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The numbers about the psychologists in US and Italy

In 2017, about 3.5 million people in the United States held a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1 Of those:

  • About 499,000 (14%) also held graduate degrees in psychology, with 13% earning a psychology master’s degree and 4% earning a psychology doctorate or professional degree. The overlapping 3% earned both master’s and doctoral or professional degrees.2
  • About 30% held graduate degrees in fields other than psychology, such as education, health and social services.3
  • The remaining 2 million (56%) did not earn graduate degrees.
  • The proportion of psychology bachelor’s degree holders who held a graduate degree was progressively higher from the “ages 24 or younger” group through the “ages 30–34” group, then stabilized, suggesting that the majority of people complete their graduate education by age 30.

In Italy, I found little information available from the web.

The tendency to continue with the studies after the bachelor degree is also evident from the data coming from the Italian Associaton of Psychologists, according to which almost all of the approximately 105,000 psychologists are registered in section A of the register, reserved for those who have in their CV not only the three-year degree but also the graduate degree, plus a year’s training and passing the State examination for professional qualification. Only a few hundred are enrolled in section B, which provides for various limitations on professional practice and which can be accessed only with a three-year degree (bachelor), accompanied by semi-annual training and due state examination. Of the 105,000 enrolled in the register, however, only 60,000 actually carry out the profession of psychologist: there is therefore a difficulty in actively entering the labor market is obvious.

A survey on Psychology market in Italy

Saturday 11.12.2016 in the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology “La Sapienza” University of Rome was presented a market survey on professional psychology in Italy organized by ENPAP National Welfare and Assistance for Psychologists.

Starting from the evidence that the demand for psychology is no longer addresses only to cure the malaise but to the promotion and spread of wealth, the institution has commissioned to  a research institute a survey during the summer of 2015. The research was structured into:  focus groups, interviews with various experts, about a thousand questionnaires were administered to the population and a desk analysis.

During the presentation  were highlighted some data about the current situation of the professional market in psychology.

One of the most interesting data is that the demand of psychology is in significant and steady growth, in fact there was been a progressive increase in the income received from members since 1996 (year of the foundation Ente) since now; the annual income produced by psychological services in the Italian market has gone, in 20 years, from 110 million to about 800 million euro.

It is noted that the overall average  income for 2014 is € 13,360.The survey shows that the market is in great transformation, in fact, the professional psychology is confronted with new order issues not strictly clinical.

Society’s requests to psychologists can be very different from the past and the theme of professional repositioning may be even more important than it has been in recent years.

One of the questions which the survey answers is on population’s perception of  the figure of the psychologist among the population: the psychologist is no longer seen as “crazy people’s  doctor” but as a private practitioner “specialist of the mind” that can offer support specifically, helping finding well-being and emotional balance or bring out latent problems.

Its main capabilities are: to balance, to treat, to cure and to improve.

In conclusion, we can imagine a perspective in which the psychologist will explore new applications to meet the contemporary needs of society, will be closer to the population in the growing uncertainty about the future.

Source: E-Book: Market survey on professional psychology in Italy, new needs, new areas, new roles. By ENPAP


by Emiliano Bernardi e Massimiliano de Angelis