A degree in psychology or another of the social sciences is required for psychology technicians. Though graduate work is not required, many students choose to pursue an advanced degree that offers a specialization. These degrees make students more competitive when searching for jobs. Likewise, internships or volunteer work can also help students to learn more about the job of a psychology technician while gaining valuable hands on experience in the field.
Most students who wish to become psychology technicians choose to study psychology, though someone who studies sociology, human behavior, or human development can also become a psychology technician. In most countries, this degree will take about four years to complete, though it can require more or less, depending on how many classes a student takes each term.
Before a student is accepted at a university, some preparation at the secondary school level is required. Most psychology degree programs require a foundation in human behavior and biology, so students looking to go into these programs should take these and other related courses at their secondary schools. University entrance exams may also be required before a student can enter his or her university of choice.
Some psychology programs offer specialty classes that help a student prepare to become a psychology technician. These classes may teach students the specific skills they will need in these jobs. Though these classes are valuable to students and their future employers, they are not available at all universities. Students who cannot take job-specific classes, can go outside the university for experience through volunteer work or internships. These experiences help a student learn more about being a psychology technician while under the guidance of experienced professionals.
Though it is not necessary, many students who want to become a psychology technician will pursue an advanced degree. These degree programs are more competitive than undergraduate programs and require that a student have strong grades and test scores. Often, an advanced degree program will offer specialty classes that focus on the job of the psychology technician.
Once a student completes the necessary coursework and training, a job as a psychology technician can be applied for. These jobs can be found in research facilities and at psychiatric hospitals and care centers. Students will need to interview for these positions before starting out at as an entry level technician.