What Psychology Careers are Focused on Helping Children?

Students enrolled in psychology programs need to evaluate potential career paths as they decide which area to focus their studies, which is why many students want information on the psychology careers focused on helping children. If you enjoy spending time around children and helping them grow, develop and flourish, you may find that you’d rather study school or child psychology instead of clinical or forensic psychology. If you are focused on helping children, there are many careers options you can pursue after completing your psychology degree.

School PsychCounseling Childrenology

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school psychologists earn a mean annual wage of $72,710, but the top 10 percent of all school psychologists earn more than $110,000 a year. They work in elementary, junior high and high schools; at outpatient care centers; in health offices and for state governments. School psychologists work with students to discuss the issues that lead to difficulties at school, including harassment or bullying they experience at school, and any family problems at home. They often meet with parents to keep them updated about the situation as well.

Child Psychology

Child psychology is a field of psychology devoted specifically to kids. During your studies, you’ll learn the stages of development and how kids learn. Child psychologists often spend time with kids who are struggling with problems at home and at school. While school psychologists work with hundreds of kids every day, child psychologists meet with clients in a private setting and may only see a few children each day. To work in this field, you must know how to get kids to open up to you and how to make them feel safe and comfortable in your care.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Though some people might think of child psychology and other fields when considering psychology careers focused on helping children, they may not think of marriage and family therapists. Marriage and family therapists meet with parents and couples struggling with infidelity, money problems and other relationship issues.  They also meet with the kids involved in these relationships, either separately or as a family. When meeting with these children, they work to help kids understand that they are the cause of all the problems in the family. Therapists also work with children who are having issues that are affecting the family relationships.  This could involve counseling on behavior, criminal, or self-esteem problems.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychologists study the changes that people go through as they age. They typically start with infants and toddlers and observe the age at which children develop their own identities, learn to sit and stand and at which age kids reach other milestones. Developmental psychologists also look at social cues and how the environment that a child grows up in can impact that child as a teen or an adult. They sometimes work with lawyers and social service advocates during cases of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. They can also help parents of kids with learning disabilities and other developmental problems.

Psychologists in various fields work with children every day. They help them conquer their fears, get away from bad situations and generally feel better about themselves. Some of the psychology careers focused on helping children include jobs as child psychologists, developmental psychologists, school psychologists and marriage and family therapists.