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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4151 Occupation: Psychologists
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Psychologists assess and diagnose behavioural, emotional and cognitive disorders, counsel clients, provide therapy and research and apply theory relating to behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists help clients work toward the maintenance and enhancement of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. Psychologists work in private practice or in institutions such as clinics, correctional facilities, hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres, community service organizations, businesses, schools and universities, and government and private research agencies. Psychologists assess and diagnose behavioural, emotional and cognitive disorders, counsel clients, provide therapy and research and apply theory relating to behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists help clients work toward the maintenance and enhancement of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. Psychologists work in private practice or in institutions such as clinics, correctional facilities, hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centres, community service organizations, businesses, schools and universities, and government and private research agencies.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4 5
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3 4 5
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3 4
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3 4


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read case management notes. For example, clinical psychologists read case notes from therapy sessions to learn about patients' presenting symptoms, clinical observations, reactions to therapies and the progress being made toward treatment goals. (2)
  • Read short email, memos and text entries in forms. For example, read email from supervisors and colleagues to learn about upcoming meetings and training opportunities. Read memos to learn about changes to intake and referral procedures. Read notes and comments written on intake, assessment and referral forms to learn about patients' and colleagues' opinions. (2)
  • Read articles and features in newsletters, magazines and newspapers. For example, clinical psychologists read newsletters from community groups to learn about their services and referral policies. Industrial psychologists may read articles in magazines such as the Economist to stay informed about events such as economic downturns which could influence the needs of corporate clients. (2)
  • Read training, policy and procedure manuals. For example, read training manuals to learn how to invigilate, score and interpret psychological assessments. Read the organization's policy and procedure manuals to learn about the approved uses of assessments, crisis management protocols and patient intake procedures. (3)
  • Read requests for proposals. For example, self-employed industrial psychologists read requests for proposals to learn about the scopes, timelines, reporting requirements and budgets of advertised research projects. (3)
  • Read and interpret reports. For example clinical psychologists read psychological and psychiatric reports to learn about colleagues` observations, assessments, treatment successes and recommendations. Industrial psychologists read and interpret psychological reports to learn about test takers' cognitive abilities, interests, personality styles and mental illnesses. (4)
  • Read textbooks, research papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals. For example, clinical psychologists read textbooks such as Assessment in Children to learn new therapeutic approaches for children with anxiety disorders. Sports psychologists read research papers to learn how multi-regional imagery scans can be used to predict the success of high performance athletes. Industrial psychologists read articles in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology to learn about functional phonological recoding processes. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders, notes to co-workers and short text entries in forms. For example, write notes on test scoring forms to alert co-workers to significant responses and outcomes. Write entries in insurance claim forms to record services provided and explain treatment outcomes. (1)
  • Write clinical case notes. For example, clinical psychologists write notes about patients' presenting symptoms, meeting and therapy outcomes and matters for follow-up. Industrial psychologists write notes in clients' files to record observations and outcomes of meetings. (2)
  • Write brief email to co-workers and colleagues. For example, write email to request information on patients and to schedule meetings with co-workers. (2)
  • Write letters to patients, caregivers, social workers, physicians and psychiatrists. For example, clinical psychologists write letters to parents in which they outline the results of their children's therapy sessions and propose treatment options. Industrial psychologists may write letters which introduce their services to new patients and explain payment schedules and psychological assessment procedures. (3)
  • Write treatment plans and termination summaries. For example, clinical psychologists write treatment plans which identify: patients' presenting symptoms; treatment strategies; achievable goals and objectives. They may write termination summaries to describe patients' case histories, intervention results and recommendations. (3)
  • Write assessments, evaluation reports and proposals. For example, clinical psychologists write assessments and evaluation reports to describe assessment methods and outcomes. They report their observations, conclusions and recommendations for further treatment. Industrial psychologists may write reports to clients in which they summarize the outcomes of research, assessment and development projects. They write proposals to outline research, assessment and employee recruitment projects, describe proposed methodologies, timelines and costs and suggest likely outcomes. (4)
  • Write research papers and journal articles. For example, a sports psychologist writes a research paper to describe the negative psychological responses experienced by under-recovered athletes. An industrial psychologist writes a journal article to describe a new psychological assessment and elaborate on its theoretical constructs, development processes and psychometric properties. (5)
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Document Use
  • Locate data on product labels. For example, clinical and sport psychologists may scan labels on medications to identify drug names, warnings and dosages. (1)
  • Locate data in tables and lists. For example, locate data in answer key tables in order to score personality inventory tests. Scan tables and lists to locate population sizes and other demographic statistics. Locate patients' phone numbers in contact lists. (2)
  • Complete intake, assessment and reporting forms. For example, clinical psychologists enter patients' contact and demographic information on intake forms. They complete assessments forms to obtain baseline information about patients and assess their progress. Industrial psychologists may complete reporting forms to identify assessment outcomes of job candidates. (3)
