Psychologist

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Psychologists study people’s behaviour, motivations, thoughts and feelings, and help them to overcome or control their problems.

Salary range: £32,000 to £83,500

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How to become a psychologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

University

You’ll need to complete:

  • a psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
  • an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialism

Once you have a psychology degree, you can specialise in a particular area, for example educational or forensic psychology.

To become a neuropsychologist, you must have specialist knowledge in neuroscience and a postgraduate qualification from the educational or clinical psychology fields.

Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You’ll need a first or upper second class degree, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You’ll also need relevant work experience.

If you have a degree in a different subject, you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

More information

Registration

Further information

You’ll find more advice on careers and training in psychology from The British Psychological Society.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks will depend on your specialism. For example, you might work as an educational psychologist, where you would:

  • help children to overcome difficulties
  • interview young people and assess their emotional state
  • develop treatment programmes to help clients’ psychological wellbeing

As an occupational psychologist, you’ll:

  • assess the productivity of a business and how the staff work
  • develop processes to measure employee talent and progress
  • have one-to-one sessions with employees to support their wellbeing

In counselling psychology, you may:

  • work with children and adults to explore their social, economic, cultural and spiritual health
  • use psychotherapeutic methods, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to treat patients
  • assess patients and recommend treatments

If you’re a neuropsychologist, you could:

  • investigate the impact of injury or illness on patients’ behaviour
  • make rehabilitation and treatment recommendations
  • look to improve patients’ health and quality of life

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a school, in a therapy clinic, in the community or at a client’s business.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Career path and progression

As your career develops, you could specialise within your branch of psychology, for example:

  • forensic or criminal psychology
  • clinical psychology
  • sports and exercise psychology

You could also take on a research project, leading to a PhD qualification, and combine this with university teaching.