Search for school

Counseling Psychologist: Education and Career Information

Working as a counseling psychologist is a very broad yet rewarding career that allows you to work within a hospital, school, business, government agency, or open your own practice and be self-employed. The role of a counseling psychologist is to help clients identify and overcome abnormal behaviors and mental disorders while at the same time providing them a means to live a more emotionally-healthy, successful life.

What does a counseling psychologist do?

Counseling psychologists employ a variety of methods to help their clients manage mental illness and emotional problems. These methods may include everything from simple thought exercises to advanced, experimental techniques. Often times, though, the job of a counseling psychologist is to simply listen to their client and help them discover truths that they may not yet realize. Unlike a psychiatrist, a counseling psychologist is not allowed to prescribe drugs to treat their clients’ conditions.

There are a wide number of roles that a counseling psychologist may fill. Often times, schools will employ counseling psychologists to serve as a resource for helping troubled students. Counseling psychologists are also employed by many hospitals for the task of aiding in the treatment of patients who are suffering from a mental condition. Some counseling psychologists choose to open their own practice and recruit clients for themselves. In addition to these three roles, a wide number of businesses and government agencies employ counseling psychologists in order to fulfill a variety of tasks including helping employees resolve emotional issues they may be facing.

All said, the career path of a counseling psychologist is quite broad. With the same background and education, you may find yourself helping emotionally troubled teens in a high school, treating patients with schizophrenia in a mental hospital, or serving high-end clients in your own private practice. The choice of where you work and what role you fill is entirely up to you.

How much does a counseling psychologist earn?

Since working as a counseling psychologist is a wide-ranging career, the salaries for counseling psychologists vary greatly depending on where they are working and what role they fill. According to the BLS, though, the average salary for counseling psychologists of all kinds in 2016 was $75,230 per year, with the top 10% of counseling psychologists earning upwards of $121,610 per year. The job outlook for counseling psychologists is also positive, with 19% growth expected by 2024.

What types of skills are needed to become a counseling psychologist?

In order to be successful as a counseling psychologist, you will need to adopt a number of skills. These skills include:

Research: Even counseling psychologists not involved with academia will still need to be good at researching in order to research potential treatments for their clients.

Ethics: Counseling psychologists deal with people at their most vulnerable and often know details about people that no one else may know. As such, it is crucial for counseling psychologists to have very high ethical standards.

Communication: Good communication is essential for a counseling psychologist. In order to help their clients, counseling psychologists need to be able to effectively communicate with them.

Listening Skills: It’s arguably even more important for a counseling psychologist to have adept listening skills than it is for them to have communication skills. A big part of a counseling psychologist’s job is listening to their clients and working to better understand the problems they are facing.

Patience: Being a good counseling psychologist takes a lot of patience, as most emotional problems and mental conditions cannot be fixed overnight. Many times, there may not even be an end in sight for a person’s condition. It is important, however, that a counseling psychologist stays with the task and continue to help the person even if progress is painfully slow.

Problem Solving: There is still so much for the scientific community to learn about the human mind, and no two cases are completely alike. Therefore, a counseling psychologist must possess excellent problem-solving skills in order to help their clients find a solution to problems that won’t always have a textbook solution.

Internship Requirements

Internships serve as a valuable experience for counseling psychologists to draw from. In order to work as a counseling psychologist in a school or clinical setting, you will be required to complete a one-year internship as part of your doctoral study.

Educational Requirements

Working as a counseling psychologist will typically require you to earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in counseling psychology, though there are some positions where you can work as a counseling psychologist with a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. Either way, the path to becoming a counseling psychologist starts with earning your Bachelor’s degree in psychology.

During the four years required to earn a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, expect to cover topics such as personality theories, child psychology, and biological basis of behavior. Classes will also cover a wide range of useful topics including group behavior, social psychology, counseling, and statistics. Though internships at this stage of your education are not required, they are still very helpful and highly recommended.

The next step to becoming a counseling psychologist is to earn your Master’s degree in counseling psychology. During this two-year program, you will cover more advanced material such as behavior modification and psychopharmacology. Typically, during a Master’s program in counseling psychology, students will also be required to participate in real-world counseling situations and complete work that goes beyond the classroom.

While there are some positions for a counseling psychologist that can be obtained with just a Master’s degree in counseling psychology, it is typically recommended that you go ahead and earn your doctorate since most positions in the field will require you to have it. Still, you have a couple of options available to you at this point. While earning a Ph.D. is the most common route to becoming a counseling psychologist, more and more schools are starting to offer a Psy.D. program for students who wish to practice as a counseling psychologist in a clinical setting. Either way, a Doctoral program in counseling psychology will require you to complete and submit comprehensive, original research in the form of projects and papers. Upon graduation, you may be required to work for a year under the supervision of a licensed counseling psychologist before you are able to receive your own licensing.

Psychology Scholarships

American Psychological Foundation Scholarships Association of Black Psychologists Epilepsy Foundation
Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship Future Counselors of America Scholarship Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship
Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award NIH Undergraduate Scholarship NAJA Graduate Scholarship
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Psi Chi Awards and Grants Wayne F. Placek Grants

Ashford University

Break into the STEM Fields with a Degree from Ashford University

Programs:

  • Associate of Arts - Early Childhood.
  • BA/Early Childhood Education Administration
  • BA/Education Studies
  • And more...

Full Sail University

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

Programs:

  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Information Technology Bachelors- Online
  • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
  • And more...

Regent University

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

Programs:

  • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration - Leadership
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Teacher Leader
  • And more...

Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
  • M.Div: Homiletics
  • And more...

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance schools are distinguished institutes committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student interested in the Aviation Industry.

Programs:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Maintenance Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer

Concordia University - Portland

Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

Programs:

  • M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction - Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom
  • Higher Education (EDD)
  • And more...

Regis College

As a leader in education, Regis is dedicated to offering programs with a holistic view of health services that are designed for the future of the field. Through cutting-edge coursework, industry-active faculty members, and an array of majors and graduate programs, Regis has been able to positively impact the educational community, health services landscape, and personal lives of students nationwide.

Programs:

  • Online Master of Social Work
  • Online Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Concentration
  • Online Master of Science in Accounting, Bridge Track
  • And more...

University of North Dakota

Whether you’re looking to advance in your current role or transition into a new one, UND’s online Master of Science in Cyber Security is a great choice. Our master’s program allows you to complete general coursework or specialize in one of three areas that can prepare you for leadership in the growing field of cyber security.

 

Programs:

  • Master of Accountancy

Ultimate Medical Academy Online

Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.

 

Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.

Programs:

  • A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
  • A.S.- Health Sciences (Pharmacy Technician)
  • A.S. - Medical Billing & Coding
  • And more...

Northcentral University

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

Programs:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country and online. 

Programs:

  • Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
  • M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • And more...

Ohio University - Online

Ohio University has offered distance learning educational opportunities for more than 100 years.

Programs:

  • Master of Business Analytics
  • Master of Health Administration

Related Post