Psychology is a flourishing field that leads to diverse and numerous career opportunities for qualified psychologists. It is important to remember that practicing psychologists have doctoral degrees and licensure. Requirements also depend on the state of residence. Others are self-employed while some work for others. In fact, around 34% of psychologists put up their own private practice. Those who work for others perform a wide variety of duties in different industries. For example, psychologists who are working the health industry can engage in providing psychotherapy, mental evaluation, and intervention services for patients. Other psychologists may opt to develop their psychologist career paths in related industries such as business, government, academia, and other institutions needing their services. Licensed Psychologists can choose career paths and research in a wide variety of areas:
Clinical psychologists evaluate and treat disorders that are mental, emotional and behavioral. These disorders range from short-term crises such as adolescent challenges to chronic ones such as severe anxiety or clinical depression. There are career paths that lead to a focus on a certain profile such as youths, families, indigents, different gender preferences, or even older adults.
Cognitive and perceptual psychologists are interested in questions about human perception, memory, learning, and thinking. Some cognitive psychologists even study language, reasoning, and decision making.
Community psychologists focus on strengthening and empowering the abilities of social systems such as communities and organizations. They help address people needs by providing access to resources and collaborating with other experts to improve the quality of living of people in communities. Examples of their work are providing critical support during disasters and calamities.
Developmental psychologists are concerned with the psychological development of human beings from cradle to grave. They work with various ages such as children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.
Environmental psychologists focus on the interaction of humans with their environment. They define environment as a broad concept ranging from natural or physical settings to social settings. Examples of topics that they are concerned about is the effect of environmental stress on human well-being and advocating conservation behavior.
Forensic psychologists use their psychological knowledge to deal legal issues that patients encounter. They usually provide their expertise in courts and judicial system. Some of the issues that they help with are defendant’s mental competence, jury behavior, and eyewitness testimony. Some forensic psychologists even take up a law degree to hone their expertise.
Industrial/organizational or I/O psychologists use their expertise to improve the productivity, health, and quality of living in the workplace. Many I/O specialists work as a member of a human resource group to institute programs and strategies regarding recruitment, talent management, and employee engagement. Others also lead change management, quality improvement, and process excellence.
Sport psychologists focus on helping athletes achieve focus and motivation. They also provide support to lift anxiety and fear of failure that athletes feel during competitions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics* expects that opportunities in psychology will continue to grow over the next decade. As of 2014, number of jobs have reached 173, 900. It is projected to rise to 19% in the next ten years which is faster than the average compared to most jobs. Job prospects are most numerous to those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty. Typical median pay as of 2015 is $72,580 per year.
- * http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm