Earning a psychology degree is a springboard that can lead to various career paths and practitioners who continue on with specialty training often chart their own course — such as working in one of the many psychology specialties while seeing more of the world.
If that option excites you, consider becoming a travel psychologist. Opportunities are available now if you have the required education, training, and experience.
If you have high hopes of becoming a traveling psychologist or are simply curious about the role, you have come to the right place. We will cover the role's responsibilities, requirements, salary potential, and a few job roles you might find interesting — everything you need to know to get started in this highly rewarding allied healthcare career.
What Does a Traveling Psychologist Do?
When working as a traveling psychologist, your responsibilities involve a wide range of counseling and psychology duties. That might sound vague, but there are many roles you can fill, and each one requires you to perform duties commensurate with the assignment and facility to which you are assigned. You might find a traveling psychologist job in healthcare, education, or athletics, just to name a few. Some roles may have you working one-on-one with patients, while others may require you to lead group sessions.
How Much Can You Earn as a Traveling Psychologist?
One size doesn't fit all when it comes to travel psychologist positions. A traveling counselor may start at $40,000 annually, while a more experienced psychologist may earn $200,000 annually. As with most employment positions, your salary as a traveling psychologist will depend on your education and experience. The environment you work in can also play a part. A non-profit organization may pay you less than a hospital, for instance.
What Schooling is Required to Become a Traveling Psychologist?
A bachelor’s degree covering psychology basics is the minimum qualification for most traveling psychologists' jobs — though many require a master's or doctoral degree. How much higher education you need depends on the state and line of work you want to do. Getting a master’s degree in psychology will give you the broadest glimpse into the field of traveling psychology. Your electives can then focus on the field you wish to enter. For instance, you may choose electives focusing on mental health issues, research, or specific age groups.
Earning a doctoral degree, such as a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), will put you in the highest tier possible. The type of doctoral degree you earn will depend on your career goals. If you want to practice as a traveling psychologist, aim for PsyD, while a PhD is better suited for research roles.
What Other Requirements Are Needed?
In addition to the degree requirements, many programs prefer that you earn real-world training via an internship. The internship will prepare you for the workforce by giving you experience working directly with patients once you finish your degree. Another benefit of an internship is that you get to try a variety of roles before selecting the one that seems best-suited for you. Keep in mind that internships in counseling or clinical psychology often need to be approved by the American Psychological Association (APA), which is required for most mental health jobs.
Internships are also a good way to explore your area of expertise. You may want to become a child psychologist, a school psychologist, a neuropsychologist, or pursue another specialist area. While it is possible to build a successful career as a general psychologist, having a specialized area of expertise will make you a valuable asset primed to earn more money in the long run.
A List of Traveling Psychologist Careers
There is high demand for psychology careers at institutions worldwide.
The need for school psychologists are on the rise, as drug abuse, child bullying, and other mental healthcare problems are top concerns. This is one of the most lucrative travel psychology jobs. As a school psychologist, you might work with administrators and teachers to develop an optimal learning environment for students. You could also focus on students with developmental differences, behavioral problems, and learning roadblocks that could cause academic difficulties. Or you could help other students cope with and work through learning challenges, allowing the student body to realize its true potential. You might work with students one-on-one or in groups. You might also work with parents to deal with challenges affecting students at home.
Traveling psychologists in this role study the impact of an individual’s environment on their behavior and emotions. Alternatively, some traveling psychologists study how people’s behavior and attitudes impact their environment. Many jobs have you assigned to urban planning projects where you will team up with experts in education, engineering, and horticulture to improve a variety of settings. For instance, you may be charged with studying a community center to determine how the environment can be altered to promote greater socialization and learning.
As a travel forensic psychologist, you may work closely with those who are incarcerated — diagnosing and evaluating one's mental capacity to stand trial; determining how likely an individual is to reoffend; or traveling to prisons around the country to treat inmates who are suffering from addiction and mental health issues. In some cases, forensic psychologists also assess and treat trauma victims as they prepare to testify in a court of law.
Sports psychologists are among the most popular travel psychologist jobs currently available. Your responsibilities might include helping team members realize their full potential by working with them on various coping methods, communication styles, and thought patterns. There are even opportunities to work with Olympic athletes who are striving for optimal performance in a high-pressure environment, allowing the athlete to minimize stress and maximize their competitiveness.
Where Will You Travel as a Psychology Professional?
Now that we have covered the level of education you need, an internship, and a few areas of expertise, it’s time to consider where you want to work. Traversing the country — or the world — while doing what you love is what becoming a traveling psychologist is all about.
Consider a few different areas where you might want to live. If you’re unsure of where to begin, that’s okay. You can start considering locations when it comes time to look for a job — and you might find places you’ve never considered before. You may find a job in sunny Florida or Hawaii or colder areas like Alaska. Each has its pros and cons. There are plenty of terrific places for traveling psychologists to work, so there are always new opportunities right around the corner.
Ready to Begin Your Career as a Travel Psychologist?
Are you motivated, have an adventurous spirit, and enjoy meeting new people? Becoming a traveling psychologist may be the right move for you.
Prolink can help you find the travel psychologist role best-suited to your level of education and experience. Our database contains thousands of travel psych jobs and allied healthcare careers that will ensure you can work in your area of expertise anywhere in the country. Start now by filling out our easy online application.