Neuropsychologist Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

Neuropsychologists specialize in cognitive psychology and science. Neuropsychology resembles forensic and clinical psychology. The following are specialties within this field:

  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Experimental neuropsychology
  • Pediatric neuropsychology

Job Description

The following are typical responsibilities of neuropsychologists:

  • Assessing and assisting people recovering from strokes
  • Administering brain scans and other neurocognitive tests
  • Consulting with pharmaceutical companies that develop drugs affecting the central nervous system
  • Providing expert testimony during court trials

Neuropsychologists also conduct research to determine the link between behavior and the brain. To determine this link, they utilize lab animals and evaluate people.

Neuropsychologists work in the following settings:

  • Research laboratories, colleges, and universities
  • Hospitals, medical clinics, and mental health facilities
  • Private clinics, consulting firms, and research offices at pharmaceutical companies

Education and Training

Neuropsychologists typically hold doctorate degrees in neuropsychology or clinical neuropsychology, but many currently practicing hold master’s degrees. Most universities administering neuropsychology graduate degree programs prefer to admit applicants with undergraduate degrees in pre-med, psychology, or biology.

It takes between 3-7 years to complete a doctorate program in neuropsychology. Most students also complete supervised internships.

Prior Work Experience

Most organizations that hire neuropsychologists seek candidates with applicable work experience, which includes any of the following:

  • Supervised internships where students perform relevant duties such as brain scans
  • Working on a research team conducting drug tests
  • Teaching a neuropsychology course as a graduate student

Career Advancement

Neuropsychologists typically advance in their careers after establishing large clienteles or receiving research grants. Many get promoted to organize and lead research projects at universities. Neuropsychologists can enhance their opportunities by certifying with the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) or the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN).

To become certified, these organizations require candidates to:

  • Satisfy training requirements
  • Pass an oral and written test
  • Successfully complete a work evaluation sponsored by either organization

Neuropsychologists practicing privately are required to satisfy licensing requirements in the state where they reside.

Related Associations and Groups

Contact the following organizations for additional information about neuropsychology careers:

  • American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology
  • American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology
  • American Psychological Association (APA), Division 40 (official neuropsychology psychology subgroup)
  • Association for Women in Psychology
  • Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
  • National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN)

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