Occupational psychologists are concerned with the performance of people at work, how organizations function and how individuals and small groups behave at work.They are used to increase the effectiveness of the organization and improve the individual’s job satisfaction.Occupational psychology is broad and touches on ergonomics, time management and personnel.Work can also be in advisory, teaching and research roles, as well as in administrative and technical roles.
Typical Jobs or Career Paths
Occupational psychologists will require a recognized degree and a further qualification and industry experience.
Career options include –
There are many career options for graduates as already mentioned. They may move into teaching, time management, research, personnel, human resources, ergonomics, training, consultancy work, job training etc. etc. This is a very varied role.
Who Employs a Graduate?
Typically, occupational psychologists work for large companies in the private sector, in public services and government organizations.They may also work in training centres and as consultants.They may work alongside other management professionals.In the UK, the largest employer of occupational psychology graduates are the Ministry of Defence, Civil Service and Civil Service commission.
Remuneration and Advancement Opportunities
Occupational psychologists can be well paid, with payment increasing the further up the promotion ladder they go.It will also depend if they are working in private practice or for a government organization.Those working in the private sector will tend to be better paid than those working for the pubic sector.Figures vary from country to country and the role will slightly differ from country to country.Advancement within the field will depend on further qualifications and experience within the career.
Membership of Professional bodies is useful to encourage networking and that you are kept up to date with current trends.Some will require an annual fee to join, whilst others will require evidence of your educational attainment and experience. Some will offer reduced fees for students. Organizations include –
Australian Counselling Association www.theaca.net.au
British Psychological Society www.bps.org.uk
The Association of Educational Psychologists www.aep.org.uk
British Association of Counselling and Psychology www.bacp.co.uk
There are risks associated with every career. Occupational Psychology can be a competitive and demanding job.
Studying a Course
Knowledge and experience are important.
People may enter this field two different ways:
a/ Developing a foundation understanding of an occupational area through non psychology studies and or work experience; then going on to further studies for professional development in the area of psychology (such as the courses listed below).
b/ Undertaking a psychology diploma or degree as their primary qualification; and developing further complimentary skills in the years following that initial course. A good base qualification would be the Diploma in Psychology and Counselling.
Advanced Certificate in Psychology
The course is divided into 9 modules/subjects as follows: 2 x Core (compulsory) Modules:
Introduction to Psychology, Psychology and Counselling and six elective modules from - Industrial Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sports Psychology, Child Psychology, Biopsychology I, Marketing Psychology, Conflict Management, Research Project 1 plus Industry experience 100 hours. This Advanced Certificate is accredited through the International Accreditation and Recognition Council.This course can be counted towards credit for higher qualifications with ACS Distance Education, WarnboroughUniversity and other ACS affiliate institutions.
Associate Diploma in Psychology
This course is different and unique, allowing you to gain a solid and broad base foundation in theoretical psychology at the same time as developing a variety of practical skills that will be useful in the workplace. Graduates are not psychologists (A psychologist needs higher university qualifications), but they will have a capacity to apply psychology in real life situations (eg. as a manager, a counsellor, a marketer or a consultant). The course is divided into 15 modules. Seven compulsory modules must be undertaken by all students, and eight electives can be selected from a range of options listed below. Compulsory modules - Introduction to Psychology, Psychology and Counselling, Counselling Techniques, Industrial Psychology, Child Psychology, Research Project, Industry Meetings (eg. Seminars, conferences) or Work Experience (eg. volunteer counselling). Eight elective modules also need to be chosen.
Marketing Psychology http://www.acsedu.co.uk/courses/product.aspx?id=400
Eight lessons covering people as consumers, marketing segmentation, internal influences, socialinfluences, communication and persuasion, decide what to buy …
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