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Employment of Psychologists

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How many psychologists are there? Where do these professional work? Learn more about the employment of psychologists in these statistics from the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Employment Statistics

  • Psychologists held approximately 170,200 jobs in 2008.

  • About 34 percents were self-employed in 2008, usually as private practitioners.

Who Employs Psychologists?

  • Almost 21 percent were employed in health care, primarily in offices of mental health practitioners, physicians, outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, and private hospitals.

  • Educational institutions also employed a substantial number of psychologists in positions other than teaching, such as counseling, testing, research and administration.

  • Government agencies at the State and local levels employed psychologists in public hospitals, clinics, correctional facilities and other settings.

  • After several years of experience, some psychologists--usually those with doctoral degrees--enter private practice or set up private research or consulting firms.

  • In addition to the previously mentioned jobs, many psychologists held faculty positions at colleges and universities and as high school psychology teachers.

Psychologists are also employed in a number of other areas not specifically mentioned in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Many psychologists work in research positions in various subfields of psychology. Some additional areas of employment include positions in industrial-organizational psychology and human-factors psychology. Other psychologists work in business as managers, consultants and marketing research. Religious organizations also employ some psychologists.

Further Reading

Subfields of Psychology
Areas of Psychology - Divisions of the APA
Career Options with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
Career Options with a Graduate Degree in Psychology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos056.htm

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