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How to become a Psychologist?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered March 01 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Becoming a Psychologist in the United States requires many years of education, hands on experience and licensing. Psychologists are highly trained individuals who work with patients in order to help them with all different kinds of issues that include mental health such as depression or substance abuse. Although they must complete years of higher education, they are not medical doctors, rather specialized professionals who work with the mind and human behavior. 
The first step to become a Psychologist is to enroll in an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Generally speaking, these degrees will take around four years to complete and they are offered at universities all around the country. While studying some students may decide to also complete internships or research projects to help them advance in the field and gain a stronger understanding of what they are interested in. There are many different branches of psychology from developmental to clinical psychology, and each can be studied in detail and pursued following the completion of the right education. 
After graduating from a bachelor program in Psychology the next step is to apply to a graduate program in a field that is of interest to you. Different universities specialize in different branches of psychology, so it is important to determine which path you want to take.  
Following the completion of a bachelor and master’s degree in psychology aspiring Psychologists can specialize further and complete a doctor in psychology. Most fields of psychology will require a doctorate, however not all, so it is important to research your interests in further detail. 
Once you have completed all the necessary education for your field of psychology all states require you to have the proper licensing. The prerequisites for each state will vary but often include a certain number of clinical hours, completion of degrees and in some cases involve completing a residency. 
Things to know before becoming a Psychologist? 
  • Becoming a Psychologist will take many years of education, in order to become licensed it can take more than 10 years, so it is important to be dedicated to the career path. 
  • Aside from the required education Psychologists will need around 3,000 hours of experience – that is equal to 125 days! 
  • Once you obtain your license to become a Psychologist you will need to renew it every 1-3 years depending on where you practice. 
  • Psychologists are not therapists or counselors and they carry out different roles and responsibilities. 
  • Programs need to be accredited by the American Psychological Association, and the requirements necessary will change from state to state 
  • Psychologists can have the title “Dr.”, however they are not medically trained or qualified to practice the same as a medically trained doctor.