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If you want to have a career where you help others in tangible ways and make a real difference in the world, then your Master’s in Clinical Psychology can help. This graduate level degree will allow you to access positions in fields with strong ongoing growth and provide you with the ability to have a real impact on people’s lives.
The strong growth in this industry is due to a variety of factors, from an increased awareness of mental health issues to ongoing specialization in many of the medical fields. The more experienced you become and the more you specialize, the higher your pay and opportunities for advancement will be.
If you are considering this degree, here are five career choices to consider once your Master’s is complete:
#1 Private Clinical Psychologist
If you use your master’s degree to go into private practice, as many graduates do, you’ll be able to see and help individual patients who are struggling with a variety of issues. Depending on your areas of expertise and interest, you could work with specific populations or focus on a specific area or disability.
As a private clinical psychologist, you could work in a hospital or healthcare setting or in your own practice. Some clinical [psychologists focus on helping soldiers recover from PTSD; others focus on developmental disabilities like autism. No matter what your specialty is, you’ll see patients and come up with strategies designed to help improve their lives and give them the coping skills they need to succeed.
Some of the daily responsibilities for someone in this role include working with patients on a regular basis, administering tests and performing research. Clinical psychologists can create treatment or care plans for clients and work with other professionals in a verity of settings.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for clinical psychologists in 2016 was $75,230 per year.
#2 Clinical Psychology Professor
Many graduate students elect to stay in academia after earning their degree. If you enjoy teaching others and wish to work with young people learning about your field, then becoming a professor allows you to influence the next generation of clinical psychologists in a positive way.
Common duties of a college professor include:
Creating a program or synopsis to outline a class
Teach a variety of classes and programs
Supervise student groups and programs
Run special events and seminars designed to promote mental health awareness and interest new students in the field
With your master’s degree, you can teach in a community college setting, at a technical school and in a high school setting. You can also teach at some colleges and universities, though some schools do prefer professors to have Pd.D. credentials.
Jobs for college professors are increasing, with 13% increase in demand expected by 2024. The median salary for college professors is $75,430.
#3 Mental Health Social Worker
A social worker with a focus on mental health provides resources and counseling services to patients and clients in a variety of settings. You’ll work with a supervising psychologist or psychiatrist to treat patients with a wide range of methods. In some cases, you’ll help your clients with intervention services, assist them in finding housing, daycare and more; helping clients build sustainable living skills is a big part of this job. Some of the most common tasks for a mental health social worker include:
- Running crisis intervention sessions and groups
- Identifying clients in need of assistance and fulfilling those needs
- Hel9ing clients access financial help, daycare, suitable housing and government assistance
- Identify and treat mental health issues, or refer clients to the appropriate health care provider for further help
This is a rapidly growing area in clinical psychology; the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predict a growth of 12% by 2024, which is faster than average. The median salary in this field is $46,890.
#4 School Psychologist
Your Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology allows you to work with children in a school setting as a counselor or psychologist. While you would need a doctorate to do so in a clinical or private setting, a master allows youth o work in an outpatient facility, school or juvenile center with kids in an educational setting.
No matter where you work, your role would include helping kids and teens learn to cope with stress and pressure in a healthy way and would include these common tasks:
- Helping kids facing emotional distress from specific situations
- Working with special education teachers and teams to create IEPs and specialized plans for children with mental health needs or disabilities
- Making the learning experience accessible to all children in your facility
- Counseling children and teens with identified mental health issues
- Screening and evaluating at-risk kids for further review or referral to another provider
- Helping kids and teens learn healthy habits and build life skills
The median salary in this field is $78,690, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
#5 Substance Abuse Clinical Psychologist
If you choose this path, you’ll use your Master’s in Clinical Psychology to help those who are battling addiction to drugs and alcohol. You could work in a clinical setting, with small groups or one on one with patients.
You’ll oversee treatment for patients of all ages, come up with healthy strategies for your clients to turn to instead of drugs and alcohol and offer help and support as your clients return to society if they have been incarcerated.
The median pay for substance abuse clinical psychologists is $41,070; this is a rapidly growing field, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and is seeing an overall growth rate of 22%.
- Clinical Psychologist. (2017, August 11) Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
- Clinical Psychology Professor. (2017, August 11) Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm
- Mental Health Social Worker. (2017, August 22). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
- School Psychologist. (2017, August 22). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes193031.htm
- Substance Abuse Clinical Psychologist (2017, August 22). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm#tab-5