A Career as a Psychologist
Career Goals - Psychologist
Psychologists counsel people who have life or emotional problems. They also study human behavior and mental processes.
There are three major types of psychologists:
Research psychologists study people and behavior, like what people think, do, and feel. They study what motivates people to act or think in certain ways. A lot of their work includes designing studies, collecting data, and analyzing the results.
Counseling and clinical psychologists help people solve life and mental health problems. They begin by determining the level of a patient's troubles, they ask patients questions, and they also have patients take psychological tests.
Applied psychologists apply psychological theories and research to real life situations. They work in health and human services, management, and education.
Careers Skills and Interests
Psychologists need to:
- Listen to others and ask questions.
- Express ideas clearly when speaking.
- Read and understand work-related materials.
Reason and problem solve
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Recognize the nature of a problem.
- Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.
- Understand new information or materials by studying and working with them.
- Think of original, unusual, or creative ways to solve problems.
- Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
- Identify what must be changed to reach goals.
- Recognize when important changes happen or are likely to happen in a system.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
Use math and science
- Use scientific methods to solve problems.
Manage oneself, people, time, and things
- Check how well one is learning or doing something.
- Manage the time of self and others.
- Motivate, develop, and direct people as they work.
Work with people
- Be aware of others’ reactions and understand the possible causes.
- Look for ways to help people.
- Persuade others to approach things differently.
- Use several methods to learn or teach new things.
- Solve problems by bringing others together to discuss differences.
Work with things
- Analyze needs and requirements when designing products.
Perceive and analyze
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Have a high level of job-required social interaction.
- They work closely with clients.Communicate on a daily basis by telephone, face-to-face discussions, and e-mail.
- They often write letters and memos, but less frequently.
- Often work as part of a medical team.
- Are sometimes in conflict situations when people are upset or angry.
- Sometimes deal with angry or rude people who may not agree with suggested changes.
Physical Work Conditions
- Always work indoors in hospitals, schools, industries, counseling centers, and other settings.
- May work physically near patients. They may come within a few feet, especially during counseling sessions.
- Must fully complete and be exact in their work. Errors could seriously endanger the health and well-being of their clients.
- Repeat the same activities.
- Make decisions on a daily basis that greatly impact patients and their families. They usually act independently, meaning they don't seek advice from a superior first.
- Set nearly all of their daily tasks and goals without talking to a superior first.
- Must meet strict daily and weekly deadlines.
- May work full time or part time.
- May work days, evenings, or weekends to meet deadlines or accommodate clients.
Career Wages and Outlooks
Demand for this occupation will grow. New federal health care laws mean that more people can seek mental health services. School psychologists will experience growth as schools continue to try to handle students' mental health and behavioral problems.
Business will hire industrial-organizational psychologists to help increase productivity.
Job prospects will be best for psychologists with a doctorate (PhD). Those who have a master's degree in school or industrial-organizational psychology should also have good job opportunities. There may be strong competition for jobs as there are many qualified people in this field.
Hourly in Minnesota: $31.98
Yearly in Minnesota: $66,520
Career Related Occupations
Program of Study - Psychologist
A general psychology program focuses on human behaviors and behavioral disorders.
Students learn how the mind develops, how people learn, and what motivates people.
Psychology programs include topics such as:
- Sub fields of psychology
- Psychological assessment and testing methods
- Behavioral studies
- Statistics and research methods
- Analysis and treatment of behavior problems and disorders
You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.
High school courses to take:
- English Composition
- Probability and Statistics
- Public Speaking
Program Typical Course Work
A bachelor's degree program in psychology typically requires that everyone study the following core courses:
- English Composition
- Experimental Psychology
- Introduction to Statistical Methods
- Introductory Psychology
Students in the bachelor's degree program usually must choose several of the following subjects:
- Abnormal Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Experimental Design
- History and Systems of Psychology
- Memory and Cognition
- Organizational Psychology
- Physiological Psychology
- Psychological Tests and Measurement
- Psychology of Learning
- Social Psychology
- Theories of Personality
A graduate program in psychology typically includes courses such as the following:
- Applied Regression and Correlation
- Ethics in Psychological Research
- Multivariate Analysis
- Research Methods in Behavioral Analysis
- Statistical Principles in Experimental Design
Graduate programs also typically require the following:
- Thesis (master's degree)
- Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
- Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)
- Addiction counseling
- Art therapy
- Marriage and family counseling
- Music therapy
And many, many more.
Schools That Offer My Program of Study
Minnesota State University - Mankato
Bemidji State University
MSU - Mankato
- 13,650 undergraduate students that attend MSU
- Mankato, MN
Must have high school diploma and GED is accepted, ACT, high school transcript, application.
In-State tuition: $7,574 (fees are included here)
Books and supplies: $500-900
Room and board (On campus): $7,368
Other required expenses: $2,052
For financial aid, you must submit your FAFSA/SAR. The application deadline is March 15.
- Scholarships: Academics, art, special achievements, special characteristics.
- Loans: Federal Perkins loans, Federal PLUS loans (for parents), Federal Stafford loans (subsidized), Federal Stafford loans (unsubsidized), Institution loans (from the school), State loans
- 25% of students live on campus
- They own and operate housing
- Housing ability for the first year students is a priority
- There are 5 residence hall complexes-room and board or just room and board
- They have housing for people with disabilities
- Fraternities or sororities are offered
- Choral groups
- Drama or theater groups
- Radio station
- Student government
My informational interview helped me realize a lot about this job. It made me want it more and made me excited to pursue in the career as I get older. She talked a lot about what you need to do to deal with clients and how the schedule is easy to work around which means a lot to me. I would love to help people like she does and the information she gave me was interesting and told me a lot about what I was getting myself into.
Plans to Reach My Goal
Study hard, get good grades, save money to get the education I need.