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How to Become a Child Psychologist

There are many aspects of mental health care that provide rewarding benefits and interesting work. Child psychology is a field within mental health that helps children and their parents. As such, it's a meaningful, fulfilling profession. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can become a child psychologist.

  • Education Child psychology is a profession that requires extensive education. Depending on where you live, you may have to earn a PhD in order to work as a registered child psychologist. Keep in mind that even if it's not required, a doctorate will increase the professional positions available to you in this competitive field [source: BPS].
  • Volunteer There are many volunteer positions that can provide you with experience as well as the necessary recommendations to become a psychologist. You may volunteer in the counseling department of a local school or in the children's mental-health ward at a local hospital. Sometimes the best experience is acquired while volunteering.
  • Licensing Child psychologists must be licensed. The criteria for licensing vary from state to state. You may want to call local child psychologists or your university professors to find out how to become licensed as a registered psychologist.
  • Employment Start your career by working with other experienced professionals. Once you've acquired some experience, you may want to open your own practice. Child psychology is often a difficult field that requires experience and support. Working with other professionals in schools, hospitals or mental health clinics will provide you with the necessary foundation to become an experienced and effective child psychologist [source: Grohol].