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How Much Does a Child Therapist Make in California?

California residents who are interested in or already embarking down a career path toward becoming a child therapist will be very glad to know that child therapists in the state are some of the most highly paid professionals. While it is impossible to say the exact figure that you can expect to make as a child therapist working in the state, you should know that at the very least, you should make at least $50,000 per year on average. Of course, some professionals will make a great deal more than this, and a few will even make a bit less than this. That's because your salary is dependent upon several different factors including, but not limited to, the city in which you live and work, your level of education, the years of experience you have in the field as a whole and at your particular job, and the capacity and atmosphere in which you work.

Generally speaking, the child therapists in California who make the most money are those who work in private practices, especially if they own their own private practices. The main reason for this is because such therapists set their own rates and can charge their patients just about anything they want, within reason. Keep in mind, however, that such therapists have to be aware of the industry standards, in order to avoid losing all hope of gaining clients. Therapists in private practices also set their own hours and can work as often or as little as they wish, allowing them to, in essence, make their own pay. The average child therapists working in his or her own practice will make an average of $100,000 per year. Those employed by the private practices of others tend to make only slightly less than this figure.

While it may seem unfair, child therapists who work in public institutions, such as hospitals, in child protective services, or in the public school system, tend to make quite a bit less than therapists in the private sector. The average pay range for these professionals is around $55,000 to $65,000 per year. One good thing about working in the public sector, besides the opportunity to truly serve those in need, is that these professionals tend to have excellent benefits, both while they are working and after they have retired, so that's something to consider.

While salary is something we all care about, it's important never to choose a job, especially one as demanding and important as this, based on salary alone. After all, the money will only mean so much when you spend your entire day earning it. Child therapy requires people to honestly love helping children and to be truly cut out for the job, meaning they are hardworking, kind, good listeners, patient, and have a strong desire to help others. Without these qualities, it's very easy to get burnt out on the job quickly and to end up unhappy, despite the amount of money in one's wallet.