What they do
Psychologists study how people think, feel and behave at an individual, group, organisational and community level. They use this knowledge to help people improve their lives. While some psychologists assess, diagnose and treat people who have a mental illness, many others work with mentally healthy people to find ways of functioning better in a range of situations, such as relationships, in the workplace or in educational institutions.
Psychologists may find employment in a range of workplaces, including private practice, hospitals, the defence forces, education institutions, the justice system, government departments and private marketing companies. They have a high level of contact with members of the public and often deal with highly personal and emotional issues, which must be kept confidential.
Most psychologists work in an office environment and work regular hours, but may travel to visit clients, depending on their specialisation.
Tools and technologies
Psychologists often use specially designed psychological and psychometric tests to assist in assessing clients. They also use standard office equipment, including computers, to keep detailed records of their interactions with clients. It is also important for psychologists to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of new research and theories, and as such they will often subscribe to journals relevant to psychology in general and their individual specialisation.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a psychologist, you usually need to study a 4-year degree in psychology, followed by either postgraduate study in a chosen field of psychology or an internship.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Required registration and licensing
To be eligible for professional registration, on completion of your psychology degree, you must complete postgraduate studies or supervised practice work (internship) lasting between one and two years.
To work as a psychologist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Psychology Board of Australia.