How to Become a Child Therapist: the Ultimate Guide

Circulate positivity by becoming a child therapist and shaping the emotional well-being of tomorrow’s leaders?. 

Do you know a child therapist earns an average salary of approximately $75,000-$90,000 every year??

Child mental health concerns have been steadily increasing due to this, the demand for child therapists who can address these issues has risen. Several schools and institutions have started acknowledging the value of having child therapists on staff to support students’ emotional and psychological well-being. 

Moreover, society has also started to realize the importance of addressing mental health issues at a young age. Thus creating better job opportunities for child therapists globally?. 

Who is a Child Therapist?

Child therapists play an important role in the upbringing of youngsters facing troubles in their day-to-day life. A child therapist is a trained expert who addresses a child’s emotional, psychological, and cognitive behaviors. 

Child therapists address the mental challenges of their patients and provide therapy to them according to their particular dilemmas. 

The need for a child therapist is increasing because child therapists conduct various therapeutic procedures to help young individuals overcome issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, family conflicts, and social difficulties. 

A child therapist works in different areas such as hospitals, healthcare centers, schools, organizations, rehabilitation centers, etc. Child therapists have the power to transform an individual’s miserable life into an optimistic one✅.

How much can a Child Therapist earn??

The earning of a child therapist depends on their skills and expertise in a particular area. According to the updated reports, a child therapist earns an average salary of around $75,000 to $90,000 every year. 

However, beginning your career as a child therapist, you can expect a starting salary ranging between $30,000 to $60,000 every year, depending on your qualifications, certifications, etc. 

Child therapists working in the private sector or bigger organizations tend to have higher salaries based on their experience and specialization. 

Currently, a new trend of providing online consultancy has been trending, wherein online therapy sessions are conducted to help students remotely.

People tend to pay more for getting virtual assistance; thus, child therapists have the potential to earn a higher income by offering online services✅. 

How to Become a Child Therapist (Tips)

Becoming a child therapist requires a lot of hard work, consistency, and dedication. There are several steps you would need to follow to become a child therapist. The journey can be a bit challenging; however, if you follow these steps with full commitment, you can build a successful career as a child therapist?. 

Fulfilling the Minimum Educational Requirements 

The first step to becoming a child therapist is by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, self-development, counseling, or a related field. You must fulfill the minimum educational requirements by getting at least a bachelor’s degree. 

However, the field demands high educational qualifications, so consider pursuing a master’s degree in areas such as child psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, drug abuse, and family therapy. 

A bachelor’s degree is not given much importance, and you will be offered low-paying jobs as well as very few opportunities. At the same time, an advanced degree can unlock paths to several opportunities.

While pursuing a master’s degree, consider gaining practical experience in supervised clinical training✅. 

Gaining Sufficient Working Experience

During your master’s program in counseling, psychology, or a related field, seek out internships or practicums that focus on child therapy. Grab placements that offer hands-on experience under the supervision of experienced professionals. 

These placements allow you to work directly with children and families. Gaining practical experience will help you learn several aspects of child psychology and how it works. 

Several licensing boards expect a certain number of supervised clinical hours before approving you as a licensed therapist. These hours involve providing therapy to clients while being supervised by a licensed therapist. 

Look out for opportunities that include working with children and ensure that a portion of your supervised hours is dedicated to working with children.

Consider employment opportunities in environments that focus on child and family therapy, such as schools, nursing homes, community centers, or private practices. Aim to work with a large range of children and families so you understand their different challenges and needs.

Working with different individuals will help you develop a well-rounded skill set in your approach to child therapy✅. 

Attaining Relevant Certifications 

Certifications can enhance your credibility in becoming a child therapist. Moreover, consider gaining certifications to escalate your chances of getting new opportunities in the field. However, to be eligible for these certifications, you need to have a master’s degree in the relevant field. 

Additionally, you also need 150 hours of play therapy-specific instruction and 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience. The Registered Play Therapist (RPT) certification from the Association for Play Therapy is popular among child therapists. 

The Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) is another popular certification among child therapists. There are many more certifications that you can find interesting depending on your specific goals✅. 

Obtaining A Valid License

To obtain a valid license, you need to complete a relevant master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related field from an accredited program.

Along with an advanced degree, you will need to gain supervised clinical experience by completing a certain number of supervised hours.

Usually, 2,000 to 4,000 hours of working with children under the supervision of a licensed therapist. If you are eligible, pass the appropriate licensing exam. The exam will be based on your field. 

The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is said to be valid for child counselors and child therapists. Submit a license application to your state’s licensing board.

Once your application is reviewed and approved, you’ll receive your license to practice as a child therapist✅. 

Responsibilities of a Child Therapist

The responsibilities of a child therapist depend on the particular area they may be working in, such as hospitals, private consulting, or institutions. Child therapists have expertise in child psychology, child development, building an emotional connection, and therapeutic procedures. 

They are primarily responsible for using their expertise effectively to help and support the healing process of the children. Here are some of the common responsibilities that a child therapist needs to follow in their routine ?. 

