What is a Child Psychologist?
What is important to know when talking about child psychologists is the way that they handle the stressful conditions that might appear since their work is based on treating the children that have a deficiency. A child psychologist is one of the trained professionals who usually deal with the development that is established from prenatal and up to adolescence in a child. This kind of professional is more like a psychologist but with studies on subjects like the mental, emotional and social behavior and development that is manifested in children.
Child psychologists can work with a variety of children from toddlers and up to infants, teenagers or they could have obtained a certain specialization in one age and continue on this path. The important and decisive factor is that a child psychologist will try to identify the issues that might appear in a child’s life involving different areas of his or her life such as the social, emotional, cognitive areas. These issues are important not only to be identified and diagnosed but also treated and corrected, mainly these being the job duties and the occupation of a child psychologist.
Job description of a Child Psychologist
The main duties that a child psychologist must be related to are mainly based on the work with others, but also in a controlled and supervised environment where it can be fulfilled in an institution. His work will vary greatly according to the area in which one of these professionals works.
For example, some of them will deal with young patients, counseling them in various therapeutic situations, while others will base their work on researching the disabilities of children and on what circumstances these develop as well as the various and numerous aspects that can be found in child psychology.
Job duties will much more depend on the area of specialization of the child psychologist, involving career paths in the fields of adolescent psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology and so on.
Still, you can encounter some typical attributions that are formed in one’s job such as the work with patients in order to treat the behavioral issues that one confronts with, administration of Psychological tests, diagnosing developed disabilities and also creating a treatment plan for each and every patient together with a healthcare team.
How to become a Child Psychologist?
The career opportunities for someone who wants to work in the field of child psychology are increasing every year due to certain behavior patterns that appear in a child’s life. Working on the position of child psychologist, you’ll be required to possess a doctorate degree in psychology but not everywhere. In some of the job positions, individuals can work by having Master’s degree.
Here are some great tips that will help you understand what a child psychologist job involves and which are the educational standards to achieve the necessary knowledge to continue in this career. For a start, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve graduated high school, having a diploma or its equivalent. Then you can enroll in college with the child psychology profile that will offer a four year degree program.
This kind of college programs usually offer classes, which are based on different areas of child psychology as well as child development. For an undergraduate, it is best to take as many courses as he can that will make a difference when applying to study for a master’s degree or doctorate degree. Take courses that are based on social sciences, psychology, child psychology and development psychology and other courses similar to these.
To advance in this educational path you’ll need to prepare yourself to take the GRE or in other words the Graduate Readiness Exam that will allow you to enroll and apply first at a graduate school. There are a number of points that you have to fulfill at this exam and you should really study since the scores will make a difference in the graduate school programs that often offer competitive programs.
The graduate programs offer the possibility to develop in the field of child psychology where you can specialize. The program adviser can help you take the best decision that will suit you future career perspective. You can obtain a master’s degree such as a Master of Science degree if you incline on this path with major in psychology, involving areas like child psychology or child development. Or you can choose to obtain a doctor’s degree, a Ph.D. or in other words a Doctor of Philosophy with a focus in child psychology.
Focus your knowledge on taking classes that will help you in your future career such as family therapy, child psychopathology, and behavioral therapy and so on. This will help a lot along the way, also during the program that you’ve enrolled in. Try to develop skills in this field that will allow you to be a good child psychologist.
In graduate school you’ll be required to fulfill some classes that are advanced such as professional evaluation, child development theories, and so on. You will also have to finish your thesis that involves a certain project based on the child psychology where you can choose a topic in order to graduate.
When the school program is over and you’ve finished, you can apply in the state that you are to obtain a license that will help you practice what you’ve taught. Check with the state board which the requirements are that you have to fulfill so that you have the right to practice.
Specializing with children and with adolescents will allow you to have great job opportunities in this field. If you focus on these subjects, you’ll be able to become fully qualified to work in various settings. To complete all the requirements of the chosen specialty well, you’ll have to pass the board examination, which is granted by the (ABCCAP) or the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Then, you’ll have to take another exam that will evaluate the competences gained and it will give you a credit for performing quality services, regarding the specialty area of the Clinical Child Psychology. Like in any other job environment, experience is really important before you continue try to finish two years in practice that focuses on children and adolescence, giving you the opportunity to develop certain useful skills and the knowledge of practice.
Work environment and schedule
You can find jobs, which are based on different types of child psychology, especially at an entry level. Make sure that you evaluate all your options when finding a job and use the skills that you already acquired in various areas where you can work with children, and adolescents. As a child psychologist, you can work in many areas such as hospitals, schools, treatment facilities, mental health clinics, and other similar settings too. If you are working as a Child Psychologist in a school then your job environment will be based on working with students that have social disabilities, or learning disorders, and also help the families to cope with the student and help him with any academic problems.
