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Clinical Psychologists picture    Clinical Psychologists image

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, treat, prevent and alleviate the discomfort of mental disorders. Clinical psychologists help emotionally and mentally distressed patients adapt to life. They also promote personal development and help their clients deal with difficult situations. In addition, clinical psychologists also treat patients dealing with severe psychiatric disorders. Some clinical psychologists help patients deal with diseases or surgeries.

Clinical psychologists focus on the emotional, psychological, biological, intellectual, social and behavioral elements of human lives. Clinical psychologists are involved in psychotherapy, behavior therapy, psychoanalyses and biofeedback. They also provide cognitive retraining and rehabilitation.

Some clinical psychologists provide therapy in a variety of areas and some have specialties. Specialties include families and relationships, emotional disturbances, sports, geriatrics and health psychology. Some clinical psychologists focus on adults or children.

Clinical psychologists also perform research, help develop mental health public policy, develop programs, evaluate mental health delivery systems and participate in other activities which promote mental health.

Responsibilities

  • Keep detailed records of diagnosis, goals, and treatment notes
  • Make behavioral assessments
  • Administer and evaluate tests regarding a patients mental disorder
  • Interview patients
  • Consult with doctors and specialists to develop and implement treatment plans
  • Consult with doctors and psychiatrists regarding medications for their patients

Job Characteristics

The work environment varies by the type of employment and the specialty. Psychologists that have their own practice create their own work schedule and have an office. Private practice psychologists often work in the evenings and sometimes on the weekends to accommodate their patients. Those that have positions in hospitals and healthcare facilities typically work in shifts. Psychologists that are employed by schools and clinics usually work standard daytime hours. Those that work for government agencies and industry have structured work schedules.

Clinical psychologists should be sensitive, compassionate, have patience and perseverance, and be emotionally stable. Those involved in research need to be proficient with detailed work and be able to work well as part of team. In addition, clinical psychologists are sometimes required to travel to perform research or attend conferences.

Employment Outlook

In 2006, there were approximately 166,000 psychologists jobs. The government has projected a 15 percent growth rate for psychologist positions from 2006 through 2016 which is higher than the average for all other types of employment. However, the growth rate will vary by specialty. The demand for those specializing in working with the elderly is expected to grow at a fast pace due to the growth in the number of senior citizens.

Those with doctoral degrees in psychology from a prominent university in a specialty such as health, counseling and school psychologists have the best prospects for employment. Psychologists with extensive training in quantitative research methods and computer science have an advantage over others for research positions. Clinical psychologists also have opportunities to teach at colleges and medical schools.

The median annual wage and salary for clinical, school and counseling psychologists in 2006 was $59,440. The highest 10 percent earned over $102,730 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,280.

Clinical Psychology Programs, Certification, and Licensing

Completion of a doctoral or a master's degree program and a license are necessary for clinical psychologists to practice. Usually a doctoral degree is required in order to practice independently. Those with a doctoral degree are eligible to teach, perform research and work in a variety of clinical positions. Typically, clinical psychologists have four to six years of graduate training after earning a bachelor's degree.

About half of clinical psychologists are trained in Ph.D. programs that focus on research and the other half are trained in Psy.D. programs which emphasize practicing clinical psychology. Some schools provide master's degrees in clinical psychology which typically take between two and three years to complete.

Those with a master's degree in psychology are qualified to be employed as industrial-organizational psychologists. They're also eligible to perform research or make psychological evaluations of patients under the supervision of psychologists that hold a doctoral degree.

Clinical psychologists must have a license to practice in the United States. Most states allow licensed or certified psychologists to only practice in areas where they have acquired professional competence through training and experience. Each state has its own qualifications, however the common features among the states include having the appropriate degree from an accredited school and passing a written examination. Some states also require psychologists pass an oral examination.

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology is required to be taken in most states. Numerous states require additional examinations such as jurisprudence (mental health law). Most of the states also require clinical psychologists to earn continuing education credits each year in order to renew their license. Credits may be earned by taking approved workshops or taking classes. In addition, in most states a specialist degree is necessary to work as a school psychologist.

The American Board of Professional Psychology offers numerous specialty certificates. A doctorate in psychology, post-doctoral training in the applicant's specialty, professional endorsements and several years of experience are required for certification.

