Careers in Psychology

If you are interested in a career as a psychologist, you have to complete a master’s degree in psychology or equivalent. Take time to research your choices. The program should match your interests. For example, some psychology departments may specialize in a subfield of psychology that appeals to you. In addition, investigate the areas of expertise and research interests of individual faculty members if your career interest lies in a specific type of research. A graduate school’s department of psychology is the best source of information about the nature of its program and its admission requirements. Throughout the application process, discuss your plans with your psychology faculty advisor.

Subfields Within Psychology

Psychologists specialize in a host of different areas within the field and may identify themselves by many different labels, such as: 

Educational / School Psychology

In the school setting, psychologists can provide psychological diagnosis, assessments, interventions, health promotion, and program development for children and youth within the context of their schools, families, and community. Some of these psychologists specialize in how and why human beings change over the course of their life. These psychologists do counselling interventions as well as assessments within the school to help identify learning and psychological issues.

Forensic / Criminal Justice Psychology

In Alberta, you can find psychologists who work in a variety of criminal justice and forensic settings. These include corrections, law enforcement, the courts, hospitals, the workplace, community mental health, and academic settings. In this area, psychologists often provide support through counselling interventions or conduct assessments to help lawyers and courts in decisions that relate to the justice system. Contact PAA to find the closest psychologist specializing in Criminal Justice in your area.


Neuropsychologists can assess, diagnose, treat, and/or rehabilitate Albertans with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental, and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders. For example, neuropsychologists in Alberta are researching neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change continuously throughout an individual’s life. The aim of this research is to optimize the neural networks after a brain injury or in learning.

Health Psychology

Health psychologists specialize in understanding how the body, mind, and human behaviour relate to one another in health and disease. Health psychologists contribute to public health initiatives, advance knowledge, provide interventions on helping patients better adhere to a healthy lifestyle, and help patients cope with illness and disability. For example, some health psychologists focus on the psychological aspects of disability and rehabilitation to educate the public and work with the Workers Compensation Board on issues related to disability and rehabilitation.

Sport / Exercise Psychology

Sport/exercise psychologists study all types of physical activity, including sports. They use psychological factors to assist athletes in improving their performance and seek to understand how participation in physical activity impacts psychological well-being. Sport and exercise psychologists work with athletes, coaches, and exercise organizations, to name a few. For example, local sports organizations, like the Edmonton Oilers, have used sports psychologists to work with players and the teams.

Industrial / Organizational Psychology

Industrial/organizational psychologists work with organizations to improve the well-being and performance of their employees. This involves everything from workforce planning to employee selection to leadership development. These psychologists research job attitudes and job motivation, implement work teams, improve diversity & inclusion, and facilitate organizational change.

Counselling / Clinical Psychology

These psychologists work with people using science-based principles to promote positive personal growth, well-being, and mental health. They can work with individuals, families, and/or groups. They typically work with those who have a broad range of problems. Examples include depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, addictions, grief, and major life transitions. Some of the people that they work with are Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, in the military, women, from rural communities, and from other cultural groups.

Experimental Psychology

Experimental psychologists primarily research and teach as academic professors, using scientific methods to gather data. Most of them work in post-secondary institutions, such as colleges and universities. These psychologists work in many different areas. One example is clinical/counselling, where researchers teach and study individual human behaviour. A second example is brain and cognitive sciences, where researchers teach and study the brain and corresponding behaviour in animal models with the hope of better understanding human behaviour.

Family Psychology

Here in Alberta, there are psychologists who work primarily with families. These family psychologists study the ways in which relationships influence one another throughout the lifespan. They commonly do counselling with couples, siblings, and the entire family.

You can also find additional career information about psychologists through the Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS), Alberta Occupational Profiles website. More…

How to Become a Registered Psychologist

Inquiries on how to become registered as a Psychologist in Alberta should be forwarded to the College of Alberta Psychologists. Information regarding the registration process can be found on the College’s website. More…

Phone: (780) 424-5070
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