Individuals interested in a career in psychology may need to gain psychology work experience before taking on the career full time. The experience may be needed as part of an undergraduate or graduate work experience requirement. In addition, the work may be requested of an individual wishing to become a psychologist. There are a wide variety of psychology jobs available. Obtaining work experience can help a student decide the area of psychology he or she wishes to work in.
A college student may gain psychology work experience by becoming a teaching assistant to a psychology professor. Undergraduate students can be teaching assistants, although they may or may not be paid. Most graduate teaching assistants are paid and many provide sole instruction to classroom students. This type of student work experience can help an individual learn more about the foundation of psychology and how to teach it to others. Many students who gain this kind of experience may go on to become psychology professors.
Another way to gain experience in psychology is to volunteer at a psychiatric hospital. This is one type of psychology-related work experience where an individual may obtain some hands-on experience. Individuals who wish to obtain an around-the-clock experience may work at a residential treatment facility. An outpatient psychiatric clinic may also provide some good work experience in the psychology field. Most volunteers are not compensated for their time, however, the experience can be noteworthy and present a realistic view of what a career in psychology may be like.
Work experience may also be acquired by applying for a psychology internship. Often, an internship may be required before completing certain psychology degrees. Students may contact the department of psychology at their school or counseling center for information on internships. In addition, an individual may contact businesses providing psychological services and inquire about internships. Most individuals will find that applying early to get an internship is helpful, as these positions frequently go fast.
Individuals may also apply for an entry-level job to get paid psychology work experience. This may work in particular for people with some experience in a health-related field. If a person has existing health field experience, he or she may more easily transfer into a paid position in this field. For instance, a health care technician will have established experience that may make it easy to acquire a job under the same title, but in a psychiatric hospital or clinic. Generally, the options for getting psychology work experience will be tailored toward the type of experience the individual wishes to acquire.