A clinical psychologist is someone who is involved in the assessment, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses and disorders. Many clinical psychologists specialize in one particular area such as children or even forensics. Clinical psychologists, in short, help people. They diagnose and treat mental illness or disorder without the use of medications. Clinical psychologists are therapists. This is a great field for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others.
Why Become A Clinical Psychologist
Clinical psychologists are also very detail oriented. Medical records are very important. Mental health records are just as important. Clinical psychologists must keep very detailed client records. These records include information about the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and goals of the treatment in relation to the client. The records help the psychologist and client review their progress in order to measure the success of treatment. Records are also helpful for third party insurance. Many times, insurance companies only allow so many visits per year.
Becoming a clinical psychologist offers many personal rewards. It also offers a chance at self-employment. It can often be difficult to deal with insurance companies. Burn out is also a factor of this demanding position. Many would argue that although it is a demanding field, it is also the most rewarding way to spend their working life.
Clinical Psychologist Work Environment
The work environment of a clinical psychologist can vary. A clinical psychologist may be employed by a counseling service, hospital, school, and even by law enforcement. The majority of the work that takes place in this field is performed inside within a private office setting. State government also hires clinical psychologists. Some clinical psychologists work on an independent basis either as a therapist or as a researcher.
Clinical Psychologist Salary
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median salary for clinical psychologists was $69,280.00. Salary can be dependent on factors such as education, employer, and experience. As in many industries education affects salary. Those with a Master’s degree often make less than someone with a Doctorate. Clinical psychologists that are self-employed may also supplement their career income as an independent consultant.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this field will grow around 12% over the next decade. In reality, that number means that job growth is expected to be average. Since clinical psychologists often specialize in a particular area of mental health, it is important to research that sub-specialty during your planning phase. For instance it is expected that the need for clinical psychologists within the healthcare industry will be greater than those in private practice.
Clinical Psychologist Degree
If you are considering a career as a clinical psychologist you should contact your state licensing board to find out the exact educational requirements. Many states require only a Master’s degree. Other states will require a Psy.D. (Doctorate). If you are considering a program that is offered completely online, you should check with the licensing board on testing eligibility. Many boards will not allow those who participated in a fully online training program to sit for state licensure.