Utah Child Therapy CertificationIf you live in the beautiful state of Utah, then you might have noticed that there are tons of different colleges and universities, both online and traditional institutions, that offer certification programs to those interested in pursuing a career in child therapy. A lot of these programs make some big promises, touting all of the wonderful things you can do with your certification. The truth of the matter is, however, that certifications are actually useless if they are not backed up by a real degree from an accredited higher learning institution. While certifications are an excellent way to supplement an education and to thus enable yourself to take on new or different positions in the field, they are in no way a substitute for a real education.
Therefore, if you truly want to succeed in the field of child therapy in the state of Utah, then it's up to you to go out there and get yourself an education! You don't have to start out huge if you're not ready for that, however. In fact, many people, especially those who already have commitments to their jobs or to their families, begin just by pursuing an associate's degree. These two year degree programs are generally designed with busy, working adults in mind, so many classes are offered online or in the evening. While an associate's degree is like a certification in that it is not worth much of anything on its own, it can be a great springboard to an education. It's an affordable way to earn credits to transfer to an undergraduate degree program of your choice.
An undergraduate degree is essentially the lowest level degree you can earn and still find work in the field upon graduation. These degrees, known as bachelor's degrees, are typically completed in around four years, sometimes less or more depending upon the person and the program. While most colleges and universities will not actually offer a degree in "child therapy," there are many similar or related areas that you can choose to major in. These include subjects like general psychology, child psychology, child development, applied psychology, sociology, social work, school system psychology, and more. You can, of course, also choose to supplement your education and make it less generalized by pursuing a certification. With a bachelor's degree alone, you will only be eligible for more entry level positions in the field, such as child therapist assistant or child therapy educator.
For the most coveted positions in the field and to be considered an actual therapist, you'll want to have at least a master's degree. Master's degrees can only be earned after you have a bachelor's degree, but the bachelor degree does not necessarily have to be in a related field. In fact, many master's degree programs work hard to gain students with diverse academic backgrounds because of the unique perspective they bring to the program. This can be a huge relief for those who are coming to the career later in life, after they've already pursued an unrelated bachelor's degree. Master's degree programs can be completed in anywhere from one to three years, depending upon the amount of time you have to commit to your education and on the program itself. Once you have this degree, however, you become eligible for state licensure.
The highest level degree that can be obtained in child therapy is the doctorate degree, also known as a PhD. This is the degree where you can actually earn the title of "doctor." These programs, however, are extremely intense and can take a large chunk of your life—up to seven very hard years—to complete. They are, however, very well worth it. With a doctorate degree, you can have virtually any position you want in the field. Plus, you can be sure that you'll be earning the very highest salary possible. While not for everyone, a doctorate degree is something everyone should consider. Be aware too that you can earn these degrees while already working in the field and sometimes, your employer will even be willing to pay for all or part of your education, often on the condition that you continue working for him or her for a set amount of time after graduating.