Psychologists study the mind and behavior of people in an effort to understand and explain their actions. They evaluate and diagnose patients with mental or emotional disorders by conducting interviews, psychological tests and observations. They then determine the proper treatment and monitor progress of the patient.
About one-fourth of psychologists are self-employed, but they may also work in hospitals, clinics, schools, prisons, businesses and government agencies. They may work alone or with a variety of other health professionals such as psychiatrists, social workers or physicians. Psychologists generally have a normal work week, but may need to work evenings and weekends.
Areas of Specialization
Psychologists can specialize in more than 50 different areas, including counseling, school psychology, sports and neuropsychology.
Psychologists hold a doctorate and receive nearly a decade of training before they can practice. This includes four years of both undergraduate and graduate school
Licensure and Certification
Psychologists must be licensed to practice in Iowa, which requires a doctorate degree from an accredited program and at least one year of experience under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. They must also pass a national written exam as well as a state oral exam to obtain licensure in Iowa.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
The outlook for psychologists is great. The job growth rate is only 8%, but that does not fully explain the need. Much of the state has been designated as a mental healthcare shortage area by the federal government, meaning there are not enough mental health professionals to serve the population.