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If you are interested in the PsyD degree, you may want to know what career options are available to you. Those who complete this degree can expect a variety of interesting positions to become available to them, that come with a lucrative income. Of course, there are various factors that will affect how much you can earn, such as who you work for, where in the country you work, and how much experience you have. Those working in bigger cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York City, earnings are significantly higher than in other parts of the country, but this is also due to the cost of living being much higher.
Meanwhile, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 19% increase in the number of of jobs for psychologists from 2014 to 2024. Below are some of the positions available to you once you complete your PsyD:
#1 Private Practice Psychologist
The highest earners tend to be those who successfully run a private practice. It often takes many years to get to this point, however, as developing an established clientele takes a lot of work. Common duties include:
- Providing counseling and therapy to a variety of different patients, sometimes focusing on a particular area of psychology
- Advocating better mental health through counseling techniques
- Referring patients to other medical services if necessary
According to Salary.com, the median annual salary of a psychologist is $89,913, ranging from $80,094 to $102,298.
#2 Engineering Psychologist
Engineering psychologists, also known as human factors psychologists, study the interactions between man and machine and how this affects daily lives. Usually, they are employed within the private sector, where their goal is to maximize profitability in companies by increasing efficiency. There is also a strong focus on eliminating potential safety concerns. Other engineering psychologists focus on how to make everyday objects and products easier to operate. By improving existing tools and technologies, they make procedures simpler, instructions easier to understand, and the overall process more streamlined.
There are a lot of career paths in which engineering psychology and human factors come together. Ultimately, it is about understanding the relationship between machines and people, and also between tasks and people, and environments and people. This provides greater clarity on this emerging but important field.
Engineering psychologists often work in research, and they are commonly found in government agencies. These include the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. NASA also has a team of engineering psychologists on board. Nevertheless, the private sector continues to be the largest employer of these types of psychologists, as private capital is often the driving force behind new technological developments. They often work in the telecommunications industry, automotive industry, healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, and weapons industry.
Common tasks for an engineering psychologist include:
- The study of human interaction with pieces of technology and machines
- The study of human capacities and traits, including decision-making, attention, and vision. This is then used to design systems and machines that human beings can operate in a comfortable, safe, and correct manner.
- Consulting with designers and architects of consumer products, such as home appliances, cameras, and telephones to find out which types of features have to be added and changed. The focus is often on where operating buttons should be placed, and how large the device can be.
- Informing and creating strategies relating to how tools used in workplace environments should be designed. These tools are critical to the proper performance of an organization and often closely linked to personal safety. A good example is an engineering psychologist who researches ways to make healthcare equipment easier to use, while at the same time focusing on how an operating theater should be laid out so that the chance of medical errors occurring is reduced.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), engineering psychologists with a doctorate degree and working in for-profit companies earned an average annual salary of $111,368 in 2005.
#3 Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
The main function of industrial-organizational psychologists is actually quite similar to that of engineering psychologists, as they both focus on making sure the appropriate processes and products are available in the workplace to facilitate greater efficiency. Their goal is to make sure that the operational framework within an organization is simple and clean. This means that they investigate production and other operational processes to make sure there is no unnecessary duplication of work. If they find that obstacles are in place, they will get to work on studying how to remove them where possible. There is a very strong focus on safety, particularly in industrial and manufacturing environments, but industrial-organizational psychologists are now found in all sectors of work.
Some of the tasks an industrial-organizational psychologist can expect to do include:
- Providing advice to leaders and managers on training needs after identifying a gap
- Performing psychological tests and competency tests and comparing results to rating scales
- Interviewing and observing employees and potential recruits, writing reports on findings and what their implications could be.
- Working closely with senior management to ensure that the workplace is organized in such a way that productivity can be increased.
- Developing and implementing plans to improve better employee recruitment, placement, and retention, including the development of performance and training programs
Payscale.com has reported that the median annual salary for an industrial-organizational psychologist is $71,027, but it can go as high as $120,524.
#4 Administrative Hospital Psychologist
These psychologists are highly experienced and have often started as a psychologist in hospitals, working their way up while completing their education. The PsyD, at its heart, is not an administrative degree, but it can be useful for those who have gained administrative experience in the workplace and want to improve their career options. Administrative hospital psychologists are managers and very often no longer have a clinical role.
Common tasks for administrative hospital psychologists include:
- To manage teams of hospital psychologists and ensure they are able to perform appropriately in providing behavioral, emotional, and psychological assistance to patients
- To evaluate how effective various treatments and counseling programs are while checking how accurate and complete any diagnoses are as well, making adjustments as and where necessary.
- To write reports for hospital administration boards and ensuring all paperwork are in order
- To maintain budgets within the department
- To manage other psychologists and support staff so that they can perform as well as possible
Payscale.com reports that the median annual salary of a clinical psychologist, which most administrative hospital psychologists start of as, is $74,135 but can go as high as $108,687.
Neuropsychologists study how the different parts and elements of the brain function. A PsyD in neuropsychology is, in fact, popular with people who have a medical background. Ultimately, the goal is to perform research that aims to develop more effective and suitable treatment by understanding how treatments affect the functioning of the brain. In many cases, new developments in the field of neuropsychology lead to further research, and many neuropsychologists focus almost exclusively on conducting experiments and clinical trials.
Typical job duties of a neuropsychologist include:
- Conducting psychological assessments of people and developing treatment plans
- Documenting interactions with patients, responses to treatments, and more, in line with federal and local laws and regulations
- Analysis of treatment methods, documenting successes and failures, and using this to advance and even publish research
- Working closely with patients and their families and carers to ensure they can achieve certain goals, while at the same time identifying other tools and services that they may require access to.
- Performing clinical trials for psychological therapies
A Payscale.com report shows the median annual salary for a neuropsychologist to be $89,849 but can go as high as $129,200.
By earning a PsyD degree, you will have the opportunity to take on a wide variety of careers with lucrative salaries. You can work in various organizations and industries, ranging from healthcare to manufacturing, and from space technology to NGOs. This degree will give you an opportunity to complete research and, in so doing, improve overall psychological health and well-being in the community.
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- Psychologists. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
- What Is Counseling Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.div17.org/about-cp/what-is-counseling-psychology/