Clinical Psychologist


What Are Clinical Psychologists

clinical psychologistA Clinical Psychologist is trained to apply theories of the psychological science, which are aligned with clinical situation. Their work is focused on two steps. According to the first step, Clinical Psychologists help their patients realize the possible psychological issues they face. This step includes the implementation of a plethora of methods in order to assess the severity of the situation. Some of the most acknowledged methods are numerous forms of therapy, which tailored to the patient’s needs, and DSM (Diagnostic And Statistical Manual). In any case, they are not allowed to prescribe medication. That is a privilege, completely entitled to psychiatrists.

The second step is reached, once the patient has come to terms with the diagnostically confirmed issues. Recovery from such issues is achieved through the use of specifically designed treatment plans. The elements of commitment and sequence on behalf of the Clinical Psychologists are vital for the successful completion of the recovery step.

Quick Facts
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
2016 Median Annual Sallary$73,270
Typical Entry-Level EducationDoctoral or professional degree
Typical On-The-Job TrainingInternship/residency
Work Experience In A Related OccupationNone
Projected Job Openings 2014 - 202463,800
Employment Change 2014 - 202430,500
Projected Growth 2014 - 202419.6%

Steps to Become a Clinical Psychologist

  • Education:

    Most clinical psychologists require a doctoral level. Students can complete a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or Ph.D. in psychology degree. A Ph.D. in psychology is a study level that is obtained after going for a detailed exam and writing a dissertation predicated on original research. Ph.D. programs typically include training on figures and experimental steps. The Psy.D. is a clinical level often predicated on sensible work and examinations rather than dissertation. In clinical adjustments, students usually complete a 1-time internship within the doctoral program.

  • Licenses & Accreditations:

    Licensing laws differ by position type and by state. Most clinical psychologists require a doctorate in psychology, an internship, with least one to two 24 months of supervised professional experience. In addition, they must complete the Assessment for Professional Practice in Psychology. In many state governments, accredited psychologists must complete carrying on education lessons to keep their licenses.

  • Training:

    Most Clinical Psychologists will need to have pre or postdoctoral supervised experience, including an internship. Internships allow students to get experience within an applied setting. Prospects must complete an internship before they can be eligible for state licensure. The requirement for number of hours of the internship may vary by state.

Job Outlook


Below are national percentile wage estimates for this occupation in United States.
PERCENTILE 10% 25% 50% 75% 90%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Hourly Wage $20.11 $26.47 $35.23 $46.11 $57.85
Annual Wage $41,830 $55,050 $73,270 $95,910 $120,320

Industries with Highest Levels of Employment in This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Elementary and Secondary Schools 44,280 0.53 $36.38 $75,670
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 15,600 1.86 $43.04 $89,530
Individual and Family Services 6,930 0.41 $36.01 $74,910
Outpatient Care Centers 5,960 0.71 $36.07 $75,020
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 5,680 0.10 $40.13 $83,480

Top Paying Industries for This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 460 0.18 $45.02 $93,650
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 15,600 1.86 $43.04 $89,530
Offices of Physicians 4,650 0.18 $41.45 $86,220
Management of Companies and Enterprises 390 0.02 $41.43 $86,180
Employment Services 370 0.01 $41.22 $85,750

States with Highest Employment Level in This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
California 18,990 1.55 $43.37 $90,210
New York 11,230 1.61 $43 $89,430
Texas 5,820 0.64 $31.40 $65,310
Pennsylvania 5,040 1.14 $34.92 $72,640
Massachusetts 4,900 1.84 $36.32 $75,550

Top Paying States for This Occupation:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
New Jersey 3,600 1.18 $45.50 $94,650
South Dakota 250 0.79 $45.08 $93,760
California 18,990 1.55 $43.37 $90,210
New York 11,230 1.61 $43 $89,430
Oregon 1,130 0.82 $41.91 $87,170

Key Attributes

Every field has basic requirements for people having different skills, abilities and knowledge. Understanding these requirements will help you find right career path for you. Below are few such key attributes that a Clinical Psychologist should have.


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  • Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.


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  • Therapy and Counseling: Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Law and Government: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.


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  • Oral Comprehension: The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension: The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression: The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression: The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas: The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality: The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity: The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning: The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning: The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering: The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility: The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure: The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention: The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Near Vision: The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition: The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity: The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What They Do?


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  • Identify psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, or reference materials.
  • Develop and implement individual treatment plans, specifying type, frequency, intensity, and duration of therapy.
  • Interact with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, or vocational development and adjustment.
  • Discuss the treatment of problems with clients.
  • Use a variety of treatment methods, such as psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavior modification, stress reduction therapy, psychodrama, or play therapy.
  • Counsel individuals and groups regarding problems, such as stress, substance abuse, or family situations, to modify behavior or to improve personal, social, or vocational adjustment.
  • Write reports on clients and maintain required paperwork.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments and the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses, modifying plans or diagnoses as necessary.
  • Obtain and study medical, psychological, social, and family histories by interviewing individuals, couples, or families and by reviewing records.
  • Consult reference material, such as textbooks, manuals, or journals, to identify symptoms, make diagnoses, or develop approaches to treatment.
  • Maintain current knowledge of relevant research.
  • Observe individuals at play, in group interactions, or in other contexts to detect indications of mental deficiency, abnormal behavior, or maladjustment.
  • Select, administer, score, and interpret psychological tests to obtain information on individuals' intelligence, achievements, interests, or personalities.
  • Refer clients to other specialists, institutions, or support services as necessary.
  • Provide psychological or administrative services and advice to private firms or community agencies regarding mental health programs or individual cases.
  • Develop, direct, and participate in training programs for staff and students.
  • Provide occupational, educational, or other information to individuals so that they can make educational or vocational plans.
  • Direct, coordinate, and evaluate activities of staff and interns engaged in patient assessment and treatment.
  • Plan and develop accredited psychological service programs in psychiatric centers or hospitals, in collaboration with psychiatrists and other professional staff.
  • Plan, supervise, and conduct psychological research and write papers describing research results.
  • Consult with or provide consultation to other doctors, therapists, or clinicians regarding patient care.

Work Activities

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  • Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People: Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies: Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities: Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Interacting With Computers: Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Selling or Influencing Others: Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing and Building Teams: Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Training and Teaching Others: Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others: Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Performing Administrative Activities: Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Work Context

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  • Telephone: 88% responded "Every day"
  • Electronic Mail: 50% responded "Every day"
  • Letters and Memos: 60% responded "Every day"
  • Face-to-Face Discussions: 99% responded "Every day"
  • Contact With Others: 68% responded "Constant contact with others"
  • Work With Work Group or Team: 21% responded "Extremely important"
  • Deal With External Customers: 52% responded "Extremely important"
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People: 9% responded "Every day"
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled: 99% responded "Every day"
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections: 18% responded "Every day"
  • Spend Time Sitting: 66% responded "Continually or almost continually"
  • Consequence of Error: 32% responded "Extremely serious"
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results: 53% responded "Very important results"
  • Frequency of Decision Making: 67% responded "Every day"
  • Freedom to Make Decisions: 80% responded "A lot of freedom"
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate: 40% responded "Extremely important"
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks: 26% responded "Extremely important"
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work: 77% responded "A lot of freedom"
  • Time Pressure: 15% responded "Every day"

Job Zone

  • Title: Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  • Education: Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Related Experience: Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
  • Job Training: Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Job Zone Examples: These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
  • SVP Range: (8.0 and above)

Find Your State Licensing Requirements

Whether you need to complete an internship or a doctoral degree, licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Click name of state below to find licensing requirement for that particular state.

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