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How can I determine the amounts of shifts/hours of work for being a therapist/any person to help with mental health or a marine biologist/ underwater photographer and how can it overtake someone's life (will it take a lot of time out of their day?)

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Micaela’s Answer

Brenda, it is good that you are exploring what you would like to pursue as a career. These are two very different industries. During my career, I have been a therapist in multiple settings and then I moved up into administration. As a therapist in any setting, expect to work 40 hours a week. As for hours, it just depends on the setting. Here are a couple of examples, when I worked in the prison system, my hours were 8 am-430pm and I was on weekend call once every 2 months. When I worked in inpatient acute care in a hospital, my hours were 730am-5pm, and I was the administrator on call for one week once every month. I had several therapists I supervised who provided the outpatient programs attached to the hospital, they worked 12-8 or 1-9. This is a more common requirement for working in the community and not in an "institution." So if you would like to work with children, teens, and their families to accommodate school and work schedules the mid-afternoon or evening shifts are usually required.
I am sorry I cannot answer the marine photographer question as that is my expertise.
As with anything worth doing, continue to research your interests and perhaps volunteer in several settings to help make your decision.
Balance can be achieved and you can have a fulfilling career and happy family life! Do what you are passionate about and you will never go wrong.

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Serah’s Answer

Mental health therapists are often self-employed and get to set their own schedules. The amount of hours worked is determined by how much money that person wants/needs to make. Other therapists work in hospital or institutional settings and have 35-40 hour/wk jobs. The marine biologist/underwater photographer work is a different topic. Marine biologists do original research, whereas photographers are focused on documenting what is there.

Serah recommends the following next steps:

Visit the public aquarium in your region and ask the staff to tell you about the marine biologists and photographers that work with them.
Ask your friends and family to introduce you to a mental health therapist and interview them for a half-hour about their day. Make sure you find out how they refresh themselves after their shifts.

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Madison’s Answer

I would reach out to local therapists and mental health specialists to see how their shifts work. Also, see if you can shadow them as well and ask questions. RESEARCH IS KEY! Make sure you are specific in asking your questions and have something to write the answers down with.