Psyd Degree Anatomy

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By earning a doctoral degree in psychology, you are really improving your chances for a dynamic and financially rewarding career. You might think that getting your Ph.D. in psychology is your only option. However, another option to consider is a Psy.D. degree.

The Psy.D. degree, also known as the Doctor of Psychology, is an applied clinical doctoral degree. In the past, only the Ph.D. was available for professionals who wanted to become professional psychologists. But there was concern that the Ph.D. did not provide enough preparation for those who wanted to work in the clinical field. So, the Psy.D. degree was developed in the 1970s.

What Can Be Done With a Psy.D. Degree

After you earn your Psy.D., usually in clinical or counseling psychology, and then passing any required licensing examinations, you can diagnose and treatment most mental disorders. You will be able to administer evaluations, do psychological tests and provide in depth psychotherapy services.

People who earn their Psy.D. can work in many different places, such as hospitals, mental health clinics, schools and government offices. You also have the option of opening your own psychotherapy practice.

The Psy.D. degree is generally the best choice if you are most interested in being a psychologist. The Ph.D. tends to focus more on research and is often the choice for those who want to work in teaching and research, although you also can teach with a Psy.D. degree.

Educational Requirements

The majority of Psy.D. programs will take 4-7 years to complete. During this time, students will study and practice many topics, such as psychological assessment, diagnosis and clinical interventions.

You will need to have your master’s degree in psychology to be admitted into the vast majority of doctoral programs in psychology.

As with a Ph.D. in Psychology, a Psy.D. student has to take part in a practicum that is supervised, and also a supervised internship in some type of clinical setting. During a practicum, the student usually will work part time with a licensed psychologist in many different clinical settings. This type of internship is usually a full time job and takes about one year. After you finish your internship, students can then take national and state examinations so that they can become a fully licensed psychologist.

Both Psy.D. and Ph.D. programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association. Whether you are considering one or the other, you should make sure that the program you are considering is accredited by the APA. The majority of state licensing boards want to see that your degree and internship was completed at a school accredited by the APA.

SEE ALSO: Online Psyd Programs

Career and Salary Information

Most professionals who earn their Psy.D. will go into private consulting practice in business, government or nonprofit groups. Some will become psychologists in high school or university health clinics, as well.

SEE ALSO: PsyD Salary Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists earn a median salary of $68,400 per year. The top 10% earn a median salary of $111,000, and the bottom 10% earn about $39,000. Most doctoral degree holders will tend to earn at the higher end of the pay scale.

Median annual wages for specific types of psychologists are as follows:

  • Industrial-organizational psychologists: $87,300

  • General psychologists: $89,000

  • Clinical, counseling and school psychologists: $66,500

BLS also noted that the job growth for psychologists should grow by an impressive 22% by 2020, which is faster than average for all professions. It is believed that more psychologists will be needed to provide mental health services to people who are living longer. Also, more psychologists are working with special groups, including veterans with mental problems and trauma and many other types of groups that also have suffered mental trauma.

The demand for psychological services also is expected to increase in the health care field because there is more of a focus today on doctors and social workers providing patients with comprehensive and interdisciplinary treatment programs.

With a Psy.D. degree, you should have the best job prospects in the field of psychology. It is an especially a good idea to have a doctoral degree in an applied speciality, or in school psychology.

The bottom line is that earning your Psy.D. degree provides you with many rewarding career options in clinical psychology. If being a practicing psychologist and helping people with their problems is your passion, a Psy.D. degree is a strong choice.

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