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How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Psychologist In Canada

Last Updated on November 8, 2021 by

There are many things to consider when planning to become a clinical psychologist in Canada. Education, licensing and training are the largest factors in how long it takes to become a clinical psychologist in Canada. This article provides you with information to make the process run smoothly.

In the following article, you will find all the necessary information on how much does it cost to become a psychologist in canada, clinical psychologist salary, masters in clinical psychology Canada, how long does it take to become a therapist in Canada, how long does it take to become a psychologist & how to become a psychologist. Everything you need to know is right in front of your eyes.

You will also discover related posts on how to become a clinical psychologist & how to become a psychologist in Ontario on collegelearners.

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How Long Does It Take To Become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada

When considering a career in psychology, you will likely wonder how much time it will take to become licensed and what type of degrees you’ll need to attain. The answer is not always so cut-and-dry. The amount of time it takes to complete your college education depends largely on your speciality area and career interests.

In most cases, becoming a licensed psychologist can take as little as eight years or as long as 12 years.

If you are considering a career in psychology, it is important to be aware of all of the educational and training requirements it takes to become a licensed psychologist. Take the time to research all of your options and carefully examine your goals before you decide if this is the right career for you.

How long it takes to become a psychologist
Illustration by Joshua Seong, Verywell

Educational Requirements

At a minimum, you will want to earn your undergraduate degree in psychology or in a related field such as sociology, education, anthropology, or social work. Then, you will want to decide if you want to earn a doctorate-level degree.

The reason you should make a decision at this point is due to the fact that many programs do not offer a terminal master’s degree in psychology. In such cases, you will enrol in a graduate program after earning your bachelor’s degree and then spend four to seven years working on your doctorate.

To become a clinical psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (four to five years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this speciality area, most people will spend between eight to 12 years in higher education.

Of course, there are other career options in psychology that do not require as many years of college. For example, you could become a licensed marriage and family therapist with a master’s degree, which would require two to three years of graduate study.

If you decide not to pursue a doctorate at this point, you should start looking at different master’s degree programs in psychology or in related fields such as counselling or social work.

Bachelor’s Degree

You might want to begin by earning your undergraduate degree in psychology, but some people choose to pursue a degree in a related social science field. While it depends upon the requirements of the individual graduate school you attend, some programs also accept students who have undergraduate degrees in a subject unrelated to psychology or social science.

If you have a degree in a different field and want to become a psychologist, you may need to complete a number of prerequisites before you would be accepted into a graduate program.

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Master’s Degree

A master’s degree can be a great way to delve deeper into a specific field of interest. However, a master’s degree is not always necessary. If you are interested in what is known as a terminal master’s degree in a field such as counseling, social work, or school psychology, you can often enter the workforce immediately after earning your degree.

In other cases, you might use your master’s degree as a stepping stone toward a doctorate, or you might choose to forgo a master’s program and go directly into a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program immediately after earning your bachelor’s degree. The path you take depends largely on your career goals as well as the graduate offerings at the school you choose to attend.

Doctorate Degree

The length of your doctoral program depends on many factors, including the specialty area you are pursuing as well as whether or not you already earned a master’s degree. In order to become a licensed psychologist, you will need to earn either a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology).

As with your master’s degree, the doctorate degree you pursue really depends on your career goals. If you are interested in a career in research, a Ph.D. might be the best choice. Ph.D. programs place greater emphasis on research, experimental methods, and training graduates to work as scientists.

If you are more interested in starting a private therapy practice, consider a Psy.D. The Psy.D. option tends to be more centered on professional practice and clinical work, preparing graduates to enter careers in mental health.1

The American Psychological Association recommends that you enroll in an accredited program. Accreditation provides public notification that an institution or program meets certain standards of quality.2

In addition to your doctorate, you will be required to complete a year-long postdoctoral training period before you can be fully licensed to practice in your state.3

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Degree Requirements

Becoming a licensed psychologist working in the field of mental health is certainly not the only career option if you are interested in working in the field of psychology. Licensing requirements for psychologists vary by state and specialty. Careers in forensic or sports psychology, for example, have differing requirements.

Please note that these represent the minimum educational requirements in these fields. Job opportunities and pay are generally greater with advanced training. Learn about different degree options and requirements for various careers in psychology.

  • Social worker: Bachelor’s degree (four to five years of undergraduate school)
  • Licensed counselor: Master’s degree (two to three years of graduate school)
  • Sports psychologist: Master’s degree (two to three years of graduate school)
  • Industrial-organizational psychologist: Master’s degree (two to three years of graduate school)
  • School psychologist: Varies by state (generally two to three years of graduate school)
  • Forensic psychologist: Master’s degree (two to three years of graduate school, ideally with a doctorate degree)
  • Criminal psychologist: Master’s degree (two to three years of graduate school, ideally with a doctoral degree)
  • Clinical psychologist: Doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school)
  • Health psychologist: Doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school)
  • Social psychologist: Doctoral degree (five to seven years of graduate school)
  • Child psychologist: Doctoral degree (five to seven years of graduate school)
Becoming a Clinical Psychologist in Canada: How Long It Takes, How Much It  Costs, and More

how much does it cost to become a psychologist in canada

How much does it cost to become a psychologist in Canada? It costs about $32,000 CAD a year to study for master’s and doctoral degrees. Becoming a clinical psychologist isn’t cheap! The cost of earning your bachelor’s degree can vary from university to university, but generally cost about $7,000 CAD a year.

clinical psychologist salary

Median Annual Salary

According to the most current Occupational Outlook Handbook from the 2020 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for clinical psychologists is $82,180. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

What’s my earning potential?

Salaries for clinical psychologists can be lucrative, with the BLS reporting that the top 10% earned more than $137,500. As with every career, experience plays an enormous factor in salary. A clinical psychology salary jumps significantly around the fifth year, and salaries tend to increase steadily with each consecutive year.

How does a clinical psychologists’ salary compare to other psychology careers?

Psychology CareerMedian Annual Salary*
Organizational Psychologists$96,270
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists$79,820
General Psychologists$82,180

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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