Staff assistant psychologists provide support to licensed psychologists and psychiatrists. They observe behavior, make assessments and prepare records and reports on clients with a wide range of mental health problems. Preparing for a career as a staff assistant psychologist may begin with enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that psychologist employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations in coming years. Increased demand for psychological services will lead to job growth in this field. Staff assistant psychologists with advanced education and specialized training will enjoy enhanced career opportunities.
Working under a psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s supervision, staff assistant psychologists help plan and evaluate patient treatment programs. They provide psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families and children; their duties also include conducting assessments and administering therapeutic procedures.
Often, staff assistant psychologists will collaborate with physicians and social service agencies to meet a patient’s needs. They also provide consultation to primary care providers and health educators on matters relating to mental health.
Preparing written records and statistical representations of clients’ behavior is an important aspect of a staff assistant psychologist’s work. These professionals typically work a 40-hour week; on-call hours during the evening, weekends and holidays are sometimes required.
National salary data on SalaryList.com indicated that the average assistant psychologist income was $32,124 as of August 2010. Bachelor’s degree holders may be able to land an assistant role in this highly competitive field; however, a graduate degree is generally required to work as a licensed practicing psychologist. The BLS reports that clinical psychologists earned a median salary of $66,040 in May 2009, with the middle 50% earning between $50,210 and $85,270. While the lowest 10% made about $39,270, the highest 10% brought in $109,470 per year. For individuals interested in a career in psychology, a bachelor’s degree is typically the first step.
Most staff assistant psychologist jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Individuals may begin their career in an assistant or technician role as they work toward earning a master’s or doctorate in psychology.
The path to a staff assistant psychologist career can begin with a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology. Coursework typically includes introduction to psychology, multicultural issues, crisis and conflict resolution, and physiological psychology.
Employers can be confident that graduates of an applied psychology program are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level assistant psychologist job with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to pay for a master’s degree.
If you enjoy analyzing human behavior and helping others, then working as a staff assistant psychologist could be a rewarding career. Along with excellent communication skills, you’ll need emotional stability, sensitivity and the ability to lead and inspire others to be successful in this field. A bachelor’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology can be the first step to a fulfilling career in this exciting field.