A child psychologist is a trained professional that treats and helps children that are experiencing problems or have been diagnosed with a psychological disorder. The objective of this position is to promote the healthy development and well being of children. Prospective child psychologists are typically emotionally stable, caring, compassionate, individuals that are trained to view situations from multiple angles at once.
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Child psychologists examine the behaviour and the mind of children through adolescence and treat potential mental issues. Some of these problems may be a result of anxiety, divorce, physical abuse, psychological abuse, peer pressure, drug and alcohol use and developmental disabilities or delays. These psychologists create age-appropriate plans for treatment after taking all issues into consideration and they monitor their patients' progress. Some methods child psychologists use include music, drawings, play and art to help the child communicate and work through problems. Child psychologists may also counsel an entire family to get at the problem.
Child psychologists must complete a four-year undergraduate degree and a master's program as the bare minimum for some positions. Most openings for the job require a doctoral degree in child psychology. To achieve this degree, typically five to seven years are needed to complete research and coursework. In addition, child psychologists often complete at least one to two years of internships and one or more postdoctoral fellowships in child psychology. Depending on the state, different licensing requirements must be met which often include the need to pass a state examination.
According to Salary Expert, the average salary for a child psychologist in ten major cities in the United States fell between £39,395 (Nashville, TN) and £53,597 (Chicago, IL). The median salary of these ten cities which also included Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Charlotte, NC; Boston, MA; Indianapolis, IN and Orlando, FL was £44,673 as of December 2010. This is slightly above the median salary of clinical, counselling and school psychologists in general, which was £41,691 in December 2008 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that psychology in general will grow 12 per cent over the decade of 2008 to 2018, which is close to the average of all professions during that time. This growth will be in part a result of a growing awareness of student mental health, behavioural problems and disabilities, and how they affect learning. For psychologists who work in the industrial field, the projections are much higher at a 26 per cent increase over the projected decade.
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