Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat people with intellectual disabilities to help improve clients' mental health and sense of well-being. It's a highly practical and solution-oriented specialty for people who want to help others help themselves.
Psychologists help people from all backgrounds and treat human problems common to many of us. They help people overcome depression, anger and anxiety. They also treat chronic conditions that interfere with their clients' lives or physical health.
Clinical psychologists teach people to cope with stressful situations, overcome addictions, improve their relationships with their husband, wife or parents, and break through barriers that keep people from reaching their potential. They also give psychological tests to evaluate cognitive strengths and weaknesses, personality characteristics, and more.Learn More
If helping people improve their mental health, well-being and quality of life is important to you, clinical psychology may be the right career choice. Learn which personal and professional traits you’ll need to succeed in this career.
You should have…
Strong verbal and communication skills
Good writing skills
High ethical standards
Ability to focus
Clinical psychologists must be licensed to practice in their state. Generally, you'll need to have a doctorate in psychology and one to two years of experience under the guidance of a mentor to qualify for licensure.
Get a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
To specialize in clinical psychology, you'll need the knowledge and skills of other psychologists. You'll first need an undergraduate degree with a psychology major.
Get an Advanced Degree in Psychology
To get into a graduate program in clinical psychology, most schools look for a good score on the GRE (above 1200), a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and experience in the field.
Complete an Internship
All clinical psychology programs require you to do an internship. Internships in clinical and counseling psychology must generally be approved by the American Psychological Association.
Pass the Psychology Exam
You will need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. If you have questions, contact the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
Apply for Licensure in Your State
In order to practice psychology you must be licensed by your state. Most states require approximately two years of supervised clinical hours after you earn your PhD, PsyD, or EdD.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for clinical psychologists is $67,650. Actual salaries vary greatly based on location, specialization, years of experience and other factors.
Compare psychology salaries below:
Employment of psychologists is expected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand for psychologists in schools, hospitals, mental health centers and social services agencies should drive this job growth.Learn More
Social-personality psychology observes individual personality traits while people interact with others on a social level.
There are many options for returning to school that will allow you to complete your graduate education at an affordable price.
Get inspired by this profile of a clinical psychology graduate student and learn how she turned her degree into a career.
Read all about clinical psychology accreditation requirements and find accreditation board contacts.
You can choose from fellowships, scholarships, grants or subsidies, work study programs, and federal loans for clinical psychology school.
What are the similarities and differences between online PhDs in counseling psychology and clinical psychology? How do you decide which to pursue?
Read what a professional clinical psychologist specializing in children and adolescents has to say about her profession.
Clinical psychology professionals complete a rigorous training program before being licensed to practice in any number of career paths.
Read what a clinical neuropsychologist does, and what your degree program in clinical neuropsychology will entail.
Neuropsychologists study the relationship between brain function, behavior and psychological processes.
With the baby boomer generation aging and the fact that a larger percentage of the population will be elderly, geriatric psychologists will be in demand.
Those in experimental psychology use a methodological approach to conduct experiments in controlled situations in order to examine human behavior.
A developmental psychologist studies the physiological, cognitive and social development that takes place throughout every stage of our lives.
Cognitive psychologists examine memory, perception, learning and language to see how people diagnose, and solve problems and make decisions.
Behavioral psychologists assume that since behavior is learned through interactions with an individual's environment, it can be analytically observed.
Interested in why we act as we do? Read how social personality psychologists create a profile of "us."
Studying human development throughout the lifespan, developmental psychologists also consider the speed at which development happens.
Sports psychologists study the psychological effects of participating in sports, as well as how an individual's mental state impacts performance.
The field of psychology is vast and once learn how to become a psychologist, your duties will vary depending on your specialty and credentials.
Once you complete your clinical psychology degree, your salary options are as wide open as the field itself.
If helping others is important to you, you may want to consider a career in clinical psychology.
If you decide to earn a clinical psychology degree, here’s what your program will look like.
Read 7 questions and answers you'll need to know in a nutshell about psychology school and your clinical psychology education.