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Psychology studies the patterns of human behavior, experiences, and mental process from various perspectives. Psychology utilizes various scientific methods to appreciate and comprehend human perception, feelings, emotions, learning, and reactions to situations/ people.Ever noticed someone who behaves in a completely different way when alone as compared to when he/she is in a group? Have you ever thought about why is your personality so different from your sibling despite the fact that both of you come from the same family and have grown up in the same environment? Well, psychologists have answers to such questions.
Psychology as a profession is about the study of the human mind and how it influences a person's behaviour. However, it is not limited to investigating human behavior. Psychologists use their understanding of human behavior to treat people suffering from mental disorders, trauma or substance abuse problems. In fact, the biggest aspect of their job is to treat people with behavioural issues using techniques such as observation, assessment, and experimentation.
If this is your area of interest, then you may follow our guide to a career as a psychologist. As part of this, we will give you insights into the industry basics, skill set and the educational path that you could take to become a professional in this field. The guide has been designed to ensure that it becomes a point where you're able to decide whether or not you're meant for this career.
Eligibility to become Psychologist
Passed class 12 with Psychology as one of the subjects, although it is not compulsory to study this subject at the school level;
Completed graduation with a Bachelor (BA or BS) in Psychology degree;
Completed post-graduation with MA or M.Sc in either Psychology or related fields such as Social Work or Counselling;
M.Phil and Ph.D programmes are also available if one intends to go on to the doctoral level.
Optional PG Diploma courses in specialized areas of psychology
Optional M.Phil degree in Clinical Psychology
Doctorate degree in a specialized area of Psychology
Different Specializations in Psychology
Various specializations in Psychology are listed below.
- Sports Psychology
- School Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Counselling Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Defence Psychology
- Industrial Psychology and Organization Behavior
- Rehabilitation Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Educational Psychology
- Consumer Behavior
- Positive Psychology
- Environmental Psychology
Skills Required to Become a Psychologist
The skills given below are the virtues that any psychologist should have
- Critical Thinking
- Observational Skills
- Counselling Skills
- Ethics in Counselling
- Care for others’ feelings
- Strong Communication Skills
- Qualitative Research
- Problem- Solving
- Emotional Intelligence
- Leadership Qualities
Types of Job Roles Psychologist
From becoming a career counsellor to clinical researcher, the options for psychologists are as diverse as human behaviour. You can pick up any specialisation depending on your career goals. The job prospects for those who successfully complete their education and training in the field of psychology are:
Career Counsellor – After completing Class 12 or graduation, students usually get confused about which career path to choose and how to go about developing suitable skills for the same. Career counsellors can be extremely helpful in such cases. They come up with the best suitable career choices for a student after analysing his/her personality, skills, aptitude, interest, intelligence level, and related socio-economic factors.
Clinical Psychologist – There are various specialisations under Clinical Psychology that one can opt for. Clinical psychologists deal with patients suffering from mental and emotional disorders. Some other fields where clinical psychologists can find employment are health psychology, substance abuse, geriatrics, post-trauma therapies, and child or adult mental health.
Forensic Psychologist – Forensic psychology is another career choice, which is crucial in criminal investigation and law cases. Forensic Psychologists are required along with police investigators whenever there is a murder or a rape case. Apart from all this, forensic psychologists play a big role in identification of a criminal or tapping into the psyche of a potential criminal or suspect.
Industrial or Organisational Psychologist – In this role, you will be engaged in improving organisational performance by helping employees improve their work behaviour and performance, and build their job-related skills. The industrial or organisational psychologist also help companies shortlist the right candidates for specific job roles. They also play an important role in assessing people for promotion, determine training needs of the workforce, and make decisions related to people in the organisation.
Special Education Teacher – In this role, you will deal with students suffering from different types of disabilities – physical or mental. With more and more Special Education Programmes being introduced every year in schools, opportunities for special education teachers are growing by leaps and bounds.
Neuropsychologist – Professionals involved in this branch of psychology evaluate and treat people with various types of nervous system disorders. Neuropsychologists often focus on how the cognitive function and behaviour of a person are affected by brain injuries or illnesses. They help such patients recover and improve their quality of life.
Psychotherapist -The Psychotherapist uses ‘Talk Therapy’ to treat and deal with emotional problems and mental illness of patients. Psychotherapists mold themselves as psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, or social workers to help their clients. They work with individuals, couples, and groups of families.
Consultant -Professionals who are working as consulting Psychologists use a variety of techniques to assess their clients/patients/ individuals. The assessment tools like psychological tests, interviews, collections of perceptions from others in their clients' workspace, and self-assessments are some of the popular techniques to help individuals.
