In clinical psychology there are different specialities that focus on various factors such as health, social influences and age. Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that studies the relationship between the human brain and behaviour. As a result, neuropsychologists commonly treat patients with brain- and stroke-related injuries.
During a session, neuropsychologists interview patients suffering from brain-related ailments and ask them about their medical history, symptoms and current medications. Some factors considered during this assessment include general intellect, problem-solving and reasoning abilities, attention and concentration levels, memory, language and motor and sensory skills. These professionals also conduct experiments and research on animals to advance the field’s knowledge of brain structures and behaviours.
For teaching, counselling, research or gaining clinical positions in universities, hospitals, postsecondary and elementary schools, corporations and government agencies, candidates are required to have a Ph.D. or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). Psychologists with only a master’s degree qualify for assistant-level roles that work under doctorate-level professionals. Psychologists that operate their own practice or treat patients must be certified under the National Association of School Psychologists or their state’s certification equivalent.
Neuropsychologists must be emotionally stable, compassionate and professional when dealing with patients. Leadership and research skills are also helpful as psychologists often run their own medical practices and conduct extensive research on patient symptoms and mental diseases. Since some patients require long periods of treatment before showing improvement, neuropsychologists must be patient, persistent and dedicated.
According to a July 2010 Indeed.com report, neuropsychologists made an average salary of £53,300 per year. PayScale reported that salaries for psychology positions ranged between £30,856 and £105,538 as of July 2010.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for psychologists will increase 12 per cent through 2018 due to rising demand for psychology services in medical centres, social services agencies, schools, mental health wards and other public and private sectors. According to the BLS "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition," the best job prospects will be available to candidates with a doctoral degree from a prestigious university, or a specialist or doctoral degree focusing on school psychology.