While there are many different types of psychologist careers available to you, the very first thing you need to understand is how to become a psychologist?
The process of becoming a psychologist can be split into two different phases:
- Undertaking the education to get the qualifications you need, and…
- Getting the necessary licensing from the relevant state authority so you can start your career as a certified psychologist.
Education Required To Become A Psychologist
Basically, to become a psychologist you’re going to need to complete both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree.
So the obvious choice for your undergraduate degree would be a degree in psychology, and you can then minor in something that you’re either interested in, or that you think may be something that could be useful to you down the track when it comes time to make a decision about whether to specialize in any of the different careers in psychology you can choose from.
Before you start your undergraduate studies it’s also a good idea to think about the graduate program you think you’d like to enroll in and have a talk to someone from there about any specific requirements they may have for people looking to enroll in their program.
This can help you avoid any problems down the track where you may not satisfy all the requirements and have to postpone your graduate studies until you have them taken care of.
As you are working your way through your undergraduate degree in psychology it’s also a good idea to start thinking about any particular fields of psychology that you think might be of interest to you.
You can then offer to help professors or even graduate students with any research studies they’re involved in to give you a bit of head start and help you decide whether it is definitely something you want to pursue as a career.
Once you have completed your undergraduate studies you’ll need to enroll in a graduate program.
By now you should have developed some sort of idea about a psychology career that you think you’d be suited to whether it’s child psychology, forensic psychology or any of the other many options available to you.
You should make sure that your graduate program of choice is going to be able to offer you the training you need to purse this career option down the track..
Ph.D or Psy.D?
One of the big decisions that you’ll need to think about with regards to careers in psychology is whether you want to become a clinical psychologist or if you think you’d be better of in research and teaching.
If you were more interested in teaching or research you’d be better off pursuing a Ph.D.
This is a Doctorate in Philosophy with the emphasis being more towards learning how to conduct effective psychology research studies, as opposed to be able to apply those studies to a practical setting.
To move into clinical psychology you are probably better off pursuing a Psy.D which is a Doctorate in Psychology, and is focused on the therapy side of psychology and applying the research done by other people to help patients suffering from their own psychological disorders and problems.
If you aren’t sure which path to go down your best option is to schedule an interview with a professor and talk to them about your choices and which one is going to be the right one for you..
Licensing Requirements For Psychologists.
If you have decided that you want to focus your energies on the therapy side of psychology then you will also need to go through the process of obtaining the necessary certification that will give you the license to practice.
This is done at a state level, with each state being slightly different in their requirements.
To find out the information relevant to your particular state simply visit the link below.
So hopefully that has at least given you enough info to get you started.
In order to become a psychologist you need to enroll in the right undergraduate and graduate courses, and seek the counsel of professors with regards to psychologist careers that you may be interested in pursuing once your studies have been completed