Career In Psychology In India - Salary, Skills, and Institutes


Psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes. Psychologists study a person’s reactions, emotions, and behavior, and apply their understanding of that behavior to treat the associated behavioral problems. Treatment is focused on therapy and counseling, rather than prescribing medications for a “quick fix.” Psychologists are, therefore, responsible for identifying psychological, emotional, and/or behavioral issues, as well as diagnosing any specific disorders, by using information gleaned from patient interviews, patient’s tests and records, and medical reference materials. It is also the psychologist’s job to come up with an individualized treatment plan for each patient, and to modify it as necessary over time (depending on the patient’s progress).

(Also read: Difference Between Psychologist and Psychiatrist)

How to Become a Psychologist

The requirements to become a licensed psychologist are:

    • Pass the 10+2 exam preferably with Psychology as one of the subjects
    • Complete a Bachelor (BA or BS) in Psychology degree (the curriculum of which focuses on “personality development, psychotherapy, stress management and neuro-psychology”)
    • Specialization at the postgraduate level, where one can get an M.A. or M.Sc. in either Psychology, Social Work, or Counseling
    • Further specialization at the doctoral level is available as well via PhD or M.Phil

The postgraduate and doctoral programs focus their studies more on research, which is great for pursuing either a research or teaching job, whereas the graduate degrees (Bachelors) emphasize practice, such as counseling. In order to practice Counseling Psychology, you only need to have a BA/BS in Psychology, or in a related field (like Education or Social Work). Graduate (Bachelors) degree programs are 3 years long, Postgraduate (Masters) degree programs are 2 years long, and Doctoral (MPhil or PhD) programs are 2 years long (can extend depending on research and studies involved).

Personal Skills in a Psychologist

In order to be successful in the field of psychology, one must have:

    • a very analytical mind for diagnosis
    • excellent communication skills to effectively counsel patients who suffer from mental/behavioral issues
    • a lot of patience, which grants the psychologist the ability to remain cool under pressure when dealing with a particularly difficult case or a challenging patient
    • a genuine passion for helping people overcome their own mental/behavioral challenges
    • compassion combined with drive are the two most important personality traits in a psychologist

(Also read: Careers in Psychiatry)

Job Prospects for a Psychologist

Aspirants who have successfully completed their training in psychology can make their mark and pursue a career as a psychologist in the following lucrative branches of psychology.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychologists assess and treat people with psychological problems. They may act as therapists for people who are experiencing normal psychological crises (e.g., grief) or for individuals suffering from chronic psychiatric disorders. Some clinical psychologists are generalists who work with a wide variety of populations, while others work with specific groups such as children, the elderly, or those with specific disorders.

Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychologists do many of the same things that clinical psychologists do. However, counseling psychologists tend to focus more on persons with adjustment problems rather than on persons suffering from severe psychological disorders. They may be trained in psychology departments or in education departments. Counseling psychologists are employed in academic settings, college counseling centers, community mental health centers.

Health Psychology

Health psychologists are concerned with psychology’s contributions to the promotion and maintenance of good health and the prevention and treatment of illness. They may design and conduct programs to help individuals stop smoking, lose weight, shed alcoholism, manage stress, and stay physically fit. They are employed in hospitals, medical schools, rehabilitation centers, public health agencies, academic settings, and private practice.

Teaching and Research

If you’re interested in teaching undergraduate, master’s-level, or doctoral-level students, you will probably work in a university setting, where you will probably also do research. If an individual is not interested in teaching and wants to focus on research, he/she can work for government agencies (for example, the Center for Disease Control) or for private research organizations. To work as a psychologist in these settings, one would need a Ph.D. in psychology.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

I/O psychologists (as they are usually called) are concerned with the relationships between people and their work environments. They may develop new ways to increase workplace productivity or be involved in personnel selection. They are employed in business, government agencies, factories, industrial set-ups, corporate houses, and academic establishments.

Sports Psychology

Sports psychologists are concerned with the psychological factors that improve athletic performance. They also look at the effects of exercise and physical activity on psychological adjustment and health. Sports psychologists typically work in academic settings and/or as consultants for sports teams. 

