Neuropsychologist Salary, How to earn?
Neuropsychologist salary interests a lot of people, particularly those who are interested in finding more about the field. This article gives you information about the profession, from the job description to the job outlook of these professionals.
Before looking into neuropsychologist salary, it’s important to understand what the field of neuropsychology is about. This is a branch of psychology that studies the relationship between the brain and behavior. Unlike a lot of psychologists that are dedicated to providing counseling and psychotherapy services to their clients, these professionals earn their neuropsychologist salary by working with people who are recovering from strokes, head trauma, or any accident or health condition that can affect their neurological system. They do so by doing research to find out more about these conditions, working with pharmaceutical companies to come up with drugs for the treatment of such conditions, and being called to evaluate and serve as expert witnesses in court trials.
The jobs you will be doing to earn neuropsychologist salary will depend on what field of neuropsychology you will be part of. Some of the responsibilities of these professionals include:
- Performing a neurocognitive assessment of patients (including brain scans and psychological tests), particularly those who are suspected of having neurological problems or those who are recovering from a stroke;
- Diagnosing and treating such neurocognitive problems;
- Coming up with an intervention, treatment and/or risk management program for their patients, which can either be short-term or long-term, depending on the needs of their clients;
- Educating the families of patients on how to provide proper care for their loved one;
- Conducting academic research on neurological conditions and possible treatment programs for these;
- When needed, providing expert witness testimony in court cases;
- Working with pharmaceutical companies in performing drug trials for medication that can treat neurological problems;
Keeping abreast of the latest findings and developments in the field of neuropsychology through reading of literature and attending conferences; and
Serving as consultants for doctors, psychotherapists and other such professionals in the field
These professionals can earn their neuropsychologist salary from different sources, such as colleges and universities, research laboratories, hospitals, private clinics, mental health facilities, and consulting firms. In most cases, they work with other professionals, such as surgeons and neurologists, in order to provide the right treatment program for their patients.
Those who are earning a neuropsychologist salary aren’t medical doctors, so they don’t need to go to medical school in order for them to practice in the profession. However, the industry has set neuropsychologist requirements that will need to be fulfilled in order for a person to practice in the field.
Ideally, the undergraduate degree that you will want to take in order to get a neuropsychologist salary should be in psychology, biology, or pre-med. Once you get your degree, you will need to get a Master’s degree and/or a doctorate degree in neuropsychology or clinical neuropsychology. Some of the classes you will need to take as part of the course work involve cognitive psychology and courses on neurological functions. You will need 3 to 7 years on average in order to finish your doctorate in neuropsychology.
Of course, your educational background isn’t the only requirement you will need to fulfill in order to earn neuropsychologist salary. You will also need to get work experience in the industry. You can get these from the following:
- Through a supervised internship where you will be working under a neuropsychologist;
- By joining a research team involved in neuropsychology (research teams are usually involved in conducting drug tests); or
- By working as a teaching assistant and teaching a neuropsychology course while in graduate school
In most states, certification isn’t required in order for you to become a neuropsychologist, however, this can increase the likelihood of getting a higher neuropsychologist salary. You will, however, be required to take a certification test in order to practice psychology. This will involve taking and passing a test (oral and written) and satisfying the other requirements set by the state.
What is the average Neuropsychologist salary?
Neuropsychologist salary is between $65,000 and $90,000 on average. However, this can change depending on several factors, including:
Experience. Those who have been working in the field for a long time usually have a higher neuropsychologist salary than those who are starting out in the field. For example, beginning neuropsychologists usually earn between $35,000 and $45,000, while those who have been working in the industry for 10 years or over can earn as much as $90,000 on average.
Specialization. Those who have a specialty in the field can also earn a higher neuropsychologist salary compared to those who don’t have a specialization. Fields of specialty include clinical neuropsychology, pediatric neuropsychology, neuropsychology of alcoholism, and experimental neuropsychology.
Location. Where you are located will have a direct impact on neuropsychologist salary. For example, in the United States, there are five states that are known to give the highest salary to neuropsychologists, and these are Virginia, Arizona, New Hampshire, Arkansas, and California.
Practice. Your practice can also affect neuropsychologist salary. Those who are working in private clinics, for example, earn a higher neuropsychologist salary on average compared to those who don’t.
Certification. As mentioned earlier, getting certified can increase the likelihood of getting a higher neuropsychologist salary.
Performance evaluation. If you are working under a boss, the performance evaluation he or she gives you will also directly affect your neuropsychologist salary.
Job outlook of neuropsychologists
There is lesser stigma connected to people consulting with psychologists, which is why experts are projecting a growth in the field in the next few years. For neuropsychology, experts are projecting a 14% job growth by 2020. In order to increase your likelihood of being hired quickly and by a good company, make sure that you have good marks in your classes. Also, coming from a leading university and having a specialty will also increase the likelihood of you being hired immediately.
For those who are already working as neuropsychologists, you can increase the possibility of promotion by leading or joining research projects at universities, or receiving research grants from known firms. By doing these things, you will be increasing the possibility of getting a better neuropsychologist salary.