A master's degree in clinical psychology can prepare individuals to specialize in different fields. Clinical psychologists may work in counseling centers or for schools. Health psychologists may work in research or in hospitals. Neuropsychologists focus on the relationship between the brain and behaviors and may work with neurosurgeons and neurologists to assess changes to brain functions in clients.
Clinical psychology is the largest subsection of psychology. Students who complete a master's degree program in clinical psychology often obtain positions as a clinical psychologist; however, there are many different specializations and careers available. Internships and fieldwork may be offered through the master's degree program, which allow students to gain hands-on experience in the field.
|Career Title||Clinical Psychologist||Health Psychologist||Neuropsychologist|
|Education requirements||Master's or doctoral degree||Master's or doctoral degree||Doctor of Psychology degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||20% for clinical, counseling and school psychologists||19% for all psychologists||10% for psychologists, other|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$76,040 for all clinical, counseling and school psychologists||$109,310 for psychologists working in the scientific research and development services field||$90,650 for other psychologists working in general medical and surgical hospitals|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Master's degree programs in clinical psychology prepare students to work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to colleges or research facilities. Master's degree holders who have studied clinical psychology may wish to work as a clinical psychologist, health psychologist or neuropsychologist.
Clinical psychologists, the largest specialty within psychology, are mainly focused on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and personality disorders. Clinical psychologists are trained in a wide variety of therapies and diagnostic techniques aimed at helping individuals with a wide variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, phobias and irrational beliefs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for clinical, counseling and school psychologists are anticipated to grow by 20% between the years of 2014 and 2024.
According to the BLS, clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned a mean annual salary of $76,040 per year in May 2015, with salary ranges extending from $40,920 to $116,960. Master's degree holders in clinical psychology will face keen competition for jobs because of the limited number of positions in the field that only require this degree.
Health psychology is a specialty area within psychology which focuses on how psychological, social and genetic factors influence health and illness. Since health psychology is a very research and treatment intensive field, health psychologists commonly work in a clinical or research setting. The BLS predicted that all psychologists should see a 19% job growth from 2014-2024.
Salaries for health psychologists are very dependent on numerous factors including location, type of work and job experience. The BLS reports that psychologists working in the scientific research and development services field earned an average annual salary of $109,310, as of May 2015.
A neuropsychologist is a special type of clinical psychologist who has additional training and experience in understanding brain-behavior relationships. Neuropsychologists are typically called on for their expertise by neurosurgeons and neurologists to assess brain functioning in order to document how normal brain processes have been altered, as well as helping to predict how this alteration will affect a patient's life. According to the BLS, psychology careers that fall outside of the category of clinical, counseling or school-related fields are predicted to increase by 10% from 2014-2024.
The same average salary and salary range listed above for health psychologists also applies to neuropsychologists. The BLS also reports that general medical and surgical hospitals paid some of the highest salaries outside of private practice, with an average salary of $90,650, as of 2015.
The job outlook for individuals with a master's of clinical psychology is expected to be good from 2014-2024. The BLS expects growth of 10-20% for clinical psychologists, health psychologists, and neuropsychologists. In 2015, the average salary for health psychologists was highest, at $109,310, while clinical psychologists made $76,040 per year.