Psychologists

(NOC 4151)

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

Psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat behavioural, emotional, and cognitive disorders. They research, develop, and apply theories about relational behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists also teach and consult. They work in private practice, clinics, prisons, hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres, community service organizations, businesses, schools, universities, and in government and private research agencies. 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. 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 Moderate growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 45 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some 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. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 52% 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

$17.00

Minimum

$41.35

Median

$56.41

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,977

Minimum

$63,850

Median

$117,028

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat behavioural, emotional, and cognitive disorders. They research, develop, and apply theories about relational behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists also teach and consult. They work in private practice, clinics, prisons, hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres, community service organizations, businesses, schools, universities, and in government and private research agencies.

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.

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:

  • 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 career development and adjustment, and offer mediation services.
  • Use standard psychological tests for assessment.
  • Plan intervention programs and complete program evaluation.
  • Apply psychological theory and principles about behaviour and mental processes like learning, language development, memory, and perception to develop treatment programs.
  • Make hypotheses and experimental designs, review literature, complete studies and publish research papers, educational texts, and articles.
  • Present at conferences, workshops, or symposia.
  • Provide consultation services to government and other organizations.

Sample job titles

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

Skills

You should be mature, patient, and interested in helping others. You must have excellent spoken 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 an increase in psychologists working in the private sector. 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

620

employed in 2016

78.2%

employed full-time

29.0%

self employed

79.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
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

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
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36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

60.2%

Halifax

11.4%

Annapolis Valley

11.4%

North Shore

8.9%

Southern

8.1%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

72.3%

Health care and social assistance

23.2%

Educational services

2.7%

Public administration

1.8%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

35-44

22.0%

55-64

21.0%

25-34

17.0%

45-54

10.0%

65+

2.0%

15-24

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

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

54.8%

Master

$61,026 median annual income
35.5%

Doctorate

$100,294 median annual income
9.7%

Bachelor

$25,914 median annual income
1.6%

Diploma Above Bachelor

N/A

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

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Clinical Psychology

College or University Program

These programs prepare students for the independent professional practice of clinical psychology, involving the analysis, diagnosis, and clinical treatment of psychological disorders and behavioural pathologies. They 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

Halifax, NS

Community Health Services/Liaison/Counselling

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to serve as facilitators, advocates, and referral professionals linking health care and related social services with affected recipient communities. They 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

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Educational Psychology

College or University Program

These programs focus on applying psychology to the study of the behaviour of individuals in the roles of teacher and learner, the nature and effects of learning environments, and the psychological effects of methods, resources, organization and non-school experience on the educational process. They include courses in learning theory, human growth and development, research methods, and psychological evaluation.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Forensic Psychology

College or University Program

These programs preapre students to apply clinical, counselling, school, and neuropsychology skills to the provision of psychological services within the criminal justice and civil legal systems, including consultation, assessment, and interventions. They include courses in the epidemiology of mental/behavioural disorders, risk factors for violence and criminality, profiling and patterning, psychological testing, prediction and intervention measurement, forensic assessment, criminal and civil law and procedures, secure environments, forensic treatment and intervention skills, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Health/Health Care Administration/Management

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to develop, plan, and manage health care operations and services within health care facilities and across health care systems. They 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

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

College or University Program

These programs focus on the scientific study of individual and group behaviour in institutional settings, applications to related problems of organization and industry, and that prepares individuals to apply such principles in industrial and organizational settings. They include courses in group behaviour theory, organizational theory, reward/punishment structures, human-machine and human-computer interactions, motivation dynamics, human stress studies, environmental and organizational influences on behaviour, alienation and satisfaction, and job testing and assessment.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Psychology

College or University Program

These programs focus 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. They 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

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

School Psychology

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to apply clinical and counselling psychology principles to the diagnosis and treatment of student behavioural problems. They include courses in child and/or adolescent development, learning theory, testing, observation and other procedures for assessing educational, personality, intelligence and motor skill development, therapeutic intervention strategies for students and families, identification and classification of disabilities and disorders affecting learning, school psychological services planning, supervised counselling practice, ethical standards, and applicable regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Psychologist

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

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
Halifax, NS
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
Bedford, NS
Canadian Psychological Association
Ottawa, ON