Employment Outlook & Guidance for Neuropsychologists
Neuropsychology is a steadily-growing branch of psychology; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this branch is projected to grow about 11% through the year 2022, or about as fast as most other careers. This is great news for future neuropsychologists, because when demand for these professionals grows, so do the opportunities and offerings they receive from potential employers. A neuropsychologist studies the function and makeup of the brain and how those affect psychological behaviors and conditions.
What Type of Positions Can Neuropsychologists Hold?
According to pediatric neuropsychologist Lee Ann Grisolano:
“Neuropsychologists can be found in a variety of places. Initially, neuropsychologists worked mostly in hospital settings, starting in VAs, where those in the military during WWII had sustained head injuries in combat. Since then, as we as medical and mental health communities have come to better understand the connection between brain functioning, behavioral and emotional health, and the general health of the rest of our bodies, the role of neuropsychologists in hospitals has expanded to physical medicine/rehabilitation, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology and other medical services.
Some hospitals employ neuropsychologists to work with inpatients. Other hospitals and clinics employ neuropsychologists to work on an outpatient basis to, for example, follow up with and monitor inpatients who have sustained concussions. With the popularity and availability of a “school neuropsychology” certification, neuropsycholgoists who specialize in evaluating and treating children with learning difficulties can also increasingly be found in school settings. Yet other neuropsychologists can be found in private practice settings, where they may specialize in treating specific populations and/or provide patient populations with additional options for where they receive care.”
Learn more about how to become a neuropsychologist.
Ways for Neuropsychologists to Increase Desirability as a Job Candidate
With most psychologist jobs, the attributes and skills an employer is looking for will depend upon that particular employer. However, there are some general things most employers consider to be valuable in a neuropsychologist, including:
- Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
- Excellent Verbal and Written Communication
- Deductive Reasoning
- Complex Problem Solving
- Category Flexibility
- Previous Academic Publications or Contributions
Ways for a Neuropsychologist to Increase His/Her Salary
Typically, the very best way for any psychologist to increase his or her salary is to increase their skills and knowledge in the branch of psychology they specialize in. Taking their education as far as possible is a great step in the right direction. Additional courses that are outside of a neuropsychologist’s typical education are also extremely helpful in increasing a professional’s worth in the eyes of their employer.
“The impact of neuropsychologists continues to grow as the medical community comes to discover and accept an undeniable connection between how brain functions impact behavior.”
– Lee Ann Grisolano, PhD
Networking Opportunities and Organizations
According to Dr. Grisolano:
“The American Psychological Association (APA) has a Neuropsychology Division that provides information regarding the field in general, as well as opportunities to network with other professionals interested in general neuropsychology or practice with special populations (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics). The APA Neuropsychology Division also has several on-line list serves, specific to the areas of interest that are helpful for networking and other professionals. Other organizations include:
Neuropsychology Continuing Education Sources
There are a variety of sources for neuropsychologists to further their education. The International Neuropsychological Society offers up a variety of courses, including Oversimplification in the Study of Emotional Memory, Impairments in Social Cognition Following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuropsychology and Clinical Neuroscience of Persistent Post-Concussive Syndrome. The American Psychological Association also offers up a variety of courses adequate for neuropsychologists who are continuing their education.