Thinking of studying psychology? Great, you’re in the right place.
The first thing you need to know about becoming a psychologist in Australia is that it’s not exactly a three-step career. There are many educational and logistical factors to consider to reach your desired psychology career path such as:
What kind of psychologist you want to be.
There are different types of psychologists depending on the specialisation, but all of them play major roles in the industry. We’ll cover what they are as we discuss the careers later in this post. But essentially, it’s important to have an idea of what kind of psychologist you’d like to be before embarking on your journey to become one.
How much salary you want to earn.
Obviously, the passion to help others is the key to succeed in this career. However, thinking about the kind of income you want to earn once you’ve finished your studies is practically a good idea. This can also help you choose which field of psychology to aim for.
What qualifications and education you’ll need to get there.
Once you’ve made up your mind about which field of psychology you want to get into, you’ll need to create an education map to get there. Some people like to start small by studying introductory psychology certificates and work their way up to their degree. On the other hand, some people like to go straight for the jugular and hit the University.
In this post we’ve covered multiple types of psychology career outcomes and salaries to match. Hopefully, this will help you get one step further towards making a decision about what type of psychologist you want to become. 🙂
Let’s do this!
9 Psychology Roles With High Salaries
The job titles and annual salaries below are actual figures from PayScale Australia, listed in no particular order. Also, the amounts are in Australian dollars.
1. Child Psychologist
Closely working with children and adolescents, child psychologists help the younger generation deal with stressful life events including the divorce of parents, death of a loved one, school transition, etc.
They also diagnose and provide treatment for children with autism, phobias, learning disabilities, developmental issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mental illness. Usually, you can find them in government agencies, outpatient centers, hospitals, and private settings. Often, child psychologists are referred to as pediatric psychologists.
If you are interested in specialising in child psychology, or you simply want to learn how to handle mental disorders/illnesses in children, we recommend that you take our Certificate of Child Psychology. It’s a 120-hour self-paced online course that you can finish within six months and can serve as the perfect entry point to the child psychology field.
Annual Salary of a Child Psychologist in Australia: $39,149 – $139,990
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2. Forensic Psychologist
Forensic psychologists serve a pivotal role in the justice system. They deal with both criminology and psychology disciplines to ensure justice, protect human rights, and promote the well-being of people undergoing legal issues.
These rare professionals are trained to “profile” the accused and ascertain whether the mental state of a defendant meets the legal standards to proceed in a criminal trial. They do this by conducting an evaluation and psychological assessments. Forensic psychologists also work with victims of crimes both for therapeutic and investigative purposes.
Annual Salary of a Forensic Psychologist in Australia: $52,666 – $108,284
Considered a special discipline under clinical psychology, neuropsychology is a study that determines how brain systems and functions related to human behavior.
Neuropsychologists normally work in different settings. Some of them privately treat patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, learning disabilities, dementia and brain disorders. Meanwhile, other neuropsychologists are engaged in research, trying to find out the causes and effects, and potential treatments of the said brain disorders.
Annual Salary Range for a Neuropsychologist in Australia: $56,525 – $116,350
4. Counseling Psychologist
Counseling psychologists are experts in helping people learn the roots of their emotional baggage, career concerns, mental disorders, financial crises, health-related concerns, and other sensitive issues. Through effective counseling, they also identify life events and social influences that could have contributed to the current state of the client(s).
These specialists speak with individuals and groups from different walks of life, various age groups and different cultural backgrounds. They usually work in hospitals, other health organizations and private settings.
Annual Salary of a Counseling Psychologist in Australia: $49,132 – $181,427
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5. School Psychologist
As the job title suggests, school psychologists work for the education sector. They work hand and hand with teachers, parents and school administrators to promote a healthy, supportive, and safe learning environments for students. They encourage students not just to succeed academically, but also emotionally by allowing them to freely discuss their ups and downs whether it’s at home, in school or their personal lives.
School psychologists are often mistaken as guidance counselors because both professions are motivated by the well-being of students. However, guidance counselors are more focused on the students’ academic performance as opposed to school psychologists whose main focus is the emotional health of the students.
Annual Salary Range of a School Psychologist in Australia: $49,345 – $121,608
6. Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychologist
Also known as an occupational psychologist, an I/O psychologist is someone who practices in an industrial setting. He/she can be part of the recruitment team, performance appraisal team, and other similar roles in human resources, management, and operations. Their career track can also lead to corporate leadership while motivating employees, creating principles, and initiating organizational development.
No, they are not therapists. They seek to promote better work performance among employees and leaders by formulating strategies and increasing engagement in the workplace.
Annual Salary of an I/O Psychologist in Australia : $48,479 – $126,639
7. Clinical Psychologist
Compared to other branches of psychology that focus on research, clinical psychology is more drawn into diagnosing and treating people with emotional, behavioral, and cognitive disorders. They treat patients through a series of counseling sessions, therapies, psychoanalysis, and systematic desensitization. They either work one-on-one or with a group that suffers from depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, etc.
Licensed clinical psychologists have spent over 10 years studying (3-4 years undergrad degree, and around 7 years in grad school).
Annual Salary of a Clinical Psychologist in Australia: $51,141 – $127,034
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8. Human Resources Manager
Some psychology degree holders prefer to work in a corporate setting, with corporate roles. Hence, they apply for a human resource position and eventually become Human Resource (HR) managers.
HR managers handle the training, recruitment, compensation and benefits, career development, employee relations, employment law, industrial relations, compliance, redundancies, and disciplinary issues in an organization.
Annual Salary of a Human Resources Manager in Australia : $56,960 – $136,059
Considered the highest earners in the field of mental health, psychiatrists have a medical degree and are the only psychology professionals who can legally prescribe medication.
They assess mental and health symptoms, make a diagnosis and provide treatment for patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorder, Alzheimer’s, etc. They are also referred to as psychopharmacologists.
Annual Salary of a Psychiatrist in Australia: $71,147 – $328,244
How to Land a Psychology Role?
Educating yourself is the first step to succeed in the path of psychology. Please know that becoming a licensed psychologist takes not just the passion to treat mental and emotional health problems but also more than a decade of diligent studying. Plus, one to two years of a Board-approved internship.
If you want to test the waters first and determine whether psychology is for you or not, we suggest that you take our Psychology Fundamentals course or our Introduction to Abnormal Psychology course. Both of these courses will give you relevant insights into the world of mental health and extend your knowledge in dealing with behavioral and cognitive disorders.
Our top-notch online psychology courses are available for only $25 per week on a zero-interest payment plan. You can start a course anytime and finish it at your own pace.
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The abovementioned roles are just some of the numerous types of psychology careers you can consider in Australia. If the thought of “unlocking the mysteries of the human mind” excite you, then it’s best for you to start your studies now to jumpstart your high-paying psychology career as soon as possible.
If you have questions regarding this post or our online psychology courses, please feel free to hit the button above and send an enquiry. All the best!