Do you want to learn what it takes to become a psychologist online? If YES, here is a complete guide plus requirements needed to become a licensed psychologist.
Majority of the professions existing in this world is geared towards satisfying human needs in one way or the other, and that is why nearly all the professions are coined from every sector. To see to the human needs that is diversified and insatiable.
The profession of a psychologist is one of those professions that is majorly associated with the health and well-being of people in the society. The varieties and various areas that psychologist can specify in has made the profession to be unique and very reputable in the society coupled with the fact that the profession is one that studies the mind and behaviors of human.
Becoming a professional psychologist might be daunting because of the stress that surrounds the profession, but it is actually one of the professions one can practice and live a fulfilled life if what the professions really entails are noted and put into consideration.
Table of Content
- 1 What is a Psychologist?
- 2 Duties of a Psychologist and their Job Description
- 3 Benefits of Becoming a Psychologist
- 4 Factors Discouraging People from Becoming Psychologists?
- 5 How Long Does It take to Become a Psychologist?
- 6 Educational Requirements to Become a Psychologist
- 7 Certifications Required to Become a Psychologist
- 8 Can You Become a Psychologist by Taking Online Courses?
- 9 Industries a Psychologist Can Work in?
- 10 Career Opportunities Open to a Psychologist
- 11 Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Successful Psychologist
- 12 Tips and Advice That Will Help Advance your Career Becoming a Psychologist
What is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is no other person than a doctor of humans mind and behaviors. A psychologist is a professional practitioner that specializes in the art of treating people that are suffering from mental or memory disorder. Through counseling, advice and experimentation, a psychologist offers psychology safety and understanding to people in the society and that is why their job cannot be over-emphasized.
Duties of a Psychologist and their Job Description
- Treating people suffering from all forms of mental illness like depression, anxiety and all forms of abuse.
- Diagnosing and treating of mental disorders.
- Evaluating student’s special needs and accommodate them accordingly.
- Counseling of people suffering from all forms of mental illness.
- Conducting of scientific studies of behavior and brain function.
- Collecting information through observations, interviews, surveys and other methods.
- Researching to identify behavioral and emotional pattern.
- Using knowledge to increase understanding among individuals and groups.
Equipment and Tools of the Trade for a psychologist?
Every profession in this world has one tools or another for carrying out its duties in an effective manner. Therefore, the profession of a psychologist also has some basic tools the practitioner must possess, so as to offer his clients the best service they need. Although, a psychologist uses more of tests for his patients but he still uses some edible equipment like the following:
- Psychology Lab
- Writing Materials
How to Become a Psychologist Online – A Complete Guide
Facts, Figures and Labor Market Situation for Psychologists
- The path to become a psychologist might tend to be toilsome and time consuming because of the task involved before one could be certified and licensed to practice as a professional psychologist but nonetheless, the profession is an interesting one with a glowing job opportunity and qualitative salary scheme, especially in countries like the United State of America, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
- According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistic, the overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow by 12 percent from 2012 to 2022. The projection is as fast as the average for all occupations.
- The profession will spur at a very faster mode through the next decade, majorly because of the increase in the demand for professional mental health expertise, coupled with the number of people suffering from one mental challenge or another.
- Demand for psychologists will increase in many countries of the world, as employment opportunity will be open for psychologist services in schools, hospitals, mental health centers and social services.
- Pursuing the path of becoming a psychologist might be stressful because of what it entails to get licensed as a psychologist, but there is tendency of securing a good job with a sumptuous salary later on.
Effect of Internet Technology on the Profession
- Just as an in every other profession, the internet and technology is having both positive and negative impact on the profession of a psychologist and those impacts could be visibly felt on the profession.
- The positive impact of internet and technology has continued to make the profession of a psychologist flourish and be relevant to people. With the help of internet and technology, a psychologist can sit in a corner at his place of work and access various information and innovations that would be helpful for him and his client.
- The internet provides free and non- fee information and documents that are useful for psychological works.
- The negative part of the internet and technology on the profession of a psychologist is that the internet is hindering the thriving of the profession of a psychologist. This is because people now use the internet for self medications, thus neglecting the service of a psychologist. For instance, people suffering from depression or abuse can easily access the internet to read stories, articles and watch videos that would be of help to them rather than consulting a psychologist for help.
