Exploring Different Careers in Psychology – UCF

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior in both humans and non-humans. This field looks at using science to understand why people do the things they do while working to create innovative ways to treat the myriad expressions of mental illness. Psychologists use many different tactics to study the relationships between the brain, environment, and behavior.

The American Psychological Association suggests that psychology “benefits society and enhances our lives. Psychologists examine the relationships between brain function and behavior…applying what they learn to illuminate and improve the world around us.”

What does a psychologist do?

In order to become a psychologist, one must pursue a doctoral degree in the field. Psychologists perform a variety of tasks in order to study the mind and how it influences one’s behavior in a variety of situations. They do this by applying various scientific methods to observe a patient’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions.

Psychology is focused on understanding the science of thoughts and behaviors. The main goal of a psychologist is to understand and improve individual functioning across a variety of contexts, including therapy sessions, in the workplace, at educational institutions and more.

Some psychologists find alternative paths to careers outside of clinical practices, like working independently in creative fields, conducting research, teaching at universities, and the like.

Psychology is a growing field with promising job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the psychology field are reported to grow by 14% through the year 2026.

What are the Different Careers in Psychology?

Career opportunities in the field of psychology are as vast and varied as the human beings that psychologists seek to treat. The following areas of psychology offer different career opportunities within the mental health and wellness landscape.

  • Clinical psychologist.

    These doctors provide mental health care for individuals and families. Clinical psychologists can work with a wide variety of patients and may focus on one specific topic, like anorexia, or encompass a broader issue, like eating disorders. This role requires a doctoral degree, state license, and an APA or ABPP certification.

  • Cognitive and perceptual psychologist.

    To study human learning, development and adaptation, cognitive and perceptual psychology works from a research-based approach. This type of psychologist typically treats individuals that struggle with anxiety, depression, personality disorders, or substance abuse issues.

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologists.

    IOPs look at how humans behave within a workplace environment and work to alter the work environment to better support the human needs. Using this form of organizational psychology, they can improve workplace performance, boost morale, and decrease instances of employee mental illness.

  • Research technician.

    A psychology research technician works closely with a team to conduct experiments and tests that study the brain and behavior.

  • Environmental-organizational psychologist.

    This type of psychologist looks at the environmental impact one may …….


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