The Pay for Child Psychologists is at an All Time High!
Being a child psychologist means you will be working closely with children who have experienced traumatic events, have deep seeded mental issues, who are going through a difficult time, or just need someone to talk to. It is one of the caveats of developmental psychology, which focuses on the various stages of life and how a person can progress through them in a healthy manner, and if they are not advancing through these stages in a healthy manner, how to get them back on the right path.
As with all professional psychologists, you will need to have a doctorate degree in psychology. This is standard to run a private practice or work for one of the many institutions that employ child psychologists. In the United States, many child psychologists are working in either the legal system or the education system.
In the court system, many cases require the additional testimony or directly affect children, especially in the case of child abuse, divorce, or marital issues (which are very common). In the elementary education system, having a child psychologist on staff can help to keep younger children on the proper educational path and provides them with someone to talk to should an issue arise with their teachers or the administration.
Child Psychologist Job Description
No matter what the setting, the child psychologist performs a similar function in each environment. They are responsible for helping a child mentally develop, including nurturing them through the common steps of development. In addition to this, it is also the responsibility of the child psychologist to determine any issues with this development, and help the child work through it, providing therapy for the discovered developmental issue.
Many children will experience some type of developmental delay or issue some time in their life, and a child psychologist is supposed to help them move past that particular area and continue along the normal development path.
In addition to these responsibilities, they are also responsible for diagnosing potential issues further down the road, including the possible development of mental disorders due to events from their childhood and offer a therapeutic ear for those children who just need someone to talk with.
In the case of a child psychologist working in the education or legal systems, they may be required to testify in open court or provide their findings to the board of education. Psychologists must do all of this without the ability to prescribe medication to children, since that is a completely different realm of the psychological community.
Those working in a private practice will be responsible for providing the same things on a client basis, and may be asked for their professional opinions by the legal and educational system.
Education to Become a Child Psychologist
For students interested in how to become a child psychologist, the educational journey takes longer than most careers. The American Psychological Association has tons of free educational resources available online.
This career path requires a minimum of a doctoral degree in psychology, preferably a degree that specialize in psychological issues in children and developmental psychology. Following the completion of an accredited doctoral program, state licensure is relatively standard for this career, with almost all states requiring practicing child psychologists to have a license.
For those researching how to become a psyhologist will find it is a long and arduous path, but for many, the journey is worth it. For working students, an online psychology degree proves to be a great path to take, since there is a minimal amount of time being spent on a physical campus.
Average Salary of a Child Psychologist
The average child psychologist salary depends entirely on the state you are working in and who you are working for. On average, working for the courts brings the most, with school being second, and private practice being third, at least with minimal experience. Starting out, a child psychologist salary normally ranges from $60,000 and $75,000 annually. The normal salary range for a child psychologist is between $75,000 and $90,000 a year, but those who develop and nurture a high quality, popular private practice, can easily make over $180,000 a year. this pay range is about 10% higher than the average clinical psychologist salary.
In the end, many find it far more profitable to start their own practice, since that will have the highest eventual child psychologist salary. However, this does bring with it the highest risk, since if the practice does not develop, it could easily make and the lower end of the salary scale.