Plotting your path to success in Psychology

A psychologist is someone who studies the social, emotional, and cognitive processes and behaviour of a person. This is by observing, recording, and interpreting how an individual relates to another person and the environment they are in. They then use this information to help the person improve their behaviours and processes.

In terms of the duties that a psychologist has, there are a number of different things that they will carry out in their role. This includes the following:

  • Supervising clinicians, interns, and counselling professionals
  • Writing reports, research papers, and articles to educate others and share their findings
  • Discussing the treatment of different problems with their patients
  • Testing for patterns that will enable them to better predict and understand behaviour
  • Researching and identifying emotional or behavioural patterns
  • Identifying organizational, behavioural, emotional, or psychological problems and diagnosing disorders
  • Observing, interviewing, and surveying individuals
  • Conducting scientific studies of brain function and behaviour


Psychologists aim to understand and explain thoughts, behaviour, feelings, and emotions. They will utilise different techniques, including experimentation, assessment, and observation to develop theories regarding feelings and beliefs that influence people. 


Psychologists will often evaluate behaviour and gather information through psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, or controlled laboratory experiments. A psychology job will also require someone who can administer intelligence, aptitude, performance, or personality tests. They will look for relationships or patterns of behaviour between events. They then use this data and information when they treat patients or test theories during research. 

What job opportunities do you have? 

Let’s take a look at some options:


Clinical psychologist

A clinical psychologist is someone who will meet with patients to determine behavioural, mental, and emotional problems in their lives. The psychologist will diagnose any potential or existing disorders through tests, interviews, and observation. They will then put together a treatment program according to the needs of the patient. The duties of a clinical psychologist include publishing research findings in industry journals, conducting research, teaching classes, monitoring patient progress through regular sessions or meetings, helping patients define a plan and goals in order to achieve vocational, educational, social, and personal development and adjustment, developing and implementing treatment plans and therapeutic processes, diagnosing psychological, behavioural, or emotional disorders, as well as identifying psychological, behavioural, or emotional problems.


You will need to earn a four-year undergraduate degree in order to become a clinical psychologist and be accepted for one of these jobs for psychology majors. You can make the most of online tutoring for exams to give yourself the best chance of success. A bachelor’s in sociology, psychology, or education will best prepare you for graduate work in this field. In order to enter the field of clinical psychology, you are also going to need a psychology master’s degree. A lot of research, counselling, and clinical psychologists earn a doctoral degree as well, although this is not a necessity.


Child psychologist

A child psychologist is someone who will help children to find balance and become well-adjusted individuals. They can assist them with different behavioural problems while also ensuring they work well in school, in their families, and with their peers. There are a number of different duties a child psychologist will have. This includes carrying out tasks that relate to running an independent practice, for example, managing insurance problems, billing, and bookkeeping. This also includes researching disorders that are common amongst adolescents and children, as well as devising new treatment strategies. You may also teach students at the university or college level. Other tasks include working with school administrators and elementary educators in order to assess and revise learning environments to suit all children with special needs. You may also find yourself collaborating with paediatricians, teachers, parents, and any other clinicians involved in the case in order to implement treatment plans. Finally, you will, of course, meet with children and their family members to observe any potential issues and diagnose concerns about a child’s emotional or mental state.


In order to work in one of the available children’s psychology jobs, whether in a research facility or independent practice, will demand a doctoral degree, which will either be a PsyD or a PhD. You will then have access to a huge range of PhD psychology jobs. Aside from achieving this doctorate, you are also going to need to pass a licensing exam to be able to treat children. Child psychology experts who wish to work at schools, whether secondary or elementary, may be subject to additional requirements. This depends on the state they wish to teach in. To renew or maintain your licence, you will typically need to complete a certain number of hours in terms of education over a set period of time.


Forensic psychologist

As a forensic psychologist, there are a number of key skills that you are going to need to have. There are also similar jobs in criminal psychology jobs. You will need to be a critical thinker who is deductive and logical. You are also going to need to be self-controlled and intuitive. You should have a strong stomach, exceptional writing skills, a desire to collaborate, high ethical standards, and strong communication skills. A forensic psychologist is going to assess criminals to learn their motives and mindset that led up to the crime they committed. They also work with probation boards and parole boards because they have the job of determining what threat the offender in question may be to the public. A forensic psychologist will present in courtrooms across the country to assist lawyers in terms of determining the competency of a defendant to stand trial, as well as assisting with jury selection. In some cases, forensic psychology jobs may involve working with kids who are in the middle of custody battles between their parents with the aim of ensuring the children are kept as safe as possible.


You will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. Of course, it is advisable to major in psychology. You should also get an advanced degree. This will typically be required in most states. The vast majority of graduate programs in forensic psychology will look for paid or voluntary experience in the field. 


Freelance/Virtual psychology jobs

The digital age has brought about freelancing opportunities for people across all industries. If you are looking for jobs that you can carry out from home, you will find a number of different opportunities within the freelancing realm. One of the most obvious is to become a psychology writer. This is ideal for psychology graduates at all levels. You will be able to write on topics including research, behavioural psychology, cognitive psychology, mental health, psychotherapy, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, theoretical and applied psychology, and other theoretical studies in the psychology field. For this role, you will need to have a degree and you will need to have exceptional writing skills. You will typically be paid based on word count. However, there are some roles whereby you would be paid by the hour. 


Aside from this, you may also find that there are freelance opportunities available on a psychology job board in the field of research. This may be researching for one-off projects or it could be continual research work. You may help someone with putting together a report or completing their university study. The nature of this work differs considerably and all will be explained in the brief you receive. You may also find that there are some cases whereby you can help patients via the Internet. For example, if parents are looking for help because they are experiencing behavioural problems with their child, you could hold an online chat with them in order to provide some advice. Of course, this would not be sufficient for certain cases, for instance, cases of severe psychological problems. However, you could provide this sort of service if people are simply looking for advice and they need someone to speak to.

Can I be a psychologist without a license? 

You will need a license for most psychologist jobs and psychologist job openings. However, there are a number of different psychology degree jobs out there that do not require a license. For example, if you want to work at a college or university, chances are you are not going to need a license. Some of the university jobs that do not typically require a license include psychology teaching jobs and tutoring assistant positions, mentoring, academic assessment, and teaching. There are also positions in different counties that do not need to be licensed. For example, youthful offenders facilities and services, victim’s rights agencies, drug and alcohol programs, mental health programs, psychiatric wards, and crisis intervention units. Aside from this, there are psychology research jobs in laboratories that will not necessarily require a license. This includes positions involving projecting future behaviour based on previous studies, reporting statistical findings, conducting ongoing studies of behaviour, and compiling data. You may also not need to have a license if you work for a not-for-profit company in roles such as different alcohol and drug-related programs, afterschool assistance for the working poor, cancer support services, food for the destitute programs, battered wife services, shelters for the abused and homeless, and suicide hotlines.

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