Professional Bodies and Associations for Psychologists
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- International Council of Psychologists (ICP)
- Association of Black Psychologists (ABP)
- Australian Psychological Society (APS)
- Australian Psychologists Association (APA)
- The British Psychological Society
- Canadian Psychological Association
- Institute of Professional Psychologists
Career ideas / Sub-sectors That Exists Within the Profession of a Psychologist
- Clinical Psychologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Counseling Psychologist
- Educational Psychologist
- Occupational Psychologist
- Sport and Exercise Psychologist
- Behavioral Psychologist
- Research psychologist
Benefits of Becoming a Psychologist
- Abundance of choices: Psychologists have the advantage of choosing from among many specialties to find the one that suit them best. For example, they can become clinical and counseling psychologists; treating patients and helping clients live better lives or choose out of the other numerous aspect of the profession to specialize in.
- Numerous work environments: The ability to choose from among varied work environment is an additional benefit of being a psychologist. They can work in schools, hospitals, universities, clinics, government agencies, research institutions, mental health centers etc.
- Frenzy working period: Apart from having several of work environments, a suitable working period is another thing psychologist can benefit from their profession. A psychologist can control his working hours. For example, psychologists have regular office hours working for government, schools, businesses, but some choose to work weekends and evenings with employment at hospitals and clinics. Self-employed psychologists have the ultimate freedom of choice, because they can set their own schedules.
- Job satisfaction: if choosing a career that would make you to be relevant in the society by having positive impact in other people’s life is your goal, then consider the profession of a psychologist as the best option for you. A career as a psychologist brings satisfying intellectual challenges and the rewards of helping others. According to the American Psychological Association, most psychologists report a high level of job satisfaction.
Factors Discouraging People from Becoming Psychologists?
- Extensive academics: The psychologist profession requires extensive study to become one. This is due to the fact that the profession is wide in scope and needs a person to study extensively to make it actualized. Therefore many persons will be discouraged from the profession due to the extensive academics that is attached to it.
- The Undergraduate degree dichotomy: Students undergoing a degree in psychology come to realize at some point, that a bachelor’s degree does not provide the necessary qualifications to actually be a psychologist.
- Lack of professional respect: The psychology profession, though one of the most critical in any society is not highly respected. This is because; even the projected job outlook of the profession is 12% for the next few years. So, for this reason (lack of respect for the profession), many persons are discouraged from venturing into the profession.
How Much Do Psychologists Earn Monthly/Annually
- In the United States
The salary earning of psychologists in the United States is about $65,000 per annum, and about $30 per hour. While the average salary for a newly graduated psychologist is $40,000 per annum. This increases reasonably with age; experience etc. based on gender, the average salary for males is about $81,794, while that of females is about $69,898. The salary earning of psychologists also varies based on the type of psychologist a person is.
- In Canada
Psychologists in Canada earn reasonably well too, though it might not be as much as their counterparts but comparable too. According to pay scale, the annum salary of psychologists ranges from $C44, 410 – $C148, 188 per annum. Averagely, they receive about $C39.18 per hour on the average.
- In the United Kingdom
Psychologists in the United Kingdom earn reasonably well too. The average expected salary of a psychologist is about 35,350 pounds per annum. While the median salary earning is about 32,000 pounds per year, the averagely, per hour salary earning of psychologists in Australia is about 17.68 pounds.
- In Australia
Psychologists in Australia also earn well too. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the salary earning of psychologists ranges from AU$66,000 – AU$75,000 per annum. Likewise the average hourly range of psychologists in Australia is about AU$80- AU$100 too.
How Long Does It take to Become a Psychologist?
- Bachelor’s Degree: As noted earlier, you might want to begin by earning your undergraduate degree in psychology, but some people choose to pursue a degree in a related social science field which might take up to 4-5 years.
- Master’s Degree: A master’s degree can be a great way to delve deeper into a specific field of interest. As noted earlier, however, a master’s degree is not always necessary. In other cases you might use your master’s degree as a stepping stone toward a doctorate degree, or you might choose to forgo a master’s program and go directly into a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program immediately after earning your bachelor’s degree. This might take up to 2-3 years.
- Doctorate Degree: The length of your doctoral program depends on many factors including the specialty area you are pursuing as well as whether or not you already earned a master’s degree. In order to become a licensed psychologist, you will need to earn either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. in Psychology. This might take up to 4-7 years.
Educational Requirements to Become a Psychologist
- Undergraduate Programs: Bachelor degree programs in psychology introduce students to fundamental concepts, such as human development and cognitive processes. In addition to general psychology courses, students may be required to take courses in major concentration areas or related subjects, such as neuroscience. Experience opportunities, including research and internships, may be offered.
- Master’s Programs: Master’s programs are usually completed in two years of full-time study. The curricula have core requirements in psychology learning principles, research and development. Some programs require students to complete a clinical experience. While the completion of a thesis is often the capstone requirement, some programs may give students the option of a project or comprehensive exam. Industrial-organizational psychologists and other Individuals in other psychological disciplines may also work with a master’s degree, depending on state regulations.
