8 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Psychology Career

Psychology Career: Do you ever ponder what a psychologist does? Do they sit around and talk to people all day? What kind of education do you require to become a psychologist?

Psychologists are essential workers in almost every institution. They understand human behavior and help people cope with their problems.

The excitement and challenges of this field may interest many people; however, there are several things one should consider before making this commitment. Not everyone’s cut out to be a psychologist. It requires a lot of dedication, empathy, and hard work.

Let’s look at some more details here:

1 – What education is required to become a psychologist?

Psychology education requirements vary by state, but most states require at least a master’s degree in psychology. Some states may require a doctorate in psychology. In most cases, you will also need to complete an internship and pass a licensing exam.

Of course, all this must be achieved from an accredited university program.

Depending on your specialization, it can take anywhere from four to seven years. After graduation, you must complete an internship and pass a licensing exam to practice professionally. 

2 – How much does a psychologist earn?

Are you finally contemplating picking psychology as your lifelong companion? If so, you might want to know the psych NP salary before opting for this career path.

The average salary for a psychologist is $75,000 per year. Nonetheless, salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and type of employer. For instance, a psychiatrist can easily make up to $220,000. At the same time, a probation officer may earn around $50,000 yearly.

Similarly, if you have experience working in a hospital, you’d probably make more money than at a school.

3 – What are the various types?

Do you think you can become a psychologist?

There are many different types of psychologists, each with its specialization. 

Here are some common types:

Clinical Psychologists: These psychologists work with patients to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.

Counseling Psychologists: These psychologists help people deal with problems in their everyday lives. For instance, they may help people deal with relationship issues, job stress, or addiction.

School Psychologists: These psychologists work with students to improve academic performance, handle behavioral problems, and deal with special needs.

Sports Psychologists: They work with athletes to improve performance and overcome mental obstacles.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are various other types of psychologists out there. So, choose a specialization you’re passionate about and make a difference in people’s lives.

4 – What are the job prospects for psychologists?

Employment of psychologists is projected to surpass 8 percent from 2020 to 2030. It is just as fast as the average for all occupations. The job prospects are bright for those with a doctoral degree or related postdoctoral experience in an applied specialty.

Some of the specialties with the highest job growth are:

  • School psychologists (14%)
  • Clinical psychologists (12%)
  • Counseling psychologists (11%)
  • Industrial-organizational psychologists (11%)

5 – What skills make a good psychologist?

It’s one thing to wish to become a psychologist, but it’s another to have the qualities that make a good psychologist.

Some of the skills and qualities you need are:

Patience: A psychologist must be able to deal with people who may be experiencing emotional distress. They can be impatient, irritable, or even angry. Understanding and empathizing with a patient’s feelings is a must.

Communication: Psychologists need to be able to communicate effectively with their patients. It includes being able to listen attentively and give clear instructions when needed. Whether it is verbal or written, a psychologist needs to be able to communicate clearly.

Observation: Most psychologists’ job is to observe their patients. They must be able to pick up on nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions. It will allow them to understand their patient’s feelings and emotions better.

Critical Thinking: Processing and analyzing data is a big part of a psychologist’s job. They need to be able to think critically to identify patterns and come up with solutions.

6- Ways to enhance your skills

It’s okay if you don’t have all the above skills and qualities. None of us are carved in stone, and we all have room for improvement. So, here are some ways you can enhance your skills:

Volunteer: One way to get experience is to volunteer in a hospital, school, or counseling center. It will allow you to work with different people and see if it is the right fit for you.

Get a degree: A degree is not always necessary, but it will give you a good foundation. You’ll also have a competitive edge while applying for jobs. 

Join a professional organization: It is a great way to network with other professionals and remain abreast of the current trends, happenings, and developments in your field.

7 – Pros of being a psychologist

There are several advantages of becoming a psychologist. Here are some common ones:

  • Helping people: One of the most gratifying parts of being a psychologist is being able to help people overcome their challenges. Seeing your patients progress and improve their lives can be exceptionally rewarding.
  • Flexible job: Psychologists can work in various settings, such as hospitals, schools, private practices, and businesses. It means your job search is wider than several other professions.
  • High demand: There is a high demand for psychologists, so you’re likely to find a job that you’re qualified for in this field.

8 – Cons of being a psychologist

Like any job, being a psychologist has its fair share of disadvantages. Here are some that you must keep in mind:

  • Dealing with difficult patients: Some of your patients may be dealing with very difficult issues, such as trauma or mental illness. It can be emotionally exhausting, and you must deal with it healthily.
  • Long hours: Psychologists often work long hours, including evenings and weekends. 

Final Thoughts

Becoming a psychologist is an enthralling yet challenging journey. It requires extensive schooling and many years of experience. But it may be the perfect career if you are passionate about helping people and making a difference in their lives. But ensure to weigh the pros and cons before making your decision. Sometimes, evaluating your career options is the best way to figure out what’s right for you. Whereas, other times, the best way to know if something is right for you is to try it out. So, why not give it a shot?

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