By Alyssa GarciaLara

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What do they do?

Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and their environments

Job environment

Some psychologists work independently, conducting research or working with patients. Others work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with physicians and social workers or in school settings, working with students, teachers, parents, and other educators. Those in private practice often work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients.

How do I become one?

Although psychologists typically need a doctoral degree or specialist degree in psychology, a master’s degree is sufficient for some positions. Practicing psychologists also need a license or certification.


The median annual wage for psychologists was $69,280 in May 2012.

Job outlook?

Employment of psychologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty and those with a specialist or doctoral degree in school psychology.

Similar occupations?

Mental councilors and family therapists, school and career councilors, social workers, sociologists, etc.