Alabama is a southeastern state known for its cotton and other agricultural products, but in recent decades it has diversified and modernized its economy into areas like banking, health care, technology, education, aerospace industries and steel production.
The Role of a Child Psychologist
A child psychologist studies the mental, emotional and social development of children and adolescents. Some of the major studies include genetics, personality development, language development, gender roles, cognitive development, sexual development and social growth. Some child psychologists specialize in working with a particular age group, while others work with clients from a range of ages.
Because young people need healthy environments, child psychologists often work with a treatment team that can include family members, teachers, medical doctors, social workers and/or corrections or law enforcement officers. Such a support group can create a comprehensive and consistent network of support that helps to promote steady growth and recovery.
Child psychologists work in a variety of settings including schools, courts, hospitals and mental health clinics. Those who work in schools normally diagnose learning disorders, counsel students, conduct assessments and counsel families. Some child psychologists work in courtrooms, counseling young clients who are victims or perpetrators of crime or are involved in child custody disputes.
Becoming a child psychologist requires at least six years of education beyond high school, and normally eight or nine years. The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Though most graduate psychology programs don’t require a particular undergraduate major, taking courses in psychology, human development, juvenile issues and statistics is highly recommended. Graduate school admissions are competitive, so getting a high score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may greatly boost a candidate’s application. Having research or volunteer experience in psychology also helps.
According to SalaryBox.com, the average annual salary for a children psychologist in Alabama is $76,090, while the minimum salary is $38,320 and the maximum is $114,800. The actual salary can vary significantly according to the type of college degree in hand.