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Psychologists

Psychologists are scientists that study human behavior. They're involved in various areas including social service in clinics, schools, government agencies and private industry. Some psychologists are involved in teaching or research. Psychology is a large field and includes numerous specializations. Approximately 40 percent of psychologists work in private practice.

They utilize their knowledge to help emotionally or mentally disturbed patients make adjustments to life. Those involved in research develop theories to provide an explanation for the various types of reactions people have to their environment. Some psychologists help surgical and medical patients cope with injury or illness.

Some of the areas of specialization are clinical psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, school psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology and experimental or research psychology.

The largest area of specialization is clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists help families and individuals and provide group psychotherapy for people dealing with emotional problems. Some of the specializations in clinical psychology are neuropsychology, health psychology and geropsychology. Neuropsychologists examine the relationship between the brain and behavior. Health psychologists examine how psychological, biological and social factors affect health and illness. Geropsychologists deal with the problems of the elderly.

School psychologists work to resolve students' behavior or learning problems in schools or district offices.

Counseling psychologists offer advice to patients regarding how to deal with problems of everyday living.

Developmental psychologists analyze cognitive, physiological and social development that occurs throughout life.

Industrial organizational psychologists improve productivity and the quality of work life by using psychological principles and research methods.

Experimental or research psychologists analyze behavior processes by using human beings and animals.

Social psychologists study peoples' interactions with others and also with their social environment.

Responsibilities

  • Help people that have emotional or mental problems
  • Interview patients
  • Provide individual group or family therapy
  • Give diagnostic tests
  • Help people deal with a personal crisis
  • Create and implement behavior modification programs
  • Work with physicians and other specialists in order to develop and implement intervention and treatment programs for patients

Job Characteristics

The work setting of psychologists vary by the place of employment and the subfield. Those in private practice set their own hours. They typically provide evening and weekend sessions in order to accommodate the schedules of their patients. Most psychologists that are employed by the government or in industry have structured work schedules.

Psychologists should be mature, sensitive and compassionate. They also need good communication skills. Being able to inspire and lead others are important assets for the occupation.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 15 percent employment growth from 2006 to 2016 for psychologists which is faster than average for all occupations. Job growth varies by specialty.

Salaries vary depending on the specialty and the type of employer. In 2006 the median annual earnings of psychologists working in mental health practitioners offices was $69,510. The salary for those working for local governments was $58,770. The salary for psychologists working at elementary and secondary schools was $61,290. Those working in individual and family services earned $50,780. Industrial and organizational psychologists earned $86,420.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most psychologists are required to have a master's or doctoral degree and a license. Psychologists that want to have an independent practice are typically required to have a doctoral degree. Those with a doctoral degree also work in clinical positions, perform research, teach or are involved with administrative duties. In addition, the American Board of Professional Psychology provides specialty certifications in numerous areas.

It usually takes five to seven years of graduate study to earn a doctoral degree. The doctoral program includes a dissertation based on original research. A Psy.D degree can be based on practical work and examinations instead of a dissertation. The doctoral degree requirements for clinical, school psychology and counseling include at least a one year internship.

Psychologists that hold a master's degree have opportunities for employment as an industrial organizational psychologist. They also have opportunities for positions as a psychological assistant and work under the supervision of a psychologist that holds a doctoral degree. They may perform psychological evaluations or conduct research.

It typically takes at least two years of full time graduate study to earn a master's degree in psychology. A master's degree typically requires a master's thesis which needs to be based on an original research project and practical experience in an applied environment.

All states require psychologists that are working in independent practice, or providing any type of patient care to meet certification or licensing requirements. Licensing laws vary by the type of position and by state. Certified or licensed psychologists are required to limit their practice to fields they have developed professional competence in via training and experience.

Resources

Major Employers

Many psychologists are self-employed. The top job providers are educational institutions, healthcare facilities and the government.

