Psychology professionals help clients overcome behavioral, intellectual, and cognitive disorders. Careers in child and adolescent psychology involve evaluating children and young adults for mental health disorders and connecting them with treatment and support services. While clinical licensure requires a doctorate in psychology, child psychology graduates can pursue diverse career opportunities in mental health, research, and education.

This guide offers an overview of educational tracks and explores careers available with a child and adolescent psychology degree. You can gain insight from an interview with a licensed therapist and connect with professional associations listed in the resource section.

Why Pursue a Career in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

Careers for a child and adolescent psychology major require empathy for the challenges faced by young people. Active listening, interviewing, and verbal communication skills help build connections that encourage patients to share their thoughts and feelings. Psychologists need patience and must build trust with clients to serve them well.

Psychologists also use their problem-solving skills to diagnose disorders. These professionals help clients set goals to unlearn destructive behavior patterns. Psychologists often work as part of a team to help a client, and written and verbal communication skills help build strong interpersonal relationships with patients and team members.

Psychologists must also keep detailed, accurate records and understand their ethical and legal responsibilities.

Child and Adolescent Psychology Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 3% job growth for psychologists between 2019 and 2029. Schools, hospitals, and government agencies continue to expand mental health services, and careers in child and adolescent psychology continue to grow as society recognizes the importance of mental health for young people.

About 14% of public school students receive special education services, and many of these learners require child and adolescent psychologists' expertise for diagnostic purposes and to help develop individual education plans.

Salaries vary by education, location, and industry, but clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned a mean annual salary of $87,450, as of May 2019. Elementary and secondary schools employ the most psychologists in this specialty, while the child day care services industry provides the highest mean wage at $120,130.

Average Annual Salary for Child and Adolescent Psychology Careers
Job Title Entry-Level (0-12 months) Early Career (1-4 Years) Midcareer (5-9 Years) Experienced (10-19 Years)
Behavior Therapist $38,640 $39,350 $49,070 $49,670
Mental Health Counselor $39,190 $40,970 $45,530 $49,160
School Counselor $43,900 $46,400 $51,630 $58,700
School Psychologist $54,120 $57,330 $63,610 $70,900

Source: PayScale

Skills Gained With a Child and Adolescent Psychology Degree

Child and adolescent psychology programs prepare graduates for many different roles and responsibilities. For example, school psychologists develop education performance plans for students with special needs. Mental health counselors focus on helping young people cope with trauma, low self-esteem, and suicidal impulses.

Most individuals who work with children and adolescents also develop professional skills through internships and supervised clinical experiences.

Observation

Both school-based and clinical psychologists must know how to observe behaviors and attitudes to develop a better understanding of clients' unspoken needs. Psychologists must consider body positions, facial expressions, gestures, and social interactions. Psychology students hone these skills by learning best practices and working directly with clients.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills allow psychology professionals to gain the trust of clients and collaborate with colleagues, educators, and other human services personnel. To teach students how to build and maintain positive relationships, child and adolescent psychology programs emphasize active listening skills, the importance of an empathetic mindset, and techniques for avoiding implicit bias.

Research and Analysis

Staying current on the latest developments in psychology requires the ability to comprehend and interpret research findings. Many psychologists also analyze raw data to inform their practice or advance their own scholarship. Especially at the master's and doctoral levels, psychology programs often include coursework in areas like qualitative and quantitative methods, research design, and assessment.

Diagnosis

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental illnesses in children and young adults. They must analyze patients' symptoms and medical histories to identify underlying issues. While lectures acquaint students with potential disorders and their signs, learners usually develop diagnostic skills while completing clinical experiences.

Resource Facilitation

Professionals who work with children must often refer families to additional resources like housing assistance, specialized mental health support, and special education programs. In child psychology programs, students learn how to build partnerships with government agencies and community organizations, provide advice on navigating these systems, and advocate for an expansion of resources or funding.