Psychiatrist-Sometimes a psychologist must act like a psychiatrist and provide treatment for the people who are in need of treatment. A psychologist is a trained mental health professional who completed a PhD. The term Psychiatrist can be defined as a person who prescribes medication while a psychologist focuses on the therapeutic approach to recovery.
Clinical Social Worker -Clinical Social Work is a special area of practice that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, and emotional, and other behavioral disturbances. The common treatment modalities are Individual therapy, Group therapy, and family therapy.
Psychiatrist Nurse- The psychiatristNurse provides professional nursing care to emotionally disturbed and/or mentally ill patients for behavioral health and recovery services. The psychiatrist nurse will also work with clinical and case management staff to coordinate care and assist in treatment plans for clients and perform related work.
Art Therapist-Art Therapist uses drawing, painting, sculpting, or other artistic processes to assess client needs or disorders analyses them, or synthesize client data in order to draw conclusions. Thus the Art therapist makes art therapy recommendations, chooses, and prepares artistic media or related equipment or devices to achieve therapy session goals.
Duties and Responsibilities of Psychologists
The job of Psychologists requires the ability to do the following work
- Diagnose and provide treatment for various emotional, mental and behavioral disorders.
- Develop effective client relationships to provide the best optimal client solutions
- To provide assessment and recommendations for appropriate treatments
- Identify and research human behaviour and its patterns
- Conducts Case Studies and other specific tasks
- Maintain good rapport with the clients to provide the best suitable solutions
- Determines goals for the psychotherapy
- Performs regular diagnostic evaluations for patients
- Understands a patient’s mental health needs
- Devises and implements psychotherapeutic plans
Employment Sector/Industry for Psychologist
Once you finish studying Psychology and obtain the required skills, you can either work with individuals or you may choose to work in universities or government agencies. Psychology as a profession has gained momentum in recent years and the demand for psychologists is expected to rise in the years to come. Here are some areas where you can find employment after completing your education in Psychology.
Work as a counsellor with NGOs, old age homes, rehabilitation centers, etc.
Work in the education sector as a school counsellor, trainer, career counsellor, etc.
Work as an organisational psychologist with MNCs and big firms in their HR department.
Work with universities or government agencies as a research psychologist.
You could also take up social work and tie-up with NGOs or provide individual counselling.
Top Recruiting Companies
All those psychologists and counselors who want to practice counselling legally in India have to get registered with the Rehabilitation Counsel of India (RCI). To practice as a Clinical Psychologist, one has to do M.Phil and has to be registered with RCI. Following are the sectors where psychologists are usually employed:
Colleges, Universities, and Schools
Outpatient Care Centers
Hospitals and Clinics
Health Practitioner Offices
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals
Individual and Family Services
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Pay Scale/Salary of Psychologist
A career as a psychologist can be highly rewarding if you're able to establish yourself in the field. Those who obtain the right skills and education can expect to earn well. Other important factors that have an impact on the salary of a professional psychologist include the area of his/her specialisation, and the amount of experience he/she has. Those with M.Phil and Ph.D degree in Psychology can go on to earn even more.
Starting Salary per annum (in INR)
Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)
Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)
Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.
Books & Study Material to Become Psychologist
Apart from the curriculum provided by the institution where you will study Psychology, there are some classic books that you read toenhance your knowledge about various aspects of this field. Here is a list of the highly recommended books that every Psychology student must read:
Introduction to Psychology 7 edition (Authors: Clifford T. Morgan, John R. Weisz, Richard A. King, John Schopler)
The Road Less Traveled (Author: Scott Peck)
On Becoming a Person (Author: Carl R. Rogers, Peter D. Kramer)
The Interpretations of Dreams (Author: Sigmund Freud)
The Definitive Book of Body Language (Author: Allan Pease and Barbara Pease)
Games People Play (Author: Eric Berne)
Pros of becoming a Psychologist
Reward of helping people
Flexible work timings
Potential to earn high
Can set up own office
Job options available across the world
Cons of becoming a Psychologist
Can be stressful dealing with clients
Work schedule can also be quite erratic
Requires extensive education & training
Must have enough experience to gain popularity
Top Colleges to pursue career as Psychologist
Stella Maris College,Chennai
Tata Institute of Social Sciences,Mumbai
Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak,Rohtak
Kirori Mal College,Delhi
St. Joseph's College, Chikmagalur,Chikmagalur
Career path for Psychologist
If you're planning to become a counselling psychologist, then you only need a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, or in a related field. By pursing the three-year graduate degree, you will become eligible to practice counselling. On the contrary, if you wish to pursue a career in research or take up a teaching job, then you need to do your two-year post-graduation (Master's) degree and complete the doctoral (M.Phil or Ph.D) programmes, which could last two years or more.
