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Careers in the Psychological Professions

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7th May 21

Psychology has consistently been the second most popular degree in the UK for years. It’s no wonder since it can lead to a host of engaging careers involving the mind and human behaviour. The imminent influx of graduates is encouraging too as psychologists have recently been added to the UK shortage occupation list. Demonstrating the continued need for people to pursue careers in the psychological professions.

But when we consider careers in this area, we typically think of those relating to mental health. This is certainly a crucial area of psychological study and work, but it isn’t the only area you can work in.

Plenty of careers exist in the psychological professions that are outside of mental health. Some psychologists spend their careers researching and investigating human behaviours. Others study how the brain is affected by injury, disease and mind related conditions. Then there are some who work in industries like aviation and technology.

So, if you’re considering psychology but mental health isn’t your ideal area of work, there are other options to explore.

To help, we’ve detailed some of the psychological professions that fall outside of mental health that may interest you.

learndirect - Careers in the Psychological Professions

Experimental Psychologist

As an experimental psychologist, you can conduct research in a wide range of areas. You may choose to specialise in the ageing process, child development, cognitive psychology or social behaviour. Where your findings would be used to create safe workplaces, advance teaching and learning processes or promote healthy child development.

Whatever your area of research, you could work within colleges and universities, private businesses, research centres or for the government. To access this role, you’d need to study experimental psychology to at least masters or PhD level. As well as gain experience in the analysis of psychology or clinical experiments.

You can get what you need to study a psychology degree through a psychology related Access to Higher Education Diploma.

Aviation Psychologist

A sub-speciality of human factors psychology is the field of aviation psychology. This is where you focus your efforts on making aviation technology safe and in tune with human capabilities. All the while helping it reach maximum performance levels.

As an aviation psychologist, you’d spend your time studying pilots, air traffic controllers and other aviation staff. This will help you to assess cabin safety, investigate accidents, conduct research on aviation safety and help design flight decks. You will also be involved with providing psychological assessment and support to crew members. As well as training that enables the crew to assist passengers with in-flight anxiety.

For this professional role, you’d need at least a masters or PhD in psychology. Studying areas like cognitive, clinical, counselling, industrial or social psychology would be advantageous. As would having an understanding of the aviation industry.

There are online courses you can take in Industrial Psychology, Sociology or Air Passenger Health & Safety to get started. Which you could then complement with the combined Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) – Psychology & Sociology Pathway. This course allowing you to progress to university to study a related psychology degree.

Clinical Neuropsychologist

As a clinical neuropsychologist, you’re trained extensively to work with mental health issues. But your work also focuses on brain injuries and other neurological conditions.

Brain injuries and neurological illnesses like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s can affect peoples behaviours, thoughts and feelings. You would work closely with people experiencing these challenges, assessing and examining them. Using your findings to provide better rehabilitation processes.

To become a clinical neuropsychologist, you’ll need to become a chartered psychologist within the field of educational or clinical psychology. You’d then need to study the BPS Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology (QiCN). During which you’ll have to complete a post-doctoral diploma in clinical neuropsychology and examine two years’ worth of clinical neuropsychology cases. After this, you’d become eligible for entry onto the Society’s Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists.

An Access to Higher Education Diploma (Psychology) can help you get started with undergraduate study.

learndirect - Careers in the Psychological Professions

Assistant Psychologist

This role is a great option for those who have studied psychology and have yet to decide the career they want to pursue. That’s because you provide clinical support to qualified psychologists. Giving you chance to get a feel for the profession and what it’s like being part of a multidisciplinary team.

You’ll be supervised as you complete various tasks to help those with mental health issues. Giving you ample experience of working with service users with various psycho-social needs.

But you can also be involved with any number of important and interesting tasks. Such as neuropsychological assessments and behavioural observations and valuations. This way, you can find your feet in the area of psychology that suits you best. Whether it’s mental health related or not.

You’ll also learn the ropes when it comes to the appropriate handling of administrative tasks. Whether it’s maintaining records, drafting reports or summaries of any assessments undertaken.

The experience you’ll gain in this role could lead you down various progressive paths. Allowing you to put your hands-on experience toward becoming a fully qualified clinical, health, counselling or forensic psychologist. Or pursuing further training in other roles of interest.  

To reach university level study, you could take A Level Psychology or a relevant Access to Higher Education Diploma.

Start a Career in the Psychological Professions

No matter the route you think you’ll go down in your career, learndirect can help you take the first step.

As the UK’s leading online course provider, we have many online courses that can start your education in this important area.

So, if you’d like to pursue a career in the psychological professions, look no further. You can begin to study the mind and human behaviour from the comfort of your own home.

From short courses to Access to Higher Education Diplomas, you’ll be able to find the course that’s right for you. And get the qualifications to study at university if you wish to.

With distance education, you can learn without giving up your time to go back to college. So, training for your new career doesn’t have to cost you your current job. Or make you look for alternate child care arrangements.

You can keep to your existing schedule and fit your learning around it. Just log on when it suits you and complete the course materials in your free time.

With dedicated tutor support and flexible payment methods on offer, there’s really nothing stopping you from pursuing your ideal career.

Browse our range of psychological relevant Access to Higher Education courses by clicking the link below.

learndirect - Careers in the Psychological Professions

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