How to Become a Child Psychologist?

5 minute read
Child Psychologist

The psychologist who studies the mental, social and emotional development in children is known as a Child Psychologist. These professionals study the behavioral inconsistencies of the infants, toddlers, children and teens at various stages. The main focus of a Child Psychologist is to diagnose, prevent, and cure the emotional, social and cognitive issues in children. If you want to kick start your career in Psychology, particularly in this field then, here is a blog that will be your step-wise guide for the same.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

To start your journey as a Child Psychologist, the first step would be to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology like BA Psychology or BSc Psychology or some other variant in related fields. These undergraduate programs develop a strong foundational knowledge of the field. If you are planning to study abroad, you need to fulfill certain eligibility criteria, some of which have been mentioned below:

  • Formal schooling of 10+2 with Science, Commerce, or Arts stream subjects.
  • A good score in language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • LORs (Letter of Recommendation) and SOP (Statement of Purpose) will help you smoothly go through the application process.

Courses Available

Once you fulfll the above-mentioned entry requirements, you can secure admission to the leading universities abroad. There is a wide range of Psychology Courses and specialized programs through which you can easily acquire the core knowledge of this field of study. Following are some prominent undergraduate programs opting which, you can begin your journey as a Child Psychologist:

Bachelor of Health PsychologyBachelor in Psychology 
BSc Psychology Bachelor of Psychology Science 
BA Psychology BSc Health Behaviour Science 


To get a hold of various facets of child psychology, you must strive to attain overseas education from a renowned university that can equip you with the necessary research skills and knowldege. Here are the instituions where you can study the above-mentioned courses: 

Step 2: Gain Work Experience 

Once you obtain an undergraduate degree, it will be beneficial to gain some practical knowledge through full-time industry experience. You can easily find an internship in the research domain through which you can get an overview of a wide range of roles and responsibilities you will be handling as a Child Psychologist. Moreover, you can utilize your freshly acquired skills in full-time practice by joining for some entry-level jobs. You can also work under a licensed Child Psychologist, wherein, you can gain exposure by understanding various on-going counselling cases. Gaining practical experience is an important step to move a step ahead in your career path as it helps you get a hold of the intricacies. 

Step 3: Enroll in A Master’s Level Program

Having just a bachelor’s degree won’t be enough to explore a plethora of career prospects in this field. A variety of masters courses under the variants like MA (Master of Arts) and MSc (Master of Science) are available from which you can pursue a  specialisation in this domain. Generally, the duration of a master’s program is 1-2 years. A wide variety of sub-fields are offered in Psychology like Criminal Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Community Psychology, etc studying which will make you an expert in the domain. If you aspire to become a Child Psychologist, you would have to choose from a wide range of child psychology courses. Following are some of the postgraduate courses in Child Psychology:

MA in Child and Family Psychology MSc Family and Child Psychology MSc Applied Child Psychology
MSc Child and Family Psychology MSc in Psychology-Child and Adolescent Psychology  
DEdChPsy Educational and Child Psychology MSc Clinical Child Psychology 

Eligibility Criteria

  • As a part of the entry requirements for these master level programs, candidates need to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and related course.
  • A minimum of 1-2 years of work experience in the relevant field.

Step 4: License and PhD  

To get certified and work independently as a Child Psychologist, you need an authorised license. Usually, to get a license, you have to qualify the licensure examination for which, a master’s degree in the specialization along with practical work experience is mandatory.

If you are interested in advancing your career in research and want to contribute in this field, you can opt for a higher-level degree program like PhD in Psychology. To work or practice as a Child Psychologist, it is not mandatory to have a PhD degree but if you want to delve deeper into academia or are interested in core research, a doctorate degree can solve your purpose in the best way. 

Average Salary of Child Psychologist

According to Payscale, the average total salary for an early career child psychologist with 1-4 years of experience is $300,000. This figure includes tips, bonuses, and overtime pay. A child psychologist in the middle of their career with five to nine years of experience makes an average annual salary of 420,000.


How much time does it take to train as a child psychologist in the UK?

Normally, it takes two to three years to finish these courses. Following this, you must undergo a four-year training programme where you will receive supervised instruction in technique, clinical practise, and theory work. Clinical work is often conducted in a CAMHS team inside the NHS or another appropriate location.

Is being a child psychologist hard?

Child psychologists may struggle to maintain professional boundaries and safeguard themselves from emotional stress in such tough situations, despite their education, training, and talents. You should therefore consider this while thinking about a career in child psychology.

Can I become a child psychologist without PhD?

While other child psychology jobs just need a master’s degree, clinical child psychologists are the only ones that need a doctorate.

Thus, we hope that this blog about how to become a Child Psychologist has familiarized you with essential details. If you are planning to pursue a degree in child psychology abroad but are stuck with the application process then reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who will not only guide you throughout the application process but will also help you write an SOP that can help you land in your dream university!

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