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Qualifications for Psychologist

Higher Education Articles August 14, 2013

A psychologist is not merely a counselor, friend or confidant as often depicted on television. Most people go to counselors because they want practical solutions to their problems, without seeking medical treatments. However, this places high pressure on the doctor to deliver results, and sometimes within a time frame that the client deems reasonable. Furthermore, psychologists are often in charge of supervising patients who are suicidal, violent or emotionally fragile and must take every fact and feeling into consideration. This is why the educational qualifications for a psychologist are extensive.

Training and Education Expectations

It is generally expected that all serious students pursue a degree in psychology, and to fulfill the extra training required. At the very least, graduating students will be expected to have a master’s degree though a doctoral degree is more competitive and usually more successful in the field. Besides educational requirements, all doctors must be licensed in their state of dwelling.

The more advance degree you have, the more jobs you will qualify for, including educational opportunities, clinics, health care services, government offices and research assignments. Schooling generally encompasses five to seven years of studying and concludes with a dissertation. Whether you need advanced schooling or less depends on each state.

Licensing and Certification

Licensure depends on whether the individual can meet all standards set by the state, as well as licensing organizations. Usually, if a doctor is limited in his or her knowledge in one particular aspect, the licensing and state certification must reflect that. In order to pass licensing board requirements, most states give a standard test along with essay questions. Continuing education on a yearly basis may also be a prerequisite. Other organizations of merit might include the American Board of Professional Psychology, the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which provide help with certification and other information and benefits.

Personal and Professional Honor

Lastly, a psychologist must be a pillar of his or her community, morally, ethically and mentally. You must always present yourself as stable, mature and yet able to get along with a wide variety of people. Psychologists who are cold-minded are usually not successful. This is a field that requires compassion, communicative ability, and sensitivity.

You may work alone, but this is not a guarantee. Some doctors must work as a team or even in a team environment. Not only is this a job about intellect and observation, but it is also a job requiring patience and perseverance. You may have some patients for literally years on end. On the other hand, some patients may be pressed for time and low on money and want something close to an instant result—even though, of course, there is no such thing.

Nevertheless, this is a job all about helping others, and you will feel great once the work begins. Start your training at one of the following schools listed below and start a promising career!

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Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
2 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
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