In English

Welcome to the homepage of the Finnish Psychological Association.

Here you can find information on the association, as well as information on the training of psychologists and working as a psychologist in Finland.

Office of the Finnish Psychological Association
Bulevardi 30 B 3, 00120 Helsinki
Telephone: +358 9 6122 9122

The Finnish Psychological Association

The Finnish Psychological Association is an organization for Finnish psychologists. There are approximately 6 200 licensed psychologists in Finland. About 90 per cent of them are members of the Association. In addition, 1100 psychology students are members as well. The total number of members in the Association is currently 7 400.

The Finnish Psychological Association is an advocate for the professional, financial and social benefits for psychologists. Its goal is also to inform society about psychology and to increase the use of psychology as a science.

Personnel of the Finnish Psychological Association

The office of the Association is located in the city centre of Helsinki, with a staff of eight full-time employees and two part-time employees.

For more information on the way in which the Association operates and the status of Finnish psychologists, you can contact any of the following people.

E-mail addresses:

Annarilla Ahtola
Telephone: +358 40 6877 677

Secretary General
Annamari Jokinen
Telephone: +358 9 6122 9177

Chief for Professional Affairs
Vera Gergov
Telephone: +358 40 8098 028

Editor in chief of the Journal Psykologi
Hannele Peltonen
Telephone: +358 40 1779 440

How does the Finnish Psychological Association operate?

Even though the Association is quite small, it operates productively in a variety of ways.

- The Association tries to influence authorities, such as the Finnish Parliament and Ministries, in order to advance the status of and employment opportunities for psychologists.

- The Association works to improve the salaries of psychologists. It is an active member of "Akava", the Central Organization of Academic Associations.

- The Association promotes co-operation between psychologists by, for example, organizing supplementary training and different kinds of events.

- The Association does everything in its power to help maintain a high level of professional ethics within psychology. The Association has approved the Nordic regulations on professional ethics. It has a Professional Ethics Board, and it also operates a telephone helpline on professional ethics.

- Eight times a year the Association publishes the journal "Psykologi", which is the professional journal of psychologists. In addition, the Association produces various professional publications yearly.
The Association owns a publishing company that sells and develops psychological tests and organizes training activities.

- The Association participates in international cooperation between psychologists, both in the Nordic Countries and within Europe. The Chairman of The Finnish Psychological Association has also acted as President of EFPA in 1999-2007.

Licensed psychologist: Master's degree in psychology

There is a separate Decree on Degrees concerning the training of psychologists. The Decree was updated in 1996.  This Decree has now been integrated in the Decree concerning all University Decrees.

A Master's Degree in psychology, which requires 330 EuroCredits, is needed to become a licenced psychologist.

The studies include an obligatory practical training period of about 5 months.

Earning the Master's Degree in psychology usually takes 5 to 6 years.

Students can apply to universities to study psychology after graduating from high school and passing the student exam. Entrance exams are mandatory, and getting admitted is very difficult, because psychology is a popular field of study.

Listed below are the six Finnish universities offering training in psychology:
- University of Helsinki
- University of Jyväskylä
- University of Eastern Finland
- University of Tampere
- University of Turku
- Åbo Akademi (training in Swedish)

The departments or schools of psychology at these universities work together as the Network University of Psychology called "the Psykonet". The Network cooperates both on the undergraduate and the postgraduate levels. It is unique, because there are no other university networks in Finland.

Doctorate and specialisation degrees in psychology

After earning the Master's Degree, it is possible for a psychologist to study for a Doctorate in psychology.

It is also possible to earn a professional Licentiate's Degree in five different fields of application, which means taking part in specialization training at one of the universities. More information can be found in English about the specialization training on the Psykonet homepage.

It is also possible for psychologists to receive supplementary training outside of the universities.

Status of psychologists

In Finland it is compulsory to earn the Master's Degree in psychology before working as a psychologist. After earning the degree, the psychologist must apply for and receive the permit to work as a licensed psychologist from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health , which is subordinate to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health oversees the psychological practice in Finland. If there are any problems, the Centre can impose sanctions on psychologists. In more serious cases, a psychologist can be denied the right to practice the profession.

Foreign psychologists can apply for licenses to practice the profession from the Centre. The license can only be granted, if the psychologist's training meets the Finnish training requirements.

For more information, please visit the homepage of National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health VALVIRA

See also The Act on Health Care Professionals (a PDF-file attached below)

Employment opportunities for psychologists

Approximately 220 new psychologists graduate in Finland every year. The employment situation is good. Therefore only few Finnish psychologists are unemployed. 

In 2014, the percentages of psychologists working in different sectors are as follows:

Municipalities 57 %
State 8 %
Privately employed 24%
Private practitioners and entrepreneurs 11%

Most psychologists work in health care, social welfare, schools and career counselling. Most private practitioners are psychotherapists or neuropsychologists.

Salaries of psychologists

In the public sector (municipalities and state) the average monthly salary is approximately 3800 €, while in the private sector it is approximately 4400 €.  Psychologists working as full-time private practitioners or entrepreneurs earn an average of 6000 € per month.

Act on health care professionals (pdf) (65.2 KB)