Employment of Psychologists

Where do psychologists usually work?

Psychologist can work in many areas
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How many psychologists are there? Where do these professional work? Learn more about the employment of psychologists including where they work, who employs them, and what their working schedules are typically like.

Employment Statistics

  • Psychologists held approximately 173,900 jobs in 2014.
  • Approximately 33 percent  were self-employed in 2014, usually as private practitioners.

Who Employs Psychologists?

An estimated 25 percent of psychologists work in elementary and secondary school settings.

 Educational institutions often employ psychologists in positions other than teaching, such as counseling, testing, research, and administration.

Approximately 10 percent of psychologists work for government agencies at the State and local levels. The government often employs psychologists to work in public hospitals, clinics, correctional facilities, and other settings.

Around 9 percent were employed in the offices of healthcare practitioners other than physicians and another 6 percent worked in state, local, and private hospitals. Those who work in healthcare often work in the offices of mental health practitioners, physicians, outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, and private hospitals.

After several years of experience, some psychologists, usually those with doctoral degrees, can enter private practice or set up private research or consulting firms.

In addition to the previously mentioned jobs, many psychologists held faculty positions at colleges and universities and as high school psychology teachers.

Psychologists are also employed in a number of other areas not specifically mentioned in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Many psychologists work in research positions in various subfields of psychology. Some additional areas of employment include positions in industrial-organizational psychology and human-factors psychology.

Other psychologists work in business as managers, consultants, and marketing research. Religious organizations also employ some psychologists.

What Is a Psychologist's Work Schedule Like?

So what type of work schedule do psychologists usually have? The answer to this question depends largely upon the specialty area in which psychologists work and who employs them. Those who work in school, business, government, or healthcare settings often work full-time each week during normal business hours.

Those who are self-employed or work for outpatient clinics may find that their work hours are less regular. They can often set their own hours and pick when they work, but they may also find themselves having to work evenings or weekends in order to accommodate clients or deal with client emergencies.

Further Reading

Subfields of Psychology
Areas of Psychology - Divisions of the APA
Career Options with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
Career Options with a Graduate Degree in Psychology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Psychologists. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm 

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