Psychologists study people's behaviour, motivations, thoughts and feelings, to help them overcome or control their problems.

Average salary (a year)

£32,000 Starter


£83,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

9am to 5pm flexibly

How to become a psychologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You'll need to complete:

  • a psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
  • an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialism

Once you've got a psychology degree, you can specialise in a particular area, for example educational or forensic psychology.

Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You'll need a first or upper second class degree, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You'll also need relevant work experience.

If you have a degree in a different subject, you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

More information


Further information

You'll find more advice on careers and training in psychology from The British Psychological Society.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks will depend on your specialism. The areas of psychology you could work in include:

  • educational - helping children and young people overcome difficulties and further their educational and psychological development
  • occupational - helping businesses improve their performance and increase employee job satisfaction
  • counselling- helping people resolve their problems and make decisions, particularly at stressful times in their lives
  • neuropsychology - helping patients with brain injuries and diseases to recover or improve their quality of life
  • forensic or criminal - using psychological theory to help investigate crimes, rehabilitate offenders and support prison staff
  • clinical - working with people to help them deal with conditions like anxiety, stress, depression and mental illness
  • sports and exercise - working with individuals, teams and organisations to improve motivation and performance

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a school, in a therapy clinic, in the community or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

You could specialise further within your branch of psychology or take on a research project leading to a PhD qualification.

You could move also into teaching or research as a career.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a psychologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

AQA GCE PSYCHOLOGY ADV | GCE A Level in Psychology

  • Provider: The Harvey Grammar School
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Folkestone

Access to Higher Education Diploma (L3) Open Awards - Human Biology/Psychology OR Criminology/Psychology pathways

  • Start date: 03 September 2020
  • Location: STOCKPORT

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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