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How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

This branch of psychology focuses on treating mental health disorders or conditions that cause disability or difficulty functioning throughout the day and life. Therapy methods that are practiced are behavioral, cognitive, bioanalytical, and developmental techniques. The stigma associated with mental help treatment has decreased; therefore, learning how to become a clinical psychologist is not only a fulfilling career and provides a comfortable living, but it also offers beneficial and life-changing services to people. 

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 14 2023 | Updated Mar 11 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by

What is clinical psychology?


Clinical Psychologist Job Description 

The role of a clinical psychologist is to use psychological therapies and procedures to help patients conquer their mental health conditions, substance abuse, or both. The professional will know how to address depression, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety, and learning disabilities.

Here are some of the roles associated with the job: 

  • Research and writing reports
  • Meeting and advising with NHS professionals 
  • Developing and assessing correct therapeutic methods 
  • Working in hospitals, schools, prisons, health centers, and psychiatric units
  • Using strategies to implement change in cognitive processing and behavior
  • Assessing clients through interviews, observation, and psychometric testing

Understanding the psychology of addiction and mental health is vital in the line of work. Working with a clinical psychologist means that the patient is in good and experienced hands since their years of education and practice are necessary and applied. 

Can Clinical Psychologists Provide Medication?

Depending on the location and industry of employment, a clinical psychologist may prescribe medication to clients. For instance, the military allows clinical psychologists to provide medication to personnel, and in numerous states like Louisiana and New Mexico, they are allowed to provide medications. Additional education and training are required before the psychologist can prescribe medication. 

How Long Does It Take To Become a Clinical Psychologist?

Overall, the length of time depends on the commitment and determination of the person. Of course, the education process is pricey. It can take up to twelve years before being one hundred percent ready to begin a career or practice in the field. Typically, it takes between eight to ten years before obtaining a degree, license, and training. So if you want to learn how to become a clinical psychologist, prepare to be patient. 

The key skills require problem-solving, interpersonal skills, patience, and quality communication. A person must obtain a doctoral degree in psychology and complete supervised training. Professional experience is necessary, and optional specialty certifications are available but not required. A license is another requirement, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but it differs depending on the state. Most clinical psychologists must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology as well as complete the supervised experience. 

How Much Money Does a Clinical Psychologist Make?

The salary for clinical psychologists depends on factors such as level of experience and location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest median salaries are in the government, hospitals, and ambulatory healthcare services. In these institutions, the average salary is between $85,000 to $100,360. The lowest ten percent make under $50,000 annually, while the median annual salary is around $80,000 at other healthcare facilities. 

Resources & Services at Better Addiction Care 

Are you looking for a self-assessment, or do you need to speak to a professional? At Better Addiction Care, we provide beneficial information that will help you find the right treatment plan and begin your recovery. In addition, if you are looking to learn how to become a clinical psychologist, there are ways to speak to a licensed professional through our resources and services. 

 Get your questions answered by calling Better Addiction Care at (800) 429-7690 today. If you need an addiction hotline number, visit us now!


bullet American Psychological Association (2021)
"Careers in Psychology: Clinical Psychology"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet American Psychological Association (2021)
"How to Become a Psychologist"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet National Association of School Psychologists (2021)
"Becoming a School Psychologist"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (2021)
"How to Choose a Program in Counseling or Psychology"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (n.d.)
"Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet American Board of Professional Psychology (n.d.)
"Specialty Certification"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022
bullet GradPsych Blog (2019)
"10 Steps to Becoming a Psychologist"
Retrieved on September 30, 2022

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