Operational Psychologist Career Guide


An operational psychologist applies psychological theories and principles to ensure that senior officials can make accurate decisions about combat or other operational tasks. During times of warfare, knowledge of psychoanalytical comprehension enables an individual to foresee and react to the actions of various groups and individuals,be that allies or opponents. The major duty of operational psychologists is to detect and analyze issues that are disadvantageous, risky and threatening to many military operational processes. The knowledge given by an operational psychologist gives the armed forces understanding to perform well in areas as interrogation techniques, the assessment of military officers and the provision of any support needed.

Job Duties

Operational psychologists detect and analyze personality traits. In issues of security and safety, they apply various evaluation techniques. They develop a profile of the qualities and abilities one must possess to be part of a certain military organization. These psychologists help members of military in leading their lives both within and out this profession. It requires them to treat individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders or any other mental health issues. They also administer various techniques of psychotherapy and assess military personal in relation to their mental health and intellectual abilities.

Operational psychologists also work in the area of forensics to order to discover the frame of mind or approach of an opponent. They train other military personnel to allow them to possess the capability to understand and lead others.

Related Reading: How to become an Operational Psychologist.

Job Outlook

In the next eight years, predications are that the number of employed psychologists will increase by 14% by 2028. Due to recent geographical, social and political issues, the demand for psychologists is expected to rise considerably, especially in situations regarding military operations. Since armed forces are required to operate on foreign soil, they must be able to effectively communicate and interpret with the indigenous of that region (www.bls.gov). The psychologist can assist with developing the knowledge of the armed forces to be successful in their communication

Salary Outlook

The annual income for psychologists in general was $98,230 in 2019. (bls.gov)

Educational Requirements

During an undergraduate program, different behaviors that occur during military actions and operations are studied to be better understood. The ethical concerns that need to be understood when undertaking leadership in military organizations are learned in this program. Various areas of psychology such as experimental psychology are applied to prepare one for an unexpected turn of events or a new scenario. To study such a program, students must have an accredited collegiate or baccalaureate degree.

Students may require to maintain a grade point average of 3.25. Students should have prior knowledge of fundamentals of psychology. Subjects studied in this program are, abnormal psychology, organizational behavior and leadership, personality trait theories, military professionalism and ethics, and social psychology. A master’s degree program would be a chance to excel in this area of study. Therefore, students who intend to work in mainstream should look for institutes offering master’s programs in this discipline. Completing an internship program shortly after this degree as work experience is quite beneficial towards furthering your career.

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