Different Types of Psychology

So many different types of psychology exist that it is hard to define what it is that a psychologist does. According to the American Psychological Association, there are 56 divisions of psychology, and some are so unrelated that, at first glance, you might not even know they are each subsets of the same field. Though it is such a large and diverse vocation, most psychologists fit into two general categories: research-oriented and applied.

Research-Oriented Psychologists
Research-oriented psychologists study humans and animals. They study motivation and cognitive ability, as well as a slew of other factors that go into how an individual thinks, acts and feels. They can be employed by private corporations or government organizations.

Applied Psychologists
Applied psychologists are more like the ones you probably think of when you think of psychologists. Clinical psychologists are the largest example of these. They typically work either for counseling services or joint or private practices, and they are the ones that patients visit to deal with emotional problems.

Counseling psychologists are another subset of applied psychologists. They are usually employed by organizations such as schools, universities or hospitals, to help the members of the organization, whether they are students or patients, cope with whatever mental issues they are dealing with. Forensic psychologists work with various criminal justice organizations. They analyze the minds of criminal offenders and determine the motivations of their behavior. They are often called upon to testify as experts in court, and they advise parole boards.

Preparing For A Career In Psychology
Regardless of the kind of psychology you choose as a career, a post-secondary degree is necessary. To be a licensed psychologist, you almost always need either a PhD or a Doctor of Psychology degree. This usually requires around four years of graduate schooling and the completion of a doctoral dissertation.

As you might expect in a field that is this diverse and expansive, the pay differential between different psychologists is great. Though it is not uncommon for a psychologist to make upwards of $100,000, on average they make between $45,000 and $80,000.

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