Child psychologists have a varied role in today’s society. Their roles can be divided into research and practical. The practical doctors work with children who are mentally ill, can offer counseling to troubled children or work with children who are reacting against our education system. The research guys are the ones who publish papers and find out more about how human beings develop through childhood and adolescence.
There are positions available to those with MA level qualifications but the majority of jobs for a child psychologist require either a PhD or a PsyD. Your motivations for working in this area will help you choose which qualification to go for. If you want to publish a devastating new theory proving that parenting style actually has little effect on development – or perhaps examining the concept of “childhood” in terms of how helpful it is to development – then try the PhD course.
If on the other hand you want to work with children and help them in a therapeutic setting, if you want to help treat children who are suffering or if you want to guide adolescents through the troubles of that period than you will want to do the more practical PsyD course.
After completing your thesis you will need to do a minimum of two years of clinical training before you can be authorized as a child psychologist. You can expect to earn an average income of $63,000 pa.
Child psychologists are employed by courts, schools or in private practice. You could work in hospitals or kindergartens.