March 22, 2021

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Clinical Psychologist Job Description, Salary, and Education

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Clinical Psychologist Job Description

Salary: $50,400 – $86,200Number of Jobs: 152,000
Hourly Rate: $24.21 – $41.47Employment Outlook: Normal
Green Job: NoEducation: Doctoral degree

What do Clinical Psychologists do?

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat behavioral, mental, and emotional disorders. Some disorders are easy for experienced psychologists to diagnose, while others are much more complicated. Interviews, diagnostic tests, and long-term observation are common methods used in the diagnostic process.

Responsibilities for clinical psychologist jobs include:

  • Developing individualized treatment plans.
  • Counseling individuals and families on issues including substance abuse and stress.
  • Referring clients to institutions, support services and specialists as needed.
  • Interpreting psychological tests to determine individuals’ personalities, interests, and intelligence.

Most clinical psychologists work in an office environment, and are able to keep regular business hours. However, many also work in rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, clinics, and other mental health centers. Some clinical psychologists run their own practices, which allows them to work a flexible schedule.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

To work as a clinical psychologist, you will need to earn either a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). Ph.D. programs are research-heavy, and require completing a dissertation based on original research. Psy.D. programs provide more practical experience, with exams scheduled along the way.

Normally, graduate school students who want to practice clinical psychology complete a one year internship while in school. These internships provide practical real work experience that they can apply to their career in the field.

Getting into a graduate psychology program can be very competitive. Some programs will only accept candidates with a master’s degree, while others accept students with a bachelor’s. If you are planning to pursue a job in this occupation, it’s worth the extra effort to get good grades and find an internship as an undergraduate student.

Before you can call yourself a psychologist, most states require that you become licensed or certified.

The licensing requirements vary from state to state, but normally include earning a doctorate in psychology, completing an internship, having 1-2 years of work experience, and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

To learn more about the licensing requirements in your state, check out the Association of State and Provincial Licensing Boards website.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 152,000 clinical psychologists in the United States, with 5,990 new clinical psychologist job openings created each year.

Clinical Psychologist jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Clinical Psychologist Salaries

Overall Salaries

Clinical Psychologist salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most clinical psychologists make between $50,400 – $86,200 per year, or $24.21 – $41.47 per hour.

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