Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical, and developmental psychology, and psychological counseling. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Sample of reported job titles: Adjunct Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology Professor, Faculty Member, Instructor, Lecturer, Professor, Psychology Instructor, Psychology Professor
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as abnormal psychology, cognitive processes, and work motivation.
- Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
- Evaluate and grade students’ class work, laboratory work, assignments, and papers.
- Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
- Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
- Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
- Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
- Recruit and hire new faculty.
- Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
- Develop and use multimedia course materials and other current technology, such as online courses.
- Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
- Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
- Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
- Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
- Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
- Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
- Write letters of recommendation for students.
- Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
- Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
- Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks.
- Supervise students’ laboratory work.
- Supervise the clinical work of practicum students.
- Provide clinical services to clients, such as assessing psychological problems and conducting psychotherapy.
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- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; Minitab ; SAS ; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 17 examples)
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Computer based training software — Blackboard Learn; Learning management system LMS; Moodle; PsychSim (see all 9 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Blackboard software; Data entry software
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — XNAT
- Information retrieval or search software — DOC Cop; iParadigms Turnitin
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — Biomedical Imaging Resource Analyze
- Object or component oriented development software — R
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Image scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Sona Systems Experiment Management System
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web page creation and editing software — SurveyWiz
- Word processing software — Collaborative editing software; Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
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- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
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- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Teach social science courses at the college level.
- Evaluate student work.
- Guide class discussions.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Prepare tests.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Supervise laboratory work.
- Hire personnel.
- Recruit personnel.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
- Research topics in area of expertise.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Create technology-based learning materials.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Direct department activities.
- Write grant proposals.
- Maintain student records.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Write reports or evaluations.
- Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Evaluate scholarly materials.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 89% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Electronic Mail — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 66% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 49% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Public Speaking — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 46% responded “More than half the time.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Letters and Memos — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 48% responded “Important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.”
- Time Pressure — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 30% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 53% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 46% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Very important.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: SIA Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
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- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$78,180 annual|
|Employment (2020)||44,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Faster than average (10% to 15%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||4,700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Association of Christian Counselors
- American Association of Directors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- American Association of University Professors
- American Counseling Association
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Psychological Science
- Council of Graduate Schools
- Eastern Psychological Association
- Midwestern Psychological Association
- National Association of School Psychologists
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary teachers
- Psychonomic Society
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- Society for the Teaching of Psychology
- Southeastern Psychological Association
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