Resources

Major Employers

Some of the major employers are mental health services facilities, hospitals, counseling centers, colleges, substance abuse centers and managed healthcare companies. Other significant employers include schools, medical systems and government agencies.

Schools for Clinical Psychologists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Clinical Psychologists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Clinical Psychologists jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 140 $67,580
Hoover 140 $67,580
Mobile 70 $56,650
Montgomery 50 $55,460
Tuscaloosa 50 $65,410
Huntsville 30 $48,410
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 170 $81,500
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mesa 1860 $63,410
Scottsdale 1860 $63,410
Phoenix 1860 $63,410
Tucson 400 $46,180
Flagstaff 60 $56,690
Prescott 40 $69,530
Yuma N/A $58,590
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 180 $58,420
North Little Rock 180 $58,420
Little Rock 180 $58,420
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 6080 $87,810
Long Beach 6080 $87,810
Los Angeles 6080 $87,810
San Francisco 2780 $90,700
Hayward 2780 $90,700
Oakland 2780 $90,700
San Bernardino 1940 $93,600
Ontario 1940 $93,600
Riverside 1940 $93,600
San Diego 1730 $83,150
Carlsbad 1730 $83,150
Roseville 1360 $97,260
Arden 1360 $97,260
Arcade 1360 $97,260
Sacramento 1360 $97,260
Fresno 730 $80,710
Santa Clara 590 $93,910
Sunnyvale 590 $93,910
San Jose 590 $93,910
Stockton 360 $93,430
Lodi 360 $93,430
Thousand Oaks 340 $85,260
Oxnard 340 $85,260
Ventura 340 $85,260
Fairfield 320 $115,770
Vallejo 320 $115,770
Bakersfield 310 N/A
Arroyo Grande 260 $101,740
Paso Robles 260 $101,740
San Luis Obispo 260 $101,740
Santa Rosa 240 $64,430
Santa Barbara 220 $94,440
Santa Maria 220 $94,440
Napa 220 $108,880
Modesto 190 $92,480
Salinas 180 $117,210
Visalia 130 $98,850
Porterville 130 $98,850
Hanford 130 $107,600
Corcoran 130 $107,600
Santa Cruz 90 $81,130
Watsonville 90 $81,130
Merced 60 $47,350
El Centro N/A $92,970
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 1710 $78,260
Denver 1710 $78,260
Lakewood 1710 $78,260
Colorado Springs 380 $68,580
Boulder 300 $67,180
Fort Collins 120 $76,180
Pueblo 80 $86,410
Greeley 70 $67,140
Grand Junction 40 $80,910
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 720 $87,240
West Hartford 720 $87,240
Hartford 720 $87,240
Stamford 460 $83,380
Norwalk 460 $83,380
Bridgeport 460 $83,380
New Haven 290 $84,370
Danbury 70 $90,380
Waterbury 50 $89,630
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 50 $90,290
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 960 $70,950
Miami 960 $70,950
West Palm Beach 960 $70,950
Tampa 470 $69,810
Clearwater 470 $69,810
St. Petersburg 470 $69,810
Orlando 340 $62,480
Sanford 340 $62,480
Kissimmee 340 $62,480
Jacksonville 270 $67,860
Tallahassee 100 $57,180
Bradenton 50 $65,990
Sarasota 50 $65,990
North Port 50 $65,990
Fort Myers 50 $68,590
Cape Coral 50 $68,590
Lakeland 50 $74,470
Winter Haven 50 $74,470
Deltona 40 $59,610
Ormond Beach 40 $59,610
Daytona Beach 40 $59,610
Ferry Pass 40 $68,450
Pensacola 40 $68,450
Brent 40 $68,450
Port St. Lucie 30 $68,800
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 1360 $68,530
Sandy Springs 1360 $68,530
Atlanta 1360 $68,530
Athens 100 $65,670
Clarke County 100 $65,670
Savannah 50 $67,320
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 630 $71,560
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 180 $66,060
Coeur d'Alene N/A $90,100
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bloomington 100 $71,890
Peoria 90 N/A
Springfield 60 $61,400
Rockford 60 $70,680
Urbana 50 $79,800
Champaign 50 $79,800
Carbondale 40 $44,850
Marion 40 $44,850
Kankakee N/A $74,180
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 410 $64,620
