In terms of area, Alaska is the largest state in the US, however it is the least dense state with respect to population. The industrial economy in Alaska is known for natural gas, oil and fishing. The sporting industry in Alaska is quite popular and thriving which is a plus point for sports psychologists. Alaska is extremely popular for ice-hockey along with out-door sports such as skiing, mountain marathon racing, and dog mushing.
Although sports psychology is one of the newer off-shoots of psychology, it has made considerable inroads in the global domain of health sciences since the past century. This field studies how the human psychology and mental composition influence an athlete’s performance on the field, while training, exercising and gearing up for a big event. Dealing with athletic failures, losses and improving an athlete’s mental and physical performance are the domains of a sports psychologist.
To become a sports psychologist you need to have the right credentials. The general way to go about this is by attaining an undergraduate degree in psychology with a focus on sports and counseling. To begin practicing professionally, most students need to have a master’s in sports psychology where advanced principles and concepts are taught. To really experience a positive career jump, a doctoral degree should be considered where students can develop a strong and targeted focus in sports psychology.
Sports Psychology Training Programs
University of Alaska-Anchorage
This university is home to nearly 25,000 undergraduates and has an active and growing department of psychology. It offers undergraduate as well as master’s degrees in psychology. The B.A and B.S in general psychology are popular options for students who want to pick an area of specialization towards the end of their degree program such as sports psychology. Most degree programs here are 4 years and above.
The university is serious about expanding its academic reach and accomplishments and therefore offers financial aid to deserving students who meet the statutory and minimum academic requirements. Grants, scholarships and student employment programs are the common forms of financial aid provided to students. Admission requirements depend on the type of degree you want to enter – for instance, to enter a 4 year bachelor’s program one of the basic requirements is to have high-school GPA minimum of 2.5 along with a university approved aptitude test.
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Interested psychology students have the option of enrolling in a B.A or B.S in general psychology program at this university. Elective courses such as exercise psychology and performance psychology are offered to students who are interested in developing a focus in sports psychology in the future. Although relatively small, this university has nearly 13,000 undergraduates and is growing consistently.
The minimum requirements for a B.A or B.S degree is usually 120 credits along with the condition of earning a minimum C grade in every course. The basic academic admission requirements for bachelor’s level degree is having a high-school diploma. Some programs may require a minimum SAT score of 1290 as well. Financial aid is available to eligible students in the form of scholarships, loans and grants.
Related Training Programs
Alaska Pacific University
Established in 1957, this small private university has a strong foundation in psychology. It offers a variety of degrees such as Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s giving students of all levels a chance to experience Alaska Pacific University’s quality education coupled with some challenging field work as well.
Alaska Pacific University is quite generous yet fair with its financial aid services to deserving students. Interested students can develop an application for financial aid during the time of enrolment. For undergraduate admission, students are required to have a high-school diploma or a GED score report. SAT or ACT requirements may be waived for candidates with a GPA of 3.85 of higher.
Career Opportunities in Alaska
As an aspiring or new sports psychologist, you are likely to find career opportunities in hospitals, medical facilities, rehabilitation centers, clinics and similar medical setups. Another place where you can make a successful career is the education industry. Schools, colleges and universities have sports teams that often enlist the services of a sports psychologist to prepare the team for games. You could also gain valuable work experience as a teacher’s assistant or a professor if you have the right qualifications.
Salary and Employment Outlook in Alaska
The Bureau of Labor statistics states that the average annual salary for psychologists in general was $69,280 in May 2012. Specialist fields such as sports psychology are likely to have a greater salary potential. In this case the average annual salary for sports psychologists in Alaska is $113,000.
Sports is a huge segment of global entertainment and games industry where there is a lot of demand on national teams, regional teams and athletes to always bring their 100% on the field. Keeping this is mind, the employment outlook for sports psychologists in Alaska looks good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected increase in new jobs for psychologists is about 12% which also includes sports psychologists.