How to Become a Psychologist for Personality Assessment

Personality psychology is the study of the factors that comprise an individual’s personality, including internal and external influences. This area of study primarily leads to employment as a personality psychologist. Personality psychologists are commonly employed at colleges and universities, teaching college-level courses and conducting cross-cultural comparison research. They may also work for human resources departments in large organizations, where they can help determine personality traits that help people succeed at a certain job.

What degree is required to become a personality assessment psychologist?

Since personality psychologists work primarily in academia, they’re generally need to have a doctoral degree. A Ph.D. program in social-personality psychology typically prepares students for careers as researchers and instructors. Students in this program study various aspects of human behavior, including emotion regulation, decision making, power and status hierarchies, changes to belief systems, and the psychology of religion. Some schools offer a master’s degree in social and personality psychology as well.

Students can also enroll in an undergraduate certificate program in social and personality psychology. These programs feature study in social psychology, personality theory, human development, abnormal psychology, and psychological testing. An undergraduate certificate program gives students the opportunity to build up an area of expertise before they pursue graduate study.

How long does it take to become a personality assessment psychologist?

Doctoral personality psychology degree programs may take a minimum of four years to complete. These programs require the completion of departmental examinations, a doctoral dissertation, and research papers. Students in a social/personality psychology degree program may participate in teaching or research assistantships. After their fourth year of study, students may start teaching their own classes.

What is a personality assessment psychologist’s salary?

Graduates of a personality psychology program can go on to work as psychological researchers, industrial-organizational psychologists, or as university-level professors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earned a median annual salary of $68,640 and industrial-organizational psychologists received $87,330 in May 2010. Meanwhile, postsecondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $62,050 at that time, according to the BLS. This data is no guarantee of actual salary, which is determined by factors such as employer, location, and the employee’s experience and credentials.