Salary and Career Information for a Behavioral Psychologist

Behavioral psychologists work one-on-one with patients in clinics and laboratories to treat mental and behavioral disorders. Most are self-employed and work in private practitioners' offices, but psychologists can also work in schools, businesses, and consulting facilities.

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Behavioral Psychologist Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical psychologists, such as behavioral psychologists, earned an average salary of $72,220 in May 2012. The same month, the BLS reported that behavioral disorder counselors earned an average of $40,920 a year.

Behavioral Psychologist Career Information

A behavioral psychologist's general career focus is to observe and interpret an individual's behavior in order to postulate theories and establish solutions to psychological disorders. Psychologists work closely with patients on a daily basis, providing them with therapy to control and resolve issues such as anxiety disorder, addiction, and phobia. Along with using interview and observation to gather information about a patient, psychologists may also use laboratory testing, such as psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, hypnosis, or biofeedback. They also attempt to obtain a greater understanding of human behavior by applying individual findings to broader cause-and-effect theories in the scientific field.

Behavioral psychologists typically work in elementary and secondary school, businesses, clinics and physicians' offices. According to the BLS, approximately 34% of all psychologists in 2010 were self-employed and of those, most were private practitioners. The Bureau has projected that employment of all types of psychologists will grow by as much as 22% from 2010 to 2020, noting specifically that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists could see job opportunities increase at the same rate. Comparatively, substance abuse and behavioral disorders counselors' employment will increase by about 27% during the same time frame. This growth will be driven by an increased attention to students' mental health and drug usage, a growing elderly population coping with the stresses of aging and consumers suffering from the bleak economic climate. In all industries, behavioral scientists with a doctoral degree will enjoy the best job prospects, and those experienced in computer science and quantitative research will qualify for a wider variety of job opportunities.

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