Those who are working in the areas of hospitals or mental health clinics will deal with patients who have psychological illnesses. The child psychologists who are found in these settings will diagnose the mental disorders that exist, evaluate the individuals, conduct therapy sessions and help the patients and their families to cope with the psychological illnesses.
Those who are working in the private sector will have some flexibility that is gained by setting their own schedules. The children are usually in school in the morning and they will make appointments in weekends and evenings. Many child psychologists who already have their own businesses will provide their services according also to the schedule of the client.
Those who are employed in settings like hospital, nursing homes and so on will have to do night shifts and will also work on weekends, while those being employed in the government, or academic settings will work with regular day hours.
Their work is put under pressure many times, and they will have to deal in certain situations with clients who are hard to communicate with, and the encountered situations that might appear can be heavily charged with emotions.
Pros and cons of being a Child Psychologist
The best rewarding in this profession is being able to help children who deal with a lot of health issues that make them act and behave different than the normal ones. Obstacles can be noticed in the lives of many children, and those who need attention are mainly those who deal with various types of mental health and those who deal with psychological disorders.
The most commons that can be noticed in these children are linked with depression and their loss of seeing life as something that is worth living, those who confront with serious learning disabilities and behavior disorders.
Working as a Child Psychologist has many benefits but at the same time can be very time-consuming and in many situations it turn out to be very stressful. A career in this field can be truly great since you get to see in this therapy process the fruit of your work.
Another pro is that chance of being able to choose the setting in which you want to work from a variety of facilities. From hospitals and up to schools, or community centers you’ll get a very flexible schedule and that amazing opportunity to mix two facilities. For instance, you can work during the day in a school and on evenings you can use your time to meet with private clients or even teaching in a community college.
You’ll be exposed to a variety of situations and settings as well you’ll meet a lot of patients that will make your work a lot challenging. Challenges come instead of a routine that many times can easily become as if it was endless and very boring, making it all unpleasurable.
Many of these professionals will work in settings that assume long hours or irregular ones to deal with their patient’s needs. To accommodate to their patient’s needs many Child Psychologists will work on evenings or weekends especially those who already work as self-employed.
Another con that will intervene for sure in this job starts with handling all the emotional and psychological difficulties that are faced by children and their families. This sometimes can become hard and because of that it is very difficult not to cross sometimes the professional boundaries. Such difficulties might arise because you’ll treat children that at one point in their lives were neglected or even abused or even worse. Protecting yourself from emotional stress can be a real challenge and in some situation emotional stress can easily install.
Child Psychologist job growth
The job growth for a child psychologist is projected at 10%-11% in the field for the next five to ten years, especially for the school, clinical and counseling Psychologists. This increase is about the average job growth. Due to the number of demanding the main factor in this field and the metal health awareness that is starting to grow gradually in the population more job opportunities are starting to be created in the social service agencies, schools and government and other facilities or organizations.
As a child psychologist you’ll find work not only in schools, but also you’ll find that out there are various other employment options that extend in a variety of academic and clinical settings, research settings, hospitals, mental health care settings, or even legal settings.
Due to the nature of the job itself these specialists are becoming even more and more searched by various institutions. Some as earlier reminded will choose to open their private practice that will guarantee other income services. The job satisfaction in this field is linked also with the rewarding that one of these professionals gets after seeing good improvement in their current patients and not only.
Child Psychologist salary
In the United States, a child psychologist’s annual salary will be estimated to reach about $81,645, while the hourly wage will be estimated to reach $41.5 per hour. According to each area of work, the salary will be influenced. For example, the industries will pay a child psychologist salary that will reach $88,900 and even more, this being on the top paid salaries. The individuals who work in a clinical setting, schools and in other facilities will gain a salary that is estimated to reach about $66,815 per year, but it could also be $31,289 per year according to each setting.
In this job, many child psychologists will receive benefits that involve medical insurance, retirement plan, and liability coverage. From the psychology field, the Child Psychologist job is the best paid. The yearly Child Psychologist salary will be comprised between $40,794 and $142,982 per year.
One of the factors that will influence an income is the years of work. For example, if you are child psychologists who just started in this field, at an entry level you receive a salary that ranges between $30,010 and $40,257 per year, while if you have more than 5 years of experience in this field then your salary will be higher.
An average professional in this field will receive an annual child psychologist salary that is comprised between $54,809 and $102,132 per year, while a child psychologist who already made a clientele and is established will receive an income ranging between $40,684 and $133,866 per year.
