How To Land Your Dream Job As Clinical Psychologist

I’ve been a clinical psychologist for over 10 years, and I love my job. From the very start, I knew that being a clinical psychologist was what I wanted to do with my life and it still is! It’s important to know how to land your dream job as clinical psychologist. 

In this article, I’m going to share some tips on how you can find and get the job you want in this field too.

1. Get A Degree In Psychology

Having a degree in psychology is one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success. The field of psychology is so broad that it requires years of study, but this means there are many possible paths you can take once you graduate.

Psychology is a good field to choose because it is both a science and a liberal arts degree, meaning that your training will give you strong analytical skills while also developing your communication and critical thinking abilities.

2. Take The GRE, And Hope For A Good Score

If you have the option to take the GRE, do it. The GRE is a good way to test your knowledge, ability to think quickly, ability to write well, and ability to take tests. 

If you don’t have a choice in whether or not you want to take the GRE then maybe this isn’t as applicable for you (sorry if that’s true).

The GRE is also very important because it helps determine which graduate schools are interested in accepting students from your undergraduate school. 

So if we get accepted into our favorite school and want them as our future employers, then we need those kids who aren’t smart enough for us but could potentially be hired by us because they were lucky enough (smart enough) when taking their exams!

3. Apply To Graduate School

Apply to schools in your area. If you’re interested in getting a clinical psychology master’s degree, consider applying to programs near where you live. 

Schools that are relatively close by will make it easier for you to attend events and meet with faculty members, which can help give you a better sense of whether or not the program is right for you.

Apply to programs that are a good fit for your career goals. Think about what type of job and lifestyle you want when determining which graduate schools may be best suited for your needs. 

If possible, apply to schools with excellent reputations and research facilities so that they will help set up opportunities after graduation such as jobs within their academic departments or research labs and boost your chances of landing an awesome position post-graduation!

Apply to programs where there are plenty of other students who share similar interests (or at least don’t mind hanging out with people who do). 

The best way to get along with other people is by having common interests so find out what those might be before committing yourself financially! There shouldn’t be any awkward silences while studying together…

4. Accrue 1000’s Of Hours In Therapy Practicum And Internships

You’ll Learn A Lot By Doing

It’s important to get as much experience in your field as possible, even if you have to do it for free. This can be done through practicum placements, internships, or volunteering at local clinics and hospitals. 

You’ll gain invaluable experience working with a variety of people from different backgrounds and ages and seeing how they interact with one another.

You also need to be able to see the bigger picture of what happens after diagnosis; how does therapy work? How does medication affect someone’s life? 

These are all things that can only be learned by getting hands-on experience in various settings across different diagnoses (e.g., schizophrenia).

5. Get A Doctorate In Clinical Psychology

You will need a doctorate in clinical psychology to become a psychologist. There are two types of Ph. D.s: experimental and clinical.

If you want to work in academia or research, then the best option is the experimental Ph.D., which focuses on the scientific method and hypothesis testing and can prepare you for an academic career in psychology or neuroscience research fields.

If you want to work in clinical practice, then the best option is a clinical Ph.D., which focuses on applying psychological principles to real-world problems such as improving mental health outcomes for individuals or groups (e.g., family therapy).

6. Accrue 1000s Of Hours Of Work With Patients As You Get Your Doctorate

You will need to work with patients while you get your doctorate, accruing the 1000s of hours of experience required to get licensed as a clinical psychologist. 

This is because most employers want to hire practitioners who have firsthand knowledge about what it’s like for people in therapy and how this can be improved upon. 

While some programs will allow you to do this by working with students or peers (who also have an interest in mental health), others may require that you work with clients directly and many don’t even give credit toward your degree until after these experiences are completed.

7. Get Licensed As A Psychologist

How to Get Licensed as a Psychologist

The process of becoming a licensed psychologist can be long and arduous. The first step is to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology from an accredited university or college program. 

Aspiring psychologists must complete at least 2 years of graduate study and accrue 1000s of hours with patients while working toward their doctorate. 

This intense training period will give you an idea of what it’s like to work as a psychologist so that you can decide if this career path would be right for you!

During your graduate school program, pay attention to what types of activities are most pleasurable or enjoyable for you and which ones aren’t. 

Then, after getting your degree and passing the licensing exam (which all psychologists must take), find out how many hours per week other psychologists typically spend on those same activities at their jobs! 

If the amount looks manageable enough for both the patient population and workload at hand then maybe becoming a clinical psychologist could be worth pursuing after all!

8. Pay Attention During Your Graduate School Program To What You Like To Do And What You Don’t Like To Do

As you begin to enter your career as a psychologist, you must take time to reflect and think about what type of psychological work will be most fulfilling for you. The best way to do this is by observing what you like and don’t like during your graduate school program. 

For example, if there are certain types of people that make you uncomfortable or stressed out, then it may not be a good idea for those clients to be your specialty population. 

On the other hand, if there are certain types of clinical cases or research projects that excite or interest you more than others, then those should probably be included in your practice as well.

9. Find A Therapist Yourself, Because You’ll Need One!

Finding a therapist you like and trust is extremely important. Not only can therapy help improve your mental health, but it will also help you feel more comfortable with the idea of seeking help in the first place.

If you’re having trouble finding a therapist who fits your needs, consider working with someone from an online platform like BetterHelp or Talkspace. These platforms provide an easy way for people to connect with therapists from anywhere in the world who specialize in treating anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions.

When talking about this step, I should mention that getting therapy isn’t just for people who are struggling with their mental health it’s also good for anyone looking for ways to improve their life!

10. Stay Healthy And Keep Yourself In Top Mental Shape For The Stresses Of Graduate School

To be at the top of your game as a clinical psychologist, it is important to stay healthy and keep yourself in good mental shape. Try to avoid stress where possible. If you are feeling overwhelmed, seek help from a trusted person or professional. 

Make sure not to neglect yourself during graduate school! Take time for relaxation and socializing with friends and loved ones. Remember that having fun is an important part of life too!


I hope this helps you in your quest to become a clinical psychologist! You’ve already taken a great first step by reading this article. 

The next steps are just as important: make sure that you’ve got everything planned out, start applying for jobs right away, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes along the way. Good luck!