How to become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada

Are you interested in knowing how to become a clinical psychologist in Canada? Don’t worry, you are fortunate to have come across this write-up.
Clinical Psychology is one of the specialties in Psychology regarded as a pivotal part in creating a balance in mental health.
People licensed to become clinical psychologists can work in hospitals, schools, and government institutions or engage in private practice.
In our update today, we shall be discussing how to become a clinical psychologist, particularly how to become a clinical psychologist in Canada.

We shall also touch on areas that border on Clinical Psychology salary, how many years to become a psychologist in Canada as well as other areas that deal with clinical psychology.

Who is a Clinical Psychologist?

There are so many relational definitions to who a clinical psychologist is, but on a general scale, a clinical psychologist is one that uses the knowledge of psychology to profer mental health services. Psychologists assess and evaluate the extent of the problem through counseling and other clinical methods before proffering the best possible solution.
Clinical psychologists can counsel both individually or in groups whichever works best. They remain an integral part of societal mental and emotional well-being.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Experts say the desire to become a clinical psychologist should breed out of passion more than monetary gains. If you are naturally inclined to help people especially young people going through one psychological issue or the other, it is only right you venture further and become a professionally certified clinical psychologist.
It takes quite a good length of years to get licensed to practice. The journey and years of studies and work experience are what make you a complete professional. The steps are as outlined below.
  • A Graduate degree.
  • A Masters Degree.
  • Clinical internship and experience
  • A Doctoral Degree.
  • Get Licensed.
  • Pursue a P.hD.
This process is not the same for all states and provinces. Some countries issue licenses of practice after the graduate degree while others allow licenses for only master’s degree holders.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada

Like we mentioned above, the process of becoming a clinical psychologist is not the same for all countries and states. But, for the sake of this content, we shall be discussing how to become a clinical psychologist in Canada and how many years to become a psychologist in Canada.

Acquire a Graduate Degree: 

You must complete and acquire a graduate degree which is the first step after leaving high school.
It takes an average of 4 years to finish a graduate degree in clinical psychology. It is also important you maintain a good CGPA. If you fail to get the required minimum CGPA for a Masters’s Degree or Doctorate Degree it means you have to find an alternative course.

Proceed for Masters:

In Canada, a Bachelor’s Degree is not enough to earn you a license to start practicing. You will have to proceed with your Masters. During your master’s, you will have to choose a specialty in psychology in areas of rehabilitation, psychoanalysis, and clinical health.
This is where you gain first-hand experience and all the necessary skills needed in becoming a psychologist in Canada. Based on the requirements of your state of residence, a Masters’s Degree might just be enough for you to start practicing psychology.

Obtain a Doctoral Degree:

Only two doctoral degrees are accepted for clinical psychologist licensing in Canada. Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D. in Psychology). While PsyD is concerned primarily with the straight practice of psychology Ph.D. is for those interested in psychology academics, research, and clinical practice.


Internships are mandatory for a good number of specialties in psychology. However, the length of the internship depends on your area of specialization. This can come in the form of part-time degree programs or post-doctoral programs.
Like we said earlier all of this depends largely on the legislation of the state of residence towards the psychology profession and education.

Get Licensed: 

Getting licensed is like a dream come true for all aspiring psychologists. It tends to be the last phase on how to become a psychologist in Canada. You will be required to sit for a mandatory licensing exam. After which your license can be issued to you if you pass.

Psychologist Schools in Canada

With the help of our research associates, we have been able to list some of the top institutions offering the best in Psychology/Psychiatrics in Canada for our readers and visitors.
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Ottawa
  • Queen’s University
  • Dalhousie University
  • McMaster University

Skills Needed of a Clinical Psychologist

Your skills and traits are what sets you apart from others as a psychologist. We shall discuss a good number of them below.

Interpersonal Skills:

In clinical psychology, you will be relating to people from diverse backgrounds, races, and ethnic groups. Your ability to engage and interact with them effectively will help you understand what their problem is.


A psychologist should learn to be patient and very observant. Some issues require long hours of keen observance to know the root of the problem.


With sound analytical skills, you can be able to understand deeply the issue at hand and profer best psychological methods to deal with it.


Your breakthrough in any psychological issue depends largely on communication. Clinical psychologists must know how best to relate, interact and engage with clients for a proper understanding of their situation.
Many other skills and traits include; problem-solving, compassion, integrity, e.t.c. These and many more build up a complete clinical psychologist.

How many years to become a Psychologist in Canada

With what we have listed above and the process involved in getting a license to start off as a psychologist in Canada, it can take close to 10-11 years to become a certified clinical psychologist in Canada.
You don’t need to complete the 10 years before you can start earning as a Psychologist in Canada. Graduates and holders work part-time under licensed psychologists while studying for higher degrees in the field.

Clinical Psychologist Salary in Canada

Young licensed psychologists who are just starting off earn an average of CA$71,921 while those with 5-9 years of experience earn as much as CA$81,522.
Highly experienced ones with over 10 years of experience and advanced certifications earn up to CA$97,333. The stats show levels of experience and certifications play important roles in clinical psychologists’ salaries in Canada.

Final thoughts on how to become a clinical psychologist in Canada

The need for the sound well-being of society has led to an increase in the demand for clinical psychologists in Canada. Ensure you look up the requirements of and process of becoming a psychologist in your state of residence before proceeding.
The passion for the job is what can distinguish you and make you go far in this field.
Additionally, even after getting certified to start practicing, it is equally important to continue attending seminars and workshops to continually sharpen your knowledge of the field.

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