Jain University, Bangalore & Amity School of Physical Education & Sports Sciences offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Psychology

Agency/Community Counseling

Graduate programs in agency or community counseling train you to provide counseling services in human service agencies in the local community–for example, in community mental health centers. They may also train you to administer a limited number of psychological tests (vocational interest tests, for example).

The work is similar to that done by a person with a master’s or doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology, psychotherapy, and, perhaps, limited psychological testing.

Educational Psychology

Educational psychologists attempt to understand the basic aspects of human learning and to develop materials and strategies for enhancing the learning process. For example, an educational psychologist might study reading and then develop a new technique for teaching reading. Educational psychologists are typically trained in departments of education (known as departments of psychology) and employed in colleges and universities.

School Counseling

School counselors work with children who are troubled, helping such children function more effectively with their peers and teachers, deal with family problems, etc. They work at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

School Psychology

School psychologists do a lot of testing–mostly of children who are encountering difficulties in school–to try to diagnose the problem and, sometimes, to suggest ways of dealing with the problem. School psychologists are typically trained in departments of education (vs. departments of psychology) and work in public school systems.

Social Work

Another career option to consider if you’re interested in counseling is social work. As is true with other disciplines, there are a variety of allied fields in social work. Social workers who practice psychotherapy are usually called either clinical social workers or psychiatric social workers. Clinical social workers are trained to diagnose and treat psychological problems. Psychiatric social workers provide services to individuals, married couples, families, and small groups. They work in mental health centers, counseling centers, sheltered workshops, hospitals, and schools. They may also have their own private practice

Pay Package for Psychologists

Psychology is a highly rewarding and lucrative field of study. A psychologist salary depends on many factors like his/her qualification, area of specialization, and experience in the profession. Professional psychologists with M.Phil and Ph.D degree earn quite handsomely. Those engaged in private practice have more scope for earnings.

In this field, your starting salary can vary between INR 1.79 LPA to INR 6.23 LPA. As one establishes himself in the field and specializes in any of its branches, he can earn more.

(Also read: How to manage your finances as a student?)

You can have a look at some of the high-paying job profiles mentioned in the table below: 

Job Profiles

Average Annual Salary (in INR)

Clinical Psychologist

8 lakh


7 lakh 


4 lakh


3 lakh


2.8 lakh 


2 lakh

Social Worker

2 lakh


1.1 lakh

Psychology Institutes/Universities

University of Delhi

University Road, Delhi 110 007
Phone South Campus: 011-24119832
Phone North Campus: 011-2766709, 27667011, 27667190
Fax: 011-27667049



  • ‎MA Psychology
  • MA Applied Psychology
  • Ph.D. Psychology

Indian Institute of Psychology & Research (IIPR), Bangalore

IIPR office: 080 41307111
Office of Admission: +91 7022619130
E-mail: [email protected]

Amity Institute of Behavioural Health & Allied Science, Noida

Integrated Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

University of Rajasthan

JLN Marg,
Jaipur 302004,Rajasthan
Phone: 91-141-2711070
Fax: 91-141-2711799
Email:[email protected]

Loyola College

Phone: +91-44-28178200
Fax: +91-44-28175566
Email: [email protected]

Jamia Millia University

Jamia Nagar, New Delhi
Tel: 26984650, 26985180
Fax: 011-26981232
Email: [email protected]

University of Mumbai

M.G. Road, Fort
Mumbai – 400 032, Maharashtra,
Phone: 22 – 2652825
Fax: 22 – 2652832

University of Calcutta

Senate House,
87 /1 College Street,
Kolkata-700 073, West Bengal
Tel: 033 22410071(O) 24106741(R)
Fax: 22413222
E-mail: [email protected]

Guru Nanak Dev University

Amritsar – 143 005, Punjab
Tel:2450601-14 (14 lines)
Fax: 0183-2258819, 2258820
E-mail: [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Psychologists do?

A psychologist is a mental health professional who uses psychological evaluations and talk therapy to help people learn to better cope with life and relationship issues and mental health conditions.

Can a Commerce student take up BA in Psychology after Class 12?

Yes, a student from any stream can apply for a BA in Psychology.

What skills are required to pursue Psychology courses?

Candidates are required to have the following skills:

  1. Communication
  2. Patience and Active Listening
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Creative Problem Solving

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