© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
Psychologists study the human mind by observing, recording and analyzing human behavior. All states require licensing or certification for using the title of “psychologist” especially in clinical and counseling, or when practicing in schools. Some states do not require licensing or certification for industrial or organizational psychologists, or make it optional.
Certified psychologists earned a mean $35.14 per hour or $73,090 per year as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They help individuals, couples and families change their behavior, and diagnose mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. They encourage persons to talk about their thoughts and emotions in individual and group therapy. They can then create and create treatment plans, sometimes in collaboration with doctors and social workers. They can address issues in the home, at work or in the community, and help patients identify resources for managing problems.
In 2011, the biggest employers of certified psychologists were elementary and secondary schools, where almost 41 percent of the 100,850 professionals earned a mean $34.38 per hour or $71,510 per year. About 13 percent worked in their own offices, earning a mean $40.22 per hour or $83,650 per year. Individual and family services showed almost 7 percent of the positions with means at $32.65 per hour or $67,900 per year. The highest paying employers were employment services at a mean $46.67 per hour or $97,060 per year. Business schools and computer and management training were next for wages with means at $45.99 per hour or $95,670 per year.
Areas with the largest populations provided the most opportunities for certified psychologists starting with the most populous state of California. It contained almost 16 percent of all positions, averaging $40.66 per hour or $84,580 per year. New York was next with 10 percent of the professionals making a mean $40.43 per hour or $84,090 per year. Texas ranked third with 6 percent of the jobs and mean salaries at $30.90 per hour or $64,260 per year. The highest wages were in New Mexico at a mean $31.26 per hour or $65,020 per year, followed by Massachusetts, averaging $37.05 per hour or $77,070 per year.
The BLS predicts job growth for clinical, counseling and school psychologists of 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is more than the 14 percent growth for all jobs in all occupations and the 18 percent rate for all other psychologists. However, it is under the 35 percent increase predicted for industrial-organizational psychologists. Much of the demand will come from schools, hospitals, mental health centers and social service agencies. In addition, more people are turning to clinical and counseling psychologists to help manage such issues as depressions, job stress, addiction and marriage issues. Psychologists are also needed to deal with the mental and physical changes associated with aging.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists
Association for industrial and organizational psychologists.
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