Clinical Psychologist

Average Salary: £37,000 - £42,000
Competition: HIGH
Years Experience: 3 years +

Job Summary

Clinical Psychologists are not mind readers people. Let’s get that out of the way first. But, through observation, psychological therapies and procedures, Clinical Psychologists help clients deal with a wide range of mental and physical health problems. This includes the likes of anxiety, addiction, depression, learning disabilities and relationship issues.


Anyone at any age can develop these issues and is why Clinical Psychologists work with not only adults, but with children, adolescents, even with groups such as couples and families. Many Clinical Psychologists work in hospitals or clinics and some in higher education, either teaching their craft or researching and discovering new insights in the field. Usually they have the following job responsibilities:

  • Assessing the client’s needs and behaviours through observation, interviews and psychometric tests
  • Deciding and implementing the most appropriate treatment plan to the individual’s needs, which can include therapy and counselling
  • Arranging and participating in regular client meetings to monitor progress
  • Advising and supporting carers to how best approach the client’s condition
  • Consulting with other professionals internally and externally to promote awareness and enable early interventions
  • Researching best practise and gaining a better understanding of mental health issues and human behaviour

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Clinical Psychologist should:

  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Be honest, patient and empathetic to others
  • Be able to deal with emotional demanding situations
  • Strong analytical and research skills
  • Have a genuine interest in how people think and behave

Entry Routes

To become a Clinical Psychologist, you’re going to have to jump through a few hoops. Hoops that are on fire. But, the end goal is definitely worth it and most of all rewarding. Here are the steps that you need to take:

  • Step 1 – Complete a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree in psychology or approved conversion course
  • Step 2 – Register as Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS
  • Step 3 – Complete doctorate in Clinical Psychology approved by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Step 4 – A minimum of 12 months of work experience as a Clinical Psychology Assistant Practitioner or Trainee
  • Step 5 – Register with HCPC

Simple right? Here’s a heads up. To be able to do a doctorate, providers usually request that you achieved a first in your degree or a high 2:1. A low 2:1 or a 2:1 may be acceptable, but you’ll probably need to do a Masters in a relevant subject to boost your portfolio. A doctorate is normally 3 years long. You can’t say we didn’t warn you.

Job Progression

Clinical Psychology Assistant Practitioner

Clinical Psychology Trainee

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist Principal

Clinical Psychologist Consultant

Head of Psychology Services

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • Rewarding – No doubt it’s fulfilling to be able to help other people with their issues
  • New People – You get to meet new people every day
  • Development – One of the best things is to see someone progressing in the right direction

The Bad

  • Emotionally Draining – It can be emotionally very difficult dealing with other people’s problems on a daily basis
  • Long Hours – Clients may have issues at the most inconvenient times which you need to attend to
  • Paperwork – There’s loads of paperwork to do and is probably the least exciting part of the role