Schools for Psychologists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Psychologists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Psychologists jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage N/A $95,670
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 80 $95,130
Mesa 80 $95,130
Phoenix 80 $95,130
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 50 $92,880
North Little Rock 50 $92,880
Little Rock 50 $92,880
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 520 $119,410
Long Beach 520 $119,410
Los Angeles 520 $119,410
Sacramento 290 $99,610
Arden 290 $99,610
Roseville 290 $99,610
Arcade 290 $99,610
San Francisco 280 $110,260
Hayward 280 $110,260
Oakland 280 $110,260
San Diego 250 $104,390
Carlsbad 250 $104,390
Santa Clara 110 $99,410
Sunnyvale 110 $99,410
San Jose 110 $99,410
Riverside 90 $97,420
San Bernardino 90 $97,420
Ontario 90 $97,420
Fresno 80 N/A
Fairfield 40 $79,760
Vallejo 40 $79,760
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 80 $102,880
Aurora 80 $102,880
Denver 80 $102,880
Colorado Springs 70 $98,670
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 80 N/A
West Hartford 80 N/A
Hartford 80 N/A
New Haven 80 $98,270
Stamford N/A $93,180
Norwalk N/A $93,180
Bridgeport N/A $93,180
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Petersburg 440 $90,070
Tampa 440 $90,070
Clearwater 440 $90,070
West Palm Beach 360 $60,900
Fort Lauderdale 360 $60,900
Miami 360 $60,900
Kissimmee 150 $92,890
Orlando 150 $92,890
Sanford 150 $92,890
Jacksonville 90 N/A
Brent 70 $78,120
Ferry Pass 70 $78,120
Pensacola 70 $78,120
Gainesville 40 N/A
Titusville 40 $92,940
Palm Bay 40 $92,940
Melbourne 40 $92,940
Marco Island 30 N/A
Naples 30 N/A
Immokalee 30 N/A
Port St. Lucie N/A $90,890
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 170 $94,190
Sandy Springs 170 $94,190
Atlanta 170 $94,190
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $97,770
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 40 $87,270
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 80 $93,360
Carmel 80 $93,360
Indianapolis 80 $93,360
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 140 $35,650
New Orleans 140 $35,650
Alexandria 30 $98,510
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 230 $101,370
Columbia 230 $101,370
Baltimore 230 $101,370
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 90 $94,720
Warren 90 $94,720
Detroit 90 $94,720
Ann Arbor 80 $80,480
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 80 $92,900
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dayton 120 $101,220
Elyria 90 $93,630
Cleveland 90 $93,630
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 120 $91,900
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 90 $75,750
Carolina 90 $75,750
San Juan 90 $75,750
Arecibo N/A $82,690
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Braunfels 170 $95,700
San Antonio 170 $95,700
The Woodlands 100 $104,880
Sugar Land 100 $104,880
Houston 100 $104,880
Austin 30 $98,660
Round Rock 30 $98,660
Arlington N/A $98,330
Dallas N/A $98,330
Fort Worth N/A $98,330
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City N/A $92,880
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 320 $96,320
Tacoma 320 $96,320
Seattle 320 $96,320
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 80 $93,800
Waukesha 80 $93,800
Milwaukee 80 $93,800

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Psychologists

To find out more about building a career as Psychologists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Psychologists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 5,050 51% $88,480
Medical Office 1,700 17% $84,210
Education 1,400 14% $77,110
Hospital 1,070 10% $80,900
Professional And Technical Services 330 3% $76,930
Social Service 200 2% $99,340
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
 
Results:  7
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Programs
  • MA in Psychology, General Psychology
  • MA in Psychology, Health and Wellness Psychology
  • Doctor of Psychology, Sports and Performance Psychology
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Received the 2013 Making a Difference for Students Award from Quality Matters.
  • Offers a free student app for smartphones and tablets, helping students keep up to date.
  • Has a Golden Key International Honour Society and SALUTE Veterans Honor Society.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
Programs
  • Psychology - BA
  • General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Programs
  • M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track
  • Ph.D. Business Psychology, I/O Track
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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Los Angeles
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Programs
  • Psychology (BA) (Online)
  • Forensic Psychology (MA) (Online)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
Programs
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Programs
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
  • Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.
  • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Programs
  • Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
  • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
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West Covina
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Psychologists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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