Psychologists study people's behaviour, motivations, thoughts and feelings, to help them overcome or control their problems.

Annual Salary

£31,000 to £98,500

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

Future employment

There will be 6% more Psychologist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You'll specialise in an area of psychology like:

  • education – helping children and young people overcome difficulties and further their educational and psychological development
  • occupational – helping businesses improve their performance and increase employee job satisfaction
  • counselling – helping people resolve their problems and make decisions, particularly at stressful times in their lives
  • neuropsychology – helping patients with brain injuries and diseases to recover or improve their quality of life
  • forensic or criminal – using psychological theory to help investigate crimes, rehabilitate offenders and support prison staff
  • clinical – working with people to help them deal with conditions like anxiety, stress, depression and mental illness
  • sports and exercise – working with individuals, teams and organisations to improve motivation and performance

You could be based in a hospital, school, clinic, prison or community mental health team.


You'll need to complete:

  • a psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
  • an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialism

Once you've got a psychology degree, you can specialise in a particular area, for example educational or forensic psychology.

Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You'll need a first or upper second class degree, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You'll also need relevant work experience.

If you have a degree in a different subject, you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

You'll need Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

£31,000 to £98,500

Starter salary: £31,000 to £41,000

Experienced salary: £41,000 to £57,000

Your salary will depend on your area of specialism. The figures included here are based on a clinical psychologist's salary, working in the NHS. 

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

Your working hours will depend on your specialism.

You'll usually work from an office or consultation room, but you may also visit clients in their homes.

You could specialise further within your branch of psychology or take on a research project leading to a PhD qualification.

You could move also into teaching or research as a career.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health Careers have more information on careers in psychology.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • 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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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