Neuropsychology is an area of specialization within clinical psychology. Neuropsychologists seek to understand brain-behavior relationships through scientific research and applications.
Neuropsychology is closely tied with the medical field and overlaps some of the current research and work in cognitive psychology. Most neuropsychology positions are with laboratories or clinical settings.
A doctorate degree is necessary for a career in neuropsychology. Undergraduate degrees in psychology or biology are a good basis for those wishing to pursue advanced degrees in neuropsychology. Master’s programs in neuropsychology are usually geared toward doctorate degree programs.
Many schools offer doctorate programs in neuropsychology, though some neuropsychologists obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology and then obtain post-graduate certification in neuropsychology. Neuropsychologists must be licensed in their state of residence.
Neuropsychologists apply scientific and psychological principles to the study of the relationship between the brain and behavior. Specialized training in neurology, psychotherapy, behavioral medicine, neurophysiology and rehabilitation psychology prepares neuropsychologists to diagnose and assist individuals with cognitive issues such as:
Many neuropsychologists work solely in research. Popular areas of research in neuropsychology include:
Neuropsychologists find jobs in rehabilitation clinics, research labs, hospitals, and universities. Some neuropsychologists go into private practice or work as consultants to other psychologists or healthcare professionals.
Salaries for neuropsychologists vary by location and work setting. According to PayScale, the median salary for a neuropsychologist is $99,000. Neuropsychologists employed with a college earn a median salary of $69,956. Neuropsychology positions within a company earn a median salary of $95,000. Research positions in psychology—a popular career path in neuropscyhology—earned a median salary of $90,000 in an 11-12-month position, according to a 2007 APA survey.
The U.S. Department of Labor expects faster than average growth in all psychology fields over the next several years. Positions in neuropsychology should expand with all healthcare fields as the medical community tries to understand and treat cognitive ailments such as Alzheimer’s.