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Occupation Details

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Clinical Psychologist

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

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Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

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Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

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These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€32k > 86
Clinical Psychologist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€32 - 86
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

This group includes pharmacists, psychologists, dentists, radiographers, vets, and health services managers. While demand is strong for many healthcare professionals, shortages have only been identified for radiographers.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Other Healthcare Professionals

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 14%
Aged over 55: 16%
Male / Female: 29 / 71%
Non-Nationals: 11%
With Third Level: 87%
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At a Glance... header image

Applies psychological theories and the scientific study of behaviour, to help people with a wide range of mental, developmental and physical health problems.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Elaine MacDonald
Psychologist - Clinical

Elaine MacDonald works as a Clinical Psychologist in St Michael's House. She did a BA degree in English literature and Philosophy in Trinity College Dublin. After a period of time teaching in Japan she decided to return home and train as a Clinical Psychologist. She completed the Higher Diploma in Psychology (DipPsych) in UCD which then allowed her to undertake training to be a Clinical Psychologist which she completed at the University of North Wales (Bangor).

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The Work header image

Clinical psychologists provide a variety of services including assessment, therapy, and consultancy services.

They work primarily, but not exclusively, in child and/or adult and learning disability services where emotional, behavioural, psychiatric or developmental difficulties are addressed.

Clinical psychologists may also work in private practice. Clients are usually referred to a clinical psychologist from their general practitioner (GP), although there are some mental health teams and psychology services that people can go to directly for help.

Before any treatment can begin, clinical psychologists use psychological knowledge and theory to assess the patient's needs, abilities and behaviour. Assessment usually includes therapy, counselling or advice.  

Clinical psychologists often work in teams, discussing assessment with other professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists, as well as other psychologists.  
They see patients for treatment in a variety of settings, including community facilities and hospital clinics, for example, attached to a general or psychiatric hospital. Sometimes psychologists visit clients in the community, for example, in a children's home, retirement home, remand centre or youth training centre.  
Some clinical psychologists take part in the management and planning of health services. This could include training other medical professionals in areas such as psychological diagnosis or stress management, or supervising trainee psychologists. There are psychologists in academic and research settings such as universities and medical research units.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Interact with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.


Identify psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, and reference materials.


Use a variety of treatment methods, such as psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavior modification, stress reduction therapy, psychodrama, and play therapy.


Counsel individuals and groups regarding problems, such as stress, substance abuse, and family situations, to modify behavior or to improve personal, social, and vocational adjustment.


Discuss the treatment of problems with clients.


Write reports on clients and maintain required paperwork.


Consult with or provide consultation to other doctors, therapists, or clinicians regarding patient care.


Obtain and study medical, psychological, social, and family histories by interviewing individuals, couples, or families and by reviewing records.


Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments and the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses, modifying plans and diagnoses as necessary.


Select, administer, score, and interpret psychological tests to obtain information on individuals' intelligence, achievements, interests, and personalities.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.


Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People: Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Coaching and Developing Others: Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.


Therapy and Counseling: Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Law and Government: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a clinical psychologist, you must have a strong curiosity about people's behaviour and a desire to use your knowledge to help other people. You will need to be friendly and able to relate well to clients. You should also have excellent team skills to work alongside other medical professionals.  
Clinical psychologists should be able to sympathise and empathise with their clients. You must be non-judgemental and objective at all times, solving problems through a logical and systematic approach.  
Good communication skills are very important. You must be able to establish a trusting relationship with the client, and to express your findings to team members, both verbally and in written reports.  
This work can be very demanding. You will need to be resilient and not become burdened by the problems you encounter. You must be patient, and prepared to work with patients who make little, or very slow progress.

Entry Routesheader image

In order to become a clinical psychologist, an accredited honours undergraduate degree where psychology is the major subject is required.

Completion of a recognised postgraduate training programme in clinical psychology is then necessary.

Entrants can enhance their chances of achieving a place on such a programme by achieving a high grade at undergraduate level (minimum 2.1 grade) and obtaining further research or academic experience relevant to the field of clinical psychology. This can be by way of voluntary or paid work.

Courses are currently offered by

  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University of Limerick
  • Queen’s University Belfast

Last Updated: May, 2015

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI)
Address: CX House, 2A Corn Exchange Place, Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 474 9160
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: British Psychological Society
Address: St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR
Tel: +44 (0)116 254 9568
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
Address: 21 Dublin Rd, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Tel: (01) 272 3427
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Psychology & Social Care
Medical & Healthcare

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