The Australian Psychology Workforce 1: A national profile of psychologists in practice

Authors


School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia. E-mail: grenyer@uow.edu.au

Abstract

Existing workforce data on Australian psychologists are limited and data that exist are problematic. An online survey instrument was developed to profile psychologists including demographics and work characteristics including setting, role, service location and client type. A total of 11,897 completed the survey (response rate 48%) and a subset of these (N = 9,330) who held full registration were included in the current investigation. Participant demographics show a high (75%) proportion of females in the workforce which is particularly evident in the younger age range. Participation in the workforce was high (68%), with main psychology jobs spread relatively equally between the public and private sectors. Over a quarter of participants held a second psychology position, with the majority of second jobs being in private practice. For both first and second jobs the largest proportion spend their time providing counselling and mental health interventions one-to-one to adults. One quarter provide services in non-metropolitan regions, a higher rate than previously reported. Specific population groups such as culturally and linguistically diverse and indigenous clients were prominent in workloads. This study provides a comprehensive profile and provides a rich data source for further exploration of the characteristics of specific groups within the workforce.

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