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What is a Psychologist

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Make a Difference and an Income as You Raise Your Children

Psychologists make a difference and earn a solid salary that provides a stable financial environment for raising children. If you are fascinated by people, a natural helper and a compassionate problem solver, psychology could be a purposeful and fulfilling career. No matter what setting you choose to work in, enjoy coming home at night knowing that you are positively impacting others' lives. Plentiful job opportunities give you peace of mind and room to grow professionally as you raise your children.

Job Description

Psychologists study how people think, feel and behave by watching behavior, making observations and interpreting meaning. Clinical psychologists asses and diagnose mental health disorders and provide individual, family and group therapy. Counseling psychologists provide therapy but generally do not make diagnoses. Developmental psychologists focus on children and the elderly, while school psychologists are experts in educational challenges and common developmental challenges in children. Forensic psychologists focus on legal casework for families, government cases or criminals charged with a crime, while organizational psychologists work to improve the quality of work life, corporate culture and organizational dynamics.

Most psychologists work normal office hours, but therapists in private practice may include some evening and weekend hours to accommodate clients. School psychologists often get summers off and regular breaks during the school year, making it ideal for parents of school-aged children.

Education Requirements

Most psychologists that work in a clinical, counseling or school setting need to earn a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology, along with completing an internship and a year or two of clinically supervised practice before they can take an exam to be licensed to practice psychology. Psychologists who choose to get a master's degree instead of a doctorate normally work in organizational psychology, or under the supervision of a doctoral-level psychologist. The American Board of Professional Psychology and the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology both offer additional board certifications in areas of specialty. While these certifications are not required, they give psychologists an edge in the workplace.

The median salary for psychologists is $75,230, which breaks down to $36.17 per hour. This means that half of all psychologists earn more than this, while the other half earns less. The highest 10 percent of earners bring home more than $121,610, while the lowest 10 percent earn less than $41,890.

About the Industry

Most psychologists work in schools or private therapy practices. Other psychologists work in healthcare services, hospitals, government settings or corporate office settings. Many psychologists work independently, but not always. Sometimes psychologists are included on research teams or as part of healthcare teams that provide treatment for overall wellness. Schools, government and hospitals are good places of employment for psychologists raising young children who prefer the stability of full benefits and retirement options.

Years of Experience

Psychologists earn a fair wage in most settings, and it increases with years on the job and experience. Those in private practice may have more say in what they earn than those who work in school or government settings, but they generally need to provide their own benefits. Here is a look at what income might look like over the course of a psychologist's career:

  • Entry-Level:

    $39,668 - $92,643
    * Mid-Career:

    $50,289 - $109,537
    * Experienced: 

    $53,745 - $122,106
    * Late-Career:

    $58,660 - $143,101

Job Growth Trend

Demand for psychologists is up and is expected to increase by 14 percent over the next decade, which is faster than many other industries. Clinical and counseling psychologists are most in demand, as younger generations are more and more willing to reach out for professional help with personal problems. School psychologists are also in demand because of increasing awareness about the importance of mental health in connection to learning.