Different Types of Psychologists
Psychology is a broad field that can involve providing therapy to patients with behavioral health disorders, performing research, and applying psychological concepts in business environments to improve productivity and efficiency. Pursuing a career in psychology can be rewarding for you and for the communities you will help.
An academic background in psychology is beneficial to many different kinds of psychology careers. Individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology can pursue jobs in human services as case managers, residential counselors, group care workers, behavior interventionists, and research assistants.
Graduate education, experience, and licensure lead to positions as psychologists. Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment opportunities for psychologists will grow 8% from 2020 to 2030. Here are a few of the different kinds of psychologist specialties and the level of education and licensure necessary to pursue these careers.
To become a clinical psychologist, an individual must earn a doctoral degree — typically a Doctor of Psychology. Clinical psychologists work with patients to diagnose and treat mental illness and to conduct psychotherapy. Psychologists work in hospitals, private offices, outpatient centers, and government agencies. Licensing requirements for these professionals vary by state. In most states, a clinical psychologist is required to have a doctorate in psychology, one to two years of supervised professional experience, and a passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
A military psychologist works directly with patients who are in the military. The psychologist can either be a member of the military or work as an independent contractor. Like clinical psychologists, military psychologists need a doctoral degree and a certain amount of supervised professional experience. Becoming a military psychologist requires additional training that focuses on working with military personnel and practicing in military environments.
The American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, or ABCCAP, is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology. ABCCAP offers board certification examinations that focus on work with children and adolescents specifically. Child psychologists must have a doctoral degree as well as training and experience with children and young adults.
Forensic psychologists work within the legal and criminal justice system to help professionals understand the psychological background and aspects of their cases. To complete the American Board of Professional Psychology certification process, prospective forensic psychologists must have a doctoral degree.
As an example of the application of psychology in different fields, industrial-organizational psychologists operate by a completely separate set of rules than other psychologists. Industrial-organizational psychologists need a master’s degree. They study employees and workplaces to promote efficiency and productivity.
For those interested in making a difference in the mental health of their community, an online bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rivier University is the first step toward becoming a psychologist. Learn more about the B.A. in Psychology and launch your career today.