If you have always wanted to figure out how to become a psychologist, you must know that there is a lot of hard work to do. You have to study, pull all-nighters and gain a lot of experience. Being a psychologist means a big responsibility because it allows you to interact with people and help them with their lives. If you do not know how to do your job, you can end up causing someone a lot of pain and even ruin their lives. This is why you need proper education and training before you become a psychologist.

Part 1: What Qualifications Are Required for a Psychologist?

During the discovery process of how to become a psychologist, you have to firstly know the qualifications required for a psychologist.

Getting into any profession is not easy, and you need to have a necessary skill set and some necessary qualifications in order to become a psychologist. This means that if you wish to become a psychologist in the near future, then you need to at least have a graduate degree in psychology. After that, people who have the ambition to become a psychologist can strive to meet the professional standards that would grant them the license to practice. They need proper certification which means that they need to be experienced in the field and they need to pass supervision in the field. This includes either a residency or internship experience. The table below best describes what qualifications are actually required for you to become a psychologist. 

Here is a chart that list requirements of how to become a psychologist:


Mostly aspiring school psychologists or industrial and organizational psychologists need to have a Master’s degree or even specialist degrees to become a good psychologist.

However, psychologists that want to go into the field of counseling, research or to open a clinic of their own need to do a PhD.
LicenseSchool psychologists need a license, in addition to the psychologists who wish to open up an individual practice of their own.

Experience in the Field

This includes internships, residency or supervised experience.
The Skill Set

The skills needed to become a good psychologist are:

  • Good listening skills

  • Patience

  • Calm demeanor and soft personality

  • Aura of softness

  • Good and solid communication skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Good observation skills

  • Analytical and deductive skills

IT SkillsThey should have basic knowledge of handling, collecting and managing client data, scheduling software, statistical data and test-scoring software.
Technical SkillsThey need to use bio feedback equipment as well.

Part 2: How to Become a Psychologist


Decide the Kind of Psychologist You Wish to Become

There are different kinds of psychologists in the field, which are specialized in different areas. Sometimes psychologists want to open an independent practice while others prefer to stick to research. Some like to opt for counseling or therapy, whereas others might aim to become a psychiatrist, a professor or psychological assessor. The choices are endless, so choose the type of psychologist you want to be before you pursue your ambition to be one psychologist.


What Is Your Specialty?

Now that you know what kind of psychologist you want to be, you can start deciding what your specialty is going to be. Just like all subjects of study, psychology has many branches of study which can each be pursued and specialized in. These branches include experimental psychology, adolescent psychiatry, assessing trauma, rehabilitation, therapy, behavioral analysis; the choices are truly endless.


What School Will You Be Attending?

Since you have already made all the big decisions regarding your career, here is another defining factor of what career you are going to have. Some people dream of going to one single school ever since they are kids; whereas, others have trouble deciding which school to go to up until the last minute.



Study is the basic thing that you need to do in order to advance forward in your career and realize your ambition of becoming a psychologist. As mentioned above, choosing the right school to study psychology weighs a lot to your future career; however, what is even more important is the fact that you need to study no matter what school you go to. There is truly no shortcut to success.


Graduate School

After you are done with your undergraduate degree, you need to start thinking about graduate school. You can do some research and discover what graduate schools offer the courses you are looking for and which one is best suited for you.



Experience is important in becoming a psychologist and adapt to your role of a psychiatrist so that you know how to handle stressful and alarming situations.


Get a License

The last thing that you need to do is get a license to practice. To gain a license you need to first pass the licensure exam which is a hard thing to do. A psychologist can only legally practice by law if they have a license, so consider this as important a step as any of the steps listed above.

Part 4

You might be wondering the time duration of how to become a psychologist, which depends upon the field you pursue and the minimum education required for the field. Here are a number of career paths that you can take and the number of years that it will take to complete these degrees:

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: A Master’s degree which takes up to 3 years in graduate school.

Forensic Psychologist: A Master’s degree which takes up to 3 years in graduate school.

Clinical Psychologist: A PhD in Psychology which takes at least 4 – 7 years in graduate school.

Health Psychologist: A PhD which takes 4 – 5 years in graduate school.

Licensed Counselor: A Master’s degree which takes up to 3 years in graduate school.

Social Worker: A bachelor’s honors degree which takes 4 -5 years in undergrad.

School Psychologist: 3 years of graduate school but it depends upon the state what type of degree you need.

Sports Psychologist: A Master’s degree which takes up to 3 years in graduate school

Social Psychologist: A PhD in Psychology which takes at least 5 – 7 years in graduate school.

Criminal Psychologist: A Master’s degree which takes up to 3 years in graduate school

Child Psychologist: A PhD in Psychology which takes at least 5 – 7 years in graduate school. 


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