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What is Psychology?
Are you considering enrollment in a psychology degree program in New Hampshire? This is an ideal major for those interested in studying human behavior including cognitive, emotional, and social processes. Curriculum varies by academic institution and level, but students generally learn to observe, interpret, and record how people relate to one another and to their environments. Graduates typically gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue employment in mental health professions. They may also conduct research and use their findings to improve the field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for psychologists is expected to increase by 8% nationwide from 2020 to 2030. This about as fast as the average for all occupations and will account for approximately 13,400 job openings each year. Employment for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors, however, is projected to grow 23% during that time. This is a significant increase that will result in roughly 41,000 openings each year. Other fast-growing jobs in this field include marriage and family therapists.
The majority of anticipated growth for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists will result from increasing demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and social service agencies. Qualified professionals will also be needed to work with and care for aging populations, especially those dealing with the mental and physical changes associated with growing older.
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Online Psychology Education in New Hampshire
Educational services, healthcare, and social assistance is the third largest industry in New Hampshire, accounting for $9.8 billion in revenue each year. As of May 2021, there were 160 clinical and counseling psychologists and 220 school psychologists employed in the state. These professionals made annual mean wages between $71,060 and $95,850, which is well above the state’s annual mean wage of $59,270. Additionally, there were 10,550 community and social service professionals working in the state. The annual mean wage for these professions is lower, however, at only $50,820.
New Hampshire is also home to many colleges and universities offering accredited psychology degrees. While online learning makes it easy for students to enroll in programs almost anywhere in the world, those who intend to work in the state should give preference to local institutions. There are many reasons for this, but the most significant one is that these schools will have a better understanding of New Hampshire licensing requirements. While it is possible to become licensed after earning a degree from another state, the process can be more complicated. Local colleges and universities are also likely to have established relationships with nearby companies and organizations, which can make it easier to obtain internships while enrolled and professional employment after graduation.
Earning a psychology degree in New Hampshire can lead to a wide variety of engaging careers at every level. While expectations can vary, most professionals in this field utilize psychological knowledge and research to identify and address problems. This can include, but is not limited to, treating mental illness, instructing students, and conducting studies. Notably, many experts in psychology work with scientists to conduct research that has a huge impact on society.
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Many who obtain this type of degree choose to pursue employment as psychologists. There are, however, a few different types of psychology professionals. Graduates may become applied psychologists, research psychologists, or mental health psychologists. Despite stemming from shared philosophies, each of these options is unique and can lead to completely different employment opportunities. People are generally most familiar with mental health psychologists, who work with people experiencing mental disorders or psychological distress. Applied psychologists, on the other hand, utilize psychological principles and research to solve real-world problems. Finally, research psychologists conduct studies and experiments using humans and/or animals to advance knowledge in the field.
While many graduates choose to pursue employment as psychologists and counselors, other job opportunities are also available, and often they require less education. Most professionals in this field are dedicated to helping other people live healthier, happier lives. Depending on the level of degree attained, it may be possible to qualify for positions as social workers, human resource specialists, therapists, and more. Yet another common profession is counselor. These professionals are trained to assist with a variety of social, emotional, and mental health problems, and often serve as advocates. Counselors cannot, however, prescribe medications of any kind.
Obviously, specific job expectations can vary significantly depending on the type of position sought. Professionals in this field may be responsible for conducting scientific studies of behavior and brain function, observing individuals during surveys, identifying emotional patterns, and/or identifying possible treatment plans for clients. They might also write articles, research papers, and share important findings with other experts.
It's worth noting that supervised internships and practicums are usually required for state licensure. As a result, a large number of experienced professionals in the field also take on the responsibilities associated with supervising interns, clinicians, and other counseling professionals at various times throughout their careers.
New Hampshire is home to many colleges and universities that offer degrees in psychology and other related subjects. Prospective students may choose from programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
The type of employment sought often dictates the type of degree needed. Notably, licensed psychologists in the state require doctoral degrees. Other programs can, however, lead to existing careers in or related to the field. Ideally, you should research professions of interest and pay close attention to education requirements prior to selecting a degree program.
