Clinical Psychologist Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More (2023)

Table Of Contents

  • Clinical Psychologist Job Duties
  • Clinical Psychologist Job Requirements
  • Clinical Psychologist Skills
  • Clinical Psychologist Work Environment
  • Clinical Psychologist Trends
  • How to Become a Clinical Psychologist
  • Advancement Prospects
  • Job Description Example
  • Similar Jobs

Clinical psychologists are trained professionals who diagnose and treat mental health issues. They may work with individuals, couples, families, or groups to help them manage and overcome a wide range of psychological problems.

Clinical psychologists may also provide counseling services to individuals who are not experiencing any obvious mental health issues but who want to improve their general well-being by dealing with issues such as stress, anxiety, or negative thinking patterns.

Clinical Psychologist Job Duties

Clinical psychologists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Performing assessments to determine if clients are qualified for treatment or need further diagnostic testing
  • Providing therapy to patients using a variety of modalities such as behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, family therapy, hypnosis, play therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and others
  • Conducting psychological research to investigate topics such as human behavior and its causes, in order to develop new treatments
  • Conducting psychological assessments such as personality tests, intelligence tests, speech patterns, memory functions, motor skills, etc.
  • Counseling individuals and families regarding various issues such as stress management, grief counseling, relationship problems, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, etc.
  • Providing consultation services to schools, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations on topics such as employee productivity, conflict resolution, bullying prevention, substance abuse prevention, etc.
  • Teaching psychology courses at universities or colleges or providing clinical training to students in doctoral programs
  • Preparing reports detailing findings from assessment activities or research projects for use by clients and other interested parties
  • Determining treatment goals with patients based on assessment findings, including developing treatment plans and interventions

Clinical Psychologist Salary & Outlook

Clinical psychologists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, experience, and the type of setting in which they work. Those who have a doctoral degree and many years of experience may earn six-figure salaries. However, the majority of clinical psychologists earn between $60,000 and $80,000 per year.

  • Median Annual Salary: $112,550 ($54.11/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $141,000 ($67.79/hour)

The employment of clinical psychologists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for clinical psychologists is expected to increase as more healthcare providers recognize the importance of providing psychological services to their patients. Clinical psychologists will be needed to provide psychotherapy and other mental health services to an aging population, because many older people experience psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Clinical Psychologist Job Requirements

A clinical psychologist typically needs to have the following:

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Education: Clinical psychologists need a minimum of a master’s degree in psychology to practice. Many clinical psychologists obtain a Ph.D. in psychology for greater employment opportunities and increased earning potential. The master’s degree in psychology takes about two years to complete and includes coursework, research and practicum.

The coursework for a master’s program in psychology includes a range of topics, including psychology, research methods, statistics, biology, counseling, and social and behavioral science. The practicum is a supervised experience that gives students hands-on experience in a clinical setting.

Training & Experience: Clinical psychologists receive most of their training through their education and experience working with patients. They may work as research assistants, volunteers or interns to gain experience interacting with patients. They may also work as a clinical or counseling assistant to learn how to interact with patients and how to manage patient files and paperwork.

Certifications & Licenses: Most states require clinical psychologists to apply for a license to practice there legally. Requirements vary by state but typically include a doctorate in psychology, a one-year internship and at least a year of work experience. Clinical psychologists must then pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) to earn their license.

Clinical Psychologist Skills

Clinical psychologists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Interpersonal communication skills: Clinical psychologists often work with patients in one-on-one sessions, so interpersonal communication skills are essential for this profession. These professionals also often collaborate with other medical professionals to provide the best treatment for their patients. This requires excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.

Processing speed: Clinical psychologists often need to make quick decisions about treatment plans, diagnosis and other aspects of their work. Having strong processing speed can help them make the best decisions for their patients.

