How To Become a Developmental Psychologist

What is a Developmental Psychologist?

Development Psychologist. A developmental psychologist studies human development as it affects the mind, personality, emotions and thought. Development refers to the growth and changes experienced over the human lifespan. The field of developmental psychology relies much on sociology, education, anthropology, biology and anatomy, according to the American Psychological Association. Developmental psychologists study these areas when determining information about human growth over time.


Majority of the states around the United States require developmental psychologists to have a master or doctorate degree in developmental psychology. Developmental psychologists with a Ph.D or Psy.D will qualify for a broad range of positions in many fields such as health care facilities, schools, universities, government, and private practices. While pursuing their doctoral degree many developmental psychologists participate in internships and other opportunities to gain fieldwork experience.

Developmental psychologists who wish to independently practice or are involved in direct patient care of any type must meet licensing or certification requirements in all states in the U.S. Specific licensing requirements will vary by state, but all states required a passing score on a state examination. Majority of state licensing boards administer standardized tests and some states require continuing education classes for license renewal.

What Does a Developmental Psychologist Do?

A developmental psychologist will usually specialize in certain ages and stages during people's lives. For instance, a developmental psychologist might focus on childhood development, or he may focus on the Golden Years in a person's life.

The duties and responsibilities of a developmental psychologist will often vary, depending on his specialty. A professional specializing in childhood development, for example, may evaluate children to determine whether or not they have developmental disabilities. On the other hand, a developmental psychologist specializing in older adults may try to find ways that make it easier for elderly people to live more independently.

Developmental Psychologist’s Job Role

Developmental psychology is indirect psychology practice; it’s not thought of health service delivery. Though organic process psychologists might typically sit down with people to grasp however their minds work, the main target isn’t on designation individual youngsters or teens serving to them solve their problems; this can be the realm of the kid man of science. Student level developmental psychologists generally add analysis or academe. They will perform differing kinds of study, let’s say, longitudinal or cross-sectional. A Developmental man of science/psychologist won’t essentially need licensing; this can be one thing that’s determined at the state level.
Some programs square measure tagged “applied behavioural psychology”. These can shift the main target faraway from the laboratory setting and faraway from theoretical data. However, the most stress remains not clinical work like psychotherapy. It should be policy, program analysis, or perhaps applied analysis. In associate degree applied laboratory, psychologists would possibly develop associate degree intervention model or assessment.

Where Do Developmental Psychologists Work?

Pursuing a developmental psychology career may seem daunting at first, but there are a number of places that hire these professionals.

Developmental psychologists often work in schools and learning centers, for instance, along with children's homes. Hospitals and mental health facilities often work with developmental psychologists as well, as do nursing and retirement homes.

Universities and other educational institutes also hire developmental psychologists to perform research and teach. Some government agencies and research facilities also work with these professionals.

What Is the Median Salary for a Developmental Psychologist?

The median salary for a developmental psychologist in the United States can vary, depending on a few different factors. For instance, more experienced developmental psychologists with advanced degrees are often able to command higher wages than professionals with less impressive resumes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, psychologists in general earned a median salary of $86,510 in 2010. Developmental psychologists may make slightly more or less than this, depending on their specialty and where they work. Professionals that worked in substance abuse clinics and psychiatric hospitals, for example, earned a median salary of $69,150, while those working in physicians' offices earned a median salary of $109,600.