Psychology is a common profession, especially these days, where social media and the all-round networking in our lives can lead to mental health issues, namely depression and anxiety.
But we tend to correlate psychologists with mental problems. What most people don’t realize, is that this practitioner’s job is much more complex.
Psychologists can make evaluations of your Neuropsychological functioning, assess weaknesses, strengths, disabilities. It’s not only curing depression that is in their qualifications. Because of these complexities, there are many different specialties, thus various pay rates. But let’s start from the beginning.
Who is a psychologist?
According to Wikipedia, “A psychologist studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimenting with, and observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments”.
This means that they are people who study other people’s mental stuff.
Psychologists can help you, amongst other things, sort out your spiritual problems, teach you how to control your emotions, and perform the necessary examination, for instance, the one you need for your job.
How much do Psychologists earn?
Short answer? The median wage is ~$100,000 a year.
But there’s more to this than just a simple average.
Firstly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to 10% of psychologists who earn the least amount of money make on average $46,100/year ($22.16 per hour), and the 10% who earn the most money, make on average $129,530/year ($62.27 per hour) as of May 2020.
The amount of money you make as a Psychologist depends on a few things.
Different specialties make different amounts of money. For instance, the psychologists in the local government sector make the most money, whereas the psychologists in fields of health (entry-level) and social workers earn the least.
The amount of money that they make is also dependant on the state they’re working in, for instance, a psychologist in California earns statistically more than one in Kansas.
For more details on exact numbers and states, I recommend you visit the website of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Different Psychology jobs and average salaries
- Clinical Psychologist – $77,000/year
A clinical psychologist is a person who prevents, diagnoses, and treats mental disorders. Although they usually work in a medical environment, they are not medical doctors and do not prescribe medication for said conditions.
- Psychiatrist – $216,000/year
It is disputable whether a Psychiatrist is a psychologist or is it a different profession, however, I’ve decided to include it on the list due to similarities in the job description.
Similarly to a clinical psychologist, a Psychiatrist also diagnoses and treats mental conditions and disorders, however, They are medical doctors and do prescribe medication. They also usually deal with many serious cases and are required to have a doctorate degree.
- Neuropsychologist – $79,000/year
Neuropsychologists focus on the influence of one’s brain and nervous system on their behavior. They usually study the impact of injuries on the mental health and behavior of their patients.
- School Psychologist – $79,000/year
School Psychologists are the ones who work in the educational field. They usually reside in schools.
Their job is to help children deal with their emotional problems, disorders, and anything that affects their learning, such as inability to focus, etc. They cooperate with children and their parents to ensure there is a safe space for education and help focus on children’s needs.
- Psychological Counselor – $48,000/year
Counselors are slightly different from psychologists, however, they share mostly the same duties. A Psychologist is capable of performing more tasks (such as psychotherapy) and usually deal with more serious cases.
Counseling psychology deals with the emotional, social, work and school-related, and physical health issues people may have at different stages in their lives. It deals with the mental backside of it.
Counselor is the one who helps people deal with their emotions, stress, social issues, but most of the time doesn’t work with serious mental illnesses and disorders.
How does one become a Psychologist?
Firstly, you certainly need a degree. And I’m afraid Bachelor’s is not enough. You need at least a Master’s degree to start working as a Psychologist.
However, it depends on the profession you want to go for. Some jobs in Psychology require only a master’s degree, but others do require one to have a doctorate degree. As there are multiple jobs in the field, I recommend you read more about specific educational requirements for the job you’re aiming for.
If however, you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, a good place to start is a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, or sociology/anthropology will also do. After that you could, for instance, get a Master’s in Clinical Psychology.
Speaking of Clinical Psychology, a Master’s degree doesn’t qualify one for licensure. You’ll need a Ph.D. of PsyD for that.
After you complete your education, it’s up to the job you choose to apply for in the future, what you need to do. If we stick to a clinical psychologist, you’d need clinical training. You need that to get a license required by the state.
The best idea is to check with your state’s board of psychology what is required for which job.
After all the formalities are done, you are good to go.
You would, however, need to renew your license every now and then, to make sure you’re up to date with the industry and practices. But let’s be honest, in order for you to make a good psychologist you will need to be up to date, meaning, constantly learning new and interesting things about Psychology and your specialization.
A Psychologist is a profession in the field of mental health. They help people with mental issues, disorders, and are able to evaluate one’s strengths and weaknesses (for instance, an IQ test).
They make on average $70,000 – $100,000 a year, with individuals earning $30,000/year, and individuals earning 6 figures.
There are many jobs in the field of Psychology, each offering different wages and challenges.
Becoming a Psychologist usually requires a Master’s, sometimes a Doctorate degree, and a license for your specialization. After all, there’s human mental health on the line.
With good money come responsibilities, that’s why there’s a lot to undertake before you start working as a Psychologist.