What does a psychologist do?

Psychologists provide counseling and therapy to those suffering from emotional, learning, or behavioral problems. Psychologists may work in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, private practice, colleges and universities, corporations, and government. They study behavior, cognitive functioning, and emotions to understand, compare, and explain people’s actions. There are clinical and counseling psychologists. Counseling psychologists study career development and also counsel people regarding career and educational choices. Educational and school psychologists do assessments to help diagnose problems school-aged children may have in regard to learning. There also are cognitive psychologists who study cognition and artificial intelligence.

What might a psychologist do in a workday?

Developing a career as a psychologist?

Clinical and counseling psychologists may specialize in teaching, research, therapy, counseling, rehabilitation, community health, physiology, and psychopharmacology. They may choose to concentrate their work on a specific age group or psychological problem.

How much does a psychologist earn?

How do I become a psychologist?

Students interested in becoming psychologists should prepare by taking challenging high school courses in science, math, and English, including advanced placement courses.

Licensed psychologists must have a doctorate in psychology from an accredited university with training in the area(s) of intended practice. Those who want to specialize in clinical services also must complete two years of supervised postdoctoral experience and one year of internship (or two years of part-time experience). Applicants must pass two written examinations as required by the certifying board. School psychologists must hold at least a master’s degree.

Where else can I learn about becoming a psychologist?

American Psychological Association, Society of Clinical Psychology
750 First St. N.E. / Washington, DC 20002-4242
tel: (800) 374-2721 / web:

American Academy of Clinical Psychology
P. O. Box 700341 / San Antonio, TX 78270-0341
tel: (909) 626-5579 / web:

State License Requirements for Psychologists:

A license is required to practice psychology in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications, and forms, visit

Virginia Board of Psychology
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300 / Henrico, Virginia 23233-1463
tel: (804) 367-4697 / Email:

Educational Institutions in Virginia for Social Work: