Clinical psychologists help people to deal with mental health issues, phobias and addiction.
Salary range: £30,401 to £50,819
How to become a clinical psychologist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You’ll need to complete:
- a 3-year degree in psychology accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- a 3-year postgraduate doctorate in clinical psychology
Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You’ll need a first or upper second class degree, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You’ll also need relevant work experience.
If you have a degree in a different subject, you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.
You’ll usually need:
- 3 A levels or equivalent
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
- you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
Professional and industry bodies
You can join The British Psychological Society for professional development and training opportunities.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of psychology
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- sensitivity and understanding
- analytical thinking skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent written communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
In this job, you’ll:
- assess clients’ needs through interviews, tests and observations
- decide on the most appropriate treatments, like therapy or counselling
- plan treatment programmes
- work with clients in groups or individually
- go to case conferences
- carry out research
- work closely with other professionals like doctors
- produce legal reports and act as an expert witness in court
You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a client’s home, at a university or at a health centre.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
You could work with particular groups like children, young offenders or people with addictions.
With further training, you could specialise in clinical neuropsychology, or move into research or university teaching.
You might also work as a freelance consultant, advising other professionals and clients, or set up your own psychology practice.