Neuropsychologist Jobs & Career Guide 2023

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By Staff Writer
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What is a Neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is a specialized psychologist who studies the relationship between the brain and behavior.

They use a variety of assessments and tests to evaluate individuals with brain injuries, neurological disorders, or other cognitive impairments. Neuropsychologists may also provide treatment and interventions to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their cognitive and emotional functioning.

One of the major focuses of Neuropsychology is brain injuries and illnesses. These researchers want to understand how something like a stroke changes their patient’s mental functionalities.

Being a Neuropsychologist means interacting with people of all ages and life stages. They get new patients from doctor referrals. If their regular physician suspects they have a traumatic brain injury or another disorder that will impact their brain, they will send them to a Neuropsychologist.

Within Neuropsychology, practitioners commonly treat people with learning disorders, brain tumors, epilepsy, and brain cancer. They can also work with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients or athletes who incurred a sports-related brain and nervous system injury.

What Is a Neuropsychologist Responsible For?

“Neuropsychology is a highly rewarding field that offers an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. It requires a unique combination of knowledge, skills, and empathy to effectively assess and treat individuals with brain injuries and neurological conditions. It can be challenging, but the rewards of helping patients regain their cognitive and emotional functioning are immeasurable.”

Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, clinical neuropsychologist and author

Neuropsychologists are responsible for helping patients with cognitive, mental, and behavioral brain-based issues. Their field is closely related to neurology, which also deals with treating people with diseases that impact their brain. The main difference is that a neurologist uses medicine, and a Neuropsychologist doesn’t.

A Neuropsychologist starts by giving their patient an evaluation to diagnose their brain condition and its severity. Then, they create a treatment plan. These plans often involve interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

Their patients may need assistance with rehabilitating their cognitive processes, so a Neuropsychology could add psychotherapy or neurofeedback into their treatment plan.

These psychologists can also help their patients learn to manage their changed mental state, especially if they’ve lost some of their previous mental capability. This entails organizational techniques, relaxation exercises, and other similar interventions.

Under the care of a Neuropsychologist, patients relearn how to live their regular life. They receive treatment that can reduce their pain — physical and emotional — and help them manage their symptoms.

On the job, a Neuropsychologist can expect to:

  • Evaluate patients’ brain illness or injury and assess the severity of their condition.
  • Research the brain and conduct experiments to answer questions about this extremely complex body part.
  • Create new treatments for brain conditions.
  • Work with patients to help them complete their treatment goals.
  • Give feedback regarding a person’s mental state during a trial.
  • Attend conferences to stay updated on the latest Neuropsychology research.
  • Collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to develop new medicines for brain disorders.

Where Does a Neuropsychologist Work?

Neuropsychologists have the option of working in a lab setting, focusing on researching brain conditions, or in a clinical environment treating patients. Depending on their preference, they can find employment in hospitals, universities, mental health facilities, research labs, and pharmaceutical companies.

Clinical positions involve counseling, assessments, and treatments for patients with neurological difficulties. Clinical positions can be in-patient or out-patient. In-patient positions include working with patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities. 

Out-patient positions involve counseling and assessments at private practices, schools, and universities. Clinical neuropsychologists often work with children or adults to assess the effects of neurological diseases on cognitive functioning.

To become a neuropsychologist, you need to have a diverse skill set. Neuropsychologists must be able to identify and diagnose psychological problems, develop treatment plans, and assist patients in managing their symptoms. They must also have strong communication and interpersonal skills, as they must constantly interact with their patients throughout the assessment process.

What Skills are Required in Neuropsychology?

One of the most important skills for a Neuropsychologist is the ability to conduct research.  They must remain current in their field and keep up with the latest Neuropsychology innovations.

Neuropsychologists, whether they’re in a patient-facing role or not should be excellent communicators. It’s imperative for them to be able to successfully explain their findings to their peers or speak with a concerned patient about their treatment plan.