  • Locate and interpret data in graphs. For example, locate data in graphs to determine the effectiveness of treatments and therapies. Interpret graphs of personality inventory and cognitive assessment results to learn about patients' characteristics and abilities, and to develop treatment plans. (3)
  • Interpret drawings and diagrams. For example, neuropsychologists may analyze drawings made by patients to learn about their neuropsychological functions. Clinical psychologists may interpret responses to Rorschach Inkblots to learn about patients' personality characteristics. Sports psychologists may interpret brain scans to determine the influence that changing blood flows to motor and prefrontal cortexes have on the performance of athletes. (4)
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Computer Use
  • Use databases such as PsychINFO to locate, download and print archived journal articles. Clinical psychologists use databases to input and retrieve contact information, case management notes and patients' attendance records. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, use presentation software such as PowerPoint and Keynote to create slides for presentations at workshops and conferences. Import tables, charts and graphs and use custom animation features to make the slides more visually appealing. (2)
  • Use communication software. For example, use email software to exchange messages and attachments with colleagues. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, create spreadsheets to track times spent with patients and manage counselling and program data. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, psychologists in private practices may use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to track payables and receivables, and to generate and print financial summaries. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox to find information about psychological assessments, training opportunities and treatment strategies. Access password protected on-line databases and download research papers and journals. (2)
  • Use statistical analysis software. For example, research psychologists may use statistical analysis software such as SPSS and SAS to input and analyze research data. They use advanced features to generate descriptive and bivariate statistics and predictions for numerical outcomes. (3)
  • Use word processing applications such as Word and WordPerfect to write letters and prepare reports. Use more advanced features to create research papers which incorporate tables, footnotes, bibliographies and drawings. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and colleagues. For example, clinical psychologists working in hospitals may discuss operational matters such as caseloads, hours of work, training opportunities, shifts and work procedures with supervisors. (1)
  • Discuss services and products with suppliers. For example, clinical psychologists may talk to workers at substance abuse programs to learn about treatment options and intake procedures. Industrial psychologists may speak with suppliers to learn invigilation procedures, psychometric properties and costs of psychological assessments. (2)
  • Negotiate fees for service contracts with clients. For example, self-employed psychologists may negotiate contracts to establish new employee assistance programs. Industrial psychologists may negotiate budgets for employee recruitment projects and timelines with their clients. (3)
  • Lead workshops and give presentations. For example, clinical psychologists present information on treatment programs and strategies at conferences, school assemblies and community support group meetings. Industrial psychologists present projects' findings to clients and field questions. (3)
  • Exchange confidential information with patients' families, guardians and caregivers and colleagues such as social workers. For example, clinical psychologists ask the parents and guardians of young patients for background information and discuss diagnoses and treatment options with them. They may speak with social workers, school support staff, psychiatrists and other psychologists to discuss unusual disorders as well as formulate and coordinate treatment plans for troubled teenagers. (3)
  • Interview and counsel patients. For example, clinical psychologists interview patients to collect information needed for diagnoses and to establish therapeutic relationships. They may present ideas that spark discussions and ask open-ended questions to probe for information. They listen intently to patient responses and provide reassurance and guidance to help them improve their emotional, physical, intellectual and interpersonal functioning. (4)
  • Discuss the theoretical and technical aspects of psychology. For example, clinical psychologists may answer questions posed by lawyers, prosecutors and judges in courts and boards of inquiry. They may consult psychiatrists and other mental health professionals about complex cases. (4)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claim amounts for travel and supplies. For example, calculate reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses, per diems and the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. (2)
  • Calculate invoice amounts and verify invoice totals. For example, self-employed psychologists may calculate charges for time worked and related expenses incurred. They add applicable taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule appointments for patients and clients. For example, clinical psychologists schedule appointments for counselling sessions and meetings. They reschedule appointments to accommodate urgent requests and cancellations. (1)
  • Determine the sizes of control groups for research projects. For example, industrial psychologists determine the sizes of control groups by considering the availabilities of research subjects and the required reliabilities of research study results. (2)
  • Establish and monitor budgets. For example, self-employed clinical psychologists may establish operating budgets that include costs of office space, equipment, supplies and staff. Sports psychologists may prepare budgets for research projects. They propose budget amounts for equipment, research assistants and administration. (3)
  • Establish schedules for projects. For example, when designing psychological assessments of clients, industrial psychologists consider lead times, availabilities of staff and research subjects and approval processes. (4)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure patients' motor skills. For example, industrial psychologists may determine research subjects' motor skills by measuring hand strength and counting the numbers of finger taps in given amounts of time. (1)
  • Calculate the requirements of research projects. For example, industrial psychologists may calculate the number of psychological assessments required for research projects by considering sample sizes and testing protocols. (2)
  • Measure cognitive functioning and personality characteristics using a variety of psychological assessments. For example, use assessments such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence scale and the Wechsler Memory scale to measure cognitive abilities and memory retention. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare raw test results to scales to determine test takers' cognitive and motor-skill abilities. (1)
