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Occupational Profile

Psychologist

Psychologists assess, diagnose and treat psychological, emotional and behavioural disorders. They also research and apply theories relating to behaviour and mental processes.

  • Avg. Salary $88,426.00
  • Avg. Wage $51.23
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 5,100
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Facilitator, Industrial Psychologist, Organizational Psychologist, Rehabilitation Services Practitioner, Research Psychologist, Social Scientist, Therapist, Research Scientist, Counsellor

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

42%
42%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Psychologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Psychologists
NOC code: 4151
SOCIAL

Interest in mentoring in order to counsel clients and provide therapy; in helping clients manage physical illness and disorders, and in offering mediation services

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to formulate hypotheses and experimental designs, conduct studies and publish research papers, educational texts and articles; and to plan intervention programs and conduct program evaluation

METHODICAL

Interest in reviewing literature and administering psychological tests

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Psychologists are concerned with the study and management of human behaviour. Since the field is so broad, they usually specialize in a particular area.

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat emotional or adjustment problems in children, adults, families or groups. They assess and treat the psychological factors associated with physical health problems. They may use a variety of assessment methods to assess problems and to design, implement and evaluate treatment programs. Clinical psychologists may specialize further in:

  • adult or child clinical psychology
  • health psychology
  • forensic psychology
  • clinical neuropsychology.

Clinical psychologists spend much of their time in direct contact with clients and usually are employed in hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, prisons or private practice.

Counselling psychologists provide individual, group or family counselling services, and spend the majority of their time in direct contact with clients. They may use a variety of assessment methods to provide consulting services to schools, social service agencies and businesses. Counselling psychologists may be employed in clinics, community agencies, schools or rehabilitation centres or in private practice.

School psychologists assess and treat children who have educational, vocational and emotional problems, or provide consulting services for schools on issues related to classroom management. School psychologists may be employed by school authorities or work in private practice.

Industrial or organizational psychologists develop solutions for problems in business and industry. For example, they may work in areas such as:

  • personnel selection and placement
  • training and development
  • organizational development and change
  • performance measurement and evaluation
  • quality of work life
  • consumer psychology
  • human factors psychology.

Although some large corporations employ industrial or organizational psychologists, most work as consultants.

Research or experimental psychologists conduct research in specific areas such as human development, psychopathology, social psychology, neuroscience, perception, motivation, emotion, learning, language or personality. Their research may involve observing and interviewing people to gain insight into behaviour, or working in laboratory settings where they focus on the relationships among factors and on human or animal behaviour. Research psychologists usually are employed by colleges and universities, government departments or private research agencies.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Research psychologists spend most of their time in offices and research laboratories. Other types of psychologists may work in a variety of settings. Some routinely travel to several locations (for example, school to school).

Psychologists' hours of work vary depending on their circumstances and the needs of their customers. They may work regular office hours or do some evening and weekend work as well.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Psychologists who work directly with people need the following characteristics:

  • a genuine interest in helping others
  • emotional maturity and stability
  • excellent communication skills
  • a willingness to keep learning new approaches
  • flexibility.

They should enjoy helping people, synthesizing information, developing innovative solutions to problems and taking a methodical approach to reviewing literature and administering psychological tests.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

In Alberta, the minimum education requirement for psychologists is a master's degree with the coursework required to become a Registered Psychologist. For example, it may be a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Counselling (MC), Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree as long as students take the courses required for registration. In most Canadian provinces and American states, the minimum requirement for registration is a doctoral degree (PhD, PsyD or EdD) in a relevant aspect of psychology. Most clinical psychologists have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Those who work in specialized settings such as clinical neuropsychology may have further training.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Gonzaga University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Psychologist

Psychologists assess, diagnose, treat, guide, and support persons or groups of persons to enhance development, effective living and quality of life or to prevent, remedy or ameliorate mental, emotional, cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal difficulties; and teach, supervise or consult in the practice of psychology.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Psychologists Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves psychologists.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) a post graduate degree in psychology that meets the academic requirements established by the Council (2) at least 1,600 hours of approved work experience under the supervision of a Registered Psychologist, approved by the Council, and (3) an examination in psychological theory, research and practice approved by the Council. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the CAP website or contact the CAP.

Working in Alberta

Psychologists who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered psychologists in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated psychologists, see Psychologist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

College of Alberta Psychologists
2100, 10123 - 99 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5J 3H1
Phone number: 780-424-5070
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 1-800-659-0857
Fax number: 780-420-1241
Website: www.cap.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Psychologists work in:

  • mental health clinics
  • correctional facilities
  • hospitals
  • private practices
  • rehabilitation centres
  • schools
  • business and industrial settings
  • post-secondary institutions.

Increasingly, psychologists are employed in program development and evaluation, community consultation and the administration of social services and mental health services provided by government and community agencies.

With experience or additional education, psychologists may move into administrative positions or teach psychology in post-secondary institutions.

In Alberta, 77% of people employed as psychologists work in the Health Care and Social Assistance (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 5,100 Albertans are employed in the Psychologists occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 168 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.  

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Psychologists
NOC code: 4151

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $27.73 $53.24 $41.46 $40.00
Overall $30.58 $72.46 $51.23 $49.82
Top $33.69 $82.68 $56.06 $53.50

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

42%
42%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

27%
27%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

2%
2%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Social Studies
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Canadian Psychological Association website: www.cpa.ca

College of Alberta Psychologists website: www.cap.ab.ca

Psychologists' Association of Alberta website: www.psychologistsassociation.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 13, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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