- What is college degrees have you obtained?
I have a bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters and Doctoral degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology
- How long have you worked in this particular field?
I have been working as a psychologist for a little over four years now
- What other professions have you had?
No career jobs. Mainly customer service and child care.
- What do you feel drove you to this profession?
I actually started as a biology major. I wanted to be a pediatrician. However, during my first year of college, I was placed in an Abnormal Psychology course which was paired with Intro to Psychology. I realized I understood psychology more and found passion in helping people through difficult periods in their lives. I took a few more psychology courses to see if I truly was interested in it, and by the end of my freshman year, I switched my major.
- What where the requirements educationally to gain this profession?
To be a psychologist, you must have a graduate degree and a doctoral degree. My particular doctoral program did not require you to have a Master’s Degree. The Master’s Degree was awarded after I completed the first phase of my dissertation. However, most people do get their Master’s degree before starting a doctoral degree. (it’s just 2 extra years of school)
- What is the median range for individuals in your job?
The range really depends on what kind of practice you are working in. Typically in private practice I would say the median range is about 85k.
- What are your daily duties at work?
I currently work at a private practice, primarily doing psychological testing for children being evaluated for learning disabilities. On top of that, I do therapy for children and adults, write psychological reports, and help my supervisors evaluate people for Social Security.
- Are there on the job training possibilities?
Yes. In any psychology job, there is always on job training. Also, as a psychologist, there are certain number of Continuing Education credits you must have each year. That’s because there are always new studies and research findings in this field.
- Were you required to get any special licensing? Is it required?
In order to call yourself a psychologist in any state, you must be licensed. In order to be licensed, you must take the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). However, before you take the test, you must meet licensing requirements in whatever state you want to be licensed in. For example, in California, you must have 3000 supervised hours (meaning your internship hours). Once you have 3000 hours (which 1500 must be obtained after you get your doctorate degree), then you are eligible to take the licensing exam.
You don’t have to be licensed, but your chances in finding jobs and making good money are extremely limited. If you have your doctorate degree but are not licensed, you can only call yourself a doctor, not a psychologist.
- Do you have any special certifications? If so are the required?
In order to be a domestic violence treatment provider, you have to be certified. I obtained my certificate in 2011. I had to do a 40 hour training.
- What kind of work schedule do you have?
Because I work in a private practice, my hours vary by clients. I typically work 40 hours, definitely not more than 45 hours.
- Are the progression possibilities in this profession?
I’m at the top of the ladder all I can do is gain more responsibilities.
- The Career you currently have do you intend on continuing work there? Why/why not?
Yes, because if I continue to work there, I am eligible for student loan repayment. Which I need because college and grad school were not cheap.
- Generally what is the work environment like for an individual working in this profession?
Sometimes it may be sad, since people are coming to you at a time they have hit the lowest points in their life. However, it is very rewarding and if its something you’re passionate about, the environment is what you make of it.
- What is the best thing about your current profession?
As cliche as it sounds, being able to help other people is the best thing. Especially the client’s who have a success story, it’s so great to see someone grow and know that you were a part of that growth.
- What is the biggest negative of your profession?
You have to remember that you can’t save them all. At my first job, I was notified that a client had committed suicide. Sometimes it’s hard to keep work at the office. It takes an emotional toll on you. That’s why self care for psychologists is SO important.
- What do you think would be important traits to have to work in this profession?
A genuine heart. Good listening skills. Patience.
- What traits are not traits that would blend well with this profession?
An ego. Wanting to one up people. Overly emotional person. Having no emotions at all.
- Do you believe that it is harder to be a recent graduate to succeed in this profession then it was when you started working in this field? Why/why not?
Not at all. There is always a demand for psychologist. Psychology and psychologists can be applied to any job.
- What sub fields of psychology interested you initially? Why?
My degree is in forensic psychology. I have a passion in working with people on probation, as I believe they are in a huge transitional period in their lives and would benefit from all the assistance they can get. My second job, I worked with offenders of domestic violence. At my fourth job, I worked in juvenile hall and helped rehabilitate the children who were incarcerated.