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Jobs in Child Psychology

Updated on February 19, 2014
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Kristi graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Human Development and Developmental Psychopathology of Children.


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If you love children and you are interested in the way they evolve mentally, emotionally and socially, if you feel that it is a priority in your life to protect and care for the well being and safety of children, you may want to pursue a career as a child psychologist. Child psychologists work in a variety of venues, treating children of all ages, from all ethnic backgrounds and with a diversity of case types. There are numerous settings for a child psychologist.

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Private Practice

Child psychologists who meet with children in a private clinical setting work with a broad range of children. Childhood can be a very difficult time for some kiddos and having someone who is a neutral person to talk to can be very helpful for some kids. Children of divorced parents are often great candidates to see child psychologists especially if the parents are unable to speak with the child about the situation without becoming angry. Children who have lost a loved one are also excellent candidates for therapy as well as a host of other issues children may have. There are an array of reasons that children see psychologists and often times they are referred by medical practitioners who feel that speaking with a psychologist would benefit the child and the family. Psychologists who specialize in abnormal psychology, developmental psychology or adolescent psychology typically have thriving private practices.

School Psychologist

School psychologists are necessary for working within the school setting helping children who have issues dealing with emotional, social and academic issues. They are in school on a daily basis and can help kids with immediate attention which is very useful.

School psychologists also work with gifted students and students who are learning disabled to develop an IEP (individual education plan) which is a course of action to ensure that the student successfully completes each academic year according to the progress that has been charted on the IEP.

There are often school psychologists working in schools on the campuses of lock-down facilities. They aid the youths who are adjudicated and disposed or convicted and sentenced in learning to adequately survive and potentially succeed in a classroom setting. The goal being that the individual will be released and may then further their education with hope of success.

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Child Psychologists in Court

Child psychologists may work in a court setting alongside children who have been victims of crimes, or who have been abused, been taken away from their families or similar situations. They act on behalf of the child as a representative and a researcher. The will often make suggestions and give their professional opinion on how they feel the child would be best served. They may also help children prepare to testify in court.

The court may also seek the opinion of a Forensic psychologist who is trained in child psychology. These psychologists will give expert testimony, analysis and recommendation on behalf of the child during legal or criminal proceedings. They may also prepare children to testify for trial.

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Hospital or Mental Health Clinics

Child psychologists who work in a hospital or mental health setting work with children who have more severe problems such as psychotic disorders, manic depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, psychotic depression or obsessive behaviors. Typically they will work with Psychiatrists in treating children with these disorders as well as a team of physicians.

Research

Some child psychologists enjoy the research aspect of psychology. They choose to teach at the university level as a professor or adjunct professor which allows them the freedom to work with undergraduate and graduate level students as they study and research as well as the ability to perform their own research. Basically, it gives them the freedom to design their own courses.

Salary Range

Salary range for a public child psychologist can start anywhere from $30,000 - $45,000 a year. Within five to ten years of experience salaries can be as high as $80,000 a year. Private practice salaries start around $65,000 - $85,000 a year and within ten years grow to as much as $110,00 a year.

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    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Very informative and well researched hub! The different fields of child psychology jobs and what would be involved was clearly explained.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Great hub I will share it on google+!

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Spartucus, thank you for reading. I appreciate you taking the time to sift through the information! -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Angela, thank you for reading and commenting and especially for sharing. I appreciate you doing that for me. -K

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      I had never thought of all the job possibilities with a psychology degree! Our school psychologist does a lot of IQ testing for kids in special education - and to identify children for the gifted program. This is excellent!

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you leah, we have an SP at our kids' schools as well that do wonderful work with the kids from the advanced levels to support groups and working with LD children. Thanks for your support. -K

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      There is quite a difference between public and private salary in this career. The job has its benefits, especially the ability to help others to obtain a better life.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is a very useful hub about the job opportunities for child psychologists. As a teacher in Thailand, I have seen a number of students who could benefit by seeing a child psychologist. Voted up and sharing.

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Paul, thank you for reading, commenting and sharing. I work with kids on a daily basis have experienced the same reality. Thank you for your input. -K

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I had never considered all the difference areas in which a child psychologist might work. This certainly is a noble and interesting field!

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Simone, hello again and thank you for being here! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

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