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Career Profile: Clinical Psychologist

Why Is Clinical Psychology a Job of Tomorrow?
As people's stress levels increase, the demand will intensify for clinical psychologists to help them manage their worries as well as address serious mental health issues. Employment opportunities for clinical psychologists are expected to grow at a faster rate than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average annual salary for clinical psychologists is $59,440.

What Does a Clinical Psychologist Do?
Clinical psychologists work to improve the mental health of patients. To do so, psychologists diagnose cognitive conditions. Clinical psychologists work in a variety of settings, including private practices and hospitals, and can treat people of all ages as well as couples and families. Psychologists gain an understanding of the patient's problems through free-flow discussions, background history and other conversational methods of obtaining information. After assessing each individual case, psychologists will create a therapy plan to aid the patient. These can involve additional talk sessions or, in the case of conditions such as clinical depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, the prescribing of medication.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Clinical Psychologist?
Most states require psychologists to earn a doctoral degree in psychology before they can be licensed to practice, though some states allow licensure with a master's level degree. Psychology degree courses cover behavioral science, clinical practice methods and individual assessment techniques. Doctoral level degrees typically take four to six years to complete after first obtaining a bachelor's and a master's typically takes about two to three years. To earn licensure, program graduates must pass a national certification exam. Some states require that licensed psychologists participate in continuing education to renew their licenses. This practice ensures that clinical psychologists remain current with new developments in the field.