Psychologist - Health

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A health psychologist uses psychological research methods and therapies to promote wellbeing and help people understand their illness. Their aim is to improve healthcare provision, general levels of health and promote a healthier lifestyle.

The Work

You could be:

You might work with groups such as older adults, pregnant teenagers or patients with chronic illnesses.


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The salaries for NHS Psychologists in Scotland are usually based on the NHS Agenda for Change pay rates. The current pay scales are from April 2020.

Qualified psychologists start on Band 8a, £49,480 to £53,414 a year. With experience you would move to Band 8b, £53,291 to £62,259 a year.

Consultant/lead psychologists are on Band 8c, £71,365 to £76,914 a year.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Health psychologists work in hospitals, academic research institutes, health authorities and university departments. There has been an increase in jobs in lecturing and in research into social and behavioural factors in health.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland

0.5 %

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What Does it Take?

You need:


Getting On

Apart from the usual routes of promotion to senior level there are opportunities to move into training or self-employed consultancy work.

More Information

There is a wide range of jobs, although the vacancies do not always use the job title 'health psychologist'. Health psychologists work as applied psychologists, teachers, consultants and researchers for the NHS, the universities, schools, industry and health promotion organisations.



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Psychological Society
Tel: 0116 254 9568
Website (2):
Twitter: @BPSOfficial

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Tel: 0300 500 6184
Twitter: @The_HCPC

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the UK-wide regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards of professional training, performance and conduct in the following health care professions: Arts Therapists; Audiologist; Biomedical Scientist; Chiropodist and Podiatrist; Clinical Scientist; Dietician; Dramatherapist; Occupational Therapist; Operating Department Practitioner; Orthoptist; Paramedic; Physiotherapist; Practitioner Psychologist; Prosthetist and Orthotist; Radiographer; Speech and Language Therapist. (The HCPC may regulate other healthcare professions in the future.) The HCPC website contains a register of all approved courses in the above professions.

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