Online Associate Degree in Psychology (AS)
Associate degrees in psychology generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework. Full-time students can usually meet graduation requirements within two years, while those enrolled part-time may a few years longer. Curriculums vary, but programs at this level tend to incorporate both general education and subject-specific classes. Students will receive a broad introduction to the fields of psychology and counseling. Some common course subjects include child psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, psychology of aging, and counseling.
This type of degree is generally insufficient to obtain jobs in psychology, especially in competitive job markets. Graduates may, however, be able to find entry-level employment as psychiatric technicians and aids or social and human services assistants. Associate degrees in this field are typically best suited for those seeking a foundation for future learning at a higher level. They can help students complete many of their undergraduate general education requirements and may assist in the development of skills needed to pursue more advanced degrees in the future.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (BS)
Bachelor’s degrees in psychology typically consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. Part-time students will require additional time to meet graduation requirements. Every program is different, but students can still expect to be enrolled in both general education and major-specific classes. Instruction is often combines psychology coursework, labs, and electives. Topics commonly covered include social psychology, biological psychology, sensation and perception, criminal psychology and behavior, and instruction in addiction theories.
Many colleges and universities in New Hampshire also offer opportunities for students to select concentrations in related sub-fields.
Some of the most common specialties in this field are:
- General Psychology
- Behavioral Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Cognitive and Perceptual Psychology
- Counseling Psychology
- Addiction Counseling
- Engineering Psychology
- Organizational Psychology
- Research / Experimental Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
This type of degree is very popular in the United States, likely because graduates are able to pursue a wide variety of careers. Individuals who major in psychology also tend to do well in other fields, such as management and business, because the knowledge and skills acquired can be applied across many industries. A common alternative to pursuing employment, however, is enrolling in further education. Majoring in psychology is a great way to prepare for admittance into master’s degree programs. Applicants should be prepared to meet minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores expectations.
Online Master's Degree in Psychology (MS)
Master’s degrees in psychology generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework, which takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Program specifics vary from institution to institution, but most are meant to provide thorough instruction in key areas of the field. Instead of general education classes, students will focus solely on related topics such as social psychology, cognitive process, and theories of personality. Instruction combines classroom learning, research, and practical applications. Some programs may delve deeper into research, theory, or clinical work than others. Common courses include social psychology, development psychology, evolutionary psychology, research methods, and theories of personality.
Many colleges and universities offer graduate students opportunities to specialize their academic experiences by selecting concentrations.
Some of the most common options at this level include:
- Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Those interested in pursuing employment as counselors and therapists may also have the option of designating special areas of study. Some focus on a particular area such as addiction, family, bereavement, or trauma, while others choose to specialize in working with specific populations such as children, teens, adults, or the elderly.
This type of degree can lead to various employment opportunities, but many still choose to pursue further education. This is because New Hampshire requires licensed psychologists to have doctoral degrees.
Online PhD Degree in Psychology (PhD)
Doctoral degrees in psychology generally consist of between 60 to 90 credit hours that take full-time students five to seven years to complete. Specifics vary, but some of the most common course subjects are behavioral assessments, professional ethics, research methods, cognitive development, and neuroscience. While the first couple years require significant classroom work and participation, the later portion of these degrees is often spend conducting research and writing dissertations.
Prospective students will need to choose between the doctor of psychology (PsyD) degree and the doctor of philosophy in psychology (PhD) degree. The PsyD degree is best suited for those interested in clinical work, while the PhD tends to be more appropriate for professionals pursuing careers in research.
These degrees can lead to many exciting, personally rewarding, and lucrative career opportunities. Not only is this level of education required for licensed psychologists, but it can also help professionals build the clinical and research skills necessary to be successful in other fields. Post-secondary educators also need doctoral degrees in order to provide instruction at regionally accredited institutions.
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Become a Psychologist in New Hampshire
The first step to becoming a psychology professional in New Hampshire is determining your ultimate career goals. Employment opportunities are available at every level, but certain jobs in the field have very specific education requirements. Identifying your ideal profession will make it easier to find the most applicable academic program available in the state.