Subject Combination – There is no particular subject combination that youneed at 10 + 2 level. You can opt for any stream in your 12th grade. While there is no compulsion, you can take Psychology in school to have a basic understanding of the subject. In fact, it has been introduced in the curriculum of many schools. The best part about Psychology is that it can be studied in combination with any stream.
Observe, interview, and survey individuals. Identify psychological, emotional, behavioral, or organizational issues and diagnose disorders. Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns. Test for patterns that will help them better understand and predict behavior.What is the scope of work of a psychologist? ›
Observe, interview, and survey individuals. Identify psychological, emotional, behavioral, or organizational issues and diagnose disorders. Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns. Test for patterns that will help them better understand and predict behavior.What is psychology and its scope? ›
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior in humans and non-humans. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immense scope, crossing the boundaries between the natural and social sciences.What is the scope of practice for a clinical psychologist? ›
Clinical Psychologists assess, diagnose and intervene with people in dealing with life challenges, particularly those with developmental and relatively serious forms of psychological distress and/or psychopathology.What are the four main scope of psychology? ›
To sum up, the four major objectives of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and change or control behaviors. These goals are the foundation of most theories and studies in an attempt to understand the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes that people face in their daily lives.What type of career is a psychologist? ›
Psychologists conduct both basic and applied research, serve as consultants to communities and organizations, diagnose and treat people, and teach future psychologists and those who will pursue other disciplines. They test intelligence and personality. Many psychologists work as health care providers.What are the 8 scope of psychology? ›
Eight types of psychology to consider a career in include: abnormal, biopsychology, social, cognitive, developmental, personality, forensic and industrial-organizational.What are the two scopes of psychology? ›
The scope of Psychology can be divided into Pure Psychology and Applied Psychology. Pure Psychology studies General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Para Psychology, Geo Psychology, Physical Psychology and Experimental Psychology.Is psychology a good career? ›
Clinical Psychology is a demanding field and has the most number of jobs on offer as well. It is one of the most sought careers in psychology in India.How many years is a psychology degree? ›
A bachelor's degree in psychology is an undergraduate-level degree that typically takes four years to complete. At many universities, students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Entry requirements may range between CCC and AAB, depending on the university. An A in high-school Psychology is a plus, but not usually required. Other important subjects include Maths, Statistics, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Philosophy, and History.How do I choose a career in psychology? ›
- Understand that a psychology degree can prepare you for many careers. ...
- Consider what aspect of psychology interests you. ...
- Think about how far you might want to take your education. ...
- Determine the requirements for your future career. ...
- Select a degree.
Insight into human behavior: Many individuals study psychology because they want to better understand themselves or those around them. Through a bachelor's degree in psychology, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the many factors that affect human behavior.What is an example of a scope of practice? ›
For example, in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation has a national scope of practice for emergency medical services.How do I become a psychologist in USA? ›
- Earn a bachelor's degree.
- Earn a master's degree.
- Enroll in a doctoral degree program.
- Gain field experience.
- Obtain a license.
Psychology is one of the more difficult degrees and many of your assignments will require you to cite your sources and will require you to back up a lot of the arguments that you have.Does psychology have a future? ›
Great career prospects
Psychology is first and foremost a vocation. But that doesn't mean your studies won't also earn you a good living. If you want to practice as a psychologist, you will have to take specialized training (usually at Master's level) and become a counselling psychologist or a psychotherapist.
Some of the best countries to study Psychology abroad are the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Psychology). The USA is one of the best countries to study Psychology abroad.What is the most popular career in psychology? ›
Clinical psychologist have training in the diagnosis, assessment, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses. This is the largest and most popular employment area in psychology. Clinical psychologists are employed in hospitals, mental health centers, and in private practice.Is psychology a major or a career? ›
Psychology was the third most popular college major for high school students graduating in 2022 and 2023. Earning a degree in psychology is popular because, at its core, it offers a way to help people while earning a good salary. Plus, it applies to many industries and comes with flexibility and mobility.
There are five major perspectives in psychology. These are behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, and biological.What are the 2 largest areas of psychology? ›
2 Main Areas of Psychology
Psychology can be roughly divided into two major areas: Research, which seeks to increase our knowledge base. Practice, through which our knowledge is applied to solving problems in the real world.
- Neuropsychology. This career will involve working with individuals who have had some kind of brain injury or who suffer from a neuropathological condition such as Alzheimer 's disease. ...
- Coaching Psychology. ...
- Environmental Psychology. ...
- Animal and Pet Psychology.