Child and Adolescent Psychology Career Paths

Careers for a child and adolescent psychology major typically relate to mental health, behavioral health, research, and/or counseling. Each path has specific educational and/or licensure requirements. Explore various options to find the specialty that best suits your interests and skills.

Psychology

Psychologists may work in clinical practice or research positions. They study the impact of cognitive, environmental, and developmental factors on human behavior. Psychologists can specialize further in an area like clinical psychology, child development, or neuropsychology. They may work in private practice, with behavioral research centers, or with schools.

Counseling

Counselors work with clients to change behaviors that negatively impact their lives, such as addiction and substance abuse. They may also help clients overcome mental health disorders like depression and help patients cope with significant life changes like divorce or the death of a loved one. Counselors and therapists can specialize in treating specific patients, such as families or children. They may work in outpatient or inpatient mental health centers, hospitals, or professional practices.

Behavior Analysis

This field uses research-based interventions to influence patient behavior. Analysts often work with patients with developmental or cognitive disabilities or individuals with traumatic brain injuries. They assist in rehabilitation to help patients live more independent lives. Behavior analysts may work in schools, hospitals, or rehabilitation centers.

Social Services

Social services encompass programs and organizations whose mission is to improve the well-being of children, families, and communities. Social services professionals may help clients navigate the web of support services and connect with community resources to address housing, educational, nutritional, or healthcare needs. Some social service workers also provide clinical counseling services for clients. You can find social service jobs with government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Education

Education psychology considers how students learn best. Psychologists can also help identify students with learning disabilities and develop interventions to help them succeed academically. School counselors also help students evaluate careers and cope with emotional challenges. Child and adolescent psychology career options also include postsecondary teaching positions.

How to Start Your Career in Child and Adolescent Psychology

Earning a degree in child and adolescent psychology opens the door to many career opportunities. With a bachelor's degree, you can work as a social or human service assistant, substance abuse or rehabilitation counselor, or public school teacher.

After completing a master's program, you may qualify for certain positions that require state licensure, such as marriage and family therapist, school or career counselor, and school psychologist. A master's degree may also give you a competitive edge over other candidates when applying for managerial roles.

With a doctoral degree, you can apply for a license as a clinical or counseling psychologist. Some individuals also pursue a doctorate to apply for teaching, research, or senior administrative positions at a college or university.

Bachelor's Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology

Bachelor's programs in child and adolescent psychology typically require about 120 credits, and full-time students can graduate in four years. In these programs, learners typically explore the psychology of learning, child development, and pediatric neuropsychology.

Many colleges and universities also require or strongly recommend that students complete an internship during their undergraduate studies. While earning a bachelor's does not immediately prepare you for clinical or counseling roles, degree-holders can pursue entry-level opportunities in education, public policy, and business.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors help their clients cope with drug and alcohol addictions. They evaluate patients to determine their readiness for treatment, provide individual and group counseling, and refer clients to resources and services such as 12-step programs and rehabilitation facilities. They may also educate communities about the warning signs of addiction.

Salary: $46,240

Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists offer assistance to incarcerated individuals and those on probation or parole. Earning a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology may prepare you to work specifically with juvenile offenders, ensuring that they can access the resources and support needed to avoid recidivism.

Salary: $54,290

Social or Human Service Assistant

Social and human service assistants provide direct care and support to a variety of clients. For example, they may research whether clients qualify for Medicaid or food stamps. They may also conduct home inspections to determine if children live in safe environments.

Salary: $35,060

Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct children in basic subjects like reading, science, and math. They also play a key role in the early identification of developmental challenges or other special needs. Most states require public school teachers to earn at least a bachelor's degree and a teaching license.

Salary: $59,420

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers educate and care for children in pre-K settings. They support the development of students' motor, social, and language skills. Preschool teachers often need a bachelor's degree to qualify for positions at public schools or federal Head Start learning centers.

Salary: $30,520

Source: BLS

Master's Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology

Earning a master's degree in child and adolescent psychology usually requires 1-2 years of full-time study. Most programs consist of 30-40 credits.

