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Is Washington a Good Place for a Child Therapy Career?

If you live in the state of Washington and are interested in pursuing a career in child therapy, then you will be glad to know that there is no better time than now to act on that interest. Washington state has a severe need for qualified child therapists and rapidly hires just about any person who has the right combination of education and training due to this need. In troubled economic times where people are getting laid off left and right and are having trouble securing jobs, the child therapy field is booming. Working professionals enjoy lucrative salaries that are much higher than others earn across the board in professions in Washington state, as well as incredible job security, something that, as we all know, is very hard to come by in this day and age.

Obviously, then if you have an interest in the career field and are willing to commit yourself to the schooling it takes to reach your goals, then you should definitely act on it. There is no one prescribed path that you must follow in order to become involved in the child therapy field. It all depends on what you wish to do in the field and on how hard you are willing to work.

Many people begin their journeys toward becoming child therapists in Washington state by starting out with a simple associate's degree. These degrees take only two years to complete, and they are extremely affordable. Since they are typically earned at community colleges or via online education, it's easy to find night classes and online courses that cater to working adults. Do be aware, however, that an associate's degree alone won't do you much good. You need to go into the degree program with an understanding that you will eventually need to transfer your credits to an accredited undergraduate institution. Otherwise, you'll just end up disappointed.

Some people decide that they'd rather just do things all at once and achieve their bachelors' degrees in one fell swoop. This can easily be done at any of Washington state's many accredited colleges and universities. Earning a bachelor's degree typically takes around four years, and you can choose to major in a wide range of related fields. Child psychology, general psychology, applied psychology, child development, sociology, and social work are just a few of the many options you have available. You can either use your undergraduate degree as a springboard to higher educational pursuits or as a way to gain an entry level position in the field. Also, you can further strengthen your bachelor's degree by opting for certification in specialized areas that pertain to the job you want to have.

Most people, however, who find success in the child therapy field will posses at least a master's degree. Master's degree programs, like associate's degree programs, are typically designed with working adults in mind. This means that you can balance a career or a family life with achieving your educational goals. Master's degrees can be earned in as little as one to three years, depending upon your specific program and the amount of time you have to set aside for coursework each semester. A master's degree will make you eligible for statewide licensure and also presents you with the option of pursuing a doctorate degree if you so desire.

Doctorate degrees are definitely not for everyone, and they are not necessary for many different careers in the field. They are intense programs that can take as long as seven years to complete. However, with them, you not only earn the title of "doctor," but you will also find you are now eligible for virtually any position that you are interested in. Plus, no matter what job you choose to do, you will earn a much higher salary just by having this degree under your belt. Best of all, many employers will fund all or part of your education, especially if you agree to work for them for a set amount of time after earning your degree. Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity for those who are enjoying their careers but who are ready to take them to the next and highest level.