Anderson 410 $64,620
Carmel 410 $64,620
Fort Wayne 80 $57,520
Kokomo 40 $40,200
Muncie 40 $52,030
Goshen 30 $53,860
Elkhart 30 $53,860
West Lafayette 30 $60,010
Lafayette 30 $60,010
Bloomington 30 $69,000
Columbus N/A $44,320
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 190 $65,260
Des Moines 190 $65,260
Iowa City 70 $75,100
Cedar Rapids 60 $61,070
Cedar Falls 40 $92,470
Waterloo 40 $92,470
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 220 $60,480
Topeka 110 $63,920
Lawrence 60 $58,400
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 170 $57,760
Lexington 170 $57,760
Bowling Green 60 $61,950
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 200 $71,860
New Orleans 200 $71,860
Baton Rouge 110 $76,720
Shreveport 50 N/A
Bossier City 50 N/A
Lafayette 50 $57,440
Lake Charles 40 $51,000
Alexandria 30 $55,270
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 90 $63,660
Portland 90 $63,660
Auburn 60 $77,340
Lewiston 60 $77,340
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 1180 $72,980
Columbia 1180 $72,980
Baltimore 1180 $72,980
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Bedford 230 $56,530
Barnstable Town 140 $64,640
Gardner 70 $69,480
Leominster 70 $69,480
Pittsfield N/A $63,610
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 1240 $73,530
Warren 1240 $73,530
Detroit 1240 $73,530
Wyoming 330 $63,330
Grand Rapids 330 $63,330
Lansing 200 $64,480
East Lansing 200 $64,480
Ann Arbor 200 $76,490
Flint 100 $59,980
Portage 90 $74,390
Kalamazoo 90 $74,390
Jackson 70 $76,490
Battle Creek 60 $54,980
Muskegon 40 $65,140
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 160 $76,420
North Mankato 110 $56,890
Mankato 110 $56,890
St. Cloud 80 $74,760
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 150 N/A
Pascagoula 90 $47,410
Gulfport 90 $47,410
Biloxi 90 $47,410
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Joplin 40 N/A
Columbia 40 $50,070
Springfield N/A $79,830
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 100 $31,090
Billings 60 $67,940
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 100 $61,130
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 310 $67,360
Henderson 310 $67,360
Las Vegas 310 $67,360
Reno 120 $87,240
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 80 $69,730
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 360 $93,670
Atlantic City 110 $86,510
Hammonton 110 $86,510
Vineland 70 $78,030
Bridgeton 70 $78,030
Ocean City 30 $87,840
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 450 $65,870
Las Cruces 210 $73,020
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 620 $69,180
Albany 530 $72,480
Troy 530 $72,480
Schenectady 530 $72,480
Niagara Falls 510 $71,090
Cheektowaga 510 $71,090
Buffalo 510 $71,090
Syracuse 470 $68,900
Rome 130 $77,890
Utica 130 $77,890
Ithaca 110 $49,300
Kingston 100 $77,850
Binghamton 90 $72,050
Glens Falls 60 $79,940
Watertown 50 $78,080
Fort Drum 50 $78,080
Elmira 50 $81,910
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 530 $63,380
Chapel Hill 340 $61,350
Durham 340 $61,350
Winston 190 $53,790
Salem 190 $53,790
Asheville 150 $56,240
Greenville 140 $55,250
High Point 140 $61,600
Greensboro 140 $61,600
Wilmington 130 $55,740
Fayetteville 70 $56,430
Morganton 50 $59,050
Lenoir 50 $59,050
Hickory 50 $59,050
Goldsboro 40 N/A
New Bern 30 $47,490
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 50 $83,350
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 700 $71,890
Cleveland 700 $71,890
Columbus 610 $78,640
Akron 190 $71,470
Toledo 180 $70,840
Dayton 120 $73,700
Canton 70 $62,900
Massillon 70 $62,900
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 360 $45,390
Oklahoma City 300 $50,100
Lawton 30 $55,340
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 230 $75,380
Salem 210 $78,570
Redmond 50 $78,740
Bend 50 $78,740
