- knowledge of psychology
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- customer service skills
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- sensitivity and understanding
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to enjoy working with other people
- active listening skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Your day-to-day tasks will depend on your specialism. For example, you might work as an educational psychologist, where you would:
- help children to overcome difficulties
- interview young people and assess their emotional state
- develop treatment programmes to help clients' psychological wellbeing
As an occupational psychologist, you'll:
- assess the productivity of a business and how the staff work
- develop processes to measure employee talent and progress
- have one-to-one sessions with employees to support their wellbeing
In counselling psychology, you may:
- work with children and adults to explore their social, economic, cultural and spiritual health
- use psychotherapeutic methods, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to treat patients
- assess patients and recommend treatments
If you're a neuropsychologist, you could:
- investigate the impact of injury or illness on patients' behaviour
- make rehabilitation and treatment recommendations
- look to improve patients' health and quality of life
You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a school, in a therapy clinic, in the community or at a client's business.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
As your career develops, you could specialise within your branch of psychology, for example:forensic or criminal psychology; clinical psychology; sports and exercise psychology
You could also take on a research project, leading to a PhD qualification, and combine this with university teaching.
You'll find more advice on careers and training in psychology from The British Psychological Society.