Psychology qualifications vary depending on what kind of work you're looking to do. Clinical, counseling, and research psychologists must typically have earned a doctoral degree, either a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). These types of psychologists usually complete a one-year internship as part of the doctoral program. School and occupational psychologists need only earn a masters degree in psychology. There are no specific qualifications for the field of your undergraduate degree. However, there are course requirements, such as introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics. All states require independently practicing psychologists to be licensed. Qualifications vary, but generally require a doctorate in psychology, internship, at least one to two years of professional experience, and successful completion of the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
As most of your time will be spent speaking with and listening to patients, you'll need strong communication and people skills. Analytical and problem-solving skills are important in your investigation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients' mental and behavioral disorders. Successful psychologists are also patient and observant of subtle changes in a patient's expressions or mannerisms. Psychologists must display the highest level of trustworthiness when dealing with patients. You will be privy to private and sensitive information about your patients and you must treat this information with the discretion and confidentiality it demands.
A psychologist must have some prior related work experience before practicing without supervision. You'll need to have completed a period of supervised experience, an internship, or residency program before you are even eligible for licensure.
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