Psychologist Career Plan
Become a Psychologist
It takes a doctorate degree to practice as a clinical psychologist. However, you may begin working within the field while you are on your way to your doctorate. It’s best if you can start early. Here are some steps to guide you.
Take a college preparatory course with some IB and AP classes. The College Board has recommended AP biology, psychology, and statistics.
Try to get some experience in the field while you’re still in high school. Consider volunteering for a social service organization or a teen hotline. You can also join a health club like HOSA (the Health Occupations Student Association). You may contact your local AHEC to see if they can arrange an internship in a social service setting. AHEC wants to help future health care professionals who come from underrepresented groups.
Earn competitive scores on the ACT or SAT and begin researching undergraduate programs. You may enroll in an undergraduate program in psychology or a related field. If you are a very strong student, you can enroll in a combined bachelor’s and master’s psychology program.
Your undergraduate program doesn’t necessarily have to be in psychology, but you will want to make sure you have the prerequisites necessary for graduate work.
Enroll in your chosen program. Look into joining Psi Chi, the psychology honor society. You may also volunteer at a hospital, assisting with art therapy or other activities. Doctoral level programs are competitive!
Take the GRE and enroll in a master’s level program (unless you did a combined program the first time around). Continue pursuing professional experiences. You might send out your curriculum vitae to researchers even if you don’t know if they currently have an opening.
Complete your pre-doctoral internship and research doctoral level programs. Make sure they have been reviewed by the ASSPB/ National Register.
Complete your doctoral training and supervised professional practice. Then pursue licensing.
Your professional contacts will be very helpful when it comes time to apply for permanent jobs. You can post a resume and create an account on the site of the American Psychology Association.
Personality Traits: A psychologist should have an analytical mind and a compassionate attitude. Mental stability is imperative.