How to Become a Neuropsychologist

Education Requirements

The educational requirements to become a neuropsychologist are challenging and require you to follow a specific educational path. Generally, the educational requirements can take anywhere from five to seven years.

Your journey to becoming a neuropsychologist includes an undergraduate psychology degree or a closely related field like neuroscience. The course load for this type of undergraduate degree is typically heavy in biology, anatomy, neurology, and other related topics. These courses are similar to the pre-med track and are challenging and rigorous.

In addition to taking these courses, many aspiring neuropsychologists also complete internships or research positions to gain practical experience.

After completing an undergraduate program, the next step is to pursue a graduate degree in neuropsychology or a related field. During graduate school, students will learn how to use and interpret psychological tests and how the brain functions. Upon graduation, students will receive a master’s or doctoral degree in neuropsychology or a related field. 

Some people decide to pursue a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or PsyD) to specialize in a particular area of the field, such as clinical neuropsychology, pediatric neuropsychology, or forensic neuropsychology. Learn more about a PhD in Neuropsychology

You can begin practicing as a neuropsychologist after receiving a master’s degree. Those who want to do research pursue a doctoral degree.

Certification and Licensing

Upon completing your educational requirements, you must receive licensing from your state to practice as a neuropsychologist. Most states require applicants to pass the Professional Practice in Psychology Examination (EPPP), administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

These exams are challenging and test you on all of your previous knowledge and coursework. Studying for licensure is intense and requires a significant time commitment. Many neuropsychologists take classes or practice tests to prepare for the exams.

The ASPPB also offers specialized certification exams for those who want to specialize in clinical neuropsychology or pediatric neuropsychology.

Once you pass these exams, you can apply for licensure in your state and begin practicing as a licensed neuropsychologist.

Continuing Education

In addition to completing educational and licensing requirements, neuropsychologists must stay current with field advancements and pursue continuing education. Continuing education is vital in gaining knowledge in this field and can involve attending conferences, seminars, or online classes. Additionally, many states require neuropsychologists to complete a certain number of continuing education credits each year.

These requirements vary from state to state, so it is vital to research the continuing education requirements for your particular state.

Continuing education is essential to becoming a neuropsychologist, regardless of whether it is required or not. By staying up to date on the latest advancements in this field, you can provide your patients with the best care and be an effective neuropsychologist.

How Much Money Does a Neuropsychologist Earn?

Neuropsychology is one of the better-paying subsets of psychology. The US average salary is $79,820.

Initially, Neuropsychologists earn $60,000-$70,000 but this number jumps after around 5 years of experience.  Established Neuropsychologists make $100,000+ on average and many professionals report earning significantly higher than this.

See our Neuropsychologist salary guide for more insights.

What Other Career Options Are Available to a Neuropsychologist?

In this psychological specialty, practitioners need to choose whether they want to be researchers or clinicians. Going the lab route means conducting experiments on both human and animal participants to uncover information about the brain and its response to illness or injury. Being a clinician entails applying the latest in research and technology to create a treatment plan for their patients.

A Neuropsychologist can expect to find a career in the following areas:

  • Clinical Neuropsychologist: These practitioners work with all populations who have brain disorders. Their patients have neurological diseases like dementia or Parkinson’s. Clinical Neuropsychologists assess patients to determine the best treatment plan to alleviate their symptoms and discomfort.
  • Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologist/Child Neuropsychologist: Like their Clinical Neuropsychologist counterparts, Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologists also work directly with their patients to determine a treatment plan. The difference is Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologists exclusively treat children.
  • Neuropsychology Researcher: These psychologists research the brain and nervous system and how they are impacted by neurological disease and disorder. Neuropsychology Researchers are also responsible for developing new treatments for neurological illnesses. They may not work directly with patients, but their research helps other medical professionals provide them with quality care.
  • Neuropsychology Professor: Like researchers, Neuropsychology Professors conduct their own studies and experiments. The major difference between the two is that the professors work exclusively in academic settings. Professors also publish their findings in scientific journals and teach college students about their field.
  • Rehabilitation Director: Being a Rehabilitation Director means managing patient care at a rehabilitation center — directly or indirectly. They create treatment plans for patients and are involved with the facility’s administrative tasks as well.
  • Forensic Neuropsychologist: These psychologists work in the legal field. Forensic Neuropsychologists assess people on trial to determine their levels of emotional and cognitive function. Their evaluations can do things like determine the veracity of an insanity plea or see how much trauma a survivor of a violent crime is carrying after the incident.