Conducting Assessments and Diagnosis Of A Child’s Mental Health

Child therapists are responsible for ensuring safety while conducting assessments of a child’s mental health. The sole reason for conducting assessments is so that they understand a child’s mental health, emotional trauma, and behavioral issues. 

Child therapists then compare the assessment findings to diagnose any mental disorder. During diagnosis, they ensure there are no uncertainties left, so they can get started on developing treatment plans✅. 

Developing Treatment Plans Based On Assessment Findings 

Once a child therapist is done conducting assessments, they develop personalized treatment plans based on assessment findings. Based on the child’s age and their specific needs, they develop a specific treatment plan for them. 

These treatment plans include conducting therapies to help them overcome their disturbed mental health. Such therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), play therapy, art therapy, family therapy, and more.

Child therapists determine the frequency and duration of therapy sessions based on the child’s progress✅. 

Ensuring Proper Support and Safety 

Child therapists be very careful while talking to children to understand a child’s emotional, psychological, and behavioral well-being. To make them feel comfortable and relaxed, they create a safe and supportive environment. 

Child therapists listen to their patients very attentively to encourage them and motivate their thought processes. Child therapists are well-trained, so if there are any emergencies, they employ emergency protocols to ensure the safety of the children✅.

Monitoring Their Progress and Maintaining Accurate Records

Monitoring their progress and maintaining accurate records is one of the most crucial steps that child therapists are responsible for. Child therapists regularly assess and monitor the child’s progress toward treatment goals. 

In case there are any difficulties, they adjust treatments as needed based on the child’s development and response to therapy. Accordingly, they maintain accurate records of assessments, treatment plans, session observations, and progress reports as imposed by ethical standards and legal regulations✅. 

Top Online Courses To Become A Child Therapist in the United States

If you are keen to learn about therapy, you need to understand the basics initially. The basics include learning about child psychology, child development, counseling techniques, etc. 

Learn about these concepts through online courses and get yourself started on the journey of becoming a child therapist. Some of the courses you can consider are?.

Accredited Certificate in Counselling Children and Adolescents 

Accredited certifications have a higher value in the field. The course program is designed in a way that individuals with no prior knowledge can also learn about child counseling, even if they have a busy schedule. The instructor of this course has tried its best to simplify the concepts of child counseling. 

The course is recognized for being certified by a renowned institution. Thus the course is helpful for anyone who wants to begin a career in the field of child therapy, child counseling, etc✅. 

Person-Centred Counselling Certificate

The course will teach you how to build meaningful bonds and maintain effective communication with patients and other people. The course covers all the concepts, techniques, methods, and other essential skills to help those who are new to this field. 

The course offers a variety of video lessons, counseling exercises, and study materials that will help you understand the person-centered approach✅.

Fully Accredited Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Course

It is one of the highest-rated courses that covers a deep understanding of psychology, human relationships, emotions, attitudes, behaviors, etc. The course offers a practical approach to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how effective the therapy is in reducing stress, building confidence, and developing a strong mindset.

The course will train you in numerous psychological concepts that can help you take a step ahead in building your career as a child therapist✅. 

Where to find a Child Therapist Job opportunity online?

The Internet has signified the process of finding a job as per your specialization. You can now seek a job by setting up personalized job alerts for working in the role of a child therapist. You will find a detailed description of responsibilities, the application process, and interview rounds while applying for jobs online. 

These job platforms also promote remote work options for job seekers who want to explore job opportunities outside their immediate geographic area. Some of the popular job-seeking platforms are?.




Child Therapy Job Boards

There are a few popular job boards on the Internet that offer a variety of jobs to child therapists. These job boards have several job listings from various employers and industries, saving you time and effort by visiting company websites or searching through multiple references. 

You can seek jobs from these job boards by altering your search criteria by location, job type, industry, and experience level. 

A wide range of employers and recruiters actively look out for ideal candidates that can fulfill their expectations. Try applying for your desired job on these job boards and increase your chances of getting discovered by potential recruiters?. 

Online Networks With Professionals

Building online networks can be a great way of connecting with professionals in the field. Online networking can be done by joining appropriate groups and forums where there are a bunch of professionals. 

Join social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These platforms are powerful, make the optimum use of these social media platforms to network and reach out to potential employers directly. 

Showcase your skills to attract mental health organizations, counseling centers, hospitals, and private organizations and discover new job opportunities. Building a strong online network can help you stay updated with industry trends as well as enhance your chances of finding a child therapist job that matches your skills and preferences✅. 

Key takeaways

Obtain a relevant master’s or doctoral degree in the field of psychology, counseling, etc. Understand various aspects of child development, emotional development, cognitive understanding, etc. 

Upskill yourself by learning various therapeutic techniques suitable for children. Enhance your listening skills to connect with children. Stay updated with the latest research and practices to escalate your growth as a child therapist✅. 

Build trust in your clients and ensure you meet their expectations. All the best for your journey?. 

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