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How to work in Psychology


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Do you consider yourself to be a good listener? Does human behaviour in general fascinate you? Would you like to dedicate your career to helping others overcome problems and reach their full potential? If so, you could be cut out for a rewarding career in psychology!

What Do Child Psychologists Do?

Child psychology is a specialist field in which the exclusive focus is the behaviour and development of children and adolescents. It is an entirely different field to adult psychology, given the way in which children are in a perpetual state of accelerated growth and development.

Qualified child psychologists play an important role in helping children with behavioural and developmental issues, while at the same time working with parents to improve their own understanding of child psychology.

Specific responsibilities will always vary from one professional setting to the next, but typical duties for the working child psychologists may include:

  • Ongoing research into child and adolescent behaviour
  • Advising parents on child behaviour and development
  • The performing of assessments and tests for diagnostic purposes
  • Supporting and treating children with behavioural problems
  • Working directly with family doctors and specialists
  • Identifying and addressing communication and language issues
  • Addressing problems with moral development
  • Helping boost confidence and self-esteem in children

Am I Right For the Job?

In order to become a child psychologist, you need to have highly-advanced listening skills and a strong sense of compassion for others. You need to have a genuine interest in the welfare and wellbeing of those you deal with, along with an approachable and welcoming persona. Given the challenges you are likely to face along the way, you also need exceptional patience and the ability to work under extreme pressure:

Additional key skills of importance in child psychology include:

  • A naturally analytical and inquisitive nature
  • Flawless communication skills
  • The ability to build trust and confidence in others
  • Tenacity and an unwillingness to quit
  • The desire to continue learning throughout your career
  • An open mind, strong empathy and tolerance
  • The ability to draw a line between your professional and personal life 

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Ongoing Progression

Those entering the child psychology profession for the first time at an entry-level can expect to earn somewhere in the region of £18,000. Over time, an experienced child psychologist may earn approximately £35,000, while senior child psychologists often earn in excess of £50,000.

Professional Lifestyle

Working as a child psychologist can be extremely rewarding, though also has a tendency to be uniquely challenging. Every day brings to light entirely new cases and problems to solve, which can be anything from uplifting to downright distressing. It’s therefore important to know how to draw a clear line between office hours and your personal life, in order to get the very most from both.

“For me, the best thing about my job is the way in which I know I’m making a genuine difference in the lives of so many people, every single day. It’s far from an easy job and one that takes serious commitment and strength to get right. You also have to know how to move onto the setbacks, without letting it get you down. But when the cards come in the post from families thanking you for a job well done, it means more than anything you can imagine.” – Sandeep Bains, Child Psychologist 

Taking the Next Step

It is not realistically possible to work a child psychologist without first studying the subject at length. Whether looking to secure a position with an established employer or go into business for yourself, you will find it extremely difficult to make any progress at all without a recognised qualification.

Here at Brentwood Open Learning College, our distance learning programmes allow you to study in your own time and at your own pace from anywhere in the world. All of our courses are fully-accredited and could help you on your way to becoming a qualified and successful child psychologist.

Diploma in Child Psychology (Level 4)

Developed by leading academics and experienced child psychologists, our advanced Level 4 Diploma will give you the best possible start on your new career path.

Certificate in Child Psychology (Level 3)

We also offer an intermediate Level 3 Child Psychology Certificate, packed with essential industry insights and critical theory.