Deciding upon a career (and thus a major for college students) is a daunting task. While child psychology attracts many people due to its high pay, flexible hours and assumed good benefits, the number of years spent acquiring the necessary education tends to deter many who would otherwise be interested. If you have the right education and qualifications, child psychology can be a fulfilling and profitable career.
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To conduct counselling or clinical sessions, every child psychologist must complete first a bachelor's degree and then a Ph.D. or Psy.D and pass a license exam administered by the state in which she will work. This means translates to nine or 10 years of education and training as well as passing the often challenging state licensing exam before you can officially counsel children. Personal traits are very important in this field. You must be an emotionally stable, compassionate and sensitive person who is also patient and effectively communicative according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Child psychologists specialise in treating children for mental illnesses, trauma and other significant life changes in private, school or even clinical settings. Child psychologists will study the child's psychological development, interact with the adults in the child's life to improve emotional issues and talk with the child to help him work through issues in a healthy manner. School psychologists, who must also acquire additional training, will not only work with the schoolchildren but also with the administrators and families of the children to solve behavioural issues and work through trauma.
On average, a psychologist earned £41,691 a year as of May 2008. The sector a psychologist works in affects the average wage somewhat. Child psychologists working in state schools averaged an annual earned wage of £42,061 while those in the private sector providing individual services made, as a median average, £35,386 a year. Government-employed child psychologists outside the public education system made a median of £41,411 a year.
Just below one-third -- 31 per cent -- of child psychologists who worked for the government or public education belonged to a union in 2008, meaning they probably enjoyed benefits such as medical insurance, 401(k)s and vacation pay. Private practitioners and consultants, however, made up just over a third of the 170,200 working psychologists in 2008 and pay for their own retirement investments, medical and life insurance.
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