Students begin their graduate studies with core classes in areas like developmental psychology, social psychology, and cognitive processes. They then advance into more specialized courses, analyzing theories and concepts related to intervention strategies for children and abnormal adolescent psychology.

Many programs allow you to choose between research and practice tracks. Learners who hope to advance into a doctoral program may write a research-based thesis. Students who want to work as a mental health counselor may instead complete a supervised internship or practicum.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals and groups struggling with mental and emotional health issues. A counselor with a master's degree in child and adolescent psychology may specialize in working with young people, helping them address and overcome issues like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal ideation.

Salary: $46,240

Marriage or Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists help people navigate issues related to marriage, family, and/or other intimate relationships. They offer support to individuals and couples facing major life changes such as unemployment or divorce. They may also help children process the death of a loved one or cope with the mental health issues of a parent.

Salary: $49,610

School Counselor

School counselors help students develop the skills needed to succeed academically. They often conduct assessments of student abilities and interests, develop plans to address behavioral or social problems, and collaborate closely with other educators and parents. Most states require school counselors to hold a master's degree prior to earning licensure.

Salary: $57,040

Social or Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers lead nonprofit organizations and government agencies such as after-school programs for at-risk youth. While many managers direct and evaluate programs, they must also hire and train staff, develop and oversee budgets, and represent their organizations publicly. The heads of nonprofit organizations typically have extensive fundraising responsibilities.

Salary: $67,150

Medical or Health Service Manager

Medical and health services managers oversee the daily operations of hospitals, clinics, and other health organizations. Many employers prefer to hire healthcare managers with a master's degree. Applicants who hold a master's in child and adolescent psychology may have a competitive edge when applying for jobs at private psychiatric practices or youth health centers.

Salary: $100,980

Source: BLS

Doctoral Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology

You must earn a doctoral degree to become a licensed clinical, counseling, or research psychologist. A Ph.D. or doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) in child and adolescent psychology may lead to leadership roles in large healthcare organizations or government agencies. Additionally, colleges and universities prefer to hire faculty with a doctorate in their area of expertise.

Doctoral programs typically start with 2-3 years of coursework in subjects like neuropsychology, advanced inferential statistics, and quantitate design and analysis. Students must then pass a comprehensive examination assessing their classroom learning. Finally, they develop a proposal, conduct original research, and write and defend a dissertation; depending on its scope, the entire dissertation process usually takes 2-4 years to complete.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders like depression and schizophrenia. They often specialize in working with a specific demographic, like children or military veterans. Nearly all states require clinical psychologists to earn a doctorate and complete a period of supervised clinical experience prior to applying for licensure.

Salary: $80,370

Postsecondary Teacher, Psychology

Postsecondary psychology teachers instruct students and conduct research at colleges and universities. Many also have administrative responsibilities, such as chairing a psychology department, overseeing the hiring of new faculty members, or participating in the admissions process. While some community colleges may hire instructors with just a master's, most of these careers require a doctorate.

Salary: $76,620

Top Executive

Top executives create and implement organizational strategy. For example, the director of a state child welfare agency may develop home inspection plans and policies, work with the state legislature to secure additional funding, and supervise a team of departmental managers. Though not always required, a doctoral degree may improve job prospects when applying for senior leadership positions.

Salary: $104,690

Source: BLS

How to Advance Your Career in Child and Adolescent Psychology

Psychology continues to evolve as research identifies new treatments, diagnostic tools, and interventions. A career in child and adolescent psychology requires continuing education long after completing your degree to stay up to date on these changes.

Most mental health fields also require meeting state or professional standards. You must obtain a license to provide clinical services, and some employers may only hire workers who hold professional certifications that demonstrate their skills.

Read on to learn about the steps you can take after college to launch and advance your career, including earning essential certifications and licenses, networking with other professionals, and engaging in continuing education opportunities.

Certifications and/or Licensure

All states require that professionals earn a license before practicing in a clinical mental health field. Licensure requirements vary somewhat between states, but minimum education standards are typically a master's for therapist, counselor, and clinical social worker roles and a doctorate for clinical psychology roles.

