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Walden University

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What Can I Do with a Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Clinical Psychology?

A doctoral degree program in clinical psychology can prepare you for a clinical career working with patients or for an academic career working with students. Continue reading to learn about these career options.

Clinical Jobs

Graduates of doctoral degree programs in clinical psychology are qualified to treat depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors and other mental disorders. They also might help patients cope with death and relationship problems. Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose and treat patients, maintaining detailed records about clients' progress toward their therapy goals. Although a clinical psychologist cannot prescribe medications, he or she can work as part of a psychiatric healthcare team to help improve the physical and mental health of clients.

Clinical psychologists can work in inpatient or outpatient treatment facilities. These can include hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, prisons, private practices and substance abuse treatment centers, among other facilities. They might meet with clients one-on-one or in family or other group therapy sessions.

Important Facts About Clinical Psychologists and Postsecondary Teachers

Clinical PsychologistsPostsecondary Teachers
Median Salary (2018) $76,990 (for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)* $78,470 (for postsecondary teachers)*
Entry-level Education Doctoral degree Doctoral degree
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% (for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)* 15% (for postsecondary teachers)*
Work Environment Private practice offices, clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities Colleges, universities, professional schools

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned a mean annual salary of $85,340 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). This group was forecast to see job growth of 14%, must faster than normal, from 2016-2026, based on BLS projections.

Jobs in Academia

A doctoral degree program in clinical psychology also can prepare graduates to work as psychology professors at 4-year colleges and universities. In addition to planning and teaching classes and assessing students' performance, most professors conduct and publish original research in the advancement of clinical psychology.