A psychologist’s specialty and place of employment determine working conditions. For example, clinical, school, and counseling psychologists in private practice have pleasant, comfortable offices and can set their own hours, but they often work evening hours to
accommodate their clients. Some employed in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health facilities work evenings and weekends, while others in schools and clinics work regular hours. Psychologists employed by academic institutions divide their hours among teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities. Some also maintain part-time consulting practices. In contrast to the many psychologists who have flexible work schedules, most who practice in government and private industry have more structured schedules.
Reading and writing research reports is often solitary work, and psychologists may experience the pressures of deadlines, tight schedules, and overtime work. Their routines may be interrupted frequently, and travel may be required to attend conferences or conduct research.
After several years of experience, some psychologists, usually those with doctoral degrees, enter private practice or set up their own research or consulting firms. A growing proportion of psychologists are self-employed.