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How to Be a Child Psychologist



The Child Psychologist Job Overview:


A child psychologist is someone who uses their education and experience to help to understand, prevent, diagnose and treat mental, social and emotional issues in children. Child psychologists usually look at the development of a child anywhere from the infant or prenatal stage to the adolescence stage. The major subjects of interest in the child psychology field are genetics, developmental language, gender roles and societal expectations, sexual development, social growth, personalities of children and cognitive growth. A child psychologist can work with a wide range of patients ranging from infants, toddlers, preteens and teenagers, but generally most child psychologists will specialize in a certain age group or child psychology subject.


Education Needed to be a Child Psychologist:


A small percent of child psychologists have a master's degree and can find proper employment with the degree, however the majority of child psychologists have trained up to a doctorial level and earned either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. in subjects such as clinical psychology or counseling psychology. After a master's or doctorate is earned, a child psychologist then needs to complete at a two year fellowship supervised by an experienced psychologist in the specialized field they wish to enter. The last step to becoming a child psychologist is to pass state or national tests to become licensed to be a child psychologist in the area.



Other Requirements to be a Child Psychologist:


First and foremost a child psychologist must truly love and wish to help children in every stage of their development. They need to be someone who is patient and calm, inspires trust and who can deal with some of the more disturbing aspects of the human psyche. They must be very willing to witness and work through mental and emotional issues that can be very disturbing to be a part of. Child psychologists can deal with more mild issues such as dealing with parents' divorce, anxiety or they can deal with more heavy issues such as sexual abuse, death, behavioral issues and mental disorders.



Advancement as a Child Psychologist:


Typically advancement in the field of child psychology can be limited as psychologists generally stay in that capacity for their entire career. Most are either self employed with a psychology practice or employed through a business, hospital, clinic, educational institution or mental institution. There are possibilities of taking on a managerial or supervisory position as well. A child psychologist may also choose to return to the academic world and instruct those who wish to become psychologists.




Future Prospect for Jobs as a Child Psychologist:


Psychology and the treatment of the human psyche will always be in need so this career field is expected to continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.


Expected Salary as a Child Psychologist:


Typically the average salary for a child psychologist is about $64,000 or £40,000, however this number can go up or down based upon geographical location, education, experience and the sector they work in such as educational, institutional or medical.


A Day-in-the-Life of a Child Psychologist:


The typical day for a child psychologist can vary based upon the sector they work in, position held, etc., however many child psychologists usually perform duties that include:

  • Diagnosing and administering treatment for leaning or developmental disabilities
  • Working with children to manage and improve their behavioral issues
  • Performing psychology tests on patients
  • Conducting research on childhood emotional and mental development
  • Working with a team of health care professionals to create and implement a specialized treatment plan for a patient
  • Keeping detailed records on all patients

 

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