Psychology is defined as the study of human mind and behaviour. Psychologists are tasked with this study as well as understanding the human mind in order to treat specific disorders and behaviors. It has been practiced since the time of the Ancient Greeks, later branching off from philosophy into its own respected field of study.

Many people often confuse psychologists and psychiatrists, when they are quite different in many respects. Both psychiatrists and psychologists may end up treating several of the same disorders, but the jobs require different training. In addition, psychiatrists are medical doctors while psychologists are not, and, in the majority of states, psychiatrists can prescribe medications while psychologists usually cannot.

Psychology can be an intriguing field that allows psychologist an insight into the human mind and the forces behind human actions. There are several different areas of expertise within the field, with counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology. While clinical and counseling psychology usually focus on treating varying mental illnesses, like eating disorders or depression, industrial-organizational psychologists study workplace behavior in order to improve productivity.

Psychologist Job Description

The majority of psychologists are trained as clinical psychologists. They can work in a wide variety of settings, including private businesses, schools, group or private facilities, and hospitals. Clinical psychologists use their wide variety of skills and knowledge of the human mind and behavior to treat patients with a wide variety of issues. Most commonly, clinical psychologists help patients readjust to life after a life-changing event, i.e. divorce, death, or can help patients with other mental or physical illnesses. They often work in one-on-one settings with patients to help them evaluate, diagnose, and provide appropriate treatment for mental and emotional illness.

Counseling psychologists often do much of the same but they also help their patients to understand and deal with their problems. They help the patients indicate methods for treating their own issues, often dealing with behavioral or substance abuse problems. Industrial-organizational psychologists are another popular specialization. This field of psychology deals with the study of work place behavior, and industrial-organizational psychologists usually work in the private sector, helping companies to select the ideal employee and to maximize productivity.

The psychologist job description includes the following:

  • Using a wide variety of methods, including surveys, observations, interviews, and tests to collect data
  • Work with individual clients and their families to modify or improve their personal and social behavior
  • Diagnose and treat various mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders
  • Develop, implement and follow up individual treatment plans for every client
  • Collaborate with other health care practitioners to develop treatment plans
  • Write patient reports and maintain filing and paperwork
  • Carry out scientific studies examining human behavior
  • Refer clients to specialists and other support services if necessary
  • Implement programs in institutions and schools to improve mental health

Psychologist Prerequisite

In order to become a psychologist, you almost certainly will need a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology. Before enrolling in one of these, however, there are certain perquisites. You will need a bachelor’s degree, and some Ph.D. programs require a master’s degree before you can enroll. While strong undergraduate grades aren’t necessarily required, they certainly will help you be admitted to a graduate program.

Psychologist Education

In order to become a psychologist, as mentioned, one must obtain either a master’s or Ph.D. in psychology. At the completion of doctoral programs, students are required to complete a yearlong internship as part of the program. The amount of education and degrees requires varies upon which specialty one wishes to enter. Admission to master’s and Ph.D. programs can be competitive and often require either an undergraduate degree in psychology or clinical practice or coursework.

Psychologist Training

Before obtaining a license, psychologists will require workplace training, as face-to-face interaction and work experience are very important aspects of the job.

Psychologist Certification

In all states, psychologists who practice independently must have a license. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, one to two years of professional experience and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Many specific fields of psychology, like school psychologist, may require a specific certification to practice. In addition, certain workplaces, such as hospitals, may require specific or additional licenses and certifications.

Psychologist Salary

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Psychologist Job Description Summary

Here is a short recap of the psychologist job description:
  • Dispense and counsel medications
  • Work with psychiatrist and other healthcare professionals
  • Obtain a master’s or doctorate degree
  • Must be licensed to practice
  • 12% employment growth by 2022