Delegation skills: Clinical psychologists often work with other professionals, such as psychiatrists, social workers and therapists. They may delegate tasks to these professionals, such as conducting therapy sessions with patients. Delegation skills can help clinical psychologists manage their time and responsibilities.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for clinical psychologists, as they often work with sensitive information about their patients. This means that they need to be able to record and store information accurately and securely. Attention to detail can also help them notice any changes in their patients’ behavior that may indicate a need for treatment adjustments.

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Information processing skills: Clinical psychologists need to process information quickly and accurately to make informed decisions. They need to be able to read and interpret patient files, evaluate patient reactions and body language and make accurate diagnoses. They also need to be able to process information quickly to provide patients with the best treatment options as soon as possible.

Clinical Psychologist Work Environment

Clinical psychologists typically work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings. They may also work in academic settings, such as colleges and universities, where they may conduct research, teach, and provide psychological services to students. Clinical psychologists typically work a 40-hour week, although they may work longer hours to accommodate their patients’ schedules. They may also travel to meet with patients or to attend conferences. The work of a clinical psychologist can be stressful, as they often deal with patients who are experiencing emotional or mental distress.

Clinical Psychologist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how clinical psychologists work. Clinical psychologists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Shift From Group Therapy to Online Therapy

The trend of online therapy is growing rapidly as more and more people become comfortable with the idea of communicating with their therapist through a computer screen. This shift away from group therapy to online therapy is due to a number of factors, such as the increasing popularity of smartphones and the growing number of people who live in remote areas.

Clinical psychologists who are able to offer their services online will be in high demand as more and more people turn to the internet for help. They will need to be skilled in online communication, as well as in the use of technology to provide therapy services.

Long-Distance Mental Health

The trend of long-distance mental health is growing as technology continues to advance. This is because it allows for more people to have access to mental health services regardless of their location.

Clinical psychologists can utilize this trend by providing services through telepsychology. This involves providing therapy services through video conferencing or other online platforms. This can be a great way to reach more people who need help, and it can also be more cost-effective for both the psychologist and the client.

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The Growing Demand for Telepsychiatry

The demand for telepsychiatry is growing as mental health services become more and more popular.

Clinical psychologists can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in telepsychiatry. This will allow them to provide services to patients who may not have access to traditional mental health services. Additionally, clinical psychologists can use telepsychiatry to reach a wider audience, which can be beneficial for those who are looking to expand their practice.

Greater Acceptance of Mental Health Problems

The trend of greater acceptance of mental health problems is having a profound impact on the field of clinical psychology. As people become more comfortable discussing mental health issues, they are also more likely to seek help from clinical psychologists.

Clinical psychologists can capitalize on this trend by becoming more involved in the community and by developing outreach programs that are designed to help people who are struggling with mental health problems.

Expansion of Medical Psychology

The field of medical psychology is expanding rapidly as more and more psychologists are choosing to specialize in this area. This is due to the increasing demand for mental health services, which is being driven by the growing awareness of mental health issues among the general population.

Clinical psychologists who specialize in medical psychology can expect to see a lot of growth in their careers in the coming years. They will be in high demand by hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations.

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Better Ways to Diagnose and Treat Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues are becoming increasingly common, which is leading to a need for better ways to diagnose and treat them.

Clinical psychologists are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they are already experts in diagnosing and treating mental health issues. They can use this knowledge to develop new methods of treatment that are more effective and easier for patients to use.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist career path offers a chance to help people in need and make a real difference in their lives. This is a highly rewarding career, but it also requires a lot of hard work. As a clinical psychologist, you will need to complete a doctoral degree in psychology, as well as a one-year internship and two years of postdoctoral training.

You will also need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). Once you have completed all of these requirements, you will be able to practice as a clinical psychologist in the United States.

Related: How to Write a Clinical Psychologist Resume

Advancement Prospects

After completing an accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology and completing a one-year internship, psychologists can apply for state licensure to practice independently. Some psychologists choose to work in independent practice, while others work in hospitals, clinics, schools, or other settings. Many psychologists also work in academic settings, conducting research, teaching, and publishing their findings.