Those seeking to become licensed psychologists in the state require comprehensive and highly regulated training. The New Hampshire Board of Psychologists regulates and licenses psychologists and school psychologists. The board ensures that all licensees adhere to professional and ethical standards while also safeguarding the public against harm that can be caused by untrained or unlicensed practitioners.
Candidates must obtain doctoral degrees from institutions accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychology Association (CPA). They must also provide a summary of internship and post-doctoral experience. This should consist of a minimum of 1,500 hours of pre-doctoral experience and 1,500 hours post-doctoral experience. Other requirements include an application fee, passport photo, curriculum vitae (CV), three professional references, official transcripts and criminal background check. Additionally, candidates must submit take and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is produced by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).
Notably, the Board of Mental Health Practice licenses quality healthcare professions including clinical mental health counselors, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, pastoral psychotherapists, and school social workers. Initial license requirements vary depending on the profession sought.
Potential Careers for Psychology Graduates
Those who graduate with psychology degrees can choose to pursue a wide variety of occupations in Massachusetts. While salaries and assigned responsibilities will vary, some of the most common employment opportunities available in the state include the following.
- Psychiatric Technician
- Social Work Assistant
- Community Service Manager
- Administrative Service Manager
- Human Resources Specialist
- Career Advisor/Counselor
- Victim Advocate
- Child Counselor/Psychologist
- School/Education Psychologist
- Family and Marriage Therapist
- Psychology Researcher
- Psychology Professor – Postsecondary
- Private Practice Counselor
- Community Health Worker
- Clinical Therapist
- College Counselor
- Family Therapist
- Group Counselor
- Marriage and Family Counselor
- Substance Abuse/Addiction Counselor
Substance abuse counselors are responsible for providing counseling and support to patients diagnosed with alcohol and/or drug addictions. They spend most of their time creating treatment plans, implementing therapeutic treatments, providing individual and group counseling, and evaluating patient progress. These professionals must also maintain accurate patient documentation of observations as they are made. According to PayScale, substance abuse and addiction counselors make an average salary of $39,950 per year.
- Residential Counselor
Residential counselors provide a wide variety of counseling services to residents of live-in patient facilities. They oversee treatment plans for various patient types, including people with disabilities or addictions, as well as troubled youth and the elderly. They may also provide individual and group counseling in order to assist with crucial situations and/or resolve conflicts between residents. According to PayScale, residential counselors make an average hourly rate of $14.46, or approximately $39,700 per year.
- Mental Health Counselor
Mental health counselors diagnose and treat patients suffering from various mental health problems and illnesses. They often utilize a mixture of one-on-one and group counseling sessions to help patients work through and/or resolve diagnosed conditions. They may specialize in a particular area of care such as eating disorders, addiction, and young adult development. According to PayScale, mental health counselors make an average salary of $44,250 per year.
- Grief Counselor
Grief counselors help their clients work through the emotions commonly associated with the deaths of loved ones. They often guide patients through the various stages of grief, providing support, and encouraging healthy coping mechanisms. According to PayScale, grief counselors make an average salary of $46,850 per year.
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- School/Guidance Counselor
School and guidance counselors work with high school students, offering information and support meant to help them achieve their personal, academic, social, and development goals. They provide college preparation support and assistance with conflict resolution. These professionals can also consult with parents, intervene during challenging situations, and refer support services in order to help students overcome various obstacles. According to PayScale, school counselors make an average salary of $51,350 per year.
- Clinical Social Worker
Clinical social workers provide therapy services to those in need of mental and/or emotional support. They often coordinate care interactions, negotiate with third party groups, communicate with patients, and conduct psychosocial evaluations. These professionals can work in many different settings including hospitals, mental health clinics, residential nursing facilities, home healthcare, or substance abuse treatment centers. According to PayScale, clinical social workers make an average salary of $57,600 per year.
Psychiatrists are responsible for determining whether or not patients have mental disorders. They evaluate symptoms, behaviors, and past medical histories to identify any conditions that may be present. These professionals also offer guidance and recovery assistance using various treatments and/or medications. According to PayScale, psychiatrists make an average salary of $215,600 per year.
- Psychologists. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wages Estimates: New Hampshire. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Field of Degree: Psychology. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Board of Psychologists. New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC)
- Board of Mental Health Practice. New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC)