Psychologists use their skill and expertise in various fields like management, health, law, education and even sports. This is because people from every field need counseling and psychological help. Essentially, a psychologist should have very good communication and interpersonal skills.
As a psychologist, you should be able to connect emotionally with patients to help them deal with their problems. What any individual psychologist does depends on their level of expertise and interest. A school or clinical psychologist or one with a private practice can set their own hours. They do not have to work long hours like the psychologists who work with hospital and government organizations do.
Another aspect of a psychologist’s job is conducting tests and experiments. These help them to understand their patients and their behavior.
Training and Education
It is not enough to just have formal training – it is important to back up that training with experience and practice in the field. A graduate degree is a must for every psychologist; a bachelor’s degree in a particular field of expertise to be precise is mandatory. People who want to become school psychologists have to earn special degrees by completing three years of graduate school and a one year internship.
Those who want to become clinical psychologists or counseling psychologists with a private practice and those who want to get into teaching or research require a doctorate or PhD after their Masters degree. This takes up to seven years to acquire.
Licensing is a big part of becoming a psychologist. It is necessary for psychologists to be certified and have a license before they can start their practice. The American Board of Professional Psychology certifies and awards those who have excelled in psychology. Anyone who wants to apply for a psychologist’s license has to pass a National Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. This test is popular among those who have completed their Masters degree in Psychology. This gives them the advantage of licensed psychologists. Remember that psychiatrists are also physicians, but psychologists are not.
Getting a job as a psychologist is a tedious process. You can either apply through agencies or school placement offices. If you want to start your own practice, then seek help from a professional association. For listings of job options professional journals, ads, Internet and newspapers are the best place to look.
Scope and Pay
It has been forecasted that the jobs for psychologists will grow and increase at a faster rate than most other jobs. This depends on the kind of psychologist you are, your skills and your qualities. Psychologists practice in the field of healthcare, in drug and substance abuse clinics, schools and public and private organizations, and especially in social services. Organizations and companies also use the expertise of the psychologists to understand consumer behavior and help them with marketing techniques.
The field of psychology is never boring and gives candidates several career fields to choose from. If you enjoy working with people and solving problems, then you just might be cut out for this exciting career.