Clinical psychology is concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of psychological disorders. Most clinical psychologists have a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, although opportunities also exist for those with a masters degree.
Before you decide on a career in clinical psychology, you need to consider your future goals. Do you want to work with children, adolescents, or adults? Are you interested in having your own therapy practice? Such factors can play an important role in your choice of a clinical graduate program or area of specialization.
Another important consideration is which type of degree is best suited to your needs. The traditional Ph.D. degree emphasizes the role of research in addition to preparing graduates for careers as clinical practitioners. Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degrees are focused on the professional aspects of clinical psychology.
Learn more about training, typical salaries, and benefits in this profile of careers in clinical psychology.
- What Is Clinical Psychology?
- How Long Does It Take to Get a Ph.D. in Psychology?
Before deciding on a career in clinical psychology, here are some FACTS all students should know:
1) After completing your bachelor?s degree, a clinical psychology PHD or PsyD will take you an additional 5-7 years of full-time graduate study.
2) If your program is not funded, this may cost you $200,00 in loans.
3) There is a HUGE imbalance and shortage of internship positions (this is a requirement to graduate) and the stipend is 25,000 at best if you get into a super competitive position. There are currently about 100 applicants per 1/2 positions. Look at the APA MATCH RATES for each program before you apply. They should be close to 100%
4) If you are lucky enough to land a post-doc, this will pay you between 25,000-45,000 on the high end.
5) After you graduate, you will still need 3,000 hours (this includes internship hours) to be licensed. You will need to take a demanding exam and some states have further regulations, such as an oral exam, which may have very low passing rates (50% in NJ). This can delay your ability to practice after you graduate!
6) Salaries in clinical psychology are among the lowest compared to other professions, particularly given the extensive training requirements you must pass (yes, its longer than medical school). Current salaries are very low for clinical post-docs (between 25,000-45,000). Average mid-career salaries can range from 60,000-85,000 plus depending on where you work.
I don?t think that what Denise posted are all facts. It all depends on the patch you choose and where you?re living. Generally, schooling will be extensive for a direct psychology career, but if it?s really what you want to do, all the studying and loans will be worth it. Also, the demand for psychologists is growing and the pay if you do go all the way for a phd is around 60,000.
I?m frustrated with people trying to discourage students from the psychology field. There is a lot to think about before you dive in, but you?ll never know until you go for it.