Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson practised forensic psychology and caught the bad guys. They paid attention to the clues and the evidence. And while the bad guys thought they were going to get away, Homes and Watson interviewed the suspects and determined their culpability. Forensic psychology may have been romanticised, but it is one of the many high-paying careers in psychology, with an average salary of about £34,775 to start and £55,900 with 20 or more years of experience.
What Psychologists Do
No matter what the speciality, psychologists examine human mental processes and their effect on behaviour. Some work in research, where they explore human emotional and social adjustment. Others work in industry to evaluate job candidates to see if they are a good fit with the company. And others might counsel teenagers on college choices or how to abstain from drug use. Whatever the speciality, psychologists have a deep interest in what makes people tick.
High-paying careers in psychology generally require a master's or a PhD in a specialised area. For example, most school counsellors have at least a master's in guidance and counselling in order to practice in public or private schools. The American Board of Forensic Psychology offers a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology, which goes beyond a PhD in the field and provides the credentials for practicing forensic psychology in the U.S.
In 2009, US News.com cited school psychologist as one of the best career choices, with a strong job outlook. Parents of children with special needs are increasingly active in asking for and obtaining special services for their children. Schools are also interested in issues such as school violence, substance abuse and bullying, areas where psychologists can be of great help. These psychologists need to connect well with children and their parents. The median salary with eight years in the field is £39,455.
Clinical psychologists are employed at medical clinics, hospitals or in group practices. These psychologists help patients deal with illnesses such as brain injuries or help ordinary people deal with emotional disorders or adjustments to new circumstances. These psychologists spend a good deal of time with patients in personal sessions or administering psychological tests. Average salaries vary widely dependent on the speciality. Paediatric clinical psychologists' and police clinical psychologists' average salary in 2008 was £42,900. Substance abuse psychologists earn £37,700.
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