Depending on their target career, individuals may also need to complete 1-2 years of clinical work under a licensed counselor or psychologist's supervision, pass appropriate exams, and complete a background investigation.

School counselors and psychologists can seek licensure from their state department of education. This license allows a counselor or psychologist to work with students as an employee of a public school system.

Many professional organizations also offer professional certifications. Unlike licensure, seeking certification is typically a voluntary option for mental health practitioners. Earning a certification can demonstrate expertise in a specific area of clinical practice. Examples of professional certifications include board certified behavior analyst, national certified school counselor, certified clinical mental health counselor, and master addiction counselor credentials.

Continuing Education

Continuing education ensures that you learn about new treatments and protocols in your field. Additionally, to renew a professional certification or state license, you must complete required continuing education credits. Failure to renew a professional license on time can result in late fees and the loss of your ability to see patients.

Continuing education experiences include attending webinars or seminars through professional organizations, taking part in conferences or workshops, and completing approved home study programs. Many organizations also recognize relevant classes taken through colleges and universities.

Continuing education can also prepare you for leadership positions or new jobs within your organization. A social services assistant, for example, may take graduate courses in social work or complete a graduate degree to become a caseworker or clinical social worker.

Becoming a licensed psychologist requires an advanced degree. You may find postdoctoral fellowships that provide additional clinical and research expertise in child and adolescent psychology. Several hospitals offer these opportunities, including Children's Health Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

Next Steps

After completing your formal education, you can take steps to advance your career and ensure your skills remain current. If you have not yet done so, connect with a professional mentor who can advise you about training programs, licensing requirements, and professional credentials that will showcase your knowledge and help develop new skills.

Additionally, consider joining a professional organization. You can network with professionals in your field to identify job opportunities. These groups also offer educational programs that provide the chance to earn continuing education credits. Professional organizations also offer volunteer and leadership opportunities and may send out industry publications.

Keep your state license active and current. If you plan to seek a professional certification, keep records of your clinical practice and tailor your continuing education to meet certification requirements.

How to Switch Your Career to Child and Adolescent Psychology

Switching to a career in child and adolescent psychology generally requires a return to the classroom for a graduate degree in counseling, behavior analysis, or psychology. Most clinical mental health careers require at least a master's degree to diagnose and treat patients.

Psychology and counseling master's programs accept students from diverse academic backgrounds. However, you may need foundational courses in sociology and statistics to earn admission.

Some states may not require a master's for specific counseling jobs, like addiction or alcohol counseling. Professionals with a master's degree in counseling, however, enjoy more job opportunities and career advancement.

Where Can You Work as a Child and Adolescent Psychology Professional?

After earning a degree in child and adolescent psychology, you can work in many different areas. For example, you may want to apply your expertise in child behavior and development to work as an educator. Alternatively, you may wish to work as a counselor, supporting young people through the emotional difficulties of adolescence.

Your professional opportunities largely depend on the type of degree you earn, where you live, and the industry in which you choose to work.

Industries

Child and adolescent psychology graduates work across a variety of fields and industries. Many provide direct care to young people at hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. Others work in school settings, supporting the academic and social development of students.

Psychologists and counselors may work as part of a team of providers helping patients overcome a disability or mental health condition. Psychologists can provide consultations for healthcare providers and direct counseling services. Graduates who earn a master's or doctoral degree may also opt to work independently in private practice.

The table below provides brief summaries of five common industries for child and adolescent psychology professionals in the U.S.

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Elementary and secondary schools need psychologists and counselors to provide mental health services and career and academic coaching for students. Psychologists also diagnose students in need of special education services due to cognitive or developmental disorders.

Average Salary: $80,180

Offices of Physicians

These offices include one physician or a physician group offering comprehensive medical services. Psychologists can provide counseling services as part of a care team.

Average Salary: $95,960

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

Psychologists or counselors may work as part of a team of providers helping patients overcome a disability or mental health condition. Psychologists provide consultations for healthcare providers and direct counseling services.

