Is getting a psychologist job even possible without higher education?
And by higher education I mean graduate school. Is it even possible to become a psychologist if I don't plan on going into graduate school? #psychology #graduate-school #masters #phd #graduate-programs
Linda Ann’s Answer
No it is not.
Licensing laws in each state of the USA define what a "psychologist" is. To call oneself a "psychologist" requires licensing by the state in which you want to practice...unless your employer's job title includes the words "psychology" such as "psychological associate" for a master's level practitioner. That "psychological associate," for example could not have clients/patients outside of her/his employment context and offer therapeutic services as a "psychologist." There are other credentials that allow one to offer therapeutic services to clients, but those other credentials do NOT permit the practitioner to call themselves "psychologist." Example: Licensed, Professional Counselor (LPC for short). The LPC credential is also regulated at the state level and involves passing a national examination after having completed specific coursework and supervised practice providing therapy to clients. That coursework is typically about 60 post-graduate credits (but again, it varies by state as it is regulated at the state level). Many insurance companies will reimburse practitioners with the LPC credential for providing therapy to clients.
Do what you love AND what you are good at. IF you haven't even started at a college or university, do not tie yourself down to a particular occupational area just yet. You might discover something in your courses that really makes your heart sing...that is what you should pursue as an occupation. There are also many vocational assessment devices that are available from Guidance Counselors (high school) and Career Development Offices (colleges) that can help you to focus on an area that might not have occurred to you!!
To become someone with the title of "psychologist" in the United States is impossible without going to grad school (technically you would need a PhD in order to become a psychologist). With that being said, there are many other jobs you can go into with a bachelors in psychology, including jobs in the mental health field (though it will be more challenging, pay less, and you won't be able to perform therapy without a graduate degree). Some examples within the mental health field include becoming a mental health technician (such as for in-patient programs/institutions), a case manager, or a peer counselor. I graduated with a degree in psychology and was offered multiple mental health technician and case management jobs. If that is something you are interested in I would highly recommend accumulating volunteer experience in the mental health field.
In addition, if you are looking for jobs outside of the mental health field, psychology is still a wonderful degree to have -- basically every job involves working with people in some capacity. It also gives you important critical thinking, research, and writing skills.
Hope this helps! Best of luck!