Three Types of Psychologists

We list a large number of psychology careers and below. These careers fit into one of three types of broad psychology categories including clinical, industry and academic.

Clinical Professionals

These psychologists work closely with the medical field and focus on therapeutic treatments and one-on-one counseling for patients who are dealing with a wide range of mental, behavioral, or emotional problems. Cases can be short term or long term, depending on the needs of the patient.

A short term need would be something providing help in dealing with the loss of a loved one or some other traumatic experience in your life. Long term help is usually needed for those with advanced or permanent conditions such as depression, mental disorder, and behavioral issues that are not responding to normal therapy and counseling. Clinical professionals can operate out of their own private practice while others choose to work from inside local hospitals or schools.

Industry Professionals

Industry professionals rely heavily on research, observation, and study to help them do their job. They address real world issues and seek to find a reason and a solution using psychological theories and techniques as the basis for the answer. They often work closely with the government, corporate businesses, or in large industrial settings.

They work to handle psychological issues that can arise from within the company or business and help deal with worker and manager issues when they arise. These psychologists can work in social, industry, professional, law enforcement, and many other related fields.

Academic Professionals

Academic professionals are the psychologists you will see in your college and university classrooms. They teach psychology classes and conduct case studies and research to better understand the workings of the human mind and the mental processes of the average human being. These are the professors, authors, and researchers that most people hear about in the day to day educational field of psychology.

Is a Career in Psychology Right for Me?

If a being a psychologist interests you, then no doubt you have already begun asking yourself what the requirements are to be a psychologist. There are several key areas that you need to look at with an honest and open mind in order to see if this truly the career choice for you.

Personality Requirement

It takes a certain type of person to be able to be a psychologist and enjoy it. You need to be understanding of others, calm, and not overly emotional. You should have a genuine concern for your fellow man but also be able to keep yourself from becoming too involved in your client’s lives and problems. Someone who enjoys being around people and gets satisfaction out of helping others could find a being a psychologist very rewarding.

Educational Requirement for Psychology Jobs

The biggest choice you have to make as far as your education goes is if you want to go all the way to graduate school.

  • Bachelor’s Degree – A bachelor’s degree will allow you to work for others in the field of psychology but chances are you will do little counseling. These degrees are best for those who work in social fields and need the background of psychology to help deal with people on a day to day basis. Psychology is among the top five majors in bachelor programs for many colleges and universities across the country and this type of degree can help prepare you for many interesting and rewarding careers in management, counseling, customer service, education, business management, or medicine. Getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology will give you the foundation but not enough education and experience to work on your own as a professional psychologist or counselor.
  • Master’s Degree – Your master’s degree can give you the opportunity to delve deeper into the field and explore the many options that are available to you as a professional. Some programs help prepare you for psychology jobs that deal with areas such as mental health, business psychology, counseling, and forensic psychology. You can also get a general master’s degree that allows you to continue your education further and focus even more on your desired field with a doctorate degree.
  • Doctorate Degree – Most of the high end and popular psychology professions require a doctoral degree and many years of experience and training. A doctorate for this career area is the only way to start your own counseling business. No one with less than a doctorate can have his or her own counseling practice or go into business for themselves.

List of Psychology Careers

Careers in Psychology

Careers in Psychology

Abnormal Psychologist

This psychology career focuses on the study of unusual behavior, emotion, or thought that differs from what is seen as ‘normal’ for a society. They also look at why a person has the idea of what is and is not acceptable and where these ideas come from. Some areas of study that come up under abnormal psychology include anxiety, depression, addictions, obsession and compulsion, deviation from sexual norms, and eating disorders among many others. Learn how to become an abnormal psychologist.

Art Therapist

Art therapists help people express thoughts, feelings, and experiences through the creative process and use of art media like painting, drawing, sculpting, or photography. They provide this form of therapy to children and adults, individually or in groups, to improve mental, emotional, and behavioral health. Art therapists treat anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, stress, grief, and more using assessment, counseling, art directives, personal insight, and interpretation to aid healing.

Anomalistic Psychologist

Those who focus on a anomalistic psychology career work on understanding extraordinary behaviors and experiences that many claim to be supernatural in nature. Anomalistic psychologists seek to take these other worldly events and explain them in a literal and scientific way. The goal is to help people understand these experiences and make sense of them in the connotation of their personal lives. Learn how to become an anomalistic psychologist.

