Professional wage surveys indicated that the median salary for a psychologist working in a school, a hospital, or a clinical setting is $64,000 per year. Those who fall within the middle range of the profession make an average of $48,000 to $82,000. Several factors can influence the exact salary of these professionals. Those psychologists that fall within the lowest earning 10% made $37,000 or less per year. The highest earning psychologists brought in approximately $106,000 per year. Industry, geographic region, and specialty all have a great influence on the salary of these professionals. Many psychologists are self-employed and can charge their own rates. This definitely affects their yearly salary also. Psychology is a lucrative field. Human behavior impacts almost everything in society. Thus, it is critical to have a good understanding in this field.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Psychologist Job Description and Outlook
Psychologists study the mental behavior of humans and animals. They observe, interpret, and record the behavior. They are able to observe patterns that help them to predict the behavior of humans and animals. Through extensive research psychologist are able to better understand how institutions, organizations, individuals, groups, and cultures interact with each other. The psychologist is a social scientist that test theories and hypothesis. However, all criteria is not hard facts like in other sciences. The psychologists must examine feelings and beliefs. They study how feelings and beliefs affect how people react to their surroundings.
Research in psychology can be done in various ways, but the primary ways are observation, experimentation, and assessments. The laboratory is one environment that the psychologist can gather and analyze evidence. Many different testing procedures can also be used to gather information. For example, personality tests, psychosocial tests, hypnosis, biofeedback, and psychotherapy are all testing methods that are effective for research. These social scientists can also use surveys, questionnaires, clinical studies, and aptitude tests to do research. All of these methods give the psychologists the information they need to make certain conclusions about human and animal behavior.
Furthermore, psychology is concerned with emotion, feeling, behavior, and thought. Thus, the psychologist is able to explain why humans and animals behave in certain ways. This information is critical in many other disciplines. The knowledge that psychologists have on personality development helps them to teach others how to best assist in healthy personality development in babies and children. Also, there are certain factors that can assist in changing negative behaviors in adults and teenagers. The insight derived from these professionals helps them to assist people in functioning in a healthier way. This improves relationships in families, workers, and marriages.
Psychologists provide an important service to the public. They help people discover more about themselves. This enables people to make changes that help them function. Employers use this to make adjustments to their workforce. Understanding human behavior can help significantly in handling many problems. In fact, criminal justice systems use the research of psychologists to make changes to criminal justice programs.
Training and Education Requirements
A psychologist position requires a minimum of a doctoral degree in psychology. A Psy.D or Ph.D credential qualifies a psychologist for a number of jobs in different industries. For example, a psychologist with one of these credentials can teach, do research, or practice in clinical or hospital settings. A doctoral degree takes most students five years of intensive full-time studying. The end result is original research done by the student that is presented in a dissertation. Statistical classes are important in any doctoral program. The graduate student must become skilled in quantitative experimental methods in research. The Ph.D degree involves much research using quantitative methods. These methods are analyzed through computer based programs. The Psy.D program can be attained through practical work experience and examinations. It is not always necessary to complete a dissertation with this degree type.
A psychology graduate with a master’s degree can work in a corporation as an industrial-organization psychologist. They may become psychology assistants and perform research for doctorate level psychology professionals. The doctoral level psychology professional would directly supervise their work.
A psychologist that deals with patients in any state or in the District of Columbia must have licensure in that state. This includes any psychologist that offers clinical care, school counseling, or group therapy. Each state has their own qualifications for licensing of the psychologist. This depends largely on the position desired. The psychologist must limit their practicing of psychology to those areas that they have proven their competence. Those who practice clinical psychology need to be involved in an approved internship and need to have approximately two years of experience.
The National Association of School Psychologists is one of several professional associations for psychologists. Professionals in this association are awarded the (NCSP) designation. Currently, 31 states recognize this designation. Professional associations provide a variety of membership benefits. Members can network with each other.
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