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Child Therapy Training In Illinois

When it comes to becoming a child therapist in the state of Illinois, there are basically only two steps that you need to know: first and foremost, education, and secondly, experiential learning and training. If you can get these two things under your belt, then you can absolutely work successfully as a child therapist in the state. Of course, that's quite a bit easier said than it is done. Getting your education can take anywhere from four to eleven years or more, depending upon the exact level of education you wish to pursue and your career aspirations. However, we can easily walk you through your options and help you to find the path that's right for you.

Education

As far as education goes, the bare minimum you will need to work in the field is a bachelor's degree. If you're earning only a bachelor's degree, then you need to make sure it is in a field closely related to child therapy. Since not a lot of schools offer actual programs in child therapy alone, common majors for professionals in the field include psychology, child psychology, sociology, philosophy, and social work. These degrees are generally supplemented with specialized certifications for those who wish to seek entry level work in the field.

Most working child therapy professionals, however, will have at least a master's degree. After earning a bachelor's degree, a master's degree only takes about one to three years to earn and, best of all, most of these programs are designed with working professionals in mind. That means that you can take only a few classes at a time or take all of your classes at night or online and still reach your career goals easily. Also, you don't have to have a related undergraduate degree in order to earn a master's in child therapy.

Those who want to go the distance will earn a PhD, a doctoral level degree that can take as long as seven years to complete, depending upon your school, program, and your individual career goals. This degree will open up all of the doors to virtually any career in the field you desire, and it will also help you to earn a higher salary, even if you never leave your current position.

Training/ Experiential Learning:

When your education is complete or even while it's still in progress, you'll definitely want to start building a resume in order to increase your chances of getting hired. The best way to do this is by gaining some "real world" experience. This is most commonly accomplished by taking on an internship that is closely related to the exact job you wish to have in the field. A person interested in working in a private practice, for example, would likely want to complete an internship or do job shadowing at a private clinical practice. These internships can be paid or unpaid—unfortunately, they are more often than not the latter—but they are a wonderful way to make important connections and even land jobs if you do well.