Many professional licensed clinical psychologists agree that their job provides them with a lot of job satisfaction and a feeling of contributing to the society or giving back to the community by helping people who need some moral support and guidance. It is, no doubt, one of the most noble professions where a professional helps people take right decisions and make them emotionally self-reliant.
Job Description of a Clinical Psychologist
Well, before I tell you about becoming a licensed clinical psychologist, it would be essential for you to know about the roles and duties of a clinical psychologist. The primary job of a clinical psychologist is to talk to patients or clients about their problems through various interview sessions and then design a treatment as per their needs and requirements. A clinical psychologist also has to perform various psychometric and behavior modification tests, therapies, and treatments, etc., to help a client to recover from emotional problems. Clinical psychologists have to work in different settings, for example, some may work with a hospital, and others may choose to practice independently. Clinical psychologists also have a wide array of choices when it comes to specialization, for example, child psychology, teenage issues, criminal psychology, drug rehabilitation, emotional trauma, neurological and mental disorders, etc. So basically, the job of a clinical psychologist is challenging yet very interesting and filled with versatility.
Becoming a Clinical Psychologist
Becoming a clinical psychologist is indeed challenging, however, if you are dedicated and are ready to put in the hard work, then it is possible to become a clinical psychologist easily. Given below are some of the steps that would guide you through the process of becoming a successful licensed clinical psychologist:
- Earning a bachelor’s degree is of prime importance and a prerequisite for becoming a clinical psychologist. It is advisable to take up majors in subjects that you wish to specialize in or subjects you are interested in, such as, behavior analysis, child psychology, mental disorders, social cognition, and human relationships, etc.
- If you do not get an admission for bachelor’s in psychology, you can go for other psychology related fields, such as sociology, anthropology, communication, and social work, etc. which too are accepted by many universities while going for Masters. It is suggested to take up an APA (American Psychological Association) accredited coursework or enroll in institutes accredited by APA.
- After the completion of the bachelor’s degree it is advisable to complete an internship or training program with a local clinical psychologist. In some universities it is compulsory to complete the practicals or training to get the final degree certificate. It would also help you gain some on the job experience that will contribute to your knowledge and skills.
- After this you can also think of completing master’s degree and Ph.D in clinical psychology with specialization in subject you are interested in. You will get an opportunity to undertake various research studies in while earning master’s degree and Ph.D. Having highest qualifications would also help you in improving your career prospects.
- You can start looking for a job immediately after getting the masters and Ph.D. Some professionals also prefer to take up a job after graduation and complete their masters and Ph.D simultaneously. So you have the choice here. So take up a job that suits your educational qualification and start working.
- After getting highly qualified, you can apply for getting licensed. The rules for licensing are different for each states, however, most of the states ask for higher educational qualifications, You may also have to appear for a written or oral exam for getting a license certificate. Complete all the licensing procedure within a prescribed time. With a license, you will become eligible to privately practice clinical psychology in any state.
These were some of the important steps that you need to complete in order become a licensed clinical psychologist. You can earn up to $50,000 in the starting of the career but the salary of clinical psychologists is subject to their experience, education, and specialization, etc. So go ahead and start preparing. All the best!