Applied Psychologist

Applied psychology is the use of psychological principles and methods to solve real-world problems. It is a broad field that encompasses both research and practice. Applied psychologists work in a variety of settings, including schools, businesses, hospitals, and government agencies. They use their knowledge to help people improve their lives.

Behavioral Neuroscientist

Behavioral neuroscientists study brain mechanisms. They explore how brain structure influences behavior. They conduct experiments on both humans and animals. They analyze brain activity. They link neural processes to actions, emotions, and decisions. They contribute to understanding mental health and improving therapeutic approaches.


Biopsychology is a branch of psychology that studies the biological factors that influence behavior and mental states. This includes studying the nervous system, hormones, and genes. Biopsychologists use techniques from both biology and psychology to understand how the mind works.

Clinical Child Psychologist

Clinical child psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children. Child psychologists work with children of all ages, from infancy through adolescence. They often work in hospitals, clinics, schools, and private practices.

Clinical and Medical Social Work

Clinical and medical social work is a branch of social work that deals with the provision of social and psychological services to patients in healthcare settings. Clinical social workers work with patients to assess their needs and provide them with counseling, therapy, and support. They also work with medical staff to ensure that patients receive the care they need. Medical social workers typically have a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and are licensed by their state.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, and mental health clinics. They often work with other healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists, to provide comprehensive care for patients. The the complete guide to clinical psychology programs.

Cognitive Psychologist

Psychologists in this career field of study look at how people think, reason, perceive, recall information, store information, remember, develop, and learn. The goal of this area of psychology is to better understand the connections between learning and memory and the human mind. Cognitive psychology develops tricks and methods to help improve memory, increase accuracy, improve recall, help in decision making, and further enhance the overall learning process. Learn how to become a cognitive psychologist.

Community Psychologist

Community psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study of people’s relationships within their social environment. It examines how these relationships affect people’s mental and physical health, as well as their overall wellbeing. Community psychologists work to promote healthy communities and to improve the quality of life for all community members.

Comparative Psychologist

Comparative psychology is the study of similarities and differences in behavioral organization among living beings, from bacteria to plants to humans. This discipline pays particular attention to the psychological nature of human beings in comparison with other animals.

Counseling Psychologist

Counseling psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on providing psychological assistance to individuals who are dealing with personal or interpersonal problems. Counseling psychologists work with clients to help them understand and cope with their challenges, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and make positive changes in their lives.

Developmental Psychologist

A developmental psychology career, as the name implies, deals with the study of how people grow and change as they age. The focus is not just on the physical changes but also on the social, emotional, and intellectual changes that take place in each stage of life and development from birth to death.

Those who focus on developmental psychology examine the development and processes involved in early stages of life such as motor skills and basic communication, to more advanced abilities like problem solving and ethics, and all the way to the end of life changes that a person faces in their later years.

Educational Psychologist

Educational psychology is the study of how people learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. Researchers in this field are interested in a variety of topics, including student learning, motivation, instructional design, classroom management, and assessment. Learn what it takes to become an educational psychologist.

Engineering Psychologist

Engineering psychologists are trained to apply psychological principles and techniques to the design, development, and evaluation of engineering systems. They work with engineers and other professionals to understand how people interact with technology and how to optimize that interaction. Engineering psychologists conduct research on human behavior, cognition, and performance; develop new methods and tools for designing better systems; and teach courses in psychology and human factors engineering.

Environmental Psychologist

Within the field of an environmental psychology career, you can explore the connection that exists between humans and the world around them and how that environment can impact them. This field of psychology holds that it is the environment and the outside forces that shape us into who we are. The contrasting view belongs to those who hold to more of a personality basis that says a person decides and impacts who they become more than their environment.

Experimental Psychologist

Experimental psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes through the use of scientific methods. This includes the use of controlled experiments to study psychological phenomena. Experimental psychologists use a variety of techniques, including observation, interviews, surveys, and laboratory experiments. They may also use more sophisticated methods, such as brain imaging, to study the brain and its role in behavior.

