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Occupational psychology

Job Summary

As an Occupational Psychologist you would be applying psychological knowledge to help improve the effectiveness of organisations and ensure that employees are working to the best of their abilities and are satisfied with their job.

As an Occupational Psychologist your job would entail:

Most Occupational Psychologists work in the business sector, however some may additionally work in the Civil Service. There are other employers such as the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office. Others work as Lecturers in Universities or have a research role.
As an Occupational Psychologist, your salary can vary hugely. You would typically earn around £35k-£70k depending on your level of experience and on whether you work in public or private settings.

To find out more about life as an Occupational Psychologist, take a look at the BPS video:

Qualifications – How do I become an Occupational Psychologist?

1) You will need a 3 year degree in Psychology that meets the standards of accreditation by the British Psychological Society. Qualification with a 2i or more provides eligibility to apply for GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS).

What to do if you achieved at 2:2 – you will need to complete a Masters degree that demonstrates applied research ability and the candidate usually need to complete an applied research project. A taught Masters is less relevant as it does not demonstrate research methods.

2) EITHER a Masters in Occupational Psychology OR Stage 1 (knowledge and training) of BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology.

3) Stage 2 of BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology (further training and two years supervised practice) to be eligible for registration with the HPC (Health Professions Council) and to gain eligibility to apply for status as a Chartered Psychologist.

What relevant work experience would I need?

There is increasing demand for Occupational Psychologists as society is changing, but places on postgraduate courses are still difficult to obtain. Work experience may be just as important to a postgraduate selector as your degree. It proves that you are committed to the particular area and it helps you to stand out from the crowd.

The following points include examples of relevant work experience; some include jobs in the local area:

Jobs are advertised in the ‘Psychologist Appointments’ which is part of ‘The Psychologist’ (the BPS monthly magazine), in newspapers or in specialist publications from the Civil Service

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