Neuropsychology is a field of psychology that looks at the relationship between the brain and behavior. People who work in this field typically assess how the structure and function of the brain affect behavior, personality, thinking, learning, emotions, etc.
Neuropsychologists are experts in the relationship between brain function and behavior. They use this understanding to assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent neurological and psychiatric illnesses. Neuropsychologists generally work with individuals, families, or groups who have mental health concerns such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia. The demand for neuropsychologists is expected to grow faster than the average growth rate for all occupations through 2024 because of an aging population that has an increased need for mental health care services.
1. What Is a Neuropsychologist?
Neuropsychologists specialize in treating brain disorders and exploring how the brain works. They apply their education to diagnose, prevent, treat, and research disorders related to mental activity. Professionals in this field can work with individuals who have suffered from a brain injury or are experiencing changes in mood or behavior. Neuropsychologists may also work with patients who have psychiatric disorders or struggle with addiction/drug dependency.
Neuropsychologists are professionals who study the relationships between the brain and behavior. They work with patients who have suffered from a brain injury or are experiencing changes in their mental state. Neuropsychologists may also work with patients who have psychiatric disorders or struggle with addiction.
2. Pros and Cons of Being a Neuropsychologist
-You can help people who are struggling with mental health issues.
-You can use your knowledge of the human brain to help people recover from injuries or illnesses.
-You can make a difference in people’s lives.
-The work can be stressful and challenging.
-You may have to work long hours.
-The pay may not be as high as you would like it to be.
3. How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Neuropsychologist?
To become a neuropsychologist, one typically needs to complete a doctoral degree in psychology, specializing in neuropsychology. The length of the program can vary but typically takes around 4-5 years to complete. After completing a degree, one must then complete a one-year internship and then pass an exam to be certified. Certification in neuropsychology is not required to work as a neuropsychologist, but it can help one find employment in the field.
4. What Skills Are Required in Neuropsychologists?
The primary skills needed for neuropsychologists are strong communication skills to explain findings effectively to patients and colleagues. The ability to be detail-oriented, since neuropsychologists must remember many minute details of the information that they are presented, both to relay the findings of the test and to provide the necessary background for understanding. A high degree of empathy is also needed because it can be emotionally taxing to deal with patients who have brain damage or other neurological conditions. Finally, solid problem-solving skills are essential to deal with the questions presented by patients. Because the ideal applicant will work closely with other members of the neurology team, examining and diagnosing patients in a busy setting, strong communication, and teamwork skills are essential. It is necessary to have a Ph.D. degree in neuropsychology or a similar subject.
5. How Do You Become a Neuropsychologist?
A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into this profession; however, many employers require their neuropsychologist employees to have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology—the terminal degree in the field. Earning a doctorate requires you to complete nearly two years of supervised clinical training that includes rotations in assessment centers, research laboratories, and clinics. Not only is an advanced degree necessary for employment as a neuropsychologist, but it may also be required for participation in continuing education programs.
6. What Do Neuropsychologists Do?
Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that specializes in the relationship between brain function and behavior. Neuropsychologists assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent neurological and psychiatric illnesses by evaluating how well different areas of the brain are communicating with each other. They also study how various external factors influence brain function. Neuropsychologists are particularly interested in how the brain affects learning, thought, memory, language, and emotion.
There are several subfields of neuropsychology, including behavioral neurology, clinical neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental neuropsychology, and social neuroscience. Behavioral neurologists evaluate patients with movement disorders such as tremors or tics that occur due to injury to the brain. Clinical neuropsychologists work with patients who have been diagnosed with a neuropsychiatric disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, a stroke that has impacted their ability to communicate, or cognitive problems resulting from a head injury.
7. Is Neuropsychologist a Good Career?
Neuropsychologists are some of the most respected professionals in their field, with a high level of responsibility. Neuropsychologists evaluate and diagnose brain injuries, disorders, and diseases to help patients recover after head trauma or neurological illness. They also research to advance scientific knowledge about the brain and how it works.
Neuropsychology is considered by many to be an excellent career choice for someone who enjoys science but wants more interaction with people than what might be found in a lab setting. In neuropsychological fields such as cognitive rehabilitation or clinical psychology, you get hands-on experience working directly with people on a day-to-day basis while learning from them at the same time. For anyone interested in understanding how the human brain functions and exploring the mysteries of the mind, a career as a neuropsychologist might be ideal.
8. Salary of a Neuropsychologist
A Neuropsychologist’s average yearly compensation is $92,640 in April 2020, making it one of the most lucrative fields of psychology in terms of pay. With some neuropsychologists earning more than $130,000 per year, a six-figure salary is very likely. Many individuals in this field indicate that their wage package includes good perks such as vision, dental, and medical insurance.
Neuropsychologists’ pay is highly influenced by their expertise, with newcomers earning significantly less, typically in the $50,000-$60,000 range. With five years of expertise, the average annual salary rises to $80,000, while someone with ten to twenty years of experience can expect to earn just over $100,000.
