Psychologists study the human mind and behavior to help patients overcome emotional or psychological difficulties. Becoming a psychologist requires obtaining a master's or doctoral degree. During this process, students may perform research, work supervised clinical rotations and teach classes. They may work in a variety of specialties, such as counseling, school or clinical psychology. Besides working with individuals, psychologists may work with large companies and organizations to improve workplace productivity or employee satisfaction. They may also conduct research, publish papers and give speeches.
|Required Education||Master's or Doctoral Degree|
|Other Requirements||Licensure needed for many positions; optional specialty certifications available|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||12%*|
|Median Salary (2012)||$69, 280*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational Requirements for Psychologists
Individuals can work in the psychology field with different degree levels, but those who wish to practice independently need advanced schooling. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in every state psychologists need a master's or doctoral degree to become licensed or certified, which is a requirement to work as a psychologist (www.bls.gov).
At the doctoral level, students may choose from a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program, depending on personal interests. They may consider Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), which accredits programs and internships for clinical, counseling and school psychology. Some state-licensing committees require applicants to hold a degree from an APA-accredited program (www.apa.org).
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