Have you ever considered a career in psychology before? A psychologist is a healthcare professional who studies patients mental wellbeing, perceptual, cognitive, emotional and social pressures and behaviours. Working in this chosen role often incorporates having to observe patients and come up with interpretations of how each individual reacts to their different environments.

Interested? Below, we’ve collated some top tips and important information on how you can kickstart your career in psychology!

Average salary

The average salary for a role in psychology is around £20-£40 per hour (as seen on our website).

Typical hours

As a psychologist, you could typically work around 35-40 hours per week.

Type of work

There are a variety of ways you can work as a psychologist however, the most common ones are in a flexible/locum position.

Different ways of becoming a psychologist

  • You can study a psychology degree or take a psychology conversion course
  • Gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
  • Or, complete an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialty to practice as a psychologist
Psychology conversion course
  • You are eligible to complete an approved psychology conversion course if:
    • Your psychology degree is not accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
    • You have a degree in a subject other than psychology
Postgraduate qualification
  • To practice as a psychologist, you’ll need to complete an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialty, this could be:
    • Educational psychology
    • Forensic psychology
    • Occupational psychology
    • Sport and exercise psychology
  • To apply for a postgraduate qualification in a specialty, you’ll need:
    • A first or 2:1 degree
    • Excellent research skills
    • Relevant work experience

Skills and knowledge required

    • Knowledge of psychology
    • Enjoy working with others in a team
    • Counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
    • Excellent verbal communication skills
    • Sensitivity and understanding
    • An understanding of statistical methods and data analysis
    • Patience and the ability to remain calm in tense and stressful situations
    • Be able to use a computer and the main software programmes confidently
    • You’ll also need to pass enhanced background checks to work with children and vulnerable adults

Day-to-day tasks (depending on your chosen specialty and job title)

  • Support patients with learning or emotional issues
  • Work with patients with brain injuries
  • Use psychological theory to help people who have been in prison
  • Support people with mental health struggles like anxiety, stress and depression
  • Help businesses improve employee job satisfaction
  • Help improve individual or team motivation and performance

Working environments

  • Schools
  • NHS hospitals
  • Private hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Therapy clinics
  • Community

Career progression (depending on your chosen specialty)

  • You could have the opportunity to move into supervisory or management positions
  • Move into teaching, academic research, policy or consultancy work
  • There are a wide variety of progression pathways depending on your specialty; for a more detailed list of what your career progression could look like, read here.

Psychology FAQs

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist? 

A psychologist uses talk and behavioural therapy and are not able to prescribe medication as they are not technically trained in medical care. Whereas, psychiatrists are medical doctors and can therefore prescribe medication to patients.

Where can I apply to a psychology role?

We currently have a range of psychology roles available on our website, so make sure to check these out and apply to these roles today!

What is the NHS Talking Therapies service and what sort of careers are there in this field? 

The NHS Talking Therapies service was developed in the hopes to improve the delivery of psychological therapies for depression and anxiety disorders within the NHS. Within this particular service, there are opportunities to train as a psychological wellbeing practitioner or high intensity therapist. Interested in another specialty? Within Talking Therapies, you could also look into working as a counsellor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, social worker, mental health nurse, or occupational therapist.

With new vacancies being posted everyday, be sure to regularly check out our live jobs for our most recent psychologist vacancies!

E: ahp@athona.com

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