A Career in Clinical Psychology

The role of a clinical psychologist is to offer treatment to those affected by a wide range of mental health disorders. Through the use of a wide range of methods and psychological knowledge and research, the psychologist aims to reduce the affect of said disorders and improve the well being of his/her patients.

The range of mental disorders treated by a clinical psychologist is very wide ranging from depression to behavioral, addictive and eating disorders. The range of patients is equally wide ranging from children to the elderly.

Average Workday activities

  • Assessing the needs of a patient through a range of testing techniques.
  • Designing programmes of treatments that will satisfy those needs.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of said treatments
  • Offering therapy and treatment for the various symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression and interpersonal problems
  • Carrying out research in an attempt to add to the knowledge base of psychology
  • Providing consultation to professionals in other lines of work

Education and Experience Required

To become a clinical psychologist, a vast amount of education and experience is required. The first step is to gain a degree in psychology and to achieve a 2:1 or better. This degree needs to be accredited by the British Psychological Society. To become eligible for chartered status, three years of postgraduate level study is then required culminating in a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Entry to these three years of study is highly competitive; it is not unheard of for applicants to be refused several times before gaining entry to the course. A minimum of one year of relevant work experience is required but due to the competitiveness, more than one year is often actually required. A lot of candidates accepted already have a postgraduate qualification of some kind. It is uncommon for anyone to gain entry to the training less than three years after graduating.

The average age of successful candidates is twenty six. Entry is not only based upon experience but on the presence of desired personality traits. Due to the nature of the job, the following characteristics are looked for:

  • empathy and a strong desire to help people
  • capability to handle stress, accept your limitations, to respond positively to difficulty
  • excellent interpersonal/communication skills when around people that are in distress
  • capability to be both critical and analytical
  • To be self motivated but to be able to collaborate with other professionals
  • willingness to comply with strict ethical guidelines.


A trainee clinical psychologist will start off at around 24,000 pounds and this will rise to 27,000 pounds upon becoming qualified. With experience, the salary increases, an experienced clinical psychologist can expect to earn between 30,000 to 50,000 pounds. With managerial responsibilities this can rise to 80,000 pounds per year. All of these figures however refer to a clinical psychologist that is working for the NHS. A clinical psychologist with a private practice can charge anywhere from fifty to one hundred and fifty pounds per hour, and therefore far larger salaries are possible within the private sector. There are also numerous opportunities within commercial consultation as the knowledge acquired through training to be a clinical psychologist can be applicable to a wide range of commercial concerns.


Hours are generally nine to five if working for the NHS. Additional hours in evenings and weekends may be required as well as the potential to be on call to cover potential emergency situations. If self employed, this is obviously not the case. Local travel is common during the working day. Jobs are available throughout the country though the most vacancies are in large urban areas. It should also be noted that due to the nature of the job, a wide variety of people will be encountered who are likely to be distressed in some way, and therefore it can be a stressful job. There is also the possibility that situations in which there is a personal risk could be encountered.

Did you know?

Over the course of a single year, one in four people will experience some form of mental disorder. Within the UK, the most common reason for visiting a clinical psychologist is mixed anxiety and depression. The UK actually has the highest rate of self harm in Europe and within its prison system, only one out of every ten prisoners does not have some form of mental illness.

Financial Advisor – Exciting Career

The role of a financial advisor is to provide advice to his/her clients about how best to utilise their current assets. It can involve both explaining the various services on offer to allow them to best do this and in some positions, attempting to secure a sale of said services on behalf of a bank or other such financial organisation.

It is a highly varied role in many respects. To start with, there are currently three different types of financial advisor. A tied financial advisor who will only sell a single organisations products i.e. the products of a particular bank. A multi-tied advisor who can sell products from various organisations. Then there are independent financial advisors, known as IFA’s who can sell any organisations products. By law, an IFA must advise clients to purchase the product that is most suitable to them; they can not possess any bias towards a particular institution.

There is also a wide variety of specialisations within the career. For example, some financial advisors will specialise in advising private citizens while others will provide advice to corporate organisations. Financial advisors may also go on to specialise in specific products. For example some will specialise in employee pension schemes while others will simply offer mortgage advice.

Average Workday Activities:

  • Contacting existing clients and setting up meetings
  • Reviewing clients financial circumstances and future financial ambitions
  • Designing financial strategies to help clients achieve said ambitions.
  • Researching large amounts of information in order to best advice clients.
  • Developing financial strategies and means of illustrating said strategies to clients
  • Informing and explaining various financial services to clients.
  • Attempting to promote or sell said financial services to meet sales targets.
  • Negotiating with the providers of said services for the best rates.
  • Maintaining in depth documentation to comply with legal regulations

Education and Experience Required

Though the average age of a financial advisor is fifty years old, graduates are being encouraged to apply for the position. A degree in a related subject such as accountancy, finance, risk assessment, business studies may prove an advantage, however any graduate or diplomat may apply such a position. Qualifications are not always considered the primary hiring criteria for this position however.

Instead employers are looking for specific personality traits in potential candidates. These include but are not limited to:

  • Excellent communication and listening skills.
  • To be highly capability to express complex information in simplistic terms.
  • To be self motivated and organised but to be capable of working as part of a team.
  • To be attentive to detail and to be good with numbers, analysis, statistics
  • To understand the notion of sales and to be willing to work to specific sales targets

Experience is not necessarily required however experience in either sales, customer service or an advisory role could prove advantageous.

How to get to the top

Like the majority of professions, unless you have a significant amount of experience, the role of a financial advisor is not one that you can expect to take on during your first day at a new organisation. Most successful candidates will start out as a para planner. A para planner generally assists a financial advisor, all the time learning more about the industry. During this time, in order to become a fully qualified financial advisor, exams will have to be taken. Many employers will pay for both the training (which may occur in house) as well as the exams themselves. They will then start to work with clients under supervision before being assigned their own client list upon becoming fully qualified. It is common to start off as a tied financial advisor at first regardless of the type of financial advisor one wishes to eventually become.


Within the UK, you can expect to start off at somewhere between 15,000 to 25,000 pounds per year. With experience, this rises considerably to between 22,000 and 55,000 pounds per year. Financial advising is a career path where success is richly rewarded. Should you be good at the job, a successful tied advisor can make between 70,000 and 120,000 pounds per year. A successful independent financial advisor on the other hand can make double that, expecting to earn about a quarter of a million pounds per year.


The job is generally nine to five however some flexibility is required. Both working from home and freelance work is common place within the industry. There are positions available throughout the UK, however considering the financial nature of the work, the most opportunities coupled with the highest salaries will always be found in the major cities. Working abroad is also possible.