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Clinical Psychopharmacology Career Path

Alliant International University
Alliant
Alliant International University
Published 07/19/2022
5 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

What Can You Do With a Clinical Psychopharmacology Degree?

When deciding what to study, students are often advised to choose a degree based on the career they would like after graduation. So, if you’ve been looking into earning a masters in psychopharmacology, you might be wondering what careers can benefit from this type of degree. 

A graduate degree in psychopharmacology—the study of how medications affect mood and behavior—can help you build a solid foundation for a career in anything from education to psychiatric pharmacist jobs, providing you with a wide variety of potential career paths.  

If you’re curious to learn more about psychopharmacology career options, keep reading to explore some of the jobs you may be able to obtain with a degree in clinical psychopharmacology. 

Clinical Psychologist

When someone is having a difficult time managing their anxiety or is engaging in unhealthy addictions, they may turn to a clinical psychologist for help. A licensed psychologist works with their patients to get at the root of their problems and help them process their underlying emotions. 

They may also:1

  • Conduct research studies on cognitive and behavioral functions
  • Write and share their findings in papers and articles
  • Provide patients with behavioral modification treatment plans
  • Consult with their patient’s other healthcare providers for the best course of action
  • Manage short-term personal problems as well as chronic issues

In most states, clinical psychologists cannot prescribe medications. Instead, they have to refer to a healthcare provider who can. However, with a clinical psychopharmacology degree, they’re qualified to form a more well-rounded treatment plan that includes drug therapy, in addition to traditional psychological treatments.

Mental Health Counselor

Generally speaking, the job description of mental health counselors includes helping people who suffer from addiction, behavioral disorders, or mental health challenges. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are seeking help from these types of counselors for mental health issues like anxiety and depression, partially explaining this job outlook increase. 

As a mental health counselor, you may be able to find work at: 

  • Halfway houses
  • Mental health centers
  • Juvenile detention facilities
  • Detox centers
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
  • Probation/parole agencies
  • Prisons

Physician’s Assistant

As a physician’s assistant, you’ll likely find plenty of employment opportunities, as those who choose this career path can work in a variety of fields. For instance, as a physician’s assistant, you might offer healthcare services to prisoners or teach psychopharmacology at a university. 

But, what exactly does a physician's assistant do on a day-to-day basis? 

Typically, the responsibilities of a physicians assistant include many of the duties of a physician, which means they may:2

  • Develop treatment plans for illnesses and any mental disorder
  • Assist a physician in surgery
  • Help with wounds and broken bones
  • Keep track of a patient’s medical documents and records
  • Do routine rounds around the hospital or nursing home
  • Conduct clinical research and physical exams
  • Prescribe medications

Psychiatrist

Another possible career path to pursue with a clinical psychopharmacology degree is as a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists typically offer treatments and counseling to those suffering with emotional or mental health challenges. Unlike some other healthcare professions, a psychiatrist goes through extensive training in order to perform their job duties. 

To become a psychiatrist, it’s beneficial to meet these educational requirements:3

  • Earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as behavioral science, sociology, psychology, or even chemistry. 
  • Take the Medical College Admissions Test that determines how much you know about biology, psychology, chemistry, pharmacology, and other subjects. 
  • Complete a four-year medical degree program.
  • Participate in a medical residency program.
  • Take your state’s exam to earn your psychiatrist license. 

As a licensed psychiatrist, you’ll likely find work in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and physician offices. 

Start Your Career Path at Alliant International University

When you’re a healthcare professional, your relationship with your patients is built on mutual trust and understanding. So, no one will know their situation better than you when it comes to their treatment. With a master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology, you can help create an effective treatment plan by prescribing your patients the necessary psychiatric medications they may need, in addition to counseling them. 

If you’re ready to start your journey toward earning your clinical psychopharmacology degree, consider enrolling at Alliant International University. Our 3-year clinical psychopharmacology program is offered online so that you can continue working as you earn your degree. Plus, our faculty is made up of industry-leading professionals who can provide knowledge and resources to help prepare you for your future career path.

Learn more about the specifics of our Master’s in Clinical Psychopharmacology program on our website.


Sources:

  1. “Psychologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 20, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists…. Accessed: December 30, 2021.
  2. “Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 13, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-be…. Accessed: December 30, 2021.
  3. “What Is a Pa?" AAPA, December 16, 2021. https://www.aapa.org/what-is-a-pa/#accordion__panel--2--how-are-pas-dif…. Accessed: December 30, 2021.
  4. “Job Outlook for Psychiatrists with Salaries by State.” Indeed Career Guide. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/job-outlook-of-a-psy…. Accessed: December 30, 2021. 

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