Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Clinical Psychologist

A psychology-related profession provides you multiple opportunities for various career options. Almost every organization needs psychology to manage its employees. Essentially, people will have to rely on you to address their worker’s well-being, most especially their mental health.


Are you wondering how you can contribute to organizational development? You can be a part of the human resources team. A harsh working environment can use some help from someone with a psychological background. These individuals include those who have symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

Additionally, careers in psychology are open for law enforcement, social services, engineering, and education. Psychologists can provide forensic services and deal with neglected or abused folks. They can also help improve mental health spaces for the workforce and look after their mental health. 

Becoming a clinical psychologist is one of the career options for psychology graduates requiring a  doctoral-level degree. Clinical psychologists provide extensive research to back therapy and other psychological treatment. They also use analysis and observation to examine mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues.

Most clinical psychologists devote their practice to developing diagnostic tests. Some lean towards improving psychotherapy strategies and treatment planning for patients.

They specialize in specific and vulnerable populations. Some focus on children and the elderly. While others look into people with substance abuse backgrounds and people involved with criminality.

In preparing to be a clinical psychologist, you must consider programs with outstanding curriculum, faculty. Besides that, also look into the facilities and other educational resources in psychology.

You may also ponder if your lifestyle is suitable for your degree program. More importantly, you have to consider if you have enough financial capabilities. 

If you want to know more about becoming a clinical psychologist, we’ve listed a series of frequently asked questions below.

Is becoming a clinical psychologist hard?

If you want to become a psychologist, you will need more than enough time commitment to be a fulfilling and inspiring career. Before deciding whether or not being a psychologist is the best option for you, think set your goals and resources, including your possible alternatives.

What do you have to do to become a clinical psychologist?

To become a psychologist, you need to:

  1. Take a doctoral degree. Those who aspire to become clinical psychologists will need to get a Ph.
  2. Acquire your state licensure. A lot of states in America require practicing clinical psychologists to earn their state licensure.
  3. Seek a clinical psychologist job near you.
  4. Keep your certification active.

Do you have to go to medical school to become a clinical psychologist?

Psychologists proceed from being undergraduates to enrolling in graduate school and moving forward to getting a doctoral degree. They do not have to get into medical school. However, an extra one or two years of training is needed after they finish the whole course.

How long does it take to become a psychologist?

If you plan to be a clinical psychologist, you will first have to acquire an undergraduate degree, which will take four to five years of your college life. Next, get into doctoral training. This will take about four to seven years of your life after graduate school.

Therefore, to finally finish a clinical psychology specialization, one will have to spend about 8 to 12 years.

Is studying psychology difficult?

Psychology is not a hard subject to study and excel in. It would help if you had a passion for it – then you will find that it can be one of the easiest subjects. However, psychology can also be the most daunting course to get a passing grade if you are not substantially interested in it.

What do psychologists make annually?

Last May 2018, the estimated yearly salary for school, counseling, and clinical psychologists was $85,340. This is per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10% of employees earn below $44,000, and the top 10% earn over $129,000.

Is Clinical Psychology a good career?

A clinical psychologist that works in community mental health can earn up to $65,000. A lot of psychologists don’t earn top salaries, just as other professionals do. Other clinical psychologists also focus on assessment and testing, which can also be rewarding. For neuropsychologists, on the other hand, the pay is better.

Where do psychologists make the most money?

Below are some of the most common places where psychologists can find a job that pays the most:

  • Hospital
  • Private facilities
  • Retirement facilities
  • Elementary schools
  • High schools
  • Universities
  • Shelters
  • Halfway homes

Where are psychologists most in demand?

The best states to work as clinical psychologists include Alaska, California, Nevada, Utah, Delaware, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Colorado.

Where is the best country to study psychology?

The best countries where you can study psychology include Cyprus, Turkey, New Zealand, Fiji, Austria, Spain, Lebanon, and Sweden.

Which psychology course is best?

The best psychology courses that psych major students must consider taking include:

  • Experimental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality Psychology


What are the disadvantages of being a clinical psychologist?

Some of the most common downsides of being a psychologist are as follows:

  • Starting your practice could be very intimidating.
  • Managing billing and insurance problems can pose a hassle.
  • You will need to commit substantial time to find new patients.
  • Managing your patients every day can be emotionally fatiguing.

What are the pros and cons of psychology?

Pros of being a psychologist:

  • Helping others is a very rewarding feeling.
  • You can choose to set up a work schedule that is flexible and suitable for your needs.
  • The possibility of earning a high salary.
  • You can set up your practice.
  • There are a lot of challenges to being a psychologist.
  • You have an opportunity to meet and get to know a lot of people.

Cons of being a psychologist:

  • Potential for patient violence
  • Emotionally draining
  • Working with children can be meticulous and daunting
  • There can be work during the evenings and weekends
  • Practicing in isolation


Recent statistics show a decline in high school graduates taking careers and professions in psychology. And while most of this is true, there is no denying how helpful psychological studies are for organizations and industries. Through psychology, these entities can build a mentally stable and more compassionate workforce.

Psychologists have developed various theories and approaches to improve an individual’s well-being in harsh environments. And that includes the office.


In today’s society, having a background in psychology opens more doors. As we know, it helps provide assistance and treatment to people with mental health disorders.

For instance, in a clinical setting, psychologists can primarily deal with abused or neglected children. They can also work with the elderly and even people involved with criminality. Moreover, this profession can also help solve crimes through aiding forensic investigations. 

In becoming a clinical psychologist, you need to consider your educational curriculum. Reviewing your options in universities with excellent faculty and facilities will surely guide you. You might also choose an undergraduate degree related to psychology for an easier transition to your doctorate level.

Looking into the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing this career might also help you decide more clearly. The program may intimidate you at first. But researching and doing various preparations will get you ready.

Choosing a career in psychology is also beneficial for your mental well-being. Self-check is not a substitute for having your professional psychologist. But knowing the techniques and strategies to improve your mental health is an advantage. It will certainly help improve communication with your therapist.

Being a clinical psychologist demands both financial and emotional investments. Usually, this profession would have to deal with unpleasant and traumatic experiences. Expect that you will be exposed to traumatized patients and potential victims of violence. 

First, assess your financial capacity, lifestyle, and academic interest. Then identify your motivation and passion. If all these factors align with the nature of this job, then clinical psychology is for you. Asking the right questions is the first step.

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