Experimental Psychologist

As an experimental psychologist you conduct research to find out why humans or animals behave in certain ways and what influences behaviour.

Interested in this career? Watch the video
Experimental Psychologist
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What the job looks like
Salary expectation
starts at $47,931 up to $75,000+
The good
  • Constantly learning new things
  • Making a difference to society
  • Understanding behaviour
The not so good
  • Sometimes hard to shut your brain off from work
  • Research can take a long time

Your job as an experimental psychologist is to research animal or human behaviour, looking at things such as personality and neuroscience (looking at the structure or function of the nervous system and brain).

Your research is then used to help improve areas such as education, childhood development and workplaces.

Mathematics and analytical skills are critical to being a good psychologist. Your work depends on the collection and interperetation of data and statistics to inform your research.

Good verbal and written communication skills will also help you to find reliable sources of information and to critically read them. 

If you have an interest in human behaviour and solving problems, then a career as an experimental psychologist could be for you.

The work I do contributes to the capability of our defence force. It's about attention to detail and teamwork.


Pathways to this career

Subject suggestions for the HSC

Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.

HSC subjects 

Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.

What can I do after I have finished school?

University degrees 

Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.


Check out Defence Science & Technology Organisation for more information

  • Start doing some of your own research now into psychology or neuroscience
  • Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study