Evolutionary Psychologist

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical framework that examines psychological traits as evolved adaptations shaped by natural selection over human evolutionary history. Research applies principles of evolution to uncover how ancestral pressures forged the cognitive, behavioral and emotional functions seen in Homo sapiens today. This evolutionary lens offers insights into core elements of human nature and psychology rooted in the Stone Age environments that humans inhabited for 95% of our species’ existence.

Family Psychologist

Family psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study of family dynamics and the psychological effects of family relationships. The field of family psychology is relatively new, but has grown in popularity in recent years as more research is conducted on the importance of family relationships.

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychology is the application of psychological principles and methods to the legal system. It encompasses both criminal and civil legal systems. Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement, the courts, and corrections systems to provide psychological services. These services can include psychological assessment, treatment, and consultation.


Geropsychology is a specialty area within psychology that focuses on the psychological challenges associated with aging. As the population of older adults continues to grow, so too does the need for mental health professionals with expertise in geropsychology. Geropsychologists work with older adults to address a variety of issues, including cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and social isolation. They also provide support to caregivers and families who are dealing with the aging process.

Health and Medical Psychologist

Medical psychology is the study of how psychological factors affect health and well-being. This includes how our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can impact our physical health. It also looks at how health conditions can affect our psychological state. Medical psychologists work with patients to help them manage chronic illnesses, cope with stress, and make lifestyle changes to improve their overall health.

Human Factors Psychology

Human factors psychology applies knowledge of human behavior and capability to the design of systems, processes, and environments used by people, with the goal of improving efficiency, safety, comfort and performance. For example, creating airline cockpit interfaces optimized to pilot cognition or developing ergonomic office furniture to minimize injury. Bridging psychology and design, this growing field provides solutions to enhance human well-being and overall system function in a technology driven world.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

This is a business oriented field that looks at the impact workplaces, employees, and organizations have on the psychology of those involved. These psychologists will work with the owners and managers of corporations to assist in the creation and implementation of training programs, help with transition through major policy and hierarchy changes, and help maintain high standards of employee satisfaction and performance.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapy is a branch of mental health counseling that focuses on helping couples and families improve their relationships. Marriage and family therapists work with clients to identify and resolve issues that are causing problems in their relationships. They may also provide guidance on how to strengthen communication and problem-solving skills, and help families develop healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress and conflict.

Military Psychologist

A military psychologist is a specialist who is trained to provide psychological support and counseling to members of the armed forces. They help service members deal with the unique challenges that come with military life, such as combat stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues. Military psychologists also work with families of service members to help them cope with the stresses of having a loved one in the military.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists (OTs) help people who have physical, developmental, social, or emotional challenges gain and maintain the life skills and fine motor abilities needed for full participation in daily living and work environments. OTs work with people of all ages in a variety of settings. They evaluate clients’ abilities and environment, and design customized interventions that break down activities into achievable steps and incorporate assistive techniques, adaptive technology, and modifications that allow individuals to lead independent, meaningful and satisfying lives. OTs foster resilience while reducing barriers for those with disabilities, injuries, illnesses or age-related limitations.


Neuropsychology is a specialized field within psychology that studies the relationship between the brain and behavior. Neuropsychologists assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders associated with neurological conditions or brain injuries. Using standardized tests, neuroimaging, and systemic observations, they evaluate how conditions such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, tumors, and neurodevelopmental disorders affect areas like memory, language, attention, problem solving, and perception. The discipline requires an understanding of both psychological disorders and neuroanatomy. The goal of a neuropsychologist is to understand the neurobiological causes of psychiatric disturbances in order to recommend rehabilitation strategies focused on improving brain health and daily functioning.

Personality Psychologist

A personality psychology career is a fast paced branch of psychology that examines what makes a person unique as an individual- their persona; thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Personality disorders are also a large part of study for this career and many of these careers within the branch of psychology works to identify and address issues of personality disorders.

Play Therapists

Play therapists help children overcome emotional, behavioral, social, and psychological issues through the power of play. They use games, art, role playing, puppets, blocks, music, and other play activities to help children express themselves in a language they naturally understand. Play provides a safe space for children to work through complex feelings, traumatic experiences, anxiety, developmental challenges, and stress. Play therapists build relationships with children to understand the underlying issues affecting their wellbeing and to support healing through evidence-based modalities tailored to each child’s needs. They aim to foster positive growth and resilience.


