Are you interested in the study of mind and behavior of an individual? Do you enjoy listening to other’s feelings and thoughts? Then look no further, psychology is the career for you. In this blog, we will discuss the steps to take to become a successful psychologist.
Is Psychology For You?
Sure, the idea of being a psychologist sounds like a dream, but it is integral to make sure that you are up for the challenge. Will you be willing to spend 8-12 additional years in school to cover all of the degrees you need? Would you be open to learning new data and studies each day as you go? Would the idea of working with many different people with different issues stress you out or make you more motivated? Can you see yourself doing this same career for the next 30+ years? Finally, does the average salary cover you and your future life goals? These are the many different questions that you must ask yourself before fully committing to this beautiful study. It requires time, patience, and good sportsmanship. If you have looked at these questions and still want to go into this field, read on for the next steps!
The Different Psychology Fields
Now that you know you want to pursue psychology as a lifetime career, it is now time to pick a field of study. Since psychology is one of the most versatile studies out
there, it can be overwhelming at times to pick one topic that stands out to you. Here are some examples of some popular fields: clinical, counseling, forensic, school, and industrial–organizational psychology. A clinical psychologist focuses on treating individuals with moderate to severe psychological disorders with consulting and direct psychotherapy. A counseling psychologist focuses on being that helping hand for a person as they are faced with upcoming issues, typically regarding family life, work- life, etc. Forensic psychologists are a mix between psychology and law. They aid judges and jurors to make ethical decisions in the courtroom by providing psychological concepts to solve problems. School psychologists specifically work with K-12 students to combat their mental health and their academic lives. Lastly, industrial-organizational psychologists work with other companies to find ways to improve the employee’s everyday habits and efficiency. These are all very different types of fields, and there is much more out there other than these ones. After you research and find the right field for you, that is when the next step comes in.
Let’s Talk Degrees
The next important step is to get your bachelor’s degree. This is one of the most important steps in your psychology journey because it paves the way for the rest of your career and how it will play out. You can also consider undergraduate degrees pertaining to your specific field, like an education and teaching degree for example. If you have a tight and busy schedule, you can receive your bachelor’s degree online too! Once you have worked hard for your bachelor/undergraduate degree, it is now time for more degrees! These different degrees consist of a masters in Psychology, an
Education Specialist in psychology, a PhD, accreditation, etc. There are countless degrees that will pertain to your specific career choice, but these are the most common. While it may seem time- consuming, it will all be worth it in the very end.
Get Your License (No, not your driver’s license)
In order to search for psychology jobs and be officially certified, you must receive your Psychology license. To do this, you must go through three different steps. First, you must research your state license regulations. Since every state has different requirements, it is significant to take time to read through yours. Secondly, you have to complete postdoctoral supervised fieldwork. In order to find a supervised fieldwork position, it is crucial that you find one that meets all of the basic requirements. To do this, you must make sure that they are accredited by the American Psychological Association and/or the Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers with one year of full-time experience. These will be required for most psychological services to prove your eligibility to take care of these fragile patients. Lastly, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. This exam is to show your understanding of the study and how ready you really are.
Look for a Job
Now, this is where the fun begins: finding a place to display your skill! To find a job, there are many questions to ask yourself: Can you see yourself here on a daily basis? What types of positions are available in my area? Can I balance this job with my
personal life as well? These are all great questions to find the answer to and once you have found them, it will be much simpler to find the perfect job for you.
Be Able to Keep Your License
Lastly, you must renew your license every 2-5 years to prove that you are still eligible for this career path. Psychologists are required to complete a specific number of education credits. In other words, make sure to take this job seriously!
While this may be an overwhelming amount of information, never forget to have fun with it! This is truly such a beautiful field of study that should be taught to everyone. As for you, reader, consider psychology as a possible career. If this is not for you, find a job that makes you smile! Happy reading.
“Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Psychologist.” Steps, August 14th 2020. https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/how-to-become/psychologist/. Accessed February 7 2022.