Pscyhologist, assistant psychologist, forensic psychologist and more

Where are most psychologist jobs found?

Psychologist vacancies are a broad category. Clinical psychologist jobs can be found in a wide range of settings, including community mental health teams, hospitals, clinics, health centres or social services. Clinical neuropsychologists, meanwhile, are more likely to work in hospital, social care or rehabilitation service settings as they specialise in the rehabilitation of people with brain injuries or other neurological conditions.

Health psychologists support people with the emotional and psychological effects of illness and can work in hospitals, private health or the community, while psychological wellbeing practitioners will work in specialist mental health or community settings. As forensic psychologists specialise in criminal behaviour they frequently work in association with the police, probation services, prison estate or young offender institutions. Many are directly employed by the prison service, but they can also work in healthcare, mental health and social services settings. 

Counselling psychologists can work in hospitals, corporate, workplace or higher education settings, while counsellors – a role that can have less stringent requirements in terms of qualifications – can work in settings including advice centres, general practice surgeries or their own homes.

What other roles are there?

Assistant psychologists work under the supervision of a psychologist in a multidisciplinary team. Assistant psychologist jobs involve direct work with patients, as well as researching and carrying out assessments, working with family members, carers and other mental health professionals, and administrative tasks such as recording keeping and drafting letters, reports or assessment summaries. While entry requirements are lower than for other psychologist roles, employers will usually require applicants to have a degree in psychology.  

Where can the roles lead?

The hands-on experience gained by assistant psychologists means they can go on to train to become fully qualified clinical psychologists, health psychologists, forensic psychologists or counselling psychologists.

Clinical psychologists can go on to specialise in a particular area of work, such as substance misuse or working with people in the criminal justice system. Counselling psychologists can go on to become clinical supervisors or consultant psychologists, or move into research or teaching roles. Counsellors can undertake further training and move into psychotherapy or mental health nursing roles, or choose to specialise in specific areas such as drug or alcohol misuse or eating disorders. Many psychologists will also choose to move into clinical academic research or teaching.

What other ways of working are there?

Experienced psychologists may choose to become self-employed, or to combine this with part-time work for other employers. Some general counsellors may also choose to work part-time, perhaps in addition to their day job.  

What is the psychologist job market like?

The wide range of both psychologist roles and sectors they can be employed in means good employment opportunities, with particularly high demand in the private sector. However, the market can often be competitive with employers valuing candidates with the best experience or defined specialist skills.

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