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Article: Psychology Careers


This article covers the following jobs:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Occupational Psychologist.

The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.


Psychologists study the way people think and act. They look at all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts and feelings that make us the individuals we are.

Psychologists use their understanding to help people resolve problems, overcome difficulties and improve their lives. Many psychologists work in health and education services, but they can be found in a wide range of other areas.

Psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional issues and mental health problems using psychological techniques.

What types of psychologist are there?

Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologists study and treat learning, behavioural and emotional issues of children and young people. These issues include learning disabilities, difficulties in reading and writing and challenging behaviour.

Educational psychologists assess a case by talking to and observing children at home and at school. They guide the child through tests and assessment techniques, and plan ways to help, such as counselling, family therapy sessions and different teaching methods.

Psychologists also work with parents and professionals who are involved in childcare and education, for example, training them in ways to support children with learning disabilities or handle challenging behaviour.

To register as a Chartered Educational Psychologist, you must usually have completed a first degree in Psychology that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This is followed by postgraduate training and experience.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists use their knowledge of psychology to help people who have one or more mental and physical health issues. For example, they could work with people who have learning disabilities, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, challenging behaviour or emotional problems.

Before any treatment can begin, clinical psychologists use psychological knowledge and theory to assess patients' needs, abilities and behaviour. Treatment could include counselling, psychotherapy or stress management.

To register as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, you should usually have completed a first degree in Psychology, which must meet the requirements of the British Psychological Society (BPS). You will then need to complete three years of postgraduate training, which must be accredited by the BPS.

Occupational Psychologist

Occupational psychologists apply their knowledge of psychology to the workplace. They look at how people behave and perform at work and how this behaviour affects the organisation they work for. Their aim is to increase efficiency and job satisfaction throughout the organisation.

In recruitment and selection, occupational psychologists suggest ways to identify and attract candidates with the right skills and abilities for a particular job. With existing staff, they may help to improve an individual's performance by developing training and evaluation techniques.

When working in the area of organisational change, occupational psychologists may help to design a new management or staff structure, or a new company image.

To register as a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, you should usually have completed an accredited degree in Psychology, followed by a postgraduate qualification and a period of supervised practice.

Other Types of Chartered Psychologist

Health psychologists apply psychological knowledge and methods to the study of behaviour relevant to health care. For example, they may investigate why and when people seek professional advice, what might prevent them from complying with medication, and how they cope with illness.

Health psychologists usually work in universities, medical schools and health services.

Counselling psychologists help people improve their sense of well-being, resolve crises and increase their problem-solving abilities. Counselling psychologists may work with individuals, groups or families. Some work privately, others in GPs' surgeries, counselling organisations and academic settings.

Forensic psychologists give evidence in courts of law and tribunals, and to prisoners' review panels. They help offenders to understand their behaviour and to avoid re-offending on release. Some forensic psychologists are involved in prison management, others work with the victims of crime.

Forensic psychologists work in prisons, youth custody centres, special units and regional secure hospitals.

Further Information

British Psychological Society (BPS)

Address: St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR

Tel: 0116 2549568



Getting into Psychology Courses

Author: Maya Waterstone Publisher: Trotman


British Psychological Society

Publisher: British Psychological Society (BPS)

Tel: 01223 378 051



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