9. Top 10 Best Colleges to Study Neuropsychologists in the USA
A neuropsychologist career path can be very rewarding, as you would be helping people to understand and cope with changes in their mental function. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in neuropsychology, it’s crucial to find the right college to study neuroscience. Here are some of the best colleges to study neuropsychology in the USA:
1. Harvard University: Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the country. The Department of Psychology at Harvard offers a comprehensive program in neuroscience, focusing on how the brain controls behavior.
2. University of California, Los Angeles: The University of California, Los Angeles is a public university located in Los Angeles, California. UCLA offers a very comprehensive neuroscience program emphasizing the biological basis of behavior and mental illness.
3. University of Pennsylvania: Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania has been offering courses since then. It is a private research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
4. University of California, Berkeley: A public research university with a focus on social sciences and humanities, the University of California, Berkeley is widely considered as one of the best colleges to study neuropsychology in the USA.
5. Johns Hopkins: John Hopkins University is a private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It offers a wide range of programs and areas of study, including neuroscience and behavior.
6. Princeton: Princeton University is a private research university founded in 1746 and located in Princeton, New Jersey. The Neuroscience Program at the University allows students to take courses across many disciplines within the field, including biology and chemistry.
7. University of Rochester: Rochester is a private research university located in Rochester, New York. It offers undergraduate and graduates degrees in neuroscience through its Center for Visual Science and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
8. Carnegie Mellon University: Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900. It offers a wide range of programs and areas of study, including neuroscience and behavior.
9. Stanford University: A private research university located in Palo Alto, California, Stanford University was founded by Leland Stanford in 1885. The Department of Psychology has a strong neuropsychology program, allowing students to take neuroscience courses.
10. Columbia University: A private research university located in New York, New York, Columbia University was founded in 1754 and named after King George II of England. The Department of Psychology at the University offers a comprehensive neuropsychology program that provides students with the opportunity to study psychology and neuroscience side by side.
10. The Future of a Neuropsychologist
A neuropsychologist career is an exciting and unique opportunity to study the relationship between the brain and behavior, as technology advances, our ability to understand more about how the brain works. This creates new opportunities for neuropsychologists in both research and clinical settings. In addition, as we learn more about how the brain functions, we can develop new treatments for neurological disorders. The future of a neuropsychologist looks bright!
11. What Is the Job Outlook for Neuropsychologist?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not give job growth forecasts for neuropsychology specifically. However, the agency expects that the discipline of psychology as a whole will increase at a 14 percent annual rate through 2028. When looking at career growth prospects in the neuropsychology field, one can expect it to be steady at best and hopefully quite high. Because 2 million people suffer a brain injury each year, there should be a consistent demand for skilled neuropsychologists. However, with growing interest in the brain and how it functions, as well as rapidly improved imaging technologies, demand for neuropsychologists could grow even faster over the next 10-20 years. More neuropsychologists will be needed as the population of older persons grows, as they are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke.
12. Best Neuroscience Courses
Understanding the Brain The Neurobiology of Everyday Life by Coursera
Learn how the neurological system influences behaviour, how we use our brain on a daily basis, and how neuroscience may help us understand today’s everyday challenges. In this course, you will learn about functional human neuroanatomy and neural transmission, and then apply what you have learned to better comprehend how we perceive the environment, move our bodies voluntarily, stay alive, and collaborate with others.
Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Specialization by Coursera
This specialisation brings together the strengths of four different neuroscience courses into a single learning experience. It starts with basic neuroscience ideas for neuroimaging and is taught by Johns Hopkins University. Neuroimaging techniques are becoming more widely used in clinical treatment and basic research. It begins with a discussion of brain neuroanatomy before moving on to neuroimaging principles, such as experimental design in neuroimaging, functional connectivity MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and spectroscopic imaging.
The specialisation continues with two courses on Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), one of the most frequently used tools for researching the living, functioning human brain as people execute tasks and experience mental states, and a site of confluence for multidisciplinary work.
Medical Neuroscience by Coursera
This online course covers all of the essential principles in neurophysiology and clinical neuroanatomy that are included in most first-year neuroscience courses in medical schools. However, there are some topics (e.g., biological psychiatry) and learning experiences (e.g., hands-on brain dissection).
Neuropsychology Courses by National Academy of Neuropsychology, INC
The National Academy of Neuropsychology offers two types of neuropsychology courses: behavioural and cognitive neurology and clinical neuroanatomy. The former is a 12-week course that focuses on the brain’s behavioural characteristics. The latter is a 15-week course that emphasises the neuroanatomic structures of the nervous system in order to better comprehend how the brain works. If you want to learn more about different human behaviours and problems, you can take Behavioral Neurology, which will give you 24 CE. If clinical concepts are what interests you, you can choose the anatomy of the brain, which is worth 30 CEs.
A career as a neuropsychologist can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s a field that is constantly evolving, and there are many opportunities for specialization. If you’re interested in helping people understand and cope with brain injuries or disorders, this may be the perfect career path for you.