As a psychologist you will work to study and research human behavior, diagnose and assess your patients, and develop appropriate treatment plans. In the field of applied psychology you will use what you know about the principles and theories of psychology to help a patient resolve problems or difficulties in other industries or areas, such as sports, education, product design, business, or health care, ergonomics, mental health, or law enforcement. As an applied psychologist you will have a wide variety of employment options available to you. One of the employment options is to become a forensic psychologist. In this capacity you will use what you know about psychology and human behavior to serve as an assistant to law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, or attorneys.
In this field you could obtain the title of mental health case manager, trial consultant, substance abuse counselor, or victim advocate. This profession will likely have you spending much of your time assisting attorneys as they prepare for civil or criminal cases. You may be responsible for creating questions for prospective jurors, preparing evidence for presentation, helping prepare victims for trial, or creating a desirable image for defendants. Forensic psychologists, who can work as a criminal profiler, often use the principles of psychology to work to develop an unknown criminal’s profile.
Individuals who are applied psychologists often pursue employment in the area of industrial and organizational psychology, which is related to the field of human resources. This will have you working with the study of the relationship that exists between humans and their workplace. In this capacity you will likely spend much of your time working within a specific company to train, motivate, and retain teams of employees. It may also be possible for you to work as a consultant for a specific company to implement changes that will positively impact the work environment, to train employees, and to work with the morale of the employees as a means of improving the company turnover rate. Your education will also make it possible for you to seek employment as a sports psychologist. In this occupational capacity you will work alongside athletes to help them develop motivation and concentration techniques that will work to enhance the performance of a specific athlete or team.
You may find that you are responsible for educating coaches regarding psychological practices, performing research that is related to the world of sports, studying behavioral issues that affect athletes, or engaging in private practice for sports athletes or teams. In this employment option you will use techniques related to relaxation, goal setting, and visualization as a means to improve the athletic performance. Many applied psychologists work to counsel athletes who are dealing with problems such as eating disorders, aggression, substance abuse, or burnout.
It is important to note that for many of the professions that you can pursue that are related to applied psychology may require that you take some courses that are not directly related to psychology.
For instance, business related course work may prove to be beneficial if you plan to open your own psychology practice. Also, applied psychology includes the areas of counseling psychology, clinical psychology, occupational health psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, human factors, engineering psychology, sports psychology, forensic psychology, school psychology, and community psychology. Thus, the career options that were discussed in more depth are not the only choices you will have with your education in applied psychology. There is also the possibility of specializing in an area of applied psychology such as applied cognitive psychology or applied social psychology.