The role of most clinical psychologists is simple and straight forward. It primarily deals with diagnosing patients that may suffer from mental, psychological and emotional issues. The second part of their role is to provide treatment and support to patients to help them deal and cope with their problems. The goal is to rid people of their problems and facilitate them in leading a healthy and happy life.
To become a clinical psychologist you will need to undergo academic training and schooling. This is crucial as your career growth and success rest on your foundation and basic knowledge. Understanding the basics and principles of clinical psychology will have a trickle-down effect at every stage of your career. Start by researching various clinical psychology schools in your area. Look for programs and courses that offer you complete learning and exposure to all elements of clinical psychology. Also explore the possibility of online education and distance learning programs that may be available in California. This way you can further your education at your own pace and convenience.
You might learn lots of concepts and relevant skills during your education. You will learn how to assess and examine a patient using different methods such as interviews, questionnaires, psychometric tests, and so on. With this you may be able to accurately diagnose the patient and recommend a corrective course of action. You may also be taught how to conduct research, compile data and prepare statistics, which will go a long way in understanding trends and data.
As a clinical psychologist you may find work in the public or private sector hospitals, clinics, healthcare departments, and so on. You may also find work in large companies that require in-house psychologists or counselors to tend to employee health and concerns.
The average annual salary for clinical psychologists in California is $64,000 (simplyhired.com). As you gain experience in the market and broaden your skill-set by treating different cases, you may enjoy greater returns.
Related reading: License and certification requirements for psychologists in California.