Army Psychologist

Army psychologists diagnose and treat problems resulting from combat. They work with soldiers in combat zones, at military hospitals, and army bases. Army psychologists also spend a lot of time work from deployment facilities.

Psychologists working with soldiers in combat zones frequently develop problem-management treatments, while those working with soldiers preparing to deploy to a warzone teach stress handling techniques, so soldiers can handle the stress and anxiety they'll experience. Psychologists working with soldiers returning from combat zones spend a lot of time diagnosing and treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Many Army psychologists assist soldiers in Veterans hospitals. They provide counseling services and help severely injured people deal with chronic pain and debilitating injuries, such as blindness and severed limbs. They also work with veterans unable to cope with the stress of managing a normal life. Veterans struggling with PTSD frequently experience flashbacks after hearing loud sounds or when they find themselves in situations that remind them of their war experiences.

Many veterans learn how to deal with PTSD by attending group therapy sessions or simply talking with family members or close friends. However, many must work closely with Army psychologists to find productive ways to address their postwar stress and anxiety.

The Army utilizes civilian psychologists, as well as psychologists serving in the National Guard. In addition to working closely with service members, Army psychologists assist the familise of active service personnel and veterans struggling with the emotional problems relating to anxiety and multiple deployments. They also organize group therapy, conduct marriage counseling, and counsel people who have lost loved ones in combat.

Army psychologists, known as operational psychologists, assist with the development of survival, evasion, resistance and escape training (SERE). Soldiers assigned to special forces units must undergo SERE training since they engage in some of the most dangerous military operations where it's a possibility that they could be captured or stranded behind enemy lines for an extended period of time. During SERE training, soldiers learn survival tactics and strategies for handling enemy interrogations. These psychologists provide the hostile interrogation evasion instruction need for these soldiers to survive.

Operational psychologists are usually stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina or other bases that house special forces units. In addition to assisting with the development of SERE training, they meet with high ranking special forces officers to perform soldier assessments and valuations to determine whether or not certain soldiers should be assigned to these elite units.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created an increased demand for Army psychologists. As a result, the Army is now offering bigger signing bonuses and tuition assistance programs. Now is a great time for those interested in working closely with soldiers involved in combat, their families, and returning veterans to seek a career as an Army psychologist.

Minimum Requirements for Becoming an Army Psychologist
Active Duty Personnel:

  • Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, Psychology, or closely related subdiscpline
  • Current license to practice psychology
  • Be between 21 and 42 years old
  • Be a citizen of the United States

Army Reserve:

  • Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, Psychology, or closely related subdiscpline. Degree must be from a program "acceptable to the Surgeon General".
  • Complete 1-year post-graduate APA accredited internship
  • Current license to practice psychology
  • Be between 21 and 42 years old
  • Permanent resident of the United States

Training Provided
Due to demands soldiers and their families face, the diversity of experience psychologists can expect encounter working for the Army far exceeds what most private sectors psychologists will every experience in a practice setting. Consequently, Army psychologists are provided advanced training and are given access to state-of-the-art technology, methodologies and techniques - as well as access to a wealth of information and research. Army psychologist will participate in continuing education, seminars, conferences and courses designed to keep their skills and knowledge current. Many will also have the opportunity to teach in one of the Army's several graduate level education programs.

Benefits and Compensation
Army psychologists are paid according to rank and experience--as are all othe active duty personnel. Army psychologists can expect to make anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000 as they progress in tenure and rank.

Active benefits for Army psychologists include:

  • 30 days paid vacation each year
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits after 20 years of qualifying service in the Army
  • Medical and dental care free of charge (or at a very low cost)

Benefits for Army psychologists in the Reserve include:

  • Special pay for health professionals
  • Educational loan repayment
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits after 20 years of qualifying service in the Reserves
  • Opportunity to travel abroad
  • Low-cost dental insurance and life insurance

Additional benefits that both active and reserve officers enjoy include a portable retirement savings plan (like a 401k), continuing education pay, post exchange shopping privileges, and specialized leadership training.

You can learn about becoming an Army Psychologist at

Company Information
Privacy Policy
Contact Us
Submit a Resource