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Which career path in psychology is right for you?

Published on: 13 Nov 2023

Psychology is a fascinating field of study that can lead to lots of exciting career paths.

Are you interested in learning more about human behaviour and how to help others? Then a career in psychology could be the perfect fit for you.

In this article, we discuss some career paths in psychology and also provide some tips on how to choose your career path.

The first step is to choose the right career path for you.

There are many factors to consider, such as your interests, skills and values.

Here are a few things to think about when choosing a career path:

•    What are your interests? What do you enjoy learning about? What are you passionate about?
•    What are your skills? What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing?
•    What are your values? What is important to you? What do you want to achieve in your career?

Once you've thought about this, you can start to narrow down your options.

Talk to your professors, advisors, and other practising professionals to get their input.

Or you could even join the student online community on the BPS.

What are your options?

Because the field of psychology is constantly evolving, there are many new and exciting career opportunities available. 

Take a look at the list of career options below – and there’s many more than this!

1. Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental disorders.

They work with individuals, families, and groups to help them improve their mental health and well-being.

Becoming a clinical psychologist allows you to help people overcome their mental hurdles.

You'll diagnose and treat various psychological issues, from anxiety to depression.

 See the clinical psychologist job profile page to explore details and opportunities.

2. Forensic psychologist

Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal settings.

They may assess defendants, victims, and witnesses. Some forensic psychologists work in prisons or other correctional facilities and even become expert witnesses in court.

Discover more about forensic psychology.

3. Educational psychologist

Are you passionate about education and helping young minds flourish?

Educational psychologists work with children and young people to help them learn and succeed in school.

As an educational psychologist, you'll work with students, teachers and parents. You’ll often be supporting young people with learning difficulties and emotional challenges.

They assess students' abilities, develop educational programmes, and provide counselling to students and their families.

Head over to the educational psychologist job profile page for more details.

4. Health psychologist

If you believe in the power of the mind-body connection, as a health psychologist, you'll explore how thoughts, behaviours and emotions affect physical wellbeing.

You'll help people lead healthier lifestyles and manage chronic conditions.

Explore skills that may be needed as a health psychologist. [hyperlink whole sentence]

5. Occupational psychologist

Fascinated by workplace dynamics and human behaviour at work?

Then occupational psychology may be for you.

 As an occupational psychologist, you can work in human resources to recruit, select, and train employees.

Occupational psychologists can also use their knowledge of psychology to develop employee-friendly policies and procedures.

Find out more about occupational psychology.

6. Sports psychologist

For sports enthusiasts with a love for psychology, a career in sports psychology is a great combination.

You’ll be assisting athletes in managing performance anxiety, developing mental resilience and fostering motivation. 

This means that you can contribute to their success on and off the field.

Learn more about having a career in sports psychology.

7. Counselling psychologist

Counselling psychologists provide therapy to individuals and groups.

They help people deal with a variety of issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

You'll offer therapeutic assistance, helping people cope with life's challenges and find their inner strength

 See the BPS counselling psychologist job profile for more details about the role.

8. Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychologists assess and analyse cognitive abilities and identify brain dysfunction. 

They also contribute to the understanding of neurological conditions.

As a neuropsychologist, you'll study how the brain affects behaviour and cognition.

You’ll help with the assess and rehabilitate people who have been affected by neurological conditions or brain injuries and help improve lives.

Explore more about how to become a neuropsychologist.

9. Research psychologist

As a research psychologist, you'll improve understanding of human behaviour and psychological processes.

You'll do this by conducting studies and analysing data.

Discover more about research psychologists, [hyperlink first half of sentence] how to become one and more.

10. Teaching and academia

If you're passionate about psychology and education, a career in teaching and academia might be the perfect blend.

You can inspire the next generation of psychologists and conduct research in the field.

See where teaching and academia psychologists work and how you can become one.

Good luck finding your job in psychology

These are just some of the exciting career paths open to you in the field of psychology, each with its challenges and rewards.

Take your time to explore and reflect on what aligns with your passions, skills, and aspirations.

You can become a Student Member of the BPS, join online communities, attend specialist psychologist events and have discussions with practising professionals to better understand which may suit you best.

Find your next role in psychology today.