Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and their environments.
Some psychologists work independently, conducting research, consulting with clients, or working with patients. Others work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with physicians and social workers or in school settings, working with students, teachers, parents, and other educators. Those in private practice often work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients.
How to Become a Psychologist
Although psychologists typically need a doctoral degree in psychology, a master’s degree is sufficient for some positions. Psychologists in independent practice also need a license.
Employment of psychologists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty.
This occupation supported 160,100 jobs in 2012 and 173,900 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 8.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.7% in 2022 to 178,900 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 163,800, compared with an observed value of 173,900, 6.2% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 20.4% in 2024 to 206,500 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 182,600 jobs for 2024, 11.6% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.