Clinical psychologists often advance in their careers by taking on more responsibility, such as supervising other psychologists or managing a clinical psychology program. Some psychologists also move into administrative positions, such as hospital administrator or head of a mental health clinic. With experience, some psychologists may open their own private practices.

Clinical Psychologist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide high-quality mental health services to our clients in a confidential and safe environment. We are looking for a licensed clinical psychologist to join our team and provide psychological assessment and therapy services to our clients. The ideal candidate will have experience working with a variety of clients, including children, adolescents, and adults. He or she will be skilled in the administration of psychological testing and the use of psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family therapy. The clinical psychologist will also be responsible for maintaining clinical records and documentation in accordance with state and federal regulations.

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Duties & Responsibilities

  • Engage with patients in a one-on-one setting to assess their needs, develop treatment plans, and provide guidance and support
  • Work with patients to identify and address negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be impacting their mental health
  • Use a variety of techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy, to help patients manage their mental health
  • Keep detailed records of patient progress and update treatment plans as needed
  • Collaborate with other members of the treatment team, such as psychiatrists and social workers, to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care
  • Provide crisis intervention services as needed
  • Conduct psychological testing and assessments to diagnose mental health disorders
  • Educate patients and their families about mental health conditions and available treatments
  • Advocate for patients’ rights and best interests
  • Stay up-to-date on new developments in the field of psychology and mental health
  • Participate in research studies related to mental health
  • Provide consultation services to businesses and organizations

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in clinical psychology from an accredited institution
  • Completion of an APA-accredited internship and postdoctoral fellowship
  • Licensed to practice clinical psychology in the state of California
  • 5+ years experience working as a clinical psychologist
  • Expertise in at least one evidence-based treatment modality, such as CBT, DBT, or IPT
  • Thorough knowledge of ethical and legal standards governing the practice of clinical psychology

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Board certified in clinical psychology
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Experience conducting psychological assessments
  • Experience supervising trainees

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What are the roles and responsibilities of a clinical psychologist? ›

They aim to reduce psychological distress and promote psychological well-being. Clinical psychologists also provide consultation, training and supervision to other professionals and other agencies. Clinical psychologists are not medical doctors and will not prescribe medication.

What is the best description of clinical psychology? ›

Clinical psychology is the psychological specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals, couples, families, and groups; consultation to agencies and communities; training, education and supervision; and research-based practice.

What is the highest salary for a clinical psychologist? ›

The best Clinical Psychologist jobs can pay up to $197,500 per year. A clinical psychologist works in the mental health field, usually in a clinic, directly diagnosing, treating, and helping patients, in both group settings and individually, with mental disorders.

What does a clinical psychologist do day to day? ›

Working life

Using direct observation, interviews and techniques such as psychometric testing, you'll make an assessment of a patient's problem. Psychological intervention requires shared decision making with the individual, and often their carers and family members.

What are the 3 responsibilities of a psychologist? ›

Tasks and duties

Identifying and diagnosing mental, behavioural or emotional disorders. Developing treatment plans. Conducting research through interviews and observations.

What are 3 things psychologists do? ›

While they focus on the assessment and treatment of mental illness, many clinical psychologists also conduct research, teach, consult, develop programmes, provide forensic testimony, and offer advice for the development of mental health policies.

What are examples of clinical psychologist? ›

For example, a clinical psychologist might specialize in an area such as substance abuse treatment, child mental health, adult mental health, or geriatric mental health. While clinical psychologists often work in medical settings, they are not physicians and in most cases cannot prescribe medications.

What are clinical skills in psychology? ›

excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to deal with people in distress. empathy and a person-centred approach to clients. the ability to apply your knowledge of academic psychology and research to clinical problems. the ability to recognise your own limitations and respond to difficult situations.

What are the professional skills of a clinical psychologist? ›

Clinical psychologists must possess in-depth knowledge of emotional and behavioral disorders and psychological theories. They need to be able to apply that knowledge alongside their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to help identify, diagnose and treat behavioral, emotional or psychiatric conditions.

