With a brief overview of the job description, career outlook, and educational requirements of a child psychologist, this CareerStint article attempts to explore the earning potential of child psychologists. Keep reading to know more.
Salaries are a major determinant in most of the professions; however, their role ends after several years, when we start looking for more passion and engagement in our jobs. A pediatric psychologist’s job is one of the most interesting jobs in the world. The salary may not be very high in the initial years, but as the studies go on, and one becomes experienced, the pay scale rises.
Childhood is the crucial period in the life of an individual, and it is marked by various emotional, physical, and behavioral changes in the personality of the child. It is said that ‘child is the father of man’, and it is so true…Kids are nothing but a miniature representation of adults. The events occurring in the childhood have a deep impact on our adult life. Childhood, indeed is a phase of curiosity and constant learning. Historically, it has been proved that the future of any country rests significantly on the growth and well-being of its children. When we talk about well-being of a kid, it includes all dimensions of the kids’ life – the trilogy of physical, social, and emotional health.
Average Salary of a Child Psychologist
- On an average, a child psychologist in the starting years can make anywhere between USD 30,000 to USD 60,000, which is a great start as interns, freshers, and those getting on-the-job experience.
- According to the PayScale data, a child psychologist can make anywhere between USD 36,601 – $124,486. The average salary of a child psychologist is about $69,427 per year.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2014, elementary and secondary schools had the highest level of employment for this occupation.
- Child psychologists who worked in child day care services received higher salaries than those who worked in specialty/general medical/surgical hospitals, research and development services, and offices of physicians.
- According to BLS data, the annual mean wage of child psychologists working in child day care services was $96,180. However, maximum number of jobs were available in elementary and secondary schools.
- Those who worked in the offices of physicians received on an average $81,510 p.a.
Let us now concentrate on some specific information about this field.
Why Become a Child Psychologist?
Before we begin to discuss the job description of a child psychologist, it is vital to understand the crucial and potent role child psychologists can play in the society to shape the lives of children. Since child development is one of the most crucial aspects of an individual’s life, it is vital to study and research about it in detail. It is also known that a child’s response to a situation and its reactions are quite different than adults. The impressions and memories of childhood go a long way in forming our opinions and identities. Since the phase of child development is so vital in life, it is essential to research and understand about it. As the contours of social communication change, and as there is drastic shift in lifestyle patterns, understanding children and their responses towards changes is of vital importance. Why are kids increasingly becoming violent and impatient? Why are their grades going lower? Why some kids remain silent while others are extremely naughty? How to handle specially challenged kids? What are some of the most effective ways to treat mental disorders in children? And so on. Answering these and several other questions requires the expertise and research of professionals. For child psychologists, helping children and their parents is more than a profession. It is essential to work at the frontier of child psychology to explore the minds of children, and help them lead a more enriching life.
Child psychologists are the professionals who specialize in understanding the changes of childhood stages and their impact on the child. They work with children and adults, to help solve their various psychological problems. The duties of a child psychologist vary significantly in various health care units. Communicating with an eight or nine year child is quite different than talking to a fifty or sixty year old man. It is due to this factor, that the field of psychology has many medical jobs to offer, that deal with counseling of the people with psychological problems. Some of the job duties of child psychologists include the following.
- Conducting IQ and educational assessment tests for children.
- Treating children with learning disabilities.
- Diagnosing behavioral problems in children, and assisting the parents in child counseling.
- Carrying out scientific research with respect to behavioral changes.
To become a child psychologist, one needs to work very hard, and study for years. The first step to become a child psychologist is to obtain the necessary degree – ‘Bachelor of Science’ in psychology (B.S.) or ‘Bachelor of Arts’ in psychology (B.A.), that takes nearly four to five years to complete. Graduate programs in the area of child psychology include masters’ and doctoral degrees. A doctoral program (PhD) in child psychology is primarily focused on training individuals for careers in research and academia. Students receive clinical training too. After the completion of studies and some training, a license is essential for the child psychologist to practice as a professional.
Factors that Determine the Salary Range
The field of psychology has opened new avenues of career opportunities for students. Since, psychology deals with plethora of topics, the requirement of psychologists have risen drastically. There are various factors that motivate people to specialize as child psychologists. Most child psychologists work for the job satisfaction derived from working with small children. The child psychologist salary per year, depends on various factors. The first factor is the place where the psychologist is working. For instance, the psychologist working in a school may earn near around USD 60,000, while the salary for someone working in an independent agency may be up to USD 120,000. Child psychologists who work with social services are paid less than those working in larger healthcare organizations. The salary range mainly depends on:
- Educational attainment
- Size of the organization
- The volume of practice
- Work experience
- Reputation in the medical field
- Knowledge and skills
The career development path for child psychologists is steady, and with work experience, one can become an expert counselor in elite hospital institutions and research firms. The changing dynamics of social life has led to an increase in behavioral problems in children. As a result, there has been an increase in demand of child psychologists in schools and colleges.
‘Child psychologist salary range’ must not be the sole deciding factor for students who wish to enter this profession. The psychologists can be key players in improving the relationship of children with their family. This can help the society in a positive manner. So, if you have interest in psychology, then you should surely pursue a career in this intellectually rewarding field. Money and rest other credentials will eventually follow, as you go on gaining work experience. All the best!