Should I Become a Clinical Psychologist?

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical Psychology combines theory, science and practice. As a clinical psychologist, you would deal with the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of those with psychological problems. These problems can very greatly in severity and seriousness, from disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse to problems related to stress, career planning and family.

If you don’t like school – it may be time to consider another career. Job opportunities are limited for those with a bachelor’s clinical psychology degree. If you want to work in your own private practice, then you will need to become licensed. This is done to ensure “quality” that is equivalent across clinical practitioners.

A doctorate degree is usually required for independent practice as a clinical psychologist as well as many other career options such as academic and research. A master’s degree will allow you sufficient choice in careers, but it will also limit you in career advancement. A master’s clinical psychology degree program requires 2 years of full time study and it may be best if you think about it as allows you to start off your career and ease into a doctoral degree program.

Where do Clinical Psychologist Work?

With a clinical psychology degree you could work in a:

  • private practice
  • school or college
  • hospital
  • physical rehabilitation centers
  • mental health facilitates

Careers with a Clinical Psychology Degree

With a clinical psychology degree you could choose among a vast number of careers. You could focus:

Research – focus on assessment and testing of therapies, drug treatments or patient interventions.

Counseling – advise individuals in group or family settings or conduct one to one meetings with patients. This type of career is perfect if you like giving advice and helping people.

Faculty – you could decide to share your knowledge with other aspiring clinical psychologist and become a member of the faculty team. In this role you would train students in providing mental health services to a wide range of clients.

According to the US Department of Labor, jobs for psychologists are expected to grow 15% from 2006-2016. This is faster than average for all other occupations. Given the raise in health care costs, prevention and treatment have become more critical. According to the same source, median annual earnings for clinical psychologist were $59,440 (data from May 2006).