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As far as I can tell, these are some roles within the Psi Corps we know about:

  • Psi Cops, who track down and re-acquire rogue telepaths
  • New recruits (mostly children) being taught about their telepathic abilities (such as how to suppress scanning by reciting nursery rhymes over and over)
  • Teachers of the above
  • People who promote the Psi Corps by producing promotional videos etc
  • People who administer the telepathic inhibitor drugs
  • Commercial telepaths
  • Those who work with the police, scanning victims
  • Ship crews (for mothership and shuttles)
  • Maintenance crews (for the above as well as Black Omega Squadron)
  • Leaders who do covert things like collaborate with the Shadows
  • People who "re-habilitate" rogue telepaths and "re-integrate" them into the Corps (not sure if these are also counted as Psi Cops)

Does this account for the majority of members? I'm just thinking, if someone like Talia wanted to take a different route than being a commercial telepath, what would be her options? And what does she do when she doesn't have any clients at the moment?

I'd be particularly interested to hear from anyone who's read the Psi Corps Trilogy novels, which I haven't.

  • You've missed out those who work with the police (scanning victims) and pilots. We see a bunch of each – Valorum Nov 11 '15 at 17:29
  • @Richard, re: scanning victims - good point and I've added. Regarding pilots, are these just the members of Black Omega Squadron? Aren't they a subset of Psi Cops? – Kidburla Nov 11 '15 at 17:33
  • Dunno. They also seem to maintain their own cruisers. I'm guessing those are crewed by telepaths. – Valorum Nov 11 '15 at 17:53
  • @Richard I agree - updated – Kidburla Nov 11 '15 at 18:01
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Commercial telepaths

Almost certainly, the majority of Psi Corps members are commercial telepaths. Babylon 5 episodes repeatedly demonstrate that business negotiations rarely take place without the presence of trained, Psi Corps-licensed telepaths to ensure the good intentions of both sides of the negotiating table. Hence, there is a strong demand for commercial telepaths.

Psi Cops and other elite functions of the Corps require a much higher Psi rating than commercial work, and so there is a biological limit on who can serve in these roles. Also, Psi Cop work requires additional mental training, combat training, and a willingness to put oneself in harm's way. People who teach and rehabilitate at the Corps may not be putting themselves in harm's way necessarily, but probably require a similar level of training and mental power to Psi Cops.

As with any academy, there are probably many more graduates in the field than current students, and most of those graduates would be commercial telepaths. A commercial telepath does not need to be especially physically fit, requires no combat training, requires little or no mental defensive training (for sustained mental incursions), and is a generally low-risk job. Most importantly, it does not require a high Psi rating.

At the same time, being a commercial telepath is somewhat lucrative and allows for some personal freedom. It is likely the closest thing that a telepath can have to a "normal life".

It stands to reason that most people who graduate from the Corps become commercial mediators.

  • So it sounds like there are not many options for those who don't wish to become commercial telepaths. However @Richard did make a comment on my question highlighting that telepaths could also become part of a shuttle/mothership crew which presumably doesn't require a particular Psi rating. – Kidburla Nov 11 '15 at 22:41
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    @Kidburla : There are those (i.e. crew members), but I still suspect that commercial telepaths make up the vast majority of Psi Corps members. Being a commercial telepath requires little or no training (unlike a crew member on a vessel) and gives the most personal freedom of all the possible Psi Corps occupations. Also, there is a demand in the general public for mediators: we've seen everything from large corporate deals to personal family squabbles (a case of suspected infidelity) being mediated by telepaths. – Praxis Nov 11 '15 at 22:47
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    There may be those with too low a P rating to work as commercial telepaths -- it sounds as if Ivanova's mother was an example. They may be given jobs as administrators, pilots, or even menial workers within the Corps. If there were too many to find real work for them all, it might have been necessary to invent some pointless make-work jobs. – Royal Canadian Bandit Nov 11 '15 at 23:01

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