California is one of the largest, richest and most active states in the country and with such a booming population comes social responsibilities. The psychologist is a doctorate-level degree graduate who helps treat people for behavioral problems or emotional distress. The doctor not only has the job of evaluation and diagnosis, but must also devise the right treatment, the nature of therapy and have excellent communicative skills. After all, the psychologist does not work with medicine; thus, does not have the ability to prescribe any quick fix medication to patients. Usually, a psychologist reports to a medical director when working outside of private practice.
The Rewards of the Profession
Psychologists make an average of $67,000 per year, though the highest-paid workers can earn over $110,000. The lowest income levels of psychologists earned just over $39,000. Of course, much of the final salary depends on the avenue of psychology a graduate pursued. Psychologists can work in a variety of professions from education to research to business or clinical or private practice.
Most graduates are not expanding in their education, going beyond general practice and focusing on business schooling, computer training, management and operations, and scientific studies. In recent years, psychologists have stressed the importance of risk management, particularly in legal and ethical issues, as well as assessing high-risk patients who may be experiencing suicidal tendencies.
Perhaps the biggest career news in California is that of the changing demographics occurring, as baby boomers are becoming senior-aged, and are living longer. Meanwhile, generations X and Y are approaching therapy pragmatically and finding its value; for example, in the workplace, schools and career guidance. Another aspect of the field worth thinking about is cultural responsiveness and the need for licensed and ethical doctors to show cultural sensitivity even while assessing patients’ needs.
The Future of Psychology in the State of California
Despite the fact that the nation is in recession, the field of psychology is increasing because of the adaptability of doctors, which remains a central part of the science. Much help is needed in the way of helping veterans, the elderly, and a whole new generation of young people who are now reconciling terrorist attacks, political turmoil, poverty and other new and uncommon fears. How about the tremendous opportunity that exists for psychologists to help the community and devise programs, policies and procedures to help businesses, agencies and nonprofit groups improve relationships and help improve the quality of life?
Speaking in terms of career strategy, specializing in a niche is extremely effective in the modern age, and the APA’s Center for Psychology Workforce Analysis and Research speculates that independent specialty practice has increased dramatically since 1987—upwards of nearly forty percent.
Now is the time for psychologists to think like business people and analyze the “market” around them, looking for local populations to help. You can find this information from health trends in the area, specifically within one city or county. Taking this attitude, you will quickly find a substantial base of clients and a lucrative job in a career that matters.