A child psychologist is a doctor who performs development and psychological assessments of children and adolescents with mental, social, and emotional disorders. The goal of a child psychologist is geared towards helping the child perform better in his environment such as the school, correct problems in behavior, and address developmental limitations.
Specific Functions of a Child Psychologist
In collaboration with the assessment team, a child psychologist conducts a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of the developmental and psychological status of a child or adolescent. The findings of which should be reported accordingly to the parents or guardians of the child, disciplinary team, and other health professionals which are directly involved in the care of the child or adolescents. A specially designed educational program is being formulated by the child psychologist based on the findings of the said assessment.
To become a child psychologist, one must obtain a doctoral degree in clinical child psychology together with a license or registry in his or her country. Requirements in state licensing and registry differ from state to state. A Master’s degree can also make one a child psychologist but he or she has to earn it for five years of study at a university. The aim of the degree is to teach those aspirants about the psychological development of children as they grow and the factors influence their behavior and thinking such as learning, genetic makeup, parenting styles, and reinforcement.
Specific Skills to Acquire
Being a child psychologist would require you to speak well and convey the proper and significant findings to those who are directly involved with the child. Thus, one must be excellent in his or her communication and interpersonal skills to become effective in coordinating with the health team, parents, and the children and adolescents. In addition to that, one must also have a self – awareness attribute ad should possess a compassionate heart and strong desire to reach out and help with those children and adolescents.
Apart from what has been mentioned, a child psychologist should also collaborate effectively with other health care professionals for the needs of the child. Clinical child psychologists should keep themselves up-to-date with the latest information about child psychology and the available treatment techniques to their individual patients.
The annual salary of a psychologist depends on the number of years of experience that they have and also in their educational attainment. A child psychologist who is on an entry – level position earns an amount that ranges from $29,000 to $44,000. After about five years or more, their income increase roughly about $54,000 to $79,000. However, the annual income of a clinical psychologist who has a 10 – year experience or more in the field is earning roughly between $79,000 and $100,000.
To become a child psychologist, you need to have a strong interest in taking care of children below 19 years of age. You should be able to deal with what they are going through and understand them in a holistic approach.