Latest Neuropsychologist Jobs & Career Guide 2023 Listings

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Position Company Location Posted
Neuropsychologist East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina 09/26/2023
Job Description: The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University is seeking a clinical neuropsychologist to fill a full-time faculty position as fixed-term or tenure-track at title/rank of Clinical Assistant Professor/Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor/Associate Professor, or Clinical Professor/Professor.Responsibilities of the neuropsychologist will include:1.Clinical practice as a neuropsychologist ... More
Staff Psychologist-Behavioral Medicine Oklahoma State University Tulsa, Oklahoma 09/25/2023
Job Summary: This position is actively involved in clinical practice at the OSU Behavioral Medicine Clinic. Responsibilities will include caring for patients in a wide-range of issues. The position will work with existing behavioral health faculty. Environmental Hazards: Possible exposure to hazardous materials, hot and cold, blood borne pathogens. Physical Requirements: Ability to lift, carry push, and pull 20 ... More
Post Doctoral Fellow - Psychology Oklahoma State University Tulsa, Oklahoma 09/25/2023
Job Summary: The School Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow position will be in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. The training prepares postdoctoral fellows for a career as psychologists trained to deliver evidence-based mental health services to children ages 2 through 21. The postdoctoral fellowship is designed accordingly to the training goals set forth by the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Additionally, postdoc fellows will have the ... More
Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 09/22/2023
The Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida seeks to fill a 9 month, full-time and tenure-earning, Assistant Professor position in CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, with service to begin August 7, 2024. Strong preference will be given to applicants with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from an APA/CPA accredited program, including an APA/CPA accredited predoctoral internship. Florida licensure (or eligibility) is also desirable. We are particularly interested in clinical scientists ... More
Chief Psychologist Northwestern University Chicago, Illinois 09/22/2023
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago are seeking a qualified clinical child and adolescent psychologist or pediatric psychologist to serve as the Chief Psychologist within the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Lurie Childrens Hospital, a nationally ranked, freestanding childrens ... More
Neuropsychology Opportunity Mount Carmel Health System Columbus, Ohio 09/22/2023
OPPORTUNITY HIGHLIGHTSMount Carmel Health System, one of the largest hospital systems in central Ohio, is seeking an additional Adult Neuropsychologist within the Department of Neurology located in Columbus, Ohio.This is an excellent opportunity to join an established neuropsychology practice as part of a growing Neuroscience Service Line. This position will ... More
Child Psychologist Advanced Psychological Specialists Ridgewood, New Jersey 09/21/2023
Busy group practice in Ridgewood, NJ is seeking applicants for two positions. 1. Child Psychologist to render evidence based treatment interventions to children and adolescents. Common presenting problems include: Adjustment Issues, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Behavioral Issues, and Attentional Issues. 2. Neuropsychologist to perform neuropsychological evaluations on ... More
Medical Consultation-Liaison Psychologist Tampa General Hospital Tampa, Florida 09/19/2023
Medical Consultation-Liaison Psychologist-(220003HE) Department Profile The TGH Psychology & Neuropsychology team provides assessment, consultation, and treatment for both adult and pediatric populations throughout the continuum of care. Psychology & Neuropsychology staff represent a high degree of specialization in treating individuals with medical, rehabilitation, and neuropsychological ... More
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