Average Salary: $100,300

Individual and Family Services

Operated by government agencies or nonprofit organizations, individual and family services provide social services to improve their clients' well-being. Careers for child and adolescent psychology majors in this arena include social worker, human services assistant, and counselor.

Average Salary: $85,140

Outpatient Care Centers

Outpatient care centers may specialize in rehabilitation therapy, addiction treatment, or behavioral counseling. Psychologists can provide individual or group therapy sessions, addiction counseling, and rehabilitation services.

Average Salary: $99,870

Locations

More than 113,000 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists work in the United States. Among U.S. states, California contains the largest number of these workers (16,960), followed by New York (11,030) and Texas (8,430).

Wages also vary by state. Oregon reported the highest mean salary at $112,010, followed by California ($111,750) and the District of Columbia ($106,900).

Florida FL Texas TX New Mexico NM Arizona AZ Alaska AK California CA Nevada NV Utah UT Colorado CO Oregon OR Washington WA Idaho ID Hawaii HI Oklahoma OK Montana MT Wyoming WY North Dakota ND South Dakota SD Nebraska NE Kansas KS Minnesota MN Iowa IA Missouri MO Arkansas AR Louisiana LA Mississippi MS Alabama AL Georgia GA South Carolina SC Illinois IL Wisconsin WI Michigan MI Indiana IN Ohio OH Tennessee TN Kentucky KY North Carolina NC West Virginia WV Virginia VA Pennsylvania PA New York NY Maine ME Vermont VT New Hampshire NH Rhode Island RI Connecticut CT New Jersey NJ Delaware DE Massachusetts MA Maryland MD District of Columbia DC

Interview With a Professional in Child and Adolescent Psychology

Laura Braziel

Laura Braziel

Marriage and Family Therapist

Laura Braziel is a licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, and public speaker. She is the owner and counselor of Authentic Relational Counseling, PLLC, a private practice serving the greater Houston area. She has advanced training in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing as well as dialectical behavioral therapy. Laura specializes in helping adolescents and parents of adolescents with issues related to communication, conflict resolution, self-harm, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in psychology? Was it something you were always interested in?

My interest in psychology began in high school, where I often would find myself being the listening ear and encourager for friends and peers. As an observer of the difficulties my friends had in their families, I began to develop a strong desire to do more than just listen. I wanted to help.

This desire was affirmed through my early experiences in college, where once again I found myself being the "counselor" for friends and even acquaintances. Each encounter left me feeling fulfilled and energized. Each encounter solidified the path I was taking.

What is so valuable about earning a degree in this field right now?

I believe the field of psychology will always be valuable, but even more so now as technology seems to be separating people from the in-person, much-needed encounters that help us thrive. As smartphones have saturated every part of our lives, more and more people are developing anxiety and depression symptoms.

Not only that, but there has also been an increase in bullying and traumas. People don't just get over these issues with time. They need the therapeutic treatment and nonjudgmental understandings that psychology provides.

What did your career trajectory look like after you graduated? How did you end up in your current position?

After graduating with my master's degree in marriage and family therapy and then taking the licensing exams to obtain both my MFT-associate and LPC-intern licenses, I spent about eight months actively seeking employment in the field. No one seemed to want to hire an intern for pay.

My first job was at a partial hospital program (PHP) serving as a group and individual therapist for adults with severe mental illness and drug addictions. I wasn't paid well, but I was able to get hours for licensure. I spent a year at the PHP before transitioning to an inpatient psychiatric hospital, where I worked on the intensive care unit for adults with severe schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

These were some of the best experiences that boosted my competence to counsel any severity of issue.

I worked at the hospital for a year and a half. During this time, I fulfilled the 3,000 contact hours required for full licensure. I began working evenings and weekends as a contract employee at a group private practice while maintaining my full-time position at the hospital until I had developed enough clients to take a leap of faith and quit the hospital job.

I worked for seven years at the group private practice before opening my own independent practice, where I am now.

What are some of the most challenging aspects of working in child and adolescent psychology? The most rewarding aspects?

