As life has become increasingly stressful and complex, the demand for professionally trained psychologists has also increased. These professionals treat individuals suffering from a range of mental illnesses and disorders such as anxiety, depression and phobias, etc. Psychologists cure these patients by studying their cognitive and mental processes and by developing treatment plans to improve their behaviors.
If you want to learn about the functioning of the brain, then you should read this guide that outlines the job description, education requirements and job prospects of psychologists.

Job Duties of a Psychologist

Psychologists are expected to carry out the following tasks:

  • Evaluating the behaviors, mental abilities and mental health of their patients
  • Conducting several types of psychological tests, such as direct behavioral observations, one-on-one interviews and psychometric tests
  • Working in collaboration with other healthcare professionals including nurses and doctors to address mental health concerns of patients
  • Creating, implementing, and assessing treatment programs such as therapy and counseling sessions


If you are interested in studying the human brain and want to understand human behavior, then a career in the field of psychology is best suited for you. Read this guide to understand what it takes to become a psychologist.

Requirements to Become a Psychologist in the US

Becoming a psychologist requires hard work, determination and patience. Aspiring psychologists have to meet a number of requirements in order to attain their professional goals. These requirements are listed below:

  1. Education Requirements
  2. In order to become a psychologist, you have to earn a relevant degree, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). The difference between these two programs is that PhD in Psychology program is targeted at students who are interested in research/academia, while the PsyD program is created for students who are interested in working directly with patients.
  1. Training Requirements
  2. Individuals might have to complete a specific number of supervised practice hours in order to meet their training requirements. These requirements vary from one state to another; hence you should check your state pages.
  1. Certification and Licensing Requirements
  2. Just like the training requirements differ between states, so does the licensing requirements. You can check with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards to gather more information about licensure procedures. Obtaining the license is not enough – you will also have to renew the license after a specific time period by completing a certain number of credits.

Steps Involved in becoming a Psychologist in the US

Individuals have to pass through the following stages in order to become a psychologist:

  1. Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in this subject is the first step towards getting your dream job. You can enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S)/Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Psychology. The difference between these two degrees is that Bachelor of Arts (B.A) offers more liberal arts courses while the Bachelor of Science (B.S) program offers more courses related to Psychology, Mathematics and Science. The coursework of these programs covers topics like Learning and Cognition, Biological Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Physiology of Motivated Behaviors.
  1. Get a Master’s degree
  2. After completing your undergrad, it is recommended that you enroll in a Master of Science (M.S) in Psychology. This degree offers more advanced courses related to Social Psychology, Therapeutic Boundaries, Research Methods in Psychology and Counseling Theories and Strategies. Earning a master’s degree not only improves an individual’s job prospects, but also his/her earning potential.
  1. Complete a Doctorate Degree and the Required Training
  2. After completing your undergrad, it is recommended that you enroll in a Master of Science (M.S) in Psychology. This degree offers more advanced courses related to Social Psychology, Therapeutic Boundaries, Research Methods in Psychology and Counseling Theories and Strategies. Earning a master’s degree not only improves an individual’s job prospects, but also his/her earning potential.
  1. Get Your License
  2. Without a state license, you won’t be able to practice anywhere – not even independently. Hence, obtaining a license is crucial. Since licensing laws are different in every state, we would advise you to consult your respective state pages.

Employment Statistics and Job Outlook Data

In May 2018, Psychologists earned an impressive annual median wage of $79,010. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a positive job growth of 14% in the field, from 2018 to 2028.