What does a Clinical Psychologist do?
Clinical Psychologists typically work for mental health clinics, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, schools and prisons to assess and treat patients with various mental health conditions. They work closely with other mental health professionals to provide optimal support to their patients. Their job is to refer to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) to compare their patient’s symptoms and behaviors and helping their patients understand their condition, its causes and treatment options. They may also conduct research studies with other Clinical Psychologists to learn more about conditions like OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or anxiety disorders.
Clinical Psychologist skills and qualifications
There are several qualifications, especially concerning communication and interpersonal skills, that will help a Clinical Psychologist succeed in their duties, including:
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Analytical skills
- Observational skills
Clinical Psychologist salary expectations
The average salary of a Clinical Psychologist is $96,630 per year. This can vary depending on the type of clinical work they perform, their geographical location, experience level and whether they work in the public or private sector. Some common benefits for Clinical Psychologists include a flexible schedule, loan repayment programs and paid time off.
Clinical Psychologist education and training requirements
People who want to work as a Clinical Psychologist should either get a Ph.D. in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology degree, also known as a Psy.D., though organizations hiring Clinical Psychologists usually prefer the latter. Doctor of Psychology degrees require practical work and exams, as well as a one-year internship for some programs. A Ph.D. in Psychology includes coursework in statistics, experimental procedures and psychological research. The Ph.D. is a research degree, so students have to complete a dissertation in addition to taking a comprehensive exam. Depending on where the Clinical Psychologist is employed, they will probably need a license to practice, which requires some practical experience.
Clinical Psychologist experience requirements
Experience in clinical settings or specific experience in the type of clinical psychology a prospective employer needs is always a plus. An ideal candidate will have doctoral and postdoctoral interning experience in an organization and will have demonstrated their interpersonal skills, communication skills and integrity through previous work experience and associated referrals. Previous experience can vary from private practice to work for a large private or public organization.
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