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 720 $58,940
Carlisle 250 $74,780
Harrisburg 250 $74,780
Lancaster 230 $71,170
Reading 160 $61,510
York 150 $65,240
Hanover 150 $65,240
Scranton 130 $68,720
Wilkes 130 $68,720
Hazleton 130 $68,720
Barre 130 $68,720
Johnstown 80 $58,090
Lebanon 80 $70,800
Erie 70 $58,660
State College 60 $68,070
Waynesboro 60 $91,850
Chambersburg 60 $91,850
Gettysburg 50 $59,570
Berwick 40 $62,650
Bloomsburg 40 $62,650
Williamsport 30 $59,520
Altoona N/A $63,270
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 240 $42,080
Carolina 240 $42,080
San Juan 240 $42,080
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mauldin 300 $49,750
Greenville 300 $49,750
Anderson 300 $49,750
Columbia 280 $73,700
North Charleston 150 $52,620
Charleston 150 $52,620
Spartanburg 50 $64,790
Florence 40 $59,070
Beaufort 30 $41,560
Hilton Head Island 30 $41,560
Bluffton 30 $41,560
Sumter N/A $52,890
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 100 N/A
Sioux Falls 80 $85,320
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 450 $63,670
Murfreesboro 450 $63,670
Davidson 450 $63,670
Nashville 450 $63,670
Knoxville 250 $59,840
Johnson City 30 $61,240
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1570 $65,270
Dallas 1570 $65,270
Fort Worth 1570 $65,270
Sugar Land 1250 $63,120
Houston 1250 $63,120
The Woodlands 1250 $63,120
San Antonio 640 $60,620
New Braunfels 640 $60,620
Round Rock 520 $61,250
Austin 520 $61,250
Temple 130 $61,050
Killeen 130 $61,050
Waco 120 $54,190
El Paso 120 $64,830
Bryan 100 $50,680
College Station 100 $50,680
Edinburg 90 $62,300
McAllen 90 $62,300
Mission 90 $62,300
Harlingen 90 $65,410
Brownsville 90 $65,410
Longview 80 $59,750
Lubbock 80 $67,390
Corpus Christi 70 $63,300
Beaumont 50 N/A
Port Arthur 50 N/A
Abilene 50 $50,550
Amarillo 50 $52,800
Tyler 50 $54,200
Wichita Falls 50 $57,190
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 670 $55,700
Orem 380 $71,660
Provo 380 $71,660
Ogden 220 $61,140
Clearfield 220 $61,140
St. George 40 $45,860
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 80 $78,150
Burlington 80 $78,150
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 360 $68,430
Roanoke 160 $60,380
Charlottesville 70 $64,820
Lynchburg 40 $69,070
Waynesboro N/A $92,860
Staunton N/A $92,860
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 1200 $68,910
Tacoma 1200 $68,910
Seattle 1200 $68,910
Spokane Valley 170 $67,750
Spokane 170 $67,750
Tumwater 70 $67,620
Olympia 70 $67,620
Yakima 60 $63,340
Richland 50 $63,370
Kennewick 50 $63,370
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 110 $50,900
Beckley 50 $52,050
Vienna 30 $53,990
Parkersburg 30 $53,990
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 590 $81,230
Waukesha 590 $81,230
Milwaukee 590 $81,230
Madison 480 $70,320
Janesville 90 $69,030
Beloit 90 $69,030
Appleton 80 $58,270
Green Bay 70 $50,640
Neenah 70 $74,670
Oshkosh 70 $74,670
Wausau 50 $74,630
Eau Claire 40 $61,980
Sheboygan 40 $70,080
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 40 $100,310
Casper 30 $62,740

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Clinical Psychologists

To find out more about building a career as Clinical Psychologists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Clinical Psychologists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Education 46,390 47% $64,410
Medical Office 19,180 19% $65,810
Hospital 9,210 9% $70,240
Government 8,910 9% $64,160
Social Service 8,030 8% $55,310
Nursing And Residential Care 3,460 3% $53,200
Office Services And Staffing 1,140 1% $72,400
Professional And Technical Services 1,020 1% $70,010
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Clinical Psychologists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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