Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
4d ago

Psychologists' pay depends on their specialisation, experience and employer.

Psychologists in district health boards

  • Interns working for a district health board (DHB) usually earn between $51,000 and $56,000 a year.
  • Qualified psychologists working for a DHB usually earn between $65,000 and $91,000.
  • Senior psychologists working for DHBs, who may also supervise staff, can earn $94,000 to $116,000.
  • Psychologists in private practice

    Psychologists working in private practice earn from $60 to $160 an hour.

    Source : Apex, 'Psychologists Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) 1 June 2016 - 28 February 2019'; and New Zealand Psychological Society, 2016.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Psychologists who work with individual clients may do some or all of the following :

  • assess clients' problems and strengths through interviews and observation
  • run psychometric and neuropsychological tests (which measure people's mental abilities and style, and how their brains function)
  • develop treatments and interventions (other actions designed to bring about change) with individuals to help them develop themselves
  • help clients understand themselves, their needs, motivations and resources
  • evaluate interventions and write reports on clients, including risk, educational and mental health assessments.
  • Psychologists who work with groups and for organisations may do some or all of the following :

  • assist with or run group therapy, workshops and courses on social skills, anger management or assertiveness
  • take part in dispute resolution, and provide counselling and advice to people or organisations
  • provide expert opinion to courts
  • undergo their own therapy and supervise colleagues.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Psychologists need to have knowledge of :

  • human behaviour and thought patterns
  • psychological assessment and intervention
  • social and cultural issues affecting their clients, families and communities
  • research methods and statistics
  • counselling and dispute resolution
  • theories and research in their specialised field of psychology
  • relevant laws, court procedures and professional ethics.
  • Psychologists :

  • usually work regular business hours, but may have to work evenings and weekends
  • work in a range of places, including offices, hospitals and health care services, schools and universities, prisons, residential and community organisations, and homes
  • may work in emotionally draining and stressful circumstances
  • may travel locally to visit clients, or nationally to attend workshops or conferences.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a psychologist you need :

  • a Masters or higher degree in psychology
  • 1,500 hours of closely supervised practice, approved and evaluated by the New Zealand Psychologists Board
  • to be registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board.
  • The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, maths and science.

    Personal requirements

    Psychologists need to be :

  • good at observing and relating to a wide variety of people
  • respectful of people from different cultures
  • able to analyse and evaluate human behaviour
  • concerned for the well-being of others
  • patient and adaptable
  • able to keep information private
  • self-aware and non-judgemental but able to influence others
  • able to work well under pressure, make decisions and cope with stress
  • able to balance professional ethics with commercial realities.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for psychologists includes work with :

  • community groups and recovering mental health clients living in the community
  • criminal offenders
  • support agencies such as Samaritans or Youthline.
  • Other useful background includes employment in :

  • social work or probation
  • teaching or research in related fields
  • talent management or recruitment companies.
  • Registration

    Psychologists need to be registered with New Zealand Psychologists Board.

    They also need a current Annual Practising Certificate, unless they are only teaching psychology, or doing research.

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