Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychologists help people make positive changes to their thinking and behaviour.

Annual Salary

£26,250 to £99,500

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 6% more Clinical psychologist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll see people who have psychological difficulties like anxiety, depression, phobias or eating disorders.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • assessing clients’ needs through interviews, tests and observations
  • deciding on the most appropriate form of treatment, like therapy, counselling or advice
  • planning treatment programmes
  • working with clients in groups or individually
  • writing reports and going to case conferences
  • carrying out research

You’ll work closely with other professionals, like doctors and probation officers.


You'll need to complete:

You may be able to study for an approved postgraduate conversion course, if you're a graduate in a subject other than psychology or your psychology degree is not accredited by the BPS.

Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You'll need an upper second class degree or higher, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You'll also need relevant work experience.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English, maths and sometimes a science
  • 3 A levels or equivalent

You'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council

You can join The British Psychological Society for professional development and training opportunities.

£26,250 to £99,500

Starter salary: £26,250 (trainee)

Experienced salary: £31,500 to £41,500

Salaries will vary outside the NHS.

These figures are a guide.


You’ll usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to work evenings or weekends, and you could be part of an emergency out-of-hours rota system.

Depending on your role, you may work with clients in:

  • their homes
  • hospitals
  • local health centres
  • mental health and disability services
  • social services, schools and prisons

With experience, you could produce legal reports or act as an expert witness in court. You could specialise in working with groups like children, young offenders or older adults.

With experience and further training you could specialise in clinical neuropsychology. 

You could move into research or teaching.

You could also work as a freelance consultant, advising other professionals and clients, or set up your own practice.

You’ll find more details about careers in psychology from The British Psychological Society and Health Careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • empathy and the ability to deal with people in distress
  • honesty and integrity
  • the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • problem-solving and decision-making skills
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