Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Careers in Psychology

The number of psychology-related jobs has increased over the years. As a graduate, jobs are potentially available in a wide range of community, health, industry, policy, and research areas.

Find out what some of out what some of our graduate students are doing now

Careers Adviser

Damian Scarf

Academia: Scientists and Teachers

Students with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Otago have become Research Fellows, Lecturers, and Professors at universities in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some have gone directly to these positions, and others have first held post-doctoral research fellowships at universities throughout the world.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical Psychologists have specialised post-graduate training in assessing and treating psychological disorders and dysfunctions. The Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology provides this training, and it is completed concurrently with a Master's or Doctoral degree in Psychology. Clinical Psychologists work in health, justice, and educational settings, in industry, and in private practice.

Diploma in Clinical Psychology

Registered Psychologists in New Zealand

Psychologists who practice in New Zealand must be registered. The Health Professional Competence Assurance Act protects the title Psychologist, and only registered psychologists can work in hospitals, prisons, government departments, and private practices. To be a registered psychologist, you have to complete a Masters or PhD in Psychology, and have at least one year of supervised practice. Completion of the Diploma in Clinical Psychology qualifies for automatic registration.

Visit the New Zealand Psychologists Board website for registration details

Applied Scientists

Applied Scientists specialise in areas such as Industrial and Organisational Psychology, Human Factors, Community Psychology, and Applied Behaviour Analysis. Some Otago graduates enter these professions directly, others take further post-graduate training at other universities.

Skills acquired in a psychology degree (eg, knowledge of psychology and the social sciences, understanding human interactions, research expertise in the social sciences) can lead to a variety of careers. Below is a list of some of the jobs that psychology graduates from the University of Otago have held. Although some graduates had a PhD qualification, many had Bachelor or Masters degrees.


  • Policy Analyst (Ministry of Health, NZ)
  • Health Manager (Otago Health)
  • Director (Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study, NZ)
  • Research Coordinator (Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study, NZ)
  • Research Officer (Auckland Hospital, NZ)
  • Researcher (Injury Prevention Unit, NZ)
  • Chief Executive of Alcohol Liquor Advisory Council (NZ)
  • ACC Case officer (NZ)
  • Community Support Professional (Richmond, NZ).
  • Chair of Otago District Health Board
  • Researcher/Consultant on tobacco-related issues (Pinney Associates, USA)
  • Clinical Research Officer (Imperial College London, UK Mental Health Research Network)


  • Policy Analyst (Ministry of Justice, NZ)
  • Senior Research Officer (NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Aus)
  • Probation Officer (Department of Corrections, NZ)
  • Research Officer, Road Policing (NZ Police)
  • Strategic Analyst, District Intelligence (NZ Police)

Education or Children’s issues

  • Policy Analyst (Ministry of Education, NZ)
  • Psychologist (Special Education Services, NZ)
  • e-Learning Developer (City University of London)
  • Teacher of autistic children (NZ)
  • Social Worker (Child, Youth and Family, NZ)
  • Researcher (disabled children and their families, UK)
  • Researcher (Children’s Issues Centre, NZ)
  • Policy and Research Analyst (Families Commission, NZ)


  • Behaviour Analyst (NZ Land Transport Safety Authority)
  • Analyst/Investigator (Australian Transportation Safety Bureau)
  • Strategy Analyst (NZ Land Transport Safety Authority)


  • Human Resources/Personnel (various in public and private sector)
  • Human Factors Specialist (Airbus Industrie, UK)
  • Consultant in Human Performance (NZ, formerly psychologist, Grand Prix motorcycle racing team, France)
  • Quantitative Analyst (Standards and Poors, UK)
  • Analyst (Merrill Lynch, UK)
  • Research Director (BRC, NZ)
  • Management Trainee (ANZ Bank, NZ)
  • Tourist venture CEO (Makarora Wilderness Resort, NZ)
  • Business Analyst (Mental Health Commission)
  • Business Manager, poverty alleviation NGO (Beadforlife, Uganda)


  • Analyst (Ministry of Social Development, NZ)
  • Animal trainer for land mine detection (International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Switzerland)
  • Staff journalist for scientific publication
  • Medical review writer (ADIS International, NZ)
  • Television journalist (NZ)
  • Research Associate (AUT, NZ)
  • Consultant for domestic animal behaviour problems (NZ)

Further information on Psychology careers

More general information about careers in Psychology can be found on the American Psychological Association site.

Society for Neuroscience NeuroJobs site