How Do I Become A Child Psychologist?

As a child psychologist, you play an important role in helping children overcome difficult issues in their lives. Your work can help a child deal with the death of a parent or bullying at his or her school. You help empower children who may feel like there is no way out of an emotionally tumultuous situation. A child psychologist uses modern techniques to help children express their emotions. You may give a child the opportunity to draw or paint a picture that expresses his or her subconscious emotions. You may simply talk to a child and allow him or her to cry and actually feel the painful emotions that he or she has been suppressing. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a child psychologist?” When you want to become a child psychologist, it is important for you to learn about the educational requirements for this career. Pursuing the educational requirements for a career in child psychology requires a great amount of diligence, determination and hard work. You should also be prepared to devote a great number of years to your pursuit of this career.

What’s it like to be a child psychologist?

When you are a child psychologist, you will meet with children in individual appointments throughout the week. You may work for a hospital, or you may have your own office. The majority of child psychologists decide to open their own practices. You will then discuss the issues that a child is facing with his or her parent. A parent may explain to you that a child is going through a difficult time due to a divorce or switching to a new school. As the psychologist, you will need to get to the heart of the problem and help a child express his or her emotions. Psychologists also work with other family members to help them resolve emotional issues. A chid psychologist may also need to meet with a child who has been referred to him or her from governmental authorities. A child psychologist may also work with children who have been the victims or emotional or domestic abuse. A child psychologist may need to help the child deal with the trauma that he or she has faced from this type of abusive situation. The psychologist will then need to submit a report with a recommendation to the appropriate government authority.

Education Requirements

To become a child psychologist, one will need a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D or Master’s degree. One should pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology or behavioral science. If a college program offers a specialized program in child psychology, then a person should pursue this type of program. It is a wise idea for a person to research the psychology programs that a college offers before he or she decides to attend. One will need to apply to graduate program during his or her senior year of college. There may also be a residency requirement for a Ph.D program.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the BLS, a child psychologist earns a salary of about $65,000 a year. If one wants to become a child psychologist, then he or she should apply for positions at a local hospital or doctor’s office. One may also want to see whether positions are open with a counseling firm. One can also work with an organization that assists children who have been the victims of abuse. It is important for you to network with other psychologists in the field in order to learn about new opportunities for open job positions.