To become a clinician, you usually need a bachelor's degree and 1-2 years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a clinician are internship, social work internship, and case manager. Hiring managers expect a clinician to have soft skills such as communication skills, emotional skills, and problem-solving skills.

The national average salary for clinicians is $60,150, but with the right certifications and experience, they can make up to $103,000. Getting a certification as a Certified Medical Interpreter - Spanish (CMI) will help you to earn more as a clinician.

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 81,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

How to become a Clinician in 6 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore clinician education
  • Step 2: Develop clinician skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Get clinician certifications
  • Step 5: Research clinician duties
  • Step 6: Prepare your resume

Key Steps To Become a Clinician

  1. Explore Clinician Education

    If you're interested in becoming a clinician, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 48.6% of clinicians have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 40.8% of clinicians have master's degrees. Even though most clinicians have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

    Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a clinician. When we researched the most common majors for a clinician, we found that they most commonly have psychology, social work and counseling psychology.

    Clinician Degrees


    48.6 %


    40.8 %


    5.3 %

    Clinician MajorPercentages
    Social Work21.00%
    Counseling Psychology7.00%
    Mental Health Counseling6.40%
    Other Degrees41.30%

  2. Develop Clinician Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop clinician skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in clinician job descriptions:

    Social Work25.85%
    Patient Care4.09%
    Individual Therapy4.09%
    Mental Health3.68%

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Clinicians spend an average of 1-3 months on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new clinicians learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a clinician based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real clinician resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    More than 10 years

  4. Get Clinician Certifications

    Certifications can show employers you have a baseline of knowledge expected for this position. They can also make you a more competitive candidate. Even if employers don't require a certification, having one may help you stand out in an application. Plus, the process of getting a certification can teach you new skills that you can bring to your work. We determined the most common certifications for clinicians. The most common certification is Certified Medical Interpreter - Spanish (CMI), but Certification in Forensic Social Work (CFSW) is also frequently seen in clinicians resumes.

    1. Certified Medical Interpreter - Spanish (CMI)
    2. Certification in Forensic Social Work (CFSW)
    3. Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
    4. Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)
    5. Certified Clinical Supervisor
    6. Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)
    7. Medical Assistant (MA)
    8. Academy of Certified Social Workers Credential (ACSW)

    More About Certifications

  5. Research Clinician Duties

    When you decide to become a clinician, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most clinician jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Perform thorough substance abuse assessments incorporating instruments such as ASAM, SASSI and urine drug screens; provide individual therapy.
    • Spearhead the development of rehabilitation programs serving adults with chemical dependency and mental health diagnoses with the manager.
    • Follow all ethical CARF standards when treating the residential client.
    • Facilitate stabilization, assessment, care and compassion for those in critical need.
    • Provide CBT and motivational interviewing for individual and group therapy to clients' who are on methadone.
    • Used motivational interviewing to lead recovery and therapy groups for IOP and PHP programs in the evenings and on weekends.

  6. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Clinician Resume templates

    Build a professional Clinician resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Clinician resume.

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  7. Apply For a Clinician Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Clinician Jobs

  8. How To Become a Clinician
    How To Become a Clinician Career Overview

Average Salary for a Clinician

Clinicians in America make an average salary of $60,150 per year or $29 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $103,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Clinician Salary
$60,150 Yearly
$28.92 hourly

What Am I Worth?