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The field of psychology has grown a great deal in recent decades as the stigma associated with mental health services has lessened and self-help books and popular magazines have brought the field into the mainstream. An online psychology degree can be an ideal way to enter this profession at a pace and environment that is comfortable for individual students. Many people are interested in the field of psychology because its counseling arm is a way to help others without becoming a psychiatrist, which involves several years of education in medical school and residency. Also, the research arm of the field appeals to those with an interest in studying human behavior as a social science.

Employment Outlook in Real Estate Programs

Growth in the field of psychology will vary in the coming decade depending upon the particular specialty. For instance, counseling and clinical psychologists will only see an 11% increase in jobs available, which is just under the national average of 12%, but positions for organizational psychologists that work in industrial settings should increase by 26%. Across all areas of psychology, an average of 14% growth overall is expected by 2018.

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Unfortunately, applicants with only a bachelor’s degree in psychology will be limited in their job opportunities because most positions will go to those with advanced degrees. A master’s degree is usually sufficient for organizational-industrial psychology positions, but a doctoral degree is usually needed for those who wish to go into the clinical area of the field, teach in college, or conduct high-level research. Applicants for psychology positions who also have degrees in other areas – like health or business administration – will also have an edge.

However, the competition for openings in graduate schools for an advanced online psychology degree will be very stiff

There is a broad range of salary expectations among all of the different specialties in the field. The median salary of a counseling or clinical psychologist in May of 2008 was just over $64,000 with those at the highest end of the range making over $106,000 while those at the lower end made less than $38,000. The biggest salaries went to those who had offices as part of a health care practice, like a counseling psychologist who works alongside a medical doctor or psychiatrist. The lowest earnings went to counseling psychologists working in the area of individual and family services. Higher average earnings can be expected in organizational-industrial psychology. The median salary in this area of the field in May of 2008 was just over $77,000 with the highest earners making over $155,500 and those at the lower end bringing in about $38,500.

Educational Requirements in Real Estate Programs

Most psychologists need to have at least a master’s degree but more likely a doctoral degree. A master’s degree usually takes an additional 2 years after earning a 4-year undergraduate degree, and a doctoral degree generally requires 5 years including course work and the writing of a dissertation. It is usually sufficient for school psychologists to earn an Ed.S., which is a specialist in education degree.

Psychologists who offer any kind of patient care must be licensed in the state in which they practice.

Although licensing regulations differ from state to state, in order to become licensed, a candidate usually needs to successfully earn a doctoral degree, complete an approved internship, have one or two years of experience, and pass an examination. Many states also require “continuing education” credits to be earned by psychologists so that they can stay current in their field and keep their license. Specialty certification is also offered by the American Board of Professional Psychology in several different areas like clinical health, psychoanalysis, forensics, and rehabilitation. An online psychology degree can help students start on the road to these prestigious distinctions and the rewarding careers that accompany them.