15 Great Places to Where Clinical Psychologists Can Work
With a field as rapidly growing as clinical psychology (14 percent growth expected through 2026), those with degrees in clinical psychology are likely to have their choice of employers over the coming decade.
There isn’t just one career path to become a clinical psychologist, and those interested in the field aren’t necessarily headed for careers in private practice. In fact, less than a quarter of clinical psychologists own their practices. Here’s a look at 15 great places you can work with a degree in clinical psychology.
Addiction Treatment Center
Substance abuse and addiction are, sadly, becoming more common, with families and lives torn apart. Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. have more than tripled over the past two decades. This deadly trend doesn’t have to proceed unimpeded, though, as kind and caring individuals with degrees in clinical psychology can have a huge impact by becoming addiction counselors and therapists.
Military Health Facility
As our society learns more and more about the impact of warfare on mental health, the stigma in the military surrounding mental health treatment will, hopefully, fade. Veterans and active-duty personnel are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, PTSD, even suicide. Recent changes to military policy aim to increase use of mental healthcare, meaning demand is likely to increase for clinical psychologists with a passion for serving those in uniform.
Elementary & Secondary School
Nearly one-third of those employed in clinical psychology today work in elementary and secondary schools. Whether directly counseling children or serving as advocates for those with behavioral and emotional issues, clinical psychologists are in very high demand at the elementary or secondary school level.
Testing Services Provider
There are lots of companies that make and sell materials aimed at testing and classifying individuals’ personalities and capacities for certain behaviors. These companies hire individuals with clinical psychology degrees to ensure that both the tests and the results are grounded in fundamental understanding of human psychology.
About one-quarter (24%) of psychologists today are self-employed. Private practice is an ideal option for those who want to be their own boss and/or to take on a specific client base that is underserved or unserved in their current market. Many individuals who specialize in specific types of therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, will find private practice suits them well.
College or University
In addition to university-backed research projects, many institutions of higher learning employ clinical psychologists to serve various populations within the institution. Many undergraduate colleges and universities, for instance, offer counseling services for students on campus, while others may employ clinical psychologists in administrative roles, such as evaluating applicants for admission.
Community Advocacy Group
Many nonprofits around the country seek the services of clinical psychologists both to provide direct services to individuals as well as to advocate for funding and support among donors. clinical psychology degree-holders with a particular passion for certain causes, such as helping those with autism, will likely find the most satisfaction by seeking employment with such groups.
While only about 7 percent of psychologists are currently employed at hospitals, new hospitals are cropping up all over the country, as more Americans gain access to healthcare and the population continues aging. For clinical psychologists who want to work in a true healthcare setting, a hospital may be the perfect option.
As many as 1 in 5 people in prisons and jails suffers from a serious mental illness. Many of those in jail have yet to be convicted, while some in the prison population may have illnesses that contributed to their crimes. Regardless of their circumstances, about 83 percent of inmates with mental illness do not receive treatment. While this can be a difficult population to serve, it’s clear the need is great.
While individuals with degrees in clinical psychology likely chose that path because they wanted to work directly with clients and patients, instead of working in a lab, it’s often academic research that drives changes to the practice of psychology. What better individual to understand the intricacies of dealing with patients than one with the actual experience?
Large municipalities will often employ clinical psychologists, whether to provide service to government employees or to advise various departments within the government entity. For instance some large cities may have clinical psychologists on staff to consult in criminal cases or even help police investigate crimes by developing psychological profiles of the likely suspect. About 10 percent of psychologists are employed in government.
Consumer Product Manufacturer
Before any product hits the market, it goes through a rigorous development, manufacturing and testing process. Many companies use clinical psychologists to examine and test the products, while others use them in developing sales and marketing materials and messaging. Clinical psychologists offer their expertise on how the human mind works to help influence decisions about the products and how to market them.
Large enterprises businesses often contract with human resources or management consultancies that provide services ranging from organizational restructuring recommendations to leadership coaching and training. These consultancies hire clinical psychologists to provide a deep understanding of human nature so that all recommendations are grounded in science.
Med school is considered one of the most rigorous and stressful academic experiences possible. Sadly, suicide is more common among medical students than students in any other academic program. Med school is notoriously competitive, and many students likely feel that any acceptance of “weakness” could hurt their academic standing. That’s why it’s so crucial for caring and competent clinical psychologists to use their expertise to help benefit future generations of physicians.
The understanding of human behavior, or misbehavior, is critical in the legal system. Why people commit crimes, why they break federal regulations, even why they cheat on their spouses — these all are potential questions that law firms must answer in order to win their cases. That’s why many law firms hire clinical psychologists to provide ongoing advice and perspective.
Those with degrees in clinical psychology probably won’t be in any shortage of career opportunities over the next decade, and even for those who don’t want to spend every single day working directly with patients and clients, they have many options of great places to work.
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Overdose Death Rates. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
- National Alliance on Mental Health, Veterans & Active Duty. (Undated). Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/find-support/veterans-and-active-duty
- American Medical Student Association, Suicide is More Common in Medical School Than in Any Other School Setting. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.amsa.org/2017/06/21/suicide-is-more-common-in-medical-school-than-in-any-other-school-setting/
- Average Clinical Psychologist Salary by State. (2019). Retrieved from https://psydprograms.org/average-clinical-psychologist-salary-by-state/
- Things You Can Do With a Doctorate In Psychology Degree. 2019 (N.D.). Retrieved from: https://psydprograms.org/50-things-you-can-do-with-a-doctorate-in-psychology/
- How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Make? (2019). Retrieved from https://psydprograms.org/how-much-do-clinical-psychologists-make/