What Education is Needed to Become a Child Psychologist

If you want to make a difference in children’s lives, becoming a child psychologist may be a good career option. To become a child psychologist, you need an extensive education. Clinical psychologists must have a doctorate, either a Psy.D. or a Ph.D. to practice. Either type of doctorate requires a thesis and an internship in addition to classroom work. In many states, school psychologists only need a master’s degree. Most master’s degrees, however, still require extensive clinical hours.

In order to become a child psychologist, one must first complete an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology. Many child psychologists also complete a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology. Child psychologists may also need to complete postdoctoral training, which can include an internship and/or fellowship.

A child psychologist is a professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children. Child psychologists work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, clinics, schools, and government agencies. Education requirements for child psychologists vary by state but typically include a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited university.

In some states, licensure as a psychologist is also required. Many child psychologists complete postdoctoral fellowships or internships to gain additional experience working with children and families. Child psychologists use a variety of techniques to assess and treat their young patients.

These may include individual therapy, family therapy, play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and medication management. Treatment plans are tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and often incorporate input from parents or guardians. If you’re interested in becoming a child psychologist, be prepared for a long journey ahead!

But know that it will be worth it when you see the positive impact you can have on the lives of your young patients.

What is a Child Counselor? How to Become a Child Counselor.

What is the Difference between a Child Psychologist And a Psychiatrist

A child psychologist is someone who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

What Education is Needed to Become a Child Psychologist

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How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Child Psychologist

It takes anywhere from 7 to 12 years to become a child psychologist. This includes 4 to 6 years of undergraduate study, followed by 2 to 4 years of graduate school. Child psychologists must also complete a 1-year internship and pass a licensure exam.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Child Psychologist

The cost of becoming a child psychologist will vary depending on the route you take. If you decide to go the traditional route and attend an accredited university, you can expect to pay tuition plus the costs of room and board, books, and other miscellaneous expenses. The average cost of attending a four-year university is about $25,000 per year.

So, if you choose to become a child psychologist by attending an accredited university, your total cost will be approximately $100,000. If you decide to pursue an online degree program or take some classes at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution, your costs will be lower. Online programs typically cost between $15,000 and $20,000 per year.

Community colleges also charge much lower tuition rates than four-year universities; therefore, taking some classes at a community college before transferring can save you thousands of dollars in tuition fees. In addition to tuition costs, there are also fees associated with taking the national licensing exam required to become a licensed child psychologist. The fee for taking the national licensing exam is currently $600.

Once you pass the exam and receive your license, there may also be annual renewal fees associated with maintaining your license; these fees vary from state to state but are typically around $100 per year. So how much does it really cost to become a child psychologist?

Child Psychologist Salary

As of May 2019, the average annual salary for child psychologists was $85,340, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Child psychologists with doctoral or professional degrees can earn significantly higher salaries working in private practices or hospitals. The highest 10 percent of earners made more than $129,520 per year, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,140.

Child psychologists typically work full time during regular business hours, although some may need to work evenings or weekends to accommodate their patients’ schedules. They often work in schools, clinics, private practices, or hospitals. Some child psychologists may also serve as consultants to businesses or organizations that serve children and families.


Becoming a child psychologist requires an extensive education. You must earn a doctorate degree to become a child psychologist, which requires long years in school, completing internships, performing research, and writing a thesis. You must also work under a licensed psychologist’s supervision and pass the EPPP before becoming licensed. Individual states may have other requirements. If you enjoy working with children, are a good collaborator, and want to apply psychology to help children grow and learn, you may want to consider this career.

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