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How to Become a Child Therapist in Arizona

Arizona residents who are ready to embark down the path toward becoming child therapists will be happy to know that there are lots of wonderful educational opportunities that await them in the state. Their first step should be, of course, to decide exactly what it is that they wish to do within the vast field of child therapy. Different jobs will require different levels of training and education. Once they have this nailed down, however, they are ready to start making their career dreams become a reality. Those who are still unsure after doing their research can start by pursuing a basic education and then tailoring it to meet their future goals as necessary.

A lot of people are tempted to start out their educations with two year associate's degrees. After all, they're very affordable to earn and can often be achieved by working strictly online. However, these very general degrees do not provide all of the necessary training to land you a real job in the field. Therefore, if you do decide to pursue an associate's degree, you'll want to make sure that you have the ultimate goal in mind of transferring any credits you earn to an accredited bachelor's degree program at a four year college or university.

To avoid the temptation to get lazy and stop or "take a break" from school after earning an associate's degree, many people choose to get their bachelor's degree all at once. In truth, it doesn't really matter how you decide to earn it, as long as you do earn one. A bachelor's degree is the lowest level degree you can have and still find work in the field; even then, it's very entry level work. For best results, consider getting your degree in child therapy, child psychology, psychology, social work, or another closely related area.

After a bachelor's degree, most child therapy professionals go on to pursue a master's level degree. It's important to note that if you got your bachelor's degree in an unrelated field, there's no need to start from scratch! Many master's level programs in the state are more than willing to accept students from diverse academic backgrounds. The unique blend of knowledge and the interesting perspective such students bring to the program is often very appreciated. It can take a bit more work to find the right master's degree program with an unrelated degree, but it can be done.

Once you have a master's degree, you can look for a job or pursue a licensure. Or, if you're very ambitious, you might consider pursing your doctoral degree. This degree will earn you the most money and the capacity to work the most prestigious positions within the field, but you must decide whether or not it's right for you. Again, even those with unrelated master's degrees can still pursue a PhD in their field. This means it's never too late to embark on a career as a child therapist!