A Career as a Psychologist

By: Bridget Ireland


Psychologists help counsel people with their life or emotional problems. They also study the human mind and human behavior. Research psychologists investigate the physical, cognitive, emotional, or social aspects of human behavior. Psychologists in health service provider fields provide mental health care in hospitals, clinics, schools, or private settings. Psychologists employed in applied settings, such as business, industry, government, or nonprofits, provide training, conduct research, design systems, and act as advocates for psychology.

Like other social scientists, psychologists formulate hypotheses and collect data to test their validity. Research methods vary with the topic under study. Psychologists sometimes gather information through controlled laboratory experiments or by administering personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. Other methods include observation, interviews, questionnaires, clinical studies, and surveys.

Helpful Highschool Courses

  • Anthropology
  • Child Development
  • Ethnic and Gender Studies
  • Parenting
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Skills and Abilites

To be a psychologist one of the most important skill and ability to have is to be able to listen to others, understand them, and ask questions. Other helpful skills that will give you the ability to help your patients the most effectively are by being able to express ideas clearly when speaking or writing, notice when something is likely to go wrong, analyze ideas and to use logic. Also to be able to develop, review, and apply solutions, and identify patterns.

Working Conditions

Having a career as a psychologist there is a very high level of social interaction. They are often placed in conflict situations and have to make decisions on a daily basis that greatly effect patients. They often work as part of a medical team and they will always work indoors. Psychologists always have to be exact in their work to avoid conflicts or unnecessary problems for their patients.

Depending on where they work a psychologist's working conditions will be different. Clinical, school, and counseling psychologists in private practice have their own offices and set their own hours. However, they often offer evening and weekend hours to accommodate their clients. Those employed in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities may work shifts that include evenings and weekends, while those who work in schools and clinics generally work regular hours.

Psychologists employed as faculty by colleges and universities divide their time between teaching and research and also may have administrative responsibilities; many have part-time consulting practices. Most psychologists in government and industry have structured schedules.Increasingly, many psychologists are working as part of a team, consulting with other psychologists and professionals. Many experience pressures because of deadlines, tight schedules, and overtime. Their routine may be interrupted frequently. Travel may be required in order to attend conferences or conduct research.


  • Highschool Diploma
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Masters in Psychology
  • Internship if you do counseling
  • License


Wages for clinical, counseling, or school psychologist:

In Minnesota: $29.95/hr, $62,360/year

In the United States: $32.64/hr, $ 67,880/year

Wages for industrial/organizational psychologist:

In Minnesota: $59.95/hr, $124,700/year

In the United States: $45.54/hr, $94,720/year

Employment Outlook

In Minnesota in 2010  there was 3,410 psychologists employed, by 2020 there are an expected 4,241 psychologists to be employed from a 24.4% increase in employment.

In the United States in 2012 there was 154,300 psychologists employed. By 2020 there is an expected 188,000 psychologists to be employed from a 21.8% increase in employment.

Related Occupations

  • Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Clergy
  • Social Worker
  • Psychiatrist

Programs of Study

  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Psychology

Program Choice-General Psychology

General Psychology focuses on human behaviors and mental states. A person studying general psychology would learn how the mind develops, how people learn, and what motivates people. In this study they would learn researching and testing methods.

Program Admission

  • Public speaking
  • Biology
  • Pre-calculus
  • Probablility and statistics
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology

Typical Course Work

  • Expiremental Psychology
  • Memory and Cognition
  • Social Psychology
  • Theories of Personality
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Psychometrics

Related Programs

  • Addiction Counseling
  • Anthropology
  • Social Work
  • Human Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Clinical Psychology

Schools that offer this program

  • Minnesota State University- Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Art
  • Univeristy of Minnesota, Twin Cities-Bachelor of Arts, GG, Bachelor of Science, Masters of Art, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
  • University of Minnesota, Duluth-Bachelor of Arts

University of Minnesota


The University of Minnesota that I would attend to study Psychology is located in the Twin Cities. It is an urban four year school. It is co-ed and has no religious affiliation. It is located near Minneapolis, Minneapolis and is a very large city with a population around 300,000 people.

Admission Requirements

The deadline for admission is December 15. The tests required are either the ACT with or without the writing test or the SAT.

Scholarships Available

  • Presidential- 1,000-10,000 each year for 4 years
  • Maroon and Gold Leadership Award- 12,000 each year for 4 years. Have to be in top 1-3% of class and a Minnesota resident.
  • Iron Range-1,000-3,000 each year for 2 or 4 years. Must be a Minnesota resident and top 10% of class.
  • National Merit University of Minnesota- 1,000-2,000 each year for 4 years.


They have 9 different Resident Halls and 3 apartment buildings, ranging from $1,500- 4,500.

There are many different food plans including FlexDine credit. The cheapest and most expensive meal plan for a semester is 25 meals with $50 FlexDine for $314 per semester  The most expensive meal plan includes up to 19 meals per week and $165 FlexDine for $1,882 per semester.


There are so many different student groups to join at the University of Minnesota, here are just a few:

  • American Red Cross Student Organization
  • Biking Mondales
  • Psychiatry Interest Group
  • Breakdancing
  • The Comebacks (A Capella group)
  • Students for Obama
  • Drumline
  • University Quidditch League

There are also a lot of Greek Organizations such as:

  • Alpha Gamma Rho
  • Delta Sigma Pi
  • Pi Sigma Epilson

Some of the U of M's athletic teams or groups are:

  • Gymnastics club
  • Water Polo
  • Apline Ski Team
  • Hunting and Fishing
  • Juggling Club
  • U Skydiving Club

Campus Visit

Campus Visits are available almost all the time at the U of M except for Wednesdays. To plan a campus visit just click on the button below and it will take you to their website. All you have to do is chose either a date available or a specific school to visit such as their College of Biological Sciences, give them your email, and they will contact you with the rest of the information.

Plans to Reach My Goal

In order to follow through with my goal I am going to take psychology and sociology next year. I will probably take a few PSEO classes that would also be helpful in becoming a psychologist or a similar job. I will also take another CIS Writing class and try to get a 4.0 and a high ACT to get into the U of M and get scholarships.

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