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Summary of occupation

Psychologists study how people think, feel and behave at an individual, group, organisational and community level. They use this knowledge to help people improve their lives. While some psychologists assess, diagnose and treat people who have a mental illness, many others work with mentally healthy people to find ways of functioning better in a range of situations, such as relationships, in the workplace or in educational institutions.

ANZSCO description: This occupation group covers Psychologists not  elsewhere classified. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Clinical Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Community Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, Health Psychologist, Organisational Psychologist, Sport Psychologist
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A psychologist needs:

  • good oral and written communication skills
  • to be interested in people and human behaviour
  • good problem solving skills
  • patience and perceptiveness
  • to be able to gain a client's trust and keep information private
  • to be able to work as part of a team
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Working conditions

Psychologists may find employment in a range of workplaces, including private practice, hospitals, the defence forces, education institutions, the justice system, government departments and private marketing companies. They have a high level of contact with members of the public and often deal with highly personal and emotional issues, which must be kept confidential.

Most psychologists work in an office environment and work regular hours, but may travel to visit clients, depending on their specialisation.

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Salary details

On average, psychologists can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a psychologist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Psychologists often use specially designed psychological and psychometric tests to assist in assessing clients. They also use standard office equipment, including computers, to keep detailed records of their interactions with clients. It is also important for psychologists to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of new research and theories, and as such they will often subscribe to journals relevant to psychology in general and their individual specialisation.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a psychologist, you need to complete a degree in psychology.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To work as a psychologist in Western Australia, you must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia. You must complete a four -year degree in psychology, and then complete postgraduate studies or supervised practice to be eligible for full registration.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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