What does a Psychologist do?
Psychologists try to understand and explain feelings, emotions, behaviour and thoughts. They do this by observing, recording and interpreting people’s relationships with themselves and their environment. They also perform experiments and assessments to develop theories about the feelings, thoughts and beliefs that influence psychological health.
Psychologists administer a wide range of tests to assess intelligence, personality, aptitude and cognitive performance. The work of a Psychologist may depend on their area of specialisation, such as developmental, clinical, rehabilitation, forensic, counselling or educational psychology.
Psychologist skills and qualifications
A successful Psychologist candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively. These skills and qualifications include:
- Exceptional listening and written and verbal communication skills
- Strong diagnostic and observational skills
- Empathy, compassion and sensitivity to the issues of clients
- Expert analytical skills
- Ability to keep clients’ information confidential
- Professionalism and patience
- Ability to remain calm in tense situations
- Excellent interpersonal skills
Psychologist experience requirements
The type of experience Psychologists must have depends on the area of psychology they specialise in. Many employers prefer candidates who have worked as an Assistant Psychologist or in areas such as mental health work, social work or nursing. Some employers accept candidates who have worked as a Research Assistant.
If you’re looking for an Educational Psychologist, look for candidates who have experience working with children in childcare, educational or community settings. While not essential, teaching experience is useful. If you’re looking for an Occupational Psychologist, a candidate who has experience in business and management or personal and human resources is preferable.
Psychologist education and training requirements
Psychologist must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. They must have completed the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and obtained an accredited postgraduate qualification in a specific specialism such as forensic or educational psychology.
If you are looking to hire a Psychologist specialising in neuropsychology, the candidate must have a postgraduate qualification in clinical or educational psychology and completed specialist training in neuroscience. Candidates must also register with the Health and Care Professions Council. Candidates must also have completed additional psychology training from the British Psychological Society.
Psychologist salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Psychologist in the UK is £32,729 per year. Actual salary varies depending on several factors, including the Psychologist’s work experience, qualifications, specialism, employer and geographical location.
Job description samples for related positions
If a Psychologist is not quite what you’re looking for, here are other job description samples that may fit your needs: