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What Is the Employment Outlook for Careers in Child Psychology?

Child psychology professionals can work as clinical, counseling and school psychologists. These professionals are expected to have faster than average employment growth through 2026, and prospects can be improved with a doctoral or specialist degree. Read on to find out more about the employment outlook for this field.

Employment Growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projects that the number of employed psychologists in general will grow 14% over the 2016-2026 decade, which is faster than average compared to other job sectors. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists, who often work with children, are expected to have 14% employment growth over that same period. The increase in demand will come from hospitals, social service organizations, schools, mental health centers and other facilities dedicated to health care.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Licensure All 50 states require psychologists who work independently to be licensed
Work Environment Clinical setting, office setting, school setting
Similar Occupations Caseworker, crisis intervention specialist, childhood education specialist
Key Skills Observational skills, communications skills, active listening skills, interpersonal relationship skills

Growth Factors

The projected growth for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is due in part to a growing understanding of the relationship between behavioral problems and learning difficulties in children. These professionals are in demand in the nation's school systems in order to develop programs that foster children's and adolescents' social and educational progress. School psychologists also help teachers create more effective learning environments. Clinical and counseling psychologists will also be needed to help treat mental illness and family problems.

Job Prospects

The job prospects for psychologist positions will vary somewhat depending upon the specialty chosen. In addition to traditional settings, some may find employment in marketing and research firms. The BLS notes that having a school psychology doctoral or specialist degree can improve job opportunities as schools are demanding more mental health services for students. In addition, these programs don't have a large number of graduates, so earning a degree in child psychology will greatly improve your chances of obtaining a school psychologist position.

Salary Information

The BLS reported an average wage of $85,340 for clinical, counseling and school psychologists in May 2018. Most of these workers earned between $44,040 and $129,310. Industry-specific average wages were $78,970 for elementary and secondary schools, $96,930 for other health practitioners' offices, $85,810 for individual and family services, $93,730 for specialty hospitals and $93,620 for outpatient care centers.