To paint a key difference between clinical and counseling psychology, the clinical branch focuses on psychopathology — the study of mental disorders. On the flipside, counseling psychologists help patients or clients address emotional, social, and physical stressors in their lives.What are benefits of being a psychologist? ›
- You will earn decent money. ...
- You can work in a variety of settings. ...
- You may be able to work from home. ...
- You will be helping other people. ...
- You will have a well-respected career. ...
- You can specialize. ...
- You can be the boss. ...
- You will never be bored.
Most psychology undergraduate programs have a math requirement — but don't let this deter you from pursuing an online psychology degree.Is it hard to major in psychology? ›
Overall, psychology can be a challenging major, as it requires students to learn about complex topics such as the anatomy of the brain and the principles of human behavior. However, with hard work and dedication, students can succeed in this field and go on to pursue a variety of rewarding careers.Can I become a psychologist at 40? ›
Careers in therapy tend to offer higher than average salaries and positive job growth when compared to many other occupations. It's even possible to consider becoming a therapist later in life, as the field can be a good fit for older workers.Should I become a psychologist? ›
If you're interested in psychology, becoming a psychologist can allow you to focus on this interesting subject as a career. It also gives you the ability to take part in studies and read scientific literature that can help psychology professionals and their communities understand human behavior to a greater degree.What does a psychologist do daily? ›
Observe, interview, and survey individuals. Identify psychological, emotional, behavioral, or organizational issues and diagnose disorders. Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns. Test for patterns that will help them better understand and predict behavior.
Psychology is the study of the mind and human behaviour. The subject is about how those around us think, what kind of feelings they experience, how they act and interact, and what motivates them.Which field in psychology makes the most money? ›
In addition to being in demand, psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. When you work where a majority of psychiatrists are employed — within an outpatient care center or within a physician's office — the BLS reports 2022 mean salaries of $299,470 or $280,600, respectively.How do I know if psychology is right for me? ›
You don't have to be an extrovert or a social butterfly to be successful in a psychology program. But you must have a desire or interest to understand, connect with and learn from other people. Being empathetic and able to relate to experiences outside of your own is crucial for a career as a psychologist.Which psychology is best for future? ›
- Psychotherapist. ...
- School Psychologists. ...
- Family & Marriage Therapists. ...
- Business, Management, & Communications Psychology Careers. ...
- Forensic Psychologists. ...
- Psychology Research Careers. ...
- Talks to individuals and fosters their positive mental health and personal growth.
- Evaluates patients' needs and accommodates them accordingly.
- Studies factors that affect human behavior.
- Develops treatment plans.
- Administers psychological tests and determines results.
What is the scope of psychology? Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour thus its scope is limitless. One can select a particular subcategory or specialization and work in that particular direction of Psychology. Some of them are sports, media, organizations, industries, relationships, work and family.Can a therapist treat someone they know? ›
There is no law that prohibits therapists from seeing two people who know each other, or even two members of the same family. In some small communities, there may not even be a choice.How long does it take to be a psychologist? ›
To become a clinical psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (four to five years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this specialty area, most people will spend between eight to 12 years in higher education.What's the difference between therapist and psychologist? ›
Psychologists can do research, which is a very important contribution academically and clinically, to the profession. A therapist is a broader umbrella term for professionals who are trained—and often licensed—to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people.What are the qualifications for a psychologist? ›
To become a psychologist, you need a bachelor's degree, preferably in psychology or a related field such as education with a concentration in psychology. Typically, the next step is to earn a master's degree in psychology with relevant coursework in psychology, research and statistics.
The scope of psychology in the USA as a career is huge. Students after completing psychology studies can go into a diverse field such as clinical psychology, forensic psychology, industrial psychology and organisational behaviour, school psychology, cognitive neuroscience and much more.What is an example of psychology field? ›
There are several different fields, or branches, of psychology including social psychology, abnormal and clinical psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, health and biological psychology, behavioral psychology, developmental psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology.Why do we study psychology? ›
It will help you understand human behaviour and mental processes and allow you to better understand how we think act and feel. If you are considering studying psychology you probably already know what an interesting subject it is to study.Can a psychologist treat a friend? ›
For example, it is unethical for a therapist to treat a close friend or relative. It is also unethical for a therapist to have a sexual relationship with a client.What do therapists write in their notes? ›
Your therapist uses what's in your current treatment plan to determine what they put in their notes. Progress notes are supposed to show how what you did in any given session addressed one or more of the goals on your treatment plan and whether you're making progress on them.What not to do in therapy? ›
Other things to avoid during a therapy session include: asking about other confidential conversations with other clients; showcasing violent emotions; or implying any romantic or sexual interest in your therapist. The number one job of a therapist is to keep you safe and protect their clients' privacy.