How Long Does It Take To Become A Child Psychologist?

Here is an article that details on how long it takes to become a child psychologist by meeting the necessary education requirements and skills.

Updated by Rakshitha N on 12th October 2020

If you are looking forward to pursuing your career as a child psychologist, you're probably wondering about how long it might take to attain a license and complete the educational requirements. The answer to this depends on what education level you prefer, your interest to specialize in a particular field, and others. 

Usually, it takes about 7 years long or more to become a child psychologist which includes 4 years of an undergraduate degree, 2-5 years of an advanced degree, and 1 year of experience. This timeline helps in gaining the necessary skills and hands-on experience to become qualified. 

A Child psychologist is specialized in treating children and adolescent developmental issues and behavior. Their concern is to assess child health, child stress, development, learning disability, mental illness, emotional and behavioral issues.

Being a Child Psychologist involves learning patterns, behavioral developments, and environmental aspects disturbing a child from infancy through adolescence and trained to cope with abnormal psychology or adolescent psychology.

The average salary offered to a Child psychologist is about $81,331 per year in 2020 and is projected to have a growth of 14 percent during the period of 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average growth of other jobs. Hence aspiring students who are willing to jump in this career path can look up to getting a clear idea of how many years it might take to become a Child psychologist.

How long does it take to become a Child Psychologist?

Becoming a child psychologist requires you to earn a doctoral degree which takes about 3-5 years to complete, however, some prefer to end their education journey after earning a master’s degree which takes 2 years in addition to an undergraduate degree. On the whole, you could consume approximately 7 years or more to meet the educational requirements for child psychologists and land on the job. 

Bachelor’s degree in child psychology- 4 years

A bachelor's degree in child psychology is a four-year program that offers 120-160 credit offers to complete the basic foundation required to establish a career as a teacher or counselor for school-aged children. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree learn concepts of child growth and development as well as clinical research methods. The skills gained in the learning process of this program may be used by students who wish to directly treat psychological disorders or students who possess an interest in analyzing human behavior.

Master’s degree in child psychology- 2 years

A master's degree in child psychology provides students an opportunity to gain knowledge and training by means of the specialized course and programs by offering 33-36 credits. Programs may include a graduate-level internship. Students who complete the program can seek advanced careers working with children. It gives in-depth knowledge on courses such as Developmental Science, School Counselling, Diversity and Childhood Development, and others.  

Doctorate in child psychology- 3-5 years

A Doctor of Philosophy in Child Psychology (Ph.D.) is the highest degree level available in the field. Programs under this program focus on theory as opposed to practice; this may be particularly relevant to roles in research and academia. Doctoral classes give students an understanding of how to approach and treat mental health and emotional issues. The coursework generally includes Child Neuropsychology, Childhood and Adolescent Behavioral Disorders, Clinical Child Psychology Practicum. 

Gaining Experience- 1 year

According to state requirements, you must get a license to work as a psychologist. To obtain a license there are certain criteria such as gaining experience or completing a practicum under the guidance of the American Psychological Association. 

Conclusion

Career-oriented students who dream about becoming a child psychologist are required to invest time to gain skills and education which in turn allows you to get a rewarding career. Hence you must research prior to the possible outcomes you could gain from the profession and analyze if it aligns with your goals. With diverse healthcare professions in the industry, you could find this career path best for you and can drive you to advance your career exponentially.