues that result from things like career transitions, serious injuries, the long road of rehabilitation, and team-building concerns. Their work is an intersection between psychical and psychological science that often results in more effective performance, better communication, and an understanding of self.


Transpersonal Psychologist

Transpersonal psychologists use knowledge of the psychology of spirituality and the spiritual side of the human mind to help patients unlock enhanced capacity for thought, creativity, emotion, and compassion. It helps people better understand themselves and analyzes transpersonal experiences and what effect they have on the perception, emotions, and spiritual development of the person.

Find a Psychology Degree in Your State

Looking for more information about psychology degrees near you? We have psychology degree overviews that cover everything from career opportunities to schools in the area. Click on a state to find out more about potential options for you. You may also consider online psychology degree options available from many accredited colleges & universities.

Learn more about a psychology degree online.