Career outlook for occupational psychologist

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£35,880

Currently employed in Scotland

2,900

Average UK salary

£35,880

Currently employed in Scotland

2,900

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would use your knowledge of psychology to increase the effectiveness of an organisation and improve the job satisfaction of the people working there.

You may work for one organisation, or act as a consultant offering advice to different organisations or businesses.

You would: 

  • Create interview processes and tests to assess potential staff
  • Give counselling and advice to individual employees
  • Deliver training to build confidence and communication skills
  • Train and guide people to better understand stress and how to prevent it 
  • Help to make the workplace a more supportive place to work
  • Give guidance and support during major changes such as restructuring

You'd work closely with other staff such as the human resources team and managers and with employees' representatives such as trade unions.

There are also roles in teaching and research.

Working conditions

Hours

You would work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes have to do some work outside of these hours. It may be possible to work part-time

Environment

You would work in an office.

Travel

If you are a consultant, you may have to travel to meet your clients.

UK employment status

Full-time

69%

Part-time

21%

Self employed

10%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Observation
  • Empathising
  • Social conscience
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Making decisions
  • Understanding

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

To become an occupational psychologist you'll need to complete a postgraduate training route. 

To start training you will need:

  • A psychology degree (SCQF Level 10) accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS. You're accredited degree will qualify you for membership. If you don't have a BPS accredited degree you can gain membership by completing an accredited conversion course

Once you've gained GBC membership, you can start your postgraduate training. This includes: 

  • A BPS accredited Masters in Occupational Psychology (SCQF Level 11)
  • A BPS accredited qualification in Occupational Psychology Stage 2 (SCQF Level 12). This includes two years of supervised practice  

Your postgraduate training will qualify you for Chartered Membership of the BPS. 

To start work as a health psychologist you'll need to register with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). 

To enter an Honours degree (SCQF level 10) in psychology usually requires National 5 qualifications and four to five Highers - often in one sitting. 

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Sciences (required by many courses)
  • Computing science
  • Psychology
  • Other social subjects
  • Modern languages

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Once qualified you will need to register with the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC).

Helpful to have

Once qualified it may be helpful to become a Chartered member of British Psychological Society (BPS) or become a member of the Division of Occupational Psychology.