What does a Psychologist do?
Psychologists are responsible for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people for mental, emotional, behavioral, educational, and developmental disorders. There are a wide variety of types of psychologists, including clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, school psychologists, developmental psychologists, and more. Day-to-day tasks vary for each type of psychologist.
Clinical, counseling, and research psychologists generally need a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in clinical or counseling psychology from an accredited program. Additionally, they need a license in their state of practice. While licensure requirements vary by state, most require a doctoral degree in psychology, completion of an internship, a minimum number of years of supervised experience, and passing of an exam. The best psychologists have excellent interpersonal skills and are very trustworthy.
- Perform psychological assessments, testing, and evaluation
- Provide diagnosis based on assessments, testing, and evaluation
- Develop and recommend treatment plans based on patient needs and diagnosis
- Provide referrals when necessary for additional care, evaluation, or treatment
- Collaborate with faculty, staff, and other professionals to provide the best care possible
- Coordinate with case managers and psychiatrists about care
- Complete all necessary clincial documentation in an accurate and timely manner
- Ensure all services are completed according to relevant ethical and professional standards of care
- Licensed psychologist in state of practice
- Doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology
- 3-5 years of related experience in psychology
- Ability to pass a thorough background check
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse populations
- Strong working knowledge of diagnostic techniques and a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Strong familiarity with assessment techniques
- Demonstrated ability to operate within ethical and professional standards of care
Psychologist Career Path
Learn how to become a Psychologist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
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Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of psychologists
A typical day in the life of a psychologist is spent applying knowledge and research to solve problems, treat illnesses, conduct research, or teach at colleges and universities. Applied psychologists use their expertise to solve real-world problems. Research psychologists can work with businesses or educational facilities to conduct studies and experiments, while mental health psychologists work with people who have experienced psychological distress or who have mental disorders.
Psychologists are one of the most highly paid careers but becoming a psychologist requires a high level of education and training. Typically, work conditions allow for a flexible schedule, as many professionals work in medical facilities, research settings, or in a college or university. Psychologists can also have a regular schedule working 9-5, although some might be on call to help patients.
There are some difficult aspects of working as a psychologist. The hardest part might be working towards getting a psychologist job because this requires a master's degree in experimental psychology or a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and additional licenses. Depending on the field, some psychologists must also complete at least two years of supervised clinical experience.