Is clinical psychologist a doctor? ›

Clinical Psychologist are professionals with an MPhil in Clinical Psychology (wherein they have had an intensive experience of seeing clients under supervision and training). They or those with a Master's in psychology cannot carry the title of a "Dr" unless they have a qualification of a Doctorate.

Is clinical psychologist a stressful job? ›

Because of the nature of the work, every psychologist is at risk for occupational stress. Over the course of time, the interaction between events in the personal and professional life of a psychologist is certain to create stress, likely distress, and possibly impairment.

Which psychology degree is best? ›

Clinical Psychology

Licensed clinical psychologists who generally hold doctoral degrees will find the best career opportunities, entering well-paying positions in healthcare or mental health organizations, schools, government and nonprofit agencies, or private practice.

What is the most important role of clinical psychologist? ›

Clinical psychologists assess and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. They use the science of psychology to treat complex human problems to promote change.

What can a clinical psychologist not do? ›

The Clinical Psychologist's Role

Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medications to treat mental illness, except in a handful of states where they do have that authority. Rather, they use psychological techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoanalytic therapy.

Is clinical psychologist hard? ›

Being a clinical psychologist is a rewarding career. It is challenging and it's hard work, but it's a wonderful feeling to see people make improvements that make their lives happier and more manageable.

What 4 things do psychologists do? ›

To sum up, psychology is centered on four major goals: to describe, explain, predict, and change or control behaviors. These goals are the foundation of most theories and studies in an attempt to understand the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes that people face in their daily lives.

What are the 5 professional focus areas in psychology? ›

Here are the top five areas, some of which are better known than others, to get started.
  • Experimental Psychology. ...
  • Biological Psychology. ...
  • Forensic Psychology. ...
  • Correctional Psychology. ...
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
24 May 2021

What are 5 responsibilities of a therapist? ›

Mental Health Therapist Responsibilities:
  • Diagnose and treat mental health disorders.
  • Facilitate sessions with individuals, groups, or families.
  • Refer clients to specialists if necessary.
  • Create a treatment plan based on each client's needs.
  • Monitor client progress during treatment.

What are the 7 methods of psychology? ›

7 Methods of Studying Human Behaviour
  • Introspection Method:
  • Observation Method:
  • Experimental Method:
  • Clinical Method/Case History Method:
  • Survey Method:
  • Genetic Method:
  • Testing Method:

Who is called clinical psychologist? ›

In assessment, clinical psychologists administer and interpret psychological tests, either for the purpose of evaluating individuals' relative intelligence or other capabilities or for the purpose of eliciting mental characteristics that will aid in diagnosing a particular mental disorder.

Who is a famous clinical psychologist? ›

When new students in the field are asked to list famous clinical psychologists, nearly all of them know Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud.

Which course is best for clinical psychology? ›

In summary, here are 10 of our most popular clinical psychology courses
  • Introduction to Abnormal Psychology: Wesleyan University.
  • Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills: University of Pennsylvania.
  • Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers: Yale University.
  • Medical Neuroscience: Duke University.

What qualifications do clinical psychologists need? ›

You will need a 3-year Taught Doctorate in Clinical Psychology to gain eligibility to be registered by the HPC (Health Professions Council) enabling you to become (and use the protected title) Clinical Psychologist, and to be eligible to be registered as a Chartered Psychologist (C Psychol) with the BPS.

What are the 3 most important traits for a psychologist? ›

5 Traits of Effective Clinical Psychologists
  • Active Listeners. Communication is one of the most important skills a psychologist can possess. ...
  • Empathetic Professionals. ...
  • Ethical Individuals. ...
  • Patient Counselors. ...
  • Lifelong Learners.
25 Nov 2019

What is the future of Clinical Psychology? ›

Clinical Psychologists will Work in Primary Health Care

As awareness around the importance of mental health continues to increase, it will become more normal to see clinical psychologists in traditional health care settings.

Do psychologists get the title Dr? ›

No you can not be called a doctor as clinical psychologists are people who have earned a master's degree in clinical psychology. Those with a Master's degree in psychology, cannot use the title "Dr" until they have a Doctorate.

