Psychologists

(NOC 4151)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Psychologists assess and diagnose behavioural, emotional and cognitive disorders, counsel clients, provide therapy, conduct research and apply theory relating to behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists help clients work toward the maintenance and enhancement of psychological, physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. Psychologists work in private practice or in clinics, correctional facilities, hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres, community service organizations, businesses, schools and universities, and in government and private research agencies. Clinical psychologists interview patients; give diagnostic tests; provide individual, family and group psychotherapy; and design and implement programs to modify behaviour. Counselling psychologists provide treatment to improve physical and mental health. School psychologists work with students, teachers, parents, and administrators to resolve students' learning and behaviour problems. Experimental psychologists investigate aspects of human and animal activity to understand and explain behaviour. Industrial/organizational psychologists focus on personnel selection, job satisfaction, and workplace performance.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 100 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4880 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Psychologists most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 55% of Psychologists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $82,578. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$20.00

Minimum

$29.81

Median

$58.65

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,977

Minimum

$63,850

Median

$117,028

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.88

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Psychologists assess and diagnose behavioural, emotional and cognitive disorders, counsel clients, provide therapy, conduct research and apply theory relating to behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists help clients work toward the maintenance and enhancement of psychological, physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. Psychologists work in private practice or in clinics, correctional facilities, hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres, community service organizations, businesses, schools and universities, and in government and private research agencies.

Clinical psychologists interview patients; give diagnostic tests; provide individual, family and group psychotherapy; and design and implement programs to modify behaviour. Counselling psychologists provide treatment to improve physical and mental health. School psychologists work with students, teachers, parents, and administrators to resolve students' learning and behaviour problems.

Experimental psychologists investigate aspects of human and animal activity to understand and explain behaviour. Industrial/organizational psychologists focus on personnel selection, job satisfaction, and workplace performance.

Job duties

Psychologists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Examine and assess behaviour, diagnose behavioural, emotional and cognitive disorders, counsel clients and provide therapy.
  • Help clients manage physical illness and disorders.
  • Counsel individuals and groups to achieve more effective personal, social and vocational development and adjustment, and offer mediation services.
  • Use standard psychological tests for assessment.
  • Plan intervention programs and conduct program evaluation.
  • Apply psychological theory and principles regarding behaviour and mental processes such as learning, language development, memory and perception to develop treatment programs.
  • Formulate hypotheses and experimental designs, review literature, conduct studies and publish research papers, educational texts and articles.
  • Deliver presentations at conferences, workshops or symposia.
  • Provide consultation services to government and other organizations. // Psychologists may specialize in applied psychology or experimental research. Sub-specialties include behavioural psychology, child psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, industrial psychology, neuropsychology, social psychology or sports psychology.

Sample job titles

  • behavioural psychologist
  • behavioural therapist
  • child psychologist
  • clinical psychologist
  • counselling psychologist
  • developmental psychologist
  • human development psychologist
  • psychologist
  • psychotherapist

Skills

To work in this field, you should be mature, patient, and interested in helping others. You must have excellent oral and written communication skills. Excellent listening and critical thinking skills, an understanding of human behaviour, and awareness of diversities are also important.

Job requirements

  • A master's degree in psychology is required for the designation "Psychologist" in Nova Scotia.
  • A period of supervised practical experience is required in most jurisdictions.
  • Successful completion of the written Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is required in most provinces.
  • Oral examinations and board interviews are required in some provinces.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Nova Scotia.
  • Membership in the provincial professional association for psychologists is mandatory.

Other considerations

There has been a noticeable increase in psychologists working in the private sector in the past few years. Self-employment is common for psychologists. Psychological associates may be granted permission by provincial regulatory authorities to perform duties normally restricted to psychologists, specifically diagnosing psychological disorders and communicating diagnoses to clients.

By the numbers

Quick look

565

employed in 2016

82.5%

employed full-time

27.4%

self employed

79.0%
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21%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.4

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

79.3%

employed full-time

6.5%

self employed

64.0%
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36%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

59.7%

Halifax

11.3%

Northern

11.3%

Annapolis Valley

8.9%

Southern

8.1%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

71.1%

Health Care and Social Assistance

22.8%

Educational Services

2.6%

Public Administration

1.8%

Other Services

1.8%

Other Industries

What is the age of Employment?

35.3%

45-54

21.6%

35-44

21.6%

55-64

17.6%

25-34

3.9%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

36.6%

35-44

29.3%

45-54

24.4%

55-64

4.9%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

55.7%

Doctorate

$78,610 median annual income
33.9%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A
9.6%

Bachelor's degree

$51,112 median annual income
1.7%

University advanced certificate or diploma

$53,598 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

29.2%

Bachelor's degree

$43,533 median annual income
21.5%

College certificate or diploma

$28,183 median annual income
17.2%

Master's degree

$35,978 median annual income
14.3%

High school

$25,801 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$60,991 median annual income

Education & training

Applied psychology

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of psychological theories and methods to real-world settings and problems, such as business and industry, government, education, military, and community settings. These programs include courses in applications of psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, counselling, human factors, research methods and statistics, and program evaluation.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Clinical psychology

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of clinical psychology, involving the analysis, diagnosis, and clinical treatment of psychological disorders and behavioural pathologies. These programs include courses in clinical assessment and diagnosis, personality appraisal, psychopathology, clinical psychopharmacology, behaviour modification, therapeutic intervention skills, patient interviewing, personalized and group therapy, child and adolescent therapy, cognitive and behavioural therapy, supervised clinical practice, ethical standards, and applicable regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Community health services/liaison/counselling

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to serve as facilitators, advocates, and referral professionals linking health care and related social services with affected recipient communities. These programs include courses in public and community health, human and social services, health services administration, group counselling, health education, group advocacy, cross-cultural and multilingual communication, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Health/health care administration/management

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to develop, plan, and manage health care operations and services within health care facilities and across health care systems. These programs include courses in planning, business management, financial management, public relations, human resources management, health care systems operation and management, health care resource allocation and policy making, health laws and regulations, and applications to specific types of health care services.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Physiological psychology/psychobiology

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the scientific course study of the biological bases of psychological functioning, and their application to experimental and therapeutic research problems. These programs include courses in functional neuroanatomy, neural system development, biochemical neural regulatory mechanisms, neurological biophysics, memory storage and retrieval, physiology of cognition and perception, physiological bases of psychopathology and behavioural disorders, psychopharmacology, comparative psychobiology, and specialized experimental design and research methods.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Psychology - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the scientific study of individual and collective behaviour, the physical and environmental bases of behaviour, and the analysis and treatment of behaviour problems and disorders. These programs include courses in the principles of the various subfields of psychology, research methods, and psychological assessment and testing methods.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Substance abuse/addiction counseling

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to help prevent substance abuse, counsel individuals and families with drug and alcohol problems, and perform intervention and therapeutic services for persons suffering from addiction. These programs include courses in individual and group counselling skills, psychology of addiction, sociology, crisis intervention, substance abuse identification methodologies, substance abuse treatment modalities, substance abuse prevention and treatment resources, pharmacology and behavioural aspects of abused substances, treatment evaluation, patient observation and education, group dynamics, professional standards and ethics, and applicable laws and regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Psychologist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology
5991 Spring Garden Road, Suite 455
Halifax, NS B3H 1Y6
(902) 423-2238
(902) 423-0058

Contacts

Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia
Suite 435, 5991 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, NS B3H 1J6
Tel: (902) 422-9183
Fax: (902) 462-9801
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572
Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, ON K1P 5J3
Tel: (613) 237-2144
Fax: (613) 237-1674

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