Clinical Neuropsychology is the application of biopsychology, within clinical and counseling contexts. Assessments and interventions based on the study of human behavior in relationship to the central nervous system is an integral aspect of Clinical Neuropsychology. Their assessments assist doctors to understand how and why the brain malfunctions, along with identifying the associated behaviors. The more doctors understand about neurological malfunctions, they are more equipped to treat and prevent the malfunctions.
An especially significant task of Clinical Neuropsychologists is developing interventions and treatment strategies to assist clients/patients to make adaptations/changes to regain functioning capabilities for independent living and the optimal quality of life. Employment setting opportunities are similar to other psychologists, in that Clinical Neuropsychologists work in medical facilities, clinics, private practice, education, and the government.
A study completed by the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, in 2011, stated the median salary of neuropsychologists was $94,100, in the United States (http://www.theaacn.org/). The range for starting salaries was $77,500 to $80,700. The more experienced clinicians had much higher salaries. Clinical Neuropsychologists with 11 or more years had a median salary of $130,000; whereas those with 25 years or more had a median salary of $185,000.
Although the majority of lucrative career opportunities in biopsychology and neuropsychology require graduate degrees, there are jobs, which only require a bachelor’s degree. We will discuss several of the jobs available to students with only an undergraduate degree. A few of the career options are science technician, psychiatric technician, and clinical laboratory technician. Students are afforded the opportunity to integrate their knowledge of psychology, with their knowledge and interest in biopsychology. More importantly, many entry-level positions provide “realistic” insight into clinical careers. As a result, an individual can decide if they want to pursue more education, by obtaining a graduate degree.
Science technicians work consists primarily conducting laboratory research. In assisting and conducting research, they are able to combine the principles of science, along with mathematics, to facilitate solving problems in research and development. They work very closely with the researchers and scientists. Their responsibilities include maintaining the laboratory, the operation and maintenance of the equipment, experiment monitors, recording data and observations. Many fields require different kinds of technicians and professional titles are assigned based on the specific field, such as agricultural technician or forensic science technician.
The job opportunities for science technicians are robust and steady through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010. The median salary for biological technicians, in 2008, working in government settings was $39,538 and physical science technicians in government settings earned a median salary of $55,527 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).
The work of a psychiatric technician is dynamic and varied. Their responsibilities are helping the psychiatrist or other mental health clinicians care for mentally ill and emotionally challenged patients/clients. Some of their specific responsibilities include the following: following the clinician’s and hospital/facility’s processes; observing and documenting the patient/client’s emotional and physical status; keeping the clinical staff updated; providing therapeutic services, and medication administration. When compared with the salary ranges for other healthcare professionals, psychiatric technicians are not compensated, as well. An entry-level psychiatric technician salary is around $27, 865 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Students with interests in biopsychology can work in clinical laboratories, as clinical laboratory technicians of clinical laboratory technologists. Their main job function is analyzing physical samples of patients. The work they do result in detecting, diagnosing, and treating diseases. The salary range for clinical laboratory technicians is $53, 500 yearly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010.