How To Become A Child Psychologist

child psychology
psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes. medical professionals who observe, interpret, and record how humans relate to one another and the environment are called psychologists. there are different types of psychologists who specialize in various sub-fields of psychology; child psychology or child development being one of them. child psychology is the study of the psychological processes of children. child psychologists are specifically interested in how children differ from adults, develop from birth to the end of adolescence, and differ from other children in the context of psychological processes.

what do child psychologists do
if you are interested in duties that child psychologists perform, then the following are a few that they perform on a regular basis:

  • collaborate with doctors and social workers to help treat children
  • develop and carry out treatment plans
  • identify and diagnose emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders
  • work with children and their families to help them make desired changes to behavior
  • develop programs for children to improve their psychological issues
  • find patterns that will help them predict and understand behavior
  • collect information on patients through tests, surveys, interviews, and observations
  • conduct scientific studies to study child behavior and brain function

the future job outlook for child psychologists is positive. the us bureau of labor statistics (bls) predicts a 22 percent job growth in the profession between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average for all other professions. bls also quotes a salary figure in excess of $65,000 per year for psychologists.

how to become a child psychologist
psychologist are academically qualified and trained to practice as psychologists. the profession is highly regulated, and most states require psychologists to be licensed or certified. there are two academic pathways to becoming a psychologist:

  • master's degree in psychology - ideal for those who intend to work as industrial-organizational psychologists and school psychologists. school psychologists are primarily concerned with mental health and educational components of students' development; therefore, their training includes coursework in both psychology and education. others could work as psychological assistants in research, counseling, and clinical settings where they work under the supervision of doctoral psychologists.
  • doctor of psychology (psy.d.) degree - ideal for those interested in becoming research, counseling or clinical psychologists. it is a research degree, requiring students to take exams and write a dissertation based on original research. doctoral candidates will also be required to intern for a year in health service, school, counseling, or clinical settings.

irrespective of the pathways, entrance into psychology graduate programs may be competitive. most master's degree programs may not require a bachelor's degree in psychology. on the other hand, doctoral programs in psychology may require a master's degree in psychology. some doctoral programs may, however, admit an applicant with a bachelor's degree in psychology. a career in child psychology is a lifetime of work in the behavior and workings of a child's brain. a child psychologist will do well if he/she has analytical, observational, and communication skills along with patience and people skills.


Q:How long does it take to become a child psychologist?

A:In most states, 7-8 years of graduate and post-graduate education is needed to become a child psychologist. Individual must complete a four year bachelor degree followed by a masters degree. The last stage will include completion of a doctoral degree which can take 4-7 years to complete. Licensing and certification is an important part of becoming a psychologist.

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