Working with young people is challenging because their brains are developing and being influenced by the culture, which is always changing. This means I have to stay up-to-date on the trends and the issues. Each presenting problem is unique. While some treatments are straightforward, others require me to get creative in order to be effective.

Working with young people is also challenging because it means working with their parents. Sometimes parents are involved and will do whatever it takes to support their child's treatment, which can be incredibly rewarding. Other times, parents refuse to participate and expect me to "fix" their child despite the chaos and consistent dysfunction in the home. That presents a significant challenge to my effectiveness with helping their child.

I love working with young people. I find it incredibly rewarding. They are real and genuine. They don't wear all the masks that adults seem to wear. They tell it as they see it, and I respect what they have to say. And when they get better, it's visible! It shows in the home, in school, in their social life, and personally.

What advice would you give to child and adolescent psychology graduates seeking a job after graduation?
  1. Be patient and persistent. If it wasn't hard, anyone would do it. You have a gift and you took the time to cultivate it, so don't give up.
  2. Take whatever job you can, even if it's not what you planned to do. In the beginning, it's just about getting those experience hours for your license. I didn't plan to work with severe mental illness or addictions, but those early experiences removed all "shock factors," and I learned how to be creative, resourceful, and competent despite the challenges of the presenting issues.
  3. Get your continuing education units in areas you are interested in pursuing. Don't waste those required CEUs. The real training is in the field and the education you get alongside it.
  4. Network! Get to know other professionals in your area. You can learn so much from others and have referral sources should a case be beyond your scope of practice.
  5. Be confident and willing to grow. It's easy to get into a career and doubt your abilities.

You have more training than the average person. You won't know everything, and that's OK. The majority of effectiveness is the relationship. Just never stop learning!

Resources for Child and Adolescent Psychology Majors

Resources for child and adolescent psychology majors and professionals include memberships in professional organizations, open-source online courses, and academic and industry journals. Professional organizations may offer mentoring services and educational awards.

Open courseware allows you to explore topics in child psychology and review key theories and principles. Publications provide access to the latest information and studies related to your field.

Professional Organizations

American Psychological Association: Serving approximately 120,000 psychology practitioners, researchers, educators, and students, APA is the largest psychology professional association in the U.S. APA members can access career advice and job listings, attend research conferences and networking events, and review research on issues specific to child and adolescent psychology, such as bullying and the media's influence on youth.


Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: A division of APA, SCCAP works to improve the mental health and welfare of children, adolescents, and their families. The society hosts webinars and resources, publishes a scholarly journal and a monthly newsletter, and organizes special interest groups around topics like gender variance and the transition into adulthood.


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: AACAP promotes the healthy development of children and the professional interests of child and adolescent psychiatrists. The academy provides career planning and work-life balance guides to early-career psychiatrists and maintains an online education center with disorder-specific resources. AACAP has also established a code of professional ethics.


National Association of School Psychologists: NASP represents approximately 25,000 school psychologists, graduate students, and related professionals in the United States and around the world. In addition to offering research guides, policy briefs, a career center, and resources specifically for psychology students, the association administers a national certification program for members and nonmembers.


Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling: ACAC works to ensure that all children have access to comprehensive mental health services, regardless of their ability to pay. Alongside philanthropic efforts, the association publishes the Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, hosts an annual research and networking conference, and publishes a newsletter and blog to disseminate news relevant to youth counselors.


Association of Educational Therapists: Founded in 1979, AET sets the standards for the professional practice of educational therapy. The association convenes a national conference, regional workshops, and study groups for its members. AET also offers professional certification, an online resource library, a profile of career paths in educational therapy, and a searchable listing of professional therapists for parents and educators.


American School Counselor Association: ASCA supports the efforts of counselors working to equip their students with the skills needed to succeed in school and beyond. The association hosts a webinar series, in-person and online training in specialized disciplines, and an individual coaching program. ASCA also provides resources on subjects like creating a school-based mentor program and fostering internet safety.