The child psychologist salary will always be influenced by the competitiveness that exists on the business market, as well as other factors that are based on the geographical location, the number of years since you’ve started to work as a Child Psychologist, the experience and the developed skills that you’ve acquired during your training, but also on the working field and so on.
A child psychologist’s income will also vary greatly according to the training that one individual completed, the educational level that he graduated and the degree that he possesses. According to each state there are lowest and higher points in the economic flux that will influence one’s salary, as well as the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas where a person can find a job.
For example, an individual who already has years of experience will earn a salary that ranges between $41,010 and $134,010 per year. In this field, like in any other, experience is very valuable and will increase someone’s income a lot.
The bonus which is granted to a child psychologist salary is around $5,125, this influencing the total compensating package that one will receive. The total earnings that a child psychologist can gain are comprised between $40,795 and $142,985 per year.
The lowest percent of the individuals who work in this area of expertise will gain a salary that reaches about $39,195 per year and even less, while the top paying percentage in this job will earn a salary reaching $111,815 per year and even more than that.
The future outlook for those who possess a doctorate degree looks very bright, but not only the child psychologist salary is very high compared to other related fields but also compared to other jobs in the field of Psychology. The continual flux of demanding is very stable, not to mention that the job opportunity surveys are estimated to grow in the next ten years or so. Your career path as a Child Psychologist is not only demanding but very rewarding as well when it comes to receiving a good salary.
Salary of a Child Psychologist in 2015
The salaries of these professionals especially in 2015 are influenced by the type of employers for which you are working, the location. For instance, those who work for industries or are hired by organizations will receive an annual salary that reaches about $87,332 per year and even higher.
These are among the highest salaries that can be found in this field compared with those who work in clinics or schools and will receive an income of about $66,812 per year or even lower. The best part is that many child psychologists will receive some benefits that come with the job such as retirement plans or even medical insurances.
Child Psychologist Salary in 2016
A child psychologist income, in 2016, in the US is estimated at an average of $66,116 per year or even a bit higher. According to the starting point the income of these professionals is estimated at around $38,819 per year and it can climb up to $98,836 per year or even higher. To this you can add the bonuses that can go as high as $5,054 and the profit sharing that usually reaches at around $1,005.
The income of a child psychologist is influenced by several factor such as the geographical location, the working site as well as the years of experience, the developed skills that one has in this profession. Another factor that impacts the salaries of these professionals is the competitiveness that already exists on the economic and business market.
Each state provides different wages according to the economic fluctuations, the living expenses encountered in those regions, and the costs of living that are to be found. Compared with other field education and extensive training make a difference in your income. For instance, a child psychologist with a Doctorate degree will gain more money than compared with a Counselor with a Master’s degree.
A child psychologist with a private practice tends to make more money than those hired in the public system such as schools or other organizations that have a fixed scale of payment. A private practice will allow you to set your own fees for the therapy services or the counseling that you provide. The incomes are different even by each industry or institution, not to mention area in which you are established.
The national average salaries of jobs for these professionals according to many sources has a high ranking base estimated at around $69,010 per year. This means that the job posting nationwide salaries for child psychologists are with 15%-16% higher than the average salaries for all job postings nationwide.
Child Psychologist salary in Canada, Australia and UK
The salaries in other countries depend on the same factors that were reminded earlier. For Example in Canada, a median average salary that half of the population is earning in this field is comprised between CAD$31,789 and CAD$75,869 per year.
The expected salary that could be received will range between CAD$32,682 per year and CAD$73,895 per year. There is also a bonus granted that is estimated to range between CAD$455 and CAD$1,210 per year, this giving the total package income to increase between CAD$31,789 and CAD$75,869 per year.
In Australia, the median average salary for more than half of the population that works in this filed is estimated to be comprised between AU$39,868 and AU$78,439 per year. The annual salary in Australia will range between AU$39,152 and AU$78,439 per year.
The yearly bonus that is granted in this country will reach AU$24,044 per year, this allowing an individual to gain a total package salary that will be comprised between AU$39,868 and AU$78,714 per year.
In the UK, the median expected salary in the field of Child Psychology is estimated to reach at £49,010 per year with an average hourly wage that is estimated at 25 pounds per hour. According to the age of the working individual, the income will vary in the United Kingdom. Those who are more than 20 years old will receive an income of £36,745, while those who are more than 30 years old will earn a salary that reaches about £48,025 per year.
Conclusion on Child Psychologist salary
The job of a child psychologist is very rewarding with full training and some years of experience you’ll be able to obtain not only great career opportunities but also a good salary. The decisive factors that influence a salary in this field are tips that will allow you to choose wisely when applying for a job in this area of expertise.
- First Published Date: 21 July, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 20 August, 2016