How do I get Psychology Work Experience?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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Individuals interested in a career in psychology may need to gain psychology work experience before taking on the career full time. The experience may be needed as part of an undergraduate or graduate work experience requirement. In addition, the work may be requested of an individual wishing to become a psychologist. There are a wide variety of psychology jobs available. Obtaining work experience can help a student decide the area of psychology he or she wishes to work in.

A college student may gain psychology work experience by becoming a teaching assistant to a psychology professor. Undergraduate students can be teaching assistants, although they may or may not be paid. Most graduate teaching assistants are paid and many provide sole instruction to classroom students. This type of student work experience can help an individual learn more about the foundation of psychology and how to teach it to others. Many students who gain this kind of experience may go on to become psychology professors.


Another way to gain experience in psychology is to volunteer at a psychiatric hospital. This is one type of psychology-related work experience where an individual may obtain some hands-on experience. Individuals who wish to obtain an around-the-clock experience may work at a residential treatment facility. An outpatient psychiatric clinic may also provide some good work experience in the psychology field. Most volunteers are not compensated for their time, however, the experience can be noteworthy and present a realistic view of what a career in psychology may be like.

Work experience may also be acquired by applying for a psychology internship. Often, an internship may be required before completing certain psychology degrees. Students may contact the department of psychology at their school or counseling center for information on internships. In addition, an individual may contact businesses providing psychological services and inquire about internships. Most individuals will find that applying early to get an internship is helpful, as these positions frequently go fast.

Individuals may also apply for an entry-level job to get paid psychology work experience. This may work in particular for people with some experience in a health-related field. If a person has existing health field experience, he or she may more easily transfer into a paid position in this field. For instance, a health care technician will have established experience that may make it easy to acquire a job under the same title, but in a psychiatric hospital or clinic. Generally, the options for getting psychology work experience will be tailored toward the type of experience the individual wishes to acquire.


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Post 3

@GreenWeaver -I agree. I think that psychology is such a broad area that many people will find psychology experience anywhere.

For example, a friend of my sister’s got a psychology degree from Princeton and she did not want to continue going to school but wanted to see if she could find a job in her field.

She was able to find a job in an executive staffing firm and worked in various capacities from hiring people to administering Myers-Briggs exams which were used to determine how the applicant’s personality suited their potential job.

The Myers-Briggs exam gives a lot of insight in order to determine if the person is better suited for a position in management or better off taking direction from someone else.

So even in the employment and staffing industries you can find useful psychology experience.

Post 2

@SurfNTurf - I never thought of that. I think that a lot of charities would love to have psychology students help them because they are often strapped for cash that they would be willing to give them more opportunities to learn.

You may find a specialty this way. For example, if you work with a children’s charity in which the children are terminal, you might want to focus on bereavement counseling when you get out of school. There are also programs to work with at risk youth groups or the elderly.

There are really so many opportunities that I think that you have to find a segment of the population that you really want to serve. Some people volunteer

in addiction treatment centers to in order to under the addictive personality better.

If you look at the biggest psychological problem that you have faced you can get ideas on how and where you can help others. This can also give you some ideas of where you can get some more jobs in psychology.

Post 1

I know that when you go to graduate school there is usually some type of practicum that is done so that you can not only get your counseling license but you can also get practical experience in the field.

If you only have a bachelor’s degree, you can always work in a crisis type center that offers counseling for people on a hotline. My brother in law worked at a crisis center and did not have a college degree.

I think if you have a degree in psychology you might be able to work in a more supervisory role. My brother in law worked on the phones directly helping the people that would call in sort of

like a 911 operator.

It is a stressful job but it can also be rewarding when you help someone out like that especially when they are depressed. It also offers valuable psychology training because you are able to work with people that call in and use your expertise in order to help them it is great way to find work experience.

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