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Example Career: Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists

Career Description

Apply theories and principles of neuropsychology to diagnose and treat disorders of higher cerebral functioning.

What Job Titles Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Might Have

  • Mental Health Director
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Neuropsychology Director
  • Neuropsychology Medical Consultant
  • Neuropsychology Service Director
  • Pediatric Neuropsychologist
  • Staff Psychologist
  • Aviation Neuropsychologist
  • Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Neuropsychology Division Chief

What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Do

  • Write or prepare detailed clinical neuropsychological reports, using data from psychological or neuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct observations, or interviews.
  • Conduct neuropsychological evaluations such as assessments of intelligence, academic ability, attention, concentration, sensorimotor function, language, learning, and memory.
  • Interview patients to obtain comprehensive medical histories.
  • Provide education or counseling to individuals and families.
  • Diagnose and treat conditions involving injury to the central nervous system.
  • Provide education or counseling to individuals and families.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in neuropsychology.
  • Establish neurobehavioral baseline measures for monitoring progressive cerebral disease or recovery.
  • Diagnose and treat pediatric populations for conditions such as learning disabilities with developmental or organic bases.
  • Consult with other professionals about patients' neurological conditions.
  • Distinguish between psychogenic and neurogenic syndromes, two or more suspected etiologies of cerebral dysfunction, or between disorders involving complex seizures.
  • Educate and supervise practicum students, psychology interns, or hospital staff.
  • Diagnose and treat neural and psychological conditions in medical and surgical populations, such as patients with early dementing illness or chronic pain with a neurological basis.
  • Diagnose and treat psychiatric populations for conditions such as somatoform disorder, dementias, and psychoses.
  • Compare patients' progress before and after pharmacologic, surgical, or behavioral interventions.
  • Identify and communicate risks associated with specific neurological surgical procedures, such as epilepsy surgery.
  • Participate in educational programs, in-service training, or workshops to remain current in methods and techniques.
  • Conduct research on neuropsychological disorders.
  • Design or implement rehabilitation plans for patients with cognitive dysfunction.
  • Provide psychotherapy, behavior therapy, or other counseling interventions to patients with neurological disorders.
  • Diagnose and treat conditions such as chemical dependency, alcohol dependency, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) dementia, and environmental toxin exposure.

What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Should Be Good At

  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Memorization - The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Need to Learn

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $100,770

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.