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Clinical psychologist Criminal psychologist, investigative psychologist, legal psychologist

Clinical psychologists help people make positive changes to their thinking and behaviour.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £26,250 to £99,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • empathy and the ability to deal with people in distress
  • honesty and integrity
  • the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • problem-solving and decision-making skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll see people who have psychological difficulties like anxiety, depression, phobias or eating disorders.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • assessing clients’ needs through interviews, tests and observations
  • deciding on the most appropriate form of treatment, like therapy, counselling or advice
  • planning treatment programmes
  • working with clients in groups or individually
  • writing reports and going to case conferences
  • carrying out research
You’ll work closely with other professionals, like doctors and probation officers.

4. Salary

Starter: £26,250 (trainee)

Experienced: £31,500 to £41,500

Highly Experienced: £82,500 to £99,500

Salaries will vary outside the NHS.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to work evenings or weekends, and you could be part of an emergency out-of-hours rota system.

Depending on your role, you may work with clients in:

  • their homes
  • hospitals
  • local health centres
  • mental health and disability services
  • social services, schools and prisons

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could produce legal reports or act as an expert witness in court. You could specialise in working with groups like children, young offenders or older adults.

With experience and further training you could specialise in clinical neuropsychology. 

You could move into research or teaching.

You could also work as a freelance consultant, advising other professionals and clients, or set up your own practice.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017