Postgraduate training and study is a requirement to become a chartered psychologist. Due to course entry requirements, many psychology graduates spend a year or more getting work experience before embarking on postgraduate study.
It’s a good idea to build up your work experience as soon as you can. You will usually need to work on a voluntary basis first to get enough experience to apply for a paid job.
The type of experience needed depends on the area of psychology you’re interested in. Work as an assistant psychologist or in areas such as nursing, social work, mental health work, services for individuals with disabilities, mentoring young offenders and work in prisons, probation or social services is vital.
For educational psychology, experience of working with children in educational, childcare, or community settings is required. Although not essential, experience as a teacher is useful.
Experience in personnel or human resources and business and management is needed for those interested in occupational psychology.
Many psychology graduates choose to enter other career areas. Again, work or voluntary experience in your chosen field is important. This can include part-time work during your degree, summer placements and internships, as well as voluntary work and work shadowing.