How to Become A Psychologist In South Africa

A psychologist is a professional who practices psychology and studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimenting with, and observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments.

What is the role of a psychologist?

Overall, psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat the psychological problems and the behavioral dysfunctions resulting from, or related to physical and mental health. In addition, they play a major role in the promotion of healthy behavior, preventing diseases and improving patients’ quality of life.

Who is called a psychologist?

A psychologist is someone who studies the mind and behavior. The term psychologist can apply to people who: Use psychological knowledge and research to solve problems, such as treating mental illnesses. Work as social scientists to conduct psychological research and teach at colleges or universities.

Do you go to a psychologist for depression?

Psychiatrists and psychologists both treat patients with depression, but there are differences in their education, experience, and approach to mental health treatment that should be taken into consideration before committing to a doctor.

How to Become A Psychologist In South Africa

Educational Requirements

At a minimum, you will want to earn your undergraduate degree in psychology or in a related field such as sociology, education, anthropology, or social work. Then, you will want to decide if you want to earn a doctorate-level degree.

To become a clinical psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (four to five years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this specialty area, most people will spend between eight to 12 years in higher education.

Bachelor’s Degree

You might want to begin by earning your undergraduate degree in psychology, but some people choose to pursue a degree in a related social science field. While it depends upon the requirements of the individual graduate school you attend, some programs also accept students who have undergraduate degrees in a subject unrelated to psychology or social science.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree can be a great way to delve deeper into a specific field of interest. However, a master’s degree is not always necessary. If you are interested in what is known as a terminal master’s degree in a field such as counseling, social work, or school psychology, you can often enter the workforce immediately after earning your degree.

Doctorate Degree

The length of your doctoral program depends on many factors, including the specialty area you are pursuing as well as whether or not you already earned a master’s degree. In order to become a licensed psychologist, you will need to earn either a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology).

Complete an internship or postdoctoral program.

After you complete a psychology master’s or doctoral program, you must complete an internship or postdoctoral program. This required psychology internship gives you an opportunity to work alongside licensed psychologists to gain hands-on training in your field of interest.

Most states require 1,500-2,000 hours External link of training and at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience External link , according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Obtain a psychology license.

The licensing requirements for psychologists vary per state. Contact your state board to understand your state’s requirements. Various state board information can be found at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards External link (ASPPB) website.

Once you’ve met the necessary education and professional requirements, you’ll need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology External link , which is administered by the ASPPB.

Degree Requirements

Becoming a licensed psychologist working in the field of mental health is certainly not the only career option if you are interested in working in the field of psychology. Licensing requirements for psychologists vary by state and specialty. Careers in forensic or sports psychology, for example, have differing requirements.

Please note that these represent the minimum educational requirements in these fields. Job opportunities and pay are generally greater with advanced training. Learn about different degree options and requirements for various careers in psychology.

Social workerBachelor’s degree (four to five years of undergraduate school)

Licensed counselorMaster’s degree (two to three years of graduate school)

Sports psychologistMaster’s degree (two to three years of graduate school)

Industrial-organizational psychologistMaster’s degree (two to three years of graduate school)

School psychologist: Varies by state (generally two to three years of graduate school)

Forensic psychologistMaster’s degree (two to three years of graduate school, ideally with a doctorate degree)

Criminal psychologist: Master’s degree (two to three years of graduate school, ideally with a doctoral degree)

Clinical psychologistDoctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school)

Health psychologistDoctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school)

Social psychologistDoctoral degree (five to seven years of graduate school)

Child psychologist: Doctoral degree (five to seven years of graduate school)

Psychology Career and Job Growth

The BLS indicates that the demand for psychologists is on the rise, and is projected to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028 according to May 2018 data from the BLS. External link much faster than the average for all occupations. Schools, hospitals, social service agencies and mental health centers are all facing increasing need for counselors.

Psychologists are also needed to help individuals cope with life and career transitions, provide services to people who are aging, and support veterans and other people who have experienced trauma. Schools, too, increasingly need counselors to support student mental health and provide services to students with autism.

What subjects are needed to become a psychologist in South Africa?

There are no specific subjects needed, but Life Science or Biology will come as an advantage because, psychology has a lot of focus on the human brain and sensory systems. If you have an NQF level 4 certificate with an Admissions Point Score (APS) of over 21+ points, you are likely to qualify for a psychology degree.

Is psychology in demand in South Africa?

In a violent country like South Africa, the dire shortage of psychologists in the public sector is a cause for major concern. Indeed, according to Health Systems Trust, the number of clinical psychologists in the South African public sector is just 2.75 per 100,000 people.

Where can I study psychology in South Africa?

The best universities for psychology in South Africa are:

South African College of Applied Psychology.

University of Johannesburg.

Stellenbosch University.

University of Cape Town.

Rhodes University.

University of Witwatersrand.

University of Pretoria.

How long does it take to become a psychologist In South Africa?

To become a psychologist with a master’s degree requires four years of an undergraduate degree and another two years to complete a master’s degree. To become a psychologist with a doctorate degree—typically necessary to receive a license—requires an additional four to six years beyond the master’s for a PsyD or an additional five to seven years beyond the master’s for a PhD.

What courses are required to earn a master’s degree in psychology In South Africa?

Courses needed for a master’s degree in psychology include theoretical psychology, developmental psychology, ethics and psychology, research, and communication.

What courses are required to earn a doctoral degree in psychology In South Africa?

Courses needed for a doctoral degree in psychology might include psychopathology, developmental disabilities, basic emotional processes, prevention and intervention, and quantitative analysis.

What are the best undergraduate majors for psychologists In South Africa?

Undergraduate majors that lend themselves well to higher psychology degrees and specialized pursuits of study within psychology include psychology, biology, neuroscience, education, social work, and sociology.

Which states have the most licensed psychologists?

California (16,900), New York (13,470) and Massachusetts (5,660) are the states with the most licensed psychologists. External link  The states with the fewest licensed psychologists are South Dakota (160), Wyoming (170) and Alaska (170).