Psycholinguistics is the study of how language is processed by the human mind. It covers a wide range of topics, including how people learn language, how they use it in everyday life, and how it can be affected by things like age, culture, and cognition.

Psychology Teacher Education

Psychology Teacher Education is the process of becoming a psychology teacher. This involves completing an accredited teacher education program and passing any required state exams. Once you have completed your teacher education and are licensed to teach, you will need to complete ongoing professional development to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date.

Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychologist

Psychometrics and quantitative psychology are both fields of study that focus on the measurement of psychological constructs. Psychometrics is concerned with the development and validation of psychological measures, while quantitative psychology focuses on the statistical analysis of data. Both fields are important in the study of psychology, as they allow researchers to accurately quantify psychological phenomena.

Research and Experimental Psychologist

Research and experimental psychology is the scientific study of human behavior. This includes the study of how people think, feel, and behave. Researchers in this field use a variety of methods to study human behavior, including experiments, surveys, and case studies.

School Psychologist

School psychology is the study of how psychological principles can be applied in order to improve educational and learning experiences for students. It also encompasses research on how children learn and develop, as well as on effective teaching methods. School psychologists work with educators, parents, and students to address a variety of issues, including academic achievement, behavioral problems, and social adjustment.

Social Psychologist

A social psychology career looks at learning from the social influences and ideas that permeate society and the world. They use scientific methods to study how different people groups interact and live alongside each other. It looks at how cultural traditions and norms are established and what causes some groups to be closed off to other cultures while others are very open and welcoming of ideas and practices different from their own.

Social psychology can touch on areas such as personal behavior, social norms, stereotypes, government structure and leadership, nonverbal behavior, cultural customs and traditions, conformity, prejudice, bullying, and racism among many others.

Social Worker

Social work is a profession that helps people in need and promotes social change. Social workers work with individuals, families, groups, and communities to help them improve their lives. They may provide direct services such as counseling, case management, and crisis intervention, or they may work on larger scale projects to advocate for social change.

Somatic Psychologist

Somatic psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the mind-body connection. It is based on the belief that our physical bodies and our mental and emotional states are interconnected, and that our overall health is affected by this connection. Somatic psychologists work with clients to help them understand and improve their physical and mental well-being by exploring the mind-body connection.

Sport and Performance Psychologist

Performance and sport psychology is the study of how psychological factors affect athletes and sporting performance. It is a relatively new field that has only emerged in the last few decades. Performance and sport psychologists work with athletes to help them overcome mental hurdles and improve their performance. They use a variety of techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy, to help athletes achieve their goals. Sport psychology is a branch of psychology that deals with the mental aspects of sport and exercise. It covers a wide range of topics, including motivation, anxiety, stress management, and injury rehabilitation.

Traffic Psychologist

Traffic psychology is an emerging field focusing on understanding how individuals behave in traffic and how they interact with the transportation environment. As a traffic psychologist, you can play an important role in improving road safety and reducing accidents by applying psychological principles to transportation design, driver education, and traffic management.

Transpersonal and Spiritual Psychologist

Transpersonal and spiritual psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study of the human soul and spirit. This type of psychology explores the higher levels of human consciousness and experience, including mystical and transcendent states. Transpersonal and spiritual psychology also emphasizes the importance of personal growth and self-realization.

Where To Go From Here

There are many options available to you when it comes to the diverse psychology careers you can choose from. By looking at what your interests are, your ultimate desire for a career, and how much time you are willing to invest, you can begin to make your first move towards your psychology career.

Highest Paying Psychologists

Psychologists with the highest salaries are typically those who work in private practice or in high-paying industries. Clinical psychologists who work in hospitals or other medical settings often earn the highest salaries, followed by industrial-organizational psychologists who work in business and government settings. Counseling psychologists who work in community mental health centers and private practices also tend to earn high salaries. School psychologists typically earn the least, although their salaries have been increasing in recent years.

Number of Jobs for Psychologists

The number of jobs for psychologists has been increasing in recent years. This is due to the growing awareness of the importance of mental health and the role psychologists can play in helping people to maintain good mental health. Psychologists can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, businesses, and private practice.

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