Career Options for People Interested in Dream Research
In the modern professional world, dream research, known as oneirology, is typically studied from a purely neurological standpoint, rather than from an interpretative, psycho-analytical perspective. Rather than focusing on the content of dreams, most careers focus on researching brain functionality during the various stages of sleep, though you may be able to incorporate certain aspects of processing dream content in your field or specialty. Here are a few career choices to consider related to dream research.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Neurologist||$240,167**||14% (for all physicians and surgeons)|
|Sleep science technologist||$56,498***||14% (for all clinical and medical lab technologists)|
|Researcher||$80,530* (for all medical scientists, except epidemiologists)||8% (for all medical scientists, except epidemiologists)|
|Sleep Lab Manager||$64,680***||3% (for all natural sciences managers)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com (2017), ***PayScale.com (2017)
Career Information for People Interested in Dream Research
There are plenty of specialties within the field of psychology, such as sleep studies and research. As a psychologist, you could apply your understanding of cognitive processes with regard to sleep to your patients' treatment in a counseling setting. Therefore, this career is a good option for people interested in dream research. Becoming a psychologist requires either a master's or doctoral degree.
Neurologists are physicians who focus on the nervous system as a means to diagnose diseases or disorders within patients. Similar to psychology, neurology has a specialty in sleep medicine, where patients are observed sleeping while connected to an electroencephalogram (EEG) to assess how the brain is functioning during various stages of sleep for the purpose of diagnosing any sleeping disorders. This career will suffice for those interested in dream research from a neurodiagnostic perspective. Becoming a neurologist will require obtaining a medical degree, up to four years of neurology experience and a license to practice.
Sleep Science Technologist
Sleep technologists are responsible for using polysomnographic machines to run tests on patients so the doctor can best diagnose any possible sleep disorders or identify any abnormal activity. They usually work in a sleep center and are additionally responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the technology. This would be an ideal job for anyone interested in dream research as a career and would like hands-on experience within the field. For most entry-level technologist positions, centers require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in medical technology. Some employers may also accept an associate's degree in a related major.
Sleep researchers study and investigate various aspects of sleep and dream patterns. Typically, these researchers analyze and compile dream reports to quantitatively analyze the patterns of dreams, rather than attempting to analyze what a dream signifies. Researchers, also referred to as medical scientists, must study a science in an undergraduate program, and go on to obtaining a doctoral degree within their specialized field.
Sleep Lab Manager
Sleep lab managers oversee the work space, technology, and staff within a sleep center or lab. They will be responsible for ensuring the training of the staff is up to par with state and federal regulations, as well as financial management of the center. This position will be great for those interested in dream research, as they will be able to oversee studies as they take place. Most natural sciences managers obtain their management roles after acting as a scientist within the field, so they usually have anywhere between a master's or doctoral degree, and may be required to an MBA or Professional Science Master's (PSM).