  • Calculate data to describe the operations of the practices, programs and projects you manage. For example, self-employed clinical psychologists may calculate the percentage of patients who qualify for specialized programs by program type. Psychologists in hospitals may calculate statistics such as the total number of meetings held, caseload sizes and new patient loads. (2)
  • Collect and analyze psychological assessment scores. For example, clinical psychologists may analyze multiple scale scores, percentile ranks and base rates to assess patients' mental health. (3)
  • Calculate research project data. For example, industrial psychologists use statistical analysis software and data collected from research projects to calculate statistics such as confidence intervals at specific significance levels, correlations, variances and standard errors. (4)
  • Analyze correlations and other data to prove hypotheses. For example, sports psychologists may analyze data collected from surveys, sporting events and brain scans to prove theorems regarding the effects of attitudes, drugs or training on high performance athletes. (5)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times of job tasks such as therapy sessions, meetings and interviews. For example, clinical psychologists consider patients' needs, topics of discussion and the durations of previous interviews and meetings to estimate time requirements. (1)
  • Estimate lengths of time it will take patients to regain their mental health. For example, clinical psychologists estimate the numbers of sessions that patients require by taking into account their backgrounds and presenting symptoms. (2)
  • Estimate the lengths of time it will take to conduct experiments and research. Consider the scopes of projects, lead times and the availability of resources. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Psychologists plan their work to adhere to appointment schedules and conform to projects' timelines. Psychologists may receive their assignments from managers and team leaders. Clinical psychologists must be prepared to modify their schedules if patients are in crises and require emergency assistance. Psychologists may organize the activities of workers such as support staff and research assistants. They may organize the activities of support staff such as receptionists to ensure meetings and appointments are efficiently scheduled. They may organize the activities of research assistants to meet project requirements. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Choose times and locations for meetings. For example, clinical psychologists select times for treatment sessions. (1)
  • Decide to start or stop treatment programs and therapeutic relationships. For example, clinical psychologists may decide to terminate treatment programs and therapeutic relationships if they believe that patients are not making progress. (2)
  • Select research methodologies and resources for research projects. For example, industrial psychologists select equipment, facilities and personnel to fit the specifications of research projects. (3)
  • Choose assessment tools, counselling strategies and therapies. For example, industrial psychologists choose assessment tools after considering the purposes of assessments and budgets set for these activities. Clinical psychologists select counselling strategies which suit their patients' treatment needs and fit community resources which are available. (3)
  • Decide that patients require emergency supports. For example, clinical psychologists may decide that patients require hospitalization because they may harm themselves and others. (4)
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Problem Solving
  • Patients cannot be assisted due to lack of community resources and supports. Help patients to develop contingency plans and acquire interim services while waiting for appropriate community resources and supports to become available. (2)
  • Encounter patients who are reluctant to participate in therapy. Clinical psychologists speak to other mental health professionals and caregivers to determine the reasons for the reluctance. They terminate involvement with patients who refuse service and refer them to other resources. (3)
  • Find that treatment plans are ineffectual. Consult other mental health professionals to determine the reasons for the poor results and weigh alternate treatment options. Initiate revised treatment plans and evaluate their results. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information about community resources. For example, clinical psychologists learn about community resources by reading local resource directories and scanning information presented on websites. They ask patients, co-workers, colleagues, supervisors and community agencies` staff about services and programs in their areas. (2)
  • Locate information about patients and clients. For example, clinical psychologists locate information about patients from a variety of sources. They conduct interviews and observe body language. They speak to co-workers and colleagues. They read case management notes, court orders, and psychological, criminogenic risk and psychiatric assessments. (3)
  • Locate information about assessment and treatment strategies. Read professional journals and articles posted on websites hosted by organizations such as the Canadian Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. Discuss assessment and treatment matters with co-workers, colleagues, test developers and retailers. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Assess the suitability of assessment tools. Identify criteria such as ease of use, validity and cost. Gather information on the cost and accuracy of measurement instruments from vendors and colleagues. (2)
  • Assess the performance of support staff and research assistants. For example, self-employed clinical psychologists assess the performance of support staff. They gather information from patients and observe workers' behaviours. (2)
  • Assess the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning of patients. For example, clinical psychologists assess the severity of mental illnesses by analyzing information from interviews, assessments and consultations with other mental health professionals. (3)
  • Assess the risks that patients pose to themselves and others. For example, to judge the risk that sexual predators will re-offend, clinical psychologists review their backgrounds, histories of violent behaviours and the results of psychological assessments and diagnoses. They question these patients about their mental and emotional states. (3)
  • Assess the suitability of programs for particular clients. For example, clinical psychologists assess the suitability of therapeutic programs by analyzing the effects they have had on patients' physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. Industrial psychologists assess the suitability of job candidates for their clients by observing behaviours and demeanours, speaking with references and analyzing the results of psychological assessments. (4)
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