- Doctoral Programs: Psychologists who offer patient care of any kind are required to be licensed, which often includes having a doctorate. Prospective doctoral candidates may choose between earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). Individuals interested in research-based careers may consider a Ph.D., while those preferring to clinical practice may choose a Psy.D. Both doctoral programs typically take 4-5 years to complete with advanced coursework and experience requirements.
Certifications Required to Become a Psychologist
It is only “The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) that recognizes professional achievement by awarding specialty certification in 13 different areas, such as psychoanalysis, rehabilitation, forensic, group, school, clinical health, and couple and family.
To obtain board certification in a specialty, candidates must meet general criteria which consist of having a doctorate in psychology, as well as State licensure. Each candidate must then meet additional criteria of the specialty field, which is usually a combination of postdoctoral training in their specialty, several years of experience, and professional endorsements, as determined by the ABPP. Applicants are then required to pass the specialty board examination.
Can You Become a Psychologist by Taking Online Courses?
- Associate’s degree in psychology: An associate’s degree serves as a basic introduction to the fundamentals. If you decide to get your degree online, make sure that the online school that you choose to attend awards transferable credits that you can apply toward a bachelor’s degree program in psychology.
- Bachelor’s degree in psychology: If you plan on joining the workforce directly after graduation, then pursuing an online bachelor’s in psychology may be a viable option. Master’s degree in psychology
- Master’s degree: In psychology, a graduate-level degree will allow you to delve deeper into the field of psychology and broaden your job prospects. Some psychology masters programs offer terminal degrees, which are designed to prepare you for professional practice in your area of specialization.
Presently, there are no online degrees for a doctorate degree in psychology due to the fact that it requires heavy research and clinical experiences which are difficult to manage online.
Industries a Psychologist Can Work in?
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Community and mental health centers
- Colleges and Universities
- Government agencies
- Private practices
It is important to say that you have the choice to decide which industry you particularly want to work in. This is because they might require different certifications before you are able to operate in it.
Career Opportunities Open to a Psychologist
Psychology is one of the most diverse professions in the world. This is due to the fact that it has a wide range of applications, and its practices are wide in scope and useful for many purposes. It is so much so, that these careers are apt, viable, and can never be under-estimated in the development of persons, and they include:
- Clinical Psychology: A psychologist can delve into the Clinical psychology aspect, assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders, frequently using research to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and to search for novel approaches in assessment and therapy. They specially deal with assessment and treatment of specific kinds of problem (e.g., eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Counseling Psychology: Counseling psychologists help clients whose issues tend to be less severe than those dealt with by clinical psychologists.
- Private practice
- Clinical practice in institutional settings
- Forensic psychology
- Health psychology
- Rehabilitation psychology
Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Successful Psychologist
- An Interest in Continuing Education:A great psychologist pursues continuing education opportunities to keep abreast with new research and other developments in the psychology world.
- Communication Skills:A great psychologist has excellent written and oral communication skills and can effectively communicate with diverse groups of people.
- Compassion:A great psychologist is very compassionate and can empathize with a patient’s pain and other difficulties. They are able to put patients at ease and make people feel comfortable.
- Emotional Stability:A great psychologist has solid emotional footing and is able to handle the stress and emotional turmoil working with distressed individuals can cause.
- Ethics:A great psychologist has a solid ethical code and keeps sessions with patients confidential. They are also aware that their work can have significant effects on people
- Interpersonal Skills:A great psychologist has good interpersonal skills and is able to work well with varying groups of people, including colleagues and patients.
- Knowledge of Laws and Regulations:A great psychologist is familiar with state laws and regulations that control the industry. They know how to work in the profession within the boundaries of the law.
- Open-Mindedness:A great psychologist is open-minded and tolerant of all kinds of people and situations. They are also open to new research and new ways of thinking that might challenge their ideals.
- Patience:A great psychologist is very patient, both during long periods of research and with individual patients. They understand that significant periods of time can pass before substantial results can be seen.
- Trustworthiness:A great psychologist is very trustworthy and can inspire patients to confide in them and trust them with their problems.
Tips and Advice That Will Help Advance your Career Becoming a Psychologist
- Earn the necessary certifications: To become a successful psychologist, you must ensure that you acquire all the certifications that are required of you. This is because it is only through this, that your journey towards even making it as a psychologist can be fulfilled
- Seek relevant information: Seeking of information from the right sources is critical to ensuring that you succeed.
- Follow relevant blogs: The internet today brings information to you even from the comfort of your homes. This must be utilized if indeed you want to succeed.
- Be compassionate
- Develop strong communication skills
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