Jobs in Child Psychology
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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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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 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.
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.
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 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.