Job Family: Counseling, Social Work, and Human Services Psychologists
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force

Photo 1: Group attends counseling session. Photo 2:
Counselor counsels a soldier.

Short Description
Psychological research and treatment are important to national defense. Research can show how to improve military training, job assignment, and equipment design. Treatment can help personnel cope with stress. Psychologists conduct research on human behavior and treat patients with mental problems.

What They Do
Psychologists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Conduct research on human and animal behavior, emotions, and thinking processes, aptitude and job performance
  • Give psychological tests and interpret results to diagnose patients’ problems
  • Treat patients individually and in groups
  • Conduct experiments to determine the best equipment design, work procedures, and training course content
  • Write research reports
  • Direct research projects performed by outside contractors

Helpful Attributes
Helpful attributes include:
  • Desire to help others
  • Interest in mathematics and statistics
  • Interest in scientific research

Training Provided
No initial job training is provided for officers in this occupation. Advanced courses are available in some specialties.

Work Environment
Psychologists usually work in offices, hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities on land and aboard ships.

Civilian Counterparts
Some civilian psychologists treat patients in private practice, hospitals, school systems, and mental health centers. They are called clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, or educational psychologists. Other civilian psychologists conduct research work for universities, research firms, and government agencies. They are called experimental psychologists, social psychologists, and psychometricians.

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