Society for Research in Child Development: SRCD integrates and advances research related to child and adolescent development. In addition to annual and special topic meetings on subjects like child abuse and economic inequality, the society publishes regular research reports, policy briefs, and press updates. The society's website also features a career center.


American Psychiatric Association: APA boasts about 40,000 global members working in psychiatric practice, policy, and research. The association's learning center provides access to videos, transcripts, journal articles, and online training modules. APA also offers guidance on seeking national board certification in specialties like child and adolescent psychiatry and neurodevelopmental disabilities.


Association for Psychological Science: APS advances psychological science through teaching, research, and practice. Each year, the association hosts both a national and international convention. APS also publishes six scholarly journals and a magazine. In addition, members can review job openings and postdoctoral fellowship opportunities through the association's employment and career portal.

Open Courseware

Introduction to Psychology - Massachusetts Institute of Technology: This course provides learners with an introduction to critical theories and principles related to the study of human behavior. The class includes sessions on multiple specialties within psychology, including developmental psychology. The session on child development reviews developmental milestones for infants through adolescence.


Introduction to Child Psychology - The Open University: This course explores research methods that can be used to assess childhood development — physically and cognitively. Students consider various theories on what influences a child's development and the tools that child psychologists use.


Everyday Parenting: The ABCs of Child Rearing - Yale University: This course offers a toolkit of research-backed behavioral techniques parents can use in their homes. The techniques work with children and adolescents. The instructor also dispels myths and misconceptions about parenting and explains the science behind these often simple modifications, such as changing the tone of voice used with children.


Autism Spectrum Disorder - University of California, Davis: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can impact a child's academic, social, and emotional development. This course examines how clinicians diagnose ASD and theories about why the prevalence of ASD continues to increase. Modules include discussions of sensory regulation and evidence-based interventions. The course can benefit educators, clinicians, counselors, and family members, providing practical tools to help identify triggers and communicate feelings.

Publications

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry: This interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal focuses on clinical aspects of child and adolescent therapy. Popular articles cover topics like the link between childhood maltreatment and borderline personality disorder and reactive attachment in children with autism.


Journal of Child Psychology: This open-access journal publishes new research on child psychology, cognitive development, infant behavior, and language development. Writers focus on development from infancy through childhood. Content includes clinical and laboratory research papers, case series, reviews, and practice manuscripts.


Journal of Experimental Child Psychology: Elsevier publishes this academic journal monthly. Articles include psychological research on the social, physical, and cognitive development of children. A new format presents empirical articles followed by scholars' discussions on theoretical or analytical issues raised in the paper.


Developmental Psychology: This academic journal publishes research papers investigating developmental psychology, reviews, and articles on theories or methodologies.


Child Development: Established in 1930, this journal covers research on child development from infancy through adolescence. Articles cover timely topics like the impact of social media on child well-being and the science of learning and teaching at home.


Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders: Published monthly, this peer-reviewed journal explores autism and related developmental disorders. The journal also reports on health policy, legislation, and advocacy. It also contains book and media reviews and an "Ask the Editor" column that addresses current issues.


Autism: This academic journal highlights research to advance the quality of life for people living with autism and related disorders. The journal uses a peer-review process and contains interdisciplinary articles that discuss interventions, training, education, and diagnosis. This international publication releases eight editions each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a degree in child and adolescent psychology worth it?

A degree in child and adolescent psychology prepares you for a career that helps people live happier, healthier lives. The communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills built throughout your coursework are highly important to employers. The BLS projects 3% employment growth between 2019 and 2029 for psychologists.

What kind of jobs can you get with a child and adolescent psychology degree?

Careers for child and adolescent psychology majors are available in areas related to counseling, market research, and academia. Many counseling careers require a master's degree. Additionally, becoming a licensed clinical psychologist requires a doctorate in psychology and a state-issued license.

How much do child and adolescent psychology majors make?

According to the BLS, psychologists earn a median annual salary of $80,370. A worker's education level, industry, and location all impact their salary potential.

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Best Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs