If you are interested in helping children with emotional, behavioral or mental health problems, take a look at this comprehensive guide and achieve your goal.

Should I Become a Child Psychologist?

Child Psychologists are licensed experts who provide consultations to child patients and carry out clinical research to devise treatment strategies for children including their families. They are healthcare professionals who give face to face consultations to study the children’s behavioral issues and how these nuances affect all aspects of their lives.

Education Required A doctoral degree (A PhD/Psy.D.)
Major Requirement Psychology
License/Certification Getting licensed is mandatory in all states of the US
Experience/Training At least 2 years of supervised work experience
Key Skills Communication, Organizational, Analytical, Interpersonal, Observational and Problem-solving Skills; Patience and Integrity etc.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) –


$87,450 (Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists)
Job Outlook


14% (Faster than the average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment growth for Psychologists is projected to see a 14% rise from 2018 to 2028. However, the rise in employment may vary based on career choices and location of practice. In 2019, 113,270 Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists were employed in the US.

Steps to Become a Child Psychologist

Becoming a Child Psychologist is a 5-step process. If this career is the best fit for you, then let’s get going!

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. There are countless universities in the US that offer a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Psychology. For instance, the Mississippi State University and the Eastern Illinois University offer an online BA in Psychology. Whereas, the University of Utah and the Tennessee State University offer an on-campus bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

  1. Get a Master’s Degree
  2. Depending upon your grades and chosen major in bachelor’s degree as well as your selected institution for enrollment in a doctoral degree, you may need to complete a 2-year master’s degree in Psychology. Many universities in the US offer this degree such as, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Illinois and the University of Utah etc.

  1. Complete a Doctoral Degree
  2. To become licensed and practice as a Child Psychologist, it is mandatory to complete a doctoral degree in the US. This degree may take 4-6 years to complete and is offered by many universities. For instance, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Illinois, the University of Utah and the Tennessee State University all offer a PhD degree in Psychology with various areas of specializations.

  1. Gain Field Experience
  2. To get a license, all Child Psychologists must gain 2 years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

  1. Get Licensed
  2. All psychologists in the US need to be licensed to practice and the requirements of licensure vary for each state. Generally, license can be obtained by taking a few exams conducted by the state board.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Child Psychologist?

Typically, it may take approximately 10 to 12 years, may be more, to become a Child Psychologist in the US. However, it depends on the educational and career choices you make along the way.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Child Psychologist?

To become a licensed Child Psychologist, you must complete the following requirements.

  • Complete an APA/ASPPB accredited doctoral degree in Psychology
  • Acquire 2 years of supervised field experience under a licensed Child Psychologist
  • Clear the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
  • Most states require a background check to determine good moral character
  • In majority of the states, you must get the board’s permission to take the Jurisprudence Exam or another board conducted exam and clear it to get licensed

For license requirements of a particular state, please visit the official state website.

How Much Can I Earn as a Child Psychologist?

In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported $87,450 as the annual mean salary of Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists. Whereas, Oregon was named as the top paying state for this occupation with an annual mean income of $112,010.