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Where to Get Started in Child Therapy in Florida

Individuals living in Florida who are interested in embarking on a career in child therapy will be glad to know that there is no better time than now to get involved in this vast and important field. There are always tons of position open in the state for qualified professionals and not nearly enough people to fill them. This is quite different from other job markets that are overrun in this economy with qualified applicants and that are laying people off left and right. If you're looking for job security and a lucrative salary, then this is the field to go into.

Of course, you shouldn't just enter into child therapy because of the money and prestige. This is a very demanding job that can be emotionally exhausting for those who are not in it for the right reasons. You must truly love children and young adults and have a strong desire to help them to improve their lives and become productive adults. Furthermore, you must be able to distance yourself from your work enough so that you don't end up feeling burnt out. Good child therapists have these attributes in addition to being kind, good listeners, patient, understanding, and nonjudgmental.

Those who still think, after reading these qualifications, that a career in child therapy is right for them are ready to get started. The first step in reaching your career goals, of course, is to pursue a formal educational path. Many people are tempted to begin their careers by pursuing an associate's degree, mainly because these degrees can be earned quickly, often in as little as two years or less, and because they can be earned affordably at community colleges or even entirely online. It is fine to earn one of these degrees, but you must do so with the intention of later transferring your credits to an accredited bachelor's degree program. An associate's degree alone is virtually worthless in the field of child therapy.

A bachelor's degree is the bare minimum education that you can have and still enjoy success in the field. These specialized degrees are typically earned in four years, or two with a previously earned associate's degree. Most people choose to major in psychology, child development, sociology, or other related fields. While this can be helpful for those considering pursuing higher education, it is not an absolute necessity.

Most of the working professionals in the field will have at least a master's degree. These higher level degrees, which can only be earned after a bachelor's degree, can take anywhere from one to three years to complete, depending upon the exact degree and program. With one of these, however, you are eligible for licensure, certification, and even pursuing a doctoral degree. If you really want to do well and reach your career goals, then at least aim for this level of education. As a final step, after your education, make sure that you build up your resume with a related internship.