What is the difference between psychologist and clinical psychologist? ›

A typical distinction is that general psychologists focus on healthier people, while clinical psychologists focus on people with more serious mental health issues.

What are the disadvantages of being a clinical psychologist? ›

Some people are better able to cope with certain issues, while others will find them to be more of a struggle.
  • Dealing With Insurance and Billing Issues Can Be a Hassle. ...
  • Setting up Your Own Practice Can Be Challenging. ...
  • Dealing With Clients on a Daily Basis Can Be Emotionally Draining.
17 Mar 2020

What is the hardest part of being a clinical psychologist? ›

Psychologists often say that feelings of helplessness, the stress of dealing with clients' problems, the demanding educational requirements and the tedious nature of billing for payment are among the hardest parts about working as a psychologist.

Do clinical psychologists work alone? ›

Work Environment About this section

Some psychologists work alone, doing independent research, consulting with clients, or counseling patients. Others work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with physicians, social workers, and others to treat illness and promote overall wellness.

What is better than a psychologist? ›

Psychiatrists. Generally, both psychologists and psychiatrists can make a comfortable living working in various industries and environments. However, according to data from PayScale, psychiatrists have the potential to earn significantly more than psychologists.

What field of psychology is most in demand? ›

14 Psychology Jobs in High Demand
  1. Vocational/Career Counselor. ...
  2. School Psychologist. ...
  3. Family Marriage Counselor. ...
  4. Engineering Psychologist. ...
  5. Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychologist. ...
  6. Clinical Psychologist. ...
  7. Forensic Psychologist. ...
  8. Geropsychologist.
7 Jan 2022

Which field of psychology is the easiest? ›

Factors such as whether the program is more heavily based in science or liberal arts affect the level of difficulty. At the graduate level, the master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology is probably the easiest to attain. As doctorates go, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.)

What are the benefits of clinical psychology? ›

At its core, clinical psychology is a form of treatment that can help people of all ages address a wide range of mental health disorders — depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and learning disabilities among many others.

Do clinical psychologists have patients? ›

Clinical psychology is the most common psychological specialty. A clinical psychologist works directly in the mental health field with patients. They may work with patients one-on-one or in a group setting, diagnosing and treating patients for various different mental disorders.

How many years it takes to become a clinical psychologist? ›

In most situations, it might take as little as eight years or as much as twelve years to become a certified psychologist. If you are thinking about a career in psychology, you should be aware of all of the educational and training requirements for becoming a licensed psychologist.

Is there math in clinical psychology? ›

Finally, as you study for a doctorate in psychology, you will definitely have classes in statistics and research methods that are math-heavy. Psychometrics, intermediate to advanced quantitative methods, and multivariate analysis all sound scary, but are quite manageable math courses at this level.

Does a clinical psychologist need math? ›

Math can help psychologists better understand the brain and interpret data. Therefore, it's important to have these skills, so you can be as effective as possible at your job.

Where do clinical psychologists work and what do they do? ›

Clinical psychologists provide direct counseling services, using a variety of therapy approaches specific to the client's needs. They may specialize in certain areas, such as school psychology and learning disabilities, or with a specific age group. They can work in hospitals, schools, and various healthcare centers.

What is an example of clinical psychology? ›

Types of therapy clinical psychologists use

Examples include cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, developmental therapy, and psychoanalytic therapy.

What is the qualification for clinical psychologist? ›

Check below the eligibility criteria of Clinical Psychology in India: For UG courses, the aspirants must have passed 10+2 with a minimum of 50% aggregate. Candidates who have passed a bachelor's degree can pursue a master's degree from a recognized institute. For a PhD, the master's is a compulsory requirement.

Where are the top 3 areas psychologists work? ›

Typical work settings include hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, mental health clinics, and private practices. There are also a number of different sub-specialty areas within clinical psychology, including health psychology, neuropsychology, and geropsychology.


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