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Psychological Services Assistant
(Select a different psychology career)

Overview
What is this career?

The term “psychological services assistant” is meant to describe a broad class of potential positions for psychology majors, many of which could be described as social service work. A bachelor's degree in psychology qualifies an individual to assist psychologists and other mental health professionals with patient evaluation, treatment, and general care. Such positions are available in a variety of settings, including but not limited to community mental health centers, child care centers, vocational rehabilitation offices, and correctional programs.

For instance, psychiatric/psychological technicians might be trained to administer routine mental health tests and help with patient care, under the supervision of a psychiatrist. Rehabilitation specialists counsel individuals with handicaps or illnesses as they prepare for new vocations. They might serve as probation or parole officers for convicted offenders, or work with psychologists to address the mental health needs of convicted offenders. These types of assistants can earn a wide range in annual salary.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S Department of Labor, employment in psychology is expected to grow 12 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, it’s important to note that bachelor’s degree holders will have limited job prospects because of heavy competition.

Opportunities & Challenges

Psychological service assistants can find themselves with deeply rewarding work, as helping individuals overcome problems can be fulfilling. At the same time, the work can be demanding, particularly with difficult clients, so there is always the risk of burnout.