How to become a Neuropsychologist? School, Cost, Programs And Salary

The human brain is unarguably the most complex organ in the human body and it regulates all the other organs in the body. To have an in-depth understanding of the human brain; how it works and relates to other parts of the body, become a Neuropsychologist.

Becoming a Neuropsychologist is highly lucrative although challenging. This article contains information on how you can become a Neuropsychologist in school, cost, programs, and salary.

Who is a Neuropsychologist?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines neuropsychology as a branch of psychology “that studies the physiological processes of the nervous system and relates them to behavior and cognition.

In other words, neuropsychology is the study of the biological processes in the brain and how other parts of the nervous system are reflected in human feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Neuropsychology is also the study and characterization of the behavioural modifications that follow a neurological trauma or condition.

Correspondingly, a neuropsychologist is one who specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behaviour.

Additionally, a Neuropsychologist has a degree in psychology and training in neuropsychology and works in research or clinical settings.

What does a neuropsychologist do?

Many clinical neuropsychologists work in Healthcare centers, psychology clinics, rehabilitation centers, private practices, and other medical settings.

One of the services provided by neuropsychologists is the assessment of cognitive and psychological functioning in medical, neurological, or psychiatric disorders.

Patients with a variety of medical and psychological concerns, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological disorders, academic difficulties, acute personality changes, and general brain problems are referred to a neuropsychologist.

Clinical neuropsychologists will make diagnoses, administer, interpret neuropsychological test and offer possible recommendations to these patients.

However, they may also provide some psychotherapy services, such as those designed to help improve cognitive functioning or behaviors to compensate for cognitive difficulties.

Clinical neuropsychologists in colleges or academic medical centers dedicate most of their time to research. Basically, These psychologists conduct studies that help psychologists better understand how to diagnose and treat neuropsychological disorders.

These studies may involve administering neuropsychological test batteries or using brain imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans.

Below are the major neuropsychology career concentrations:

Cognitive Neuropsychology

Cognitive Neuropsychology is a branch of Cognitive Psychology which is the science that studies how the mental processes handle human cognitive abilities to store and produce recent memories, language, and objects, and also the ability to reason and problem solve. 

In other words, Cognitive neuropsychologists are studying the mind rather than the brain. 

Clinical Neuropsychology

Clinical Neuropsychology is a division of psychology that studies and evaluates the relationships and overlap between thoughts and behaviour.

Basically, Clinical neuropsychologists use this knowledge in the assessment variety of elements including, diagnosis, treatment, and or rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan with neurological, medical, and other cognitive and learning disorders.

Experimental Neuropsychology

Experimental neuropsychology is the use of experimental psychology to study the physiological structures and processes of the nervous system Including the impaired brain development resulting from genetic and metabolic diseases, immune diseases, infections, physical trauma, poor nutrition, and environmental factors.

Forensic Neuropsychology

Forensic Neuropsychologist is an understanding of fundamental legal principles explain psychological neurological concepts to members of the courtroom so that the problems can be understood better.

A forensic neuropsychologist works with judges, lawyers, and other court officers to serve as an expert witness to explain certain topics to the judges and jurors.

Pediatric Neuropsychology

According to wikipedia.org “Pediatric neuropsychology is a branch of clinical neuropsychology that studies the relationship between brain health and behaviour in children”.

Basically, their focus is on how learning and behaviour are related to brain development brains, and nervous systems of children.

The tasks of a pediatric neuropsychologist can include conducting research that examines how the brains of children change as the child grows and learns.

Requirements for Neuropsychology programs

The most common program for future neuropsychologists is clinical psychology. Doctoral program admission requirements vary according to schools, there are common admission requirements found at most schools offering neuropsychology.

However, prospective students are advised to consult with specific schools they’re interested in ensuring they have the full list of actual requirements for that school.

For students interested in applying to a master’s degree program, the admissions requirements are very similar, if not identical, to the admissions requirements for doctoral programs.

Requirements include:

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  • Completion of an application
  • Payment of an application fee
  • GRE test scores
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement or statement of purpose
  • Recommendation letters
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcript

Neuropsychologist Salary

The median salary of a neuropsychologist is often influenced by the number of years of experience.

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from May 2018, the average annual salary for a neuropsychologist was $85,340 and those working in offices of other health practitioners earned the highest average salary of $96,930.

Neuropsychology Jobs

Neuropsychologists can work in a number of settings, including high schools, colleges, research centers, mental health hospitals, and consulting with pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for patients with neurological disorders.

However, the number of positions for neuropsychologists is expected to increase by 14.2% between 2016 and 2026, which is equivalent to approximately 2,100 new jobs each year during this time period.

Additionally, there are ample employment opportunities for clinical neuropsychologists, as they are in demand in many medical and psychological settings. The job titles for clinical neuropsychologists may include:

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  • Clinical neuropsychologist
  • Clinical child neuropsychologist
  • Research psychologist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Professor

What Are The Best Schools For Neuropsychology Programs?

Below is a table of the schools offering neuropsychology programs that include training in clinical neuropsychology. All the colleges and universities on the list have net fees of $20,000 or lower, a graduation rate of at least 50%.

Schools Net fees Graduation Rate Ranking
University of North Texas $12,053 54% #250-301
East Carolina University $13,327 62% #194
University of Florida $15,283 88% #35
University of Houston $15,664 54% #171
University of Alabama at Birmingham $17,016 53% #157
University of Georgia $15,934 85% #46
Washington State University $17,885 62% #140
University of Kentucky $19,361 65% #147

FAQ’s

What is the difference between a psychologist and a neuropsychologist?

A Clinical Psychologist is someone who can assess, diagnose and treat psychological and mental health problems.
A neuropsychologist is someone who can assess, diagnose and treat psychological disorders associated with brain-based conditions.

Is a neuropsychologist a doctor?

A neuropsychologist is an individual with a PhD or PsyD who received general training in psychology as well as specific training in neuropsychology.
The training and clinical focus of a neuropsychologist is unlike the doctors you typically see for medical or psychological concerns.

Why would you see a neuropsychologist?

There are several reasons why people are referred for neuropsychological evaluation. You may have experienced an injury to the brain because of an accident or because of an illness.
Another common reason for referral is to examine how a person is coping with medical symptoms or with an injury or illness.

Who performs neuropsychological testing?

Neuropsychological tests are given, scored, and interpreted by a licensed clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist.
A neuropsychologist is a professional who specializes in understanding how the brain and its abilities are affected by neurological injury or illness.

Are neuropsychologists in demand?

Vacancies for this career have increased by 64.97 percent nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 10.83 percent per year. Demand for Neuropsychologists is expected to go up, with an expected 7,610 new jobs filled by 2018.

What type of testing does a neuropsychologist do?

Neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of how one’s brain functions, which indirectly yields information about the structural and functional integrity of your brain. it involves an interview and the administration of tests. The tests are typically pencil-and-paper type tests.

Conclusion

Since the brain is complex, disorders within the brain and nervous system can alter behavior and cognitive function. A neuropsychologist is a physiologist who specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior.

However, there are several reasons why people are referred for neuropsychological evaluation. You may have experienced an injury to the brain because of an accident or because of an illness. This article provides full information on how one can become a neuropsychologist.

Reference

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