What Are Some Child Psychology Career Options?
Child psychology generally refers to the application of multidisciplinary approaches in psychology to individuals of adolescent age or younger. Read on to learn about career options in child psychology.
Career Options in Child Psychology
In general, graduates with a doctoral degree in child or developmental psychology will have the most career options in this field, while graduates with only a bachelor's degree will face the most limited options. Psychologists who provide patient care have varying state-mandated licensing requirements they must meet. Additionally, optional national board certification in a number of specialties, including clinical child and adolescent psychology and school psychology, is available from the American Board of Professional Psychology.
Important Facts About This Occupation
|Median Salary (2018)||$76,990 (for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||14% (for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)|
|Similar Occupations||Marriage and Family Therapist, Career Counselor, Mental Health Counselor|
|Key Skills||Communications skills, problem identification, active listening, interpersonal relationship skills|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
With a doctoral degree in child psychology and a license, you can work as a clinical child psychologist who provides treatment and care for children with behavioral, mental and social disorders and issues. For example, a clinical child psychologist might work with individuals suffering from attention-deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or schizophrenia. In addition, you might provide treatment and care for children coping with personal issues, like bullying or grief. Clinical child psychologists can work with social welfare organizations, government agencies or law enforcement. Some child psychologists run private practices, either independently or in groups. Others work at various health care facilities, such as rehabilitation treatment centers or hospitals.
School and Education Careers
School psychologists mainly work with children at secondary schools. These psychologists attempt to increase the quality of life by providing assistance for issues such as learning disabilities, adjustment difficulties or behavioral problems. Programs for better classroom management and learning techniques also might be developed by school psychologists, usually with faculty input. Most school psychologists need to hold at least a master's degree for employment; however, private school, state board and school district requirements can vary. Administrative positions in schools, such as those in program administration, might require you to hold a doctoral degree. You also might be required to have completed coursework or have a background in education.
Typically, counseling psychologists work with children and families to facilitate better standards of living through social welfare organizations, not-for-profit groups or government agencies. Some work in hospitals and other health care facilities. Most counseling child psychologists need a doctoral degree; however, government agencies might have lower education requirements for employment. Counseling psychologists can hold job titles such as program director or caseworker. As a counseling psychologist, your job would entail the development, implementation, and analysis of programs that promote mental and physical wellness and prevention for mental or social disorders. You might work with social welfare organizations and deal with cases of addiction or abuse.
Other Career Options
Holding a doctoral degree in child psychology or developmental psychology could give you the option of working at a college or university in a variety of teaching positions. Research psychologist positions are also available for graduates interested in implementing or assisting in research projects designed to develop treatment modalities. Not all careers in child psychology require a graduate degree. If you have an undergraduate degree, you might find employment as an assistant to a licensed clinical child psychologist or in various government agencies. An undergraduate degree can also qualify you for employment in some positions in social work, counseling and education.