How to Become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada in 5 steps

Learning how to become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada? Let’s get started!

Apparently, your decision to become a clinical psychologist in Canada isn’t bad considering expansion and replacement ongoing around psychologist jobs. The 10 years expansion and replacement programs to elapse by 2028 are expected to make available 15700 jobs for psychologists.

Furthermore, to become Clinical Psychologist in Canada provinces is highly secured and promising because 70% of provinces give good ratings.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada is procedural and timing so take advantage of this guide judiciously.

This article will be providing answers to critical questions that has failed lots of applicants seeking Psychologist jobs in Canada. Hopefully, prospective applicants in search for steps on how to become a psychologist in Canada will find this article useful.

Who is a Clinical Psychologist in Canada?

Clinical Psychologist is professionally trained health personnel basically to provide healthcare to adults and children with mental health challenges. Clinical psychologist are able provide healthcare services to the patients through diagnosis on their emotional and behavioral disorders.

Significantly, knowing the national occupation code for Clinical psychologist will ease your search on how to become Clinical psychologist in Canada.

National occupation code (NOC) for clinical psychologist in Canada

Canada government uses the NOC to classify related jobs and also to verify the work experience of immigrants. Clinical psychologist in Canada works under the National occupation code (NOC) code 4151.  So with this NOC you can easily figure out related jobs and exclusive jobs to Clinical psychologist.

Duties or job responsibilities of a Clinical psychologist in Canada

As you plan to become a Clinical psychologist in Canada, it is important to know the duties you will be performing. Find below the duties in line with the National occupation code (NOC) for clinical psychologist and other related jobs:

  • Examine and assess behavior, diagnose behavioral, emotional and cognitive disorders, counsel clients and provide therapy.
  • Help clients manage physical illness and disorders.
  • Counsel individuals and groups to achieve more effective personal, social and vocational development and adjustment, and offer mediation services.
  • Use standard psychological tests for assessment.
  • Plan intervention programs and conduct program evaluation.
  • Apply psychological theory and principles regarding behaviour and mental processes such as learning, language development, memory and perception to develop treatment programs.
  • Formulate hypotheses and experimental designs, review literature, conduct studies and publish research papers, educational texts and articles.
  • Deliver presentations at conferences, workshops or symposia.
  • Provide consultation services to government and other organizations.

Places Clinical psychologist in Canada can work

Imaginations might be inevitable as you research on how to become a clinical psychologist in Canada especially on likely places to work. Interestingly, as a clinical psychologist in Canada places you can work include the following places listed below:

  • correctional facilities
  • hospitals
  • Clinics
  • mental health facilities,
  • rehabilitation centers
  • Businesses, schools and universities.

How much clinical psychologist earn in Canada?

Luckily, Canada is among the top ten countries globally, paying highest salary to clinical psychologists. On average clinical psychologists earn $75,742 while people with experience earn more than $100,000 annually, so work experience matters.

It is important to note that the salaries paid to clinical psychologists in Canada also depend on the provinces.

How many years does it take to become a clinical psychologist in Canada?

Basically, minimum of bachelor degree is required to become clinical psychologist in Canada; this could take up to five years. While, master degree program which could last up to three years and a doctoral degree for up to six years.

Undoubtedly, to become a psychologist, it require minimum of 11 years from undergraduate to PhD programs.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist in Canada 

There are steps to follow to become a clinical psychologist in Canada, likewise, procedures to get practicing license.

1) Learn about the required academic qualifications for Clinical psychologist

In Canada, most provinces required that you have up to doctoral degree to practice. Provinces like Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland allow Master degree holder to practice though Doctoral degree has higher advantage.

So the first step is to obtain your bachelor degree in Clinical Psychology which takes up to five years. Then proceed to spend another two to three years to obtain your masters in science preferably, this is criteria to PhD.

Obtaining your Doctoral degree will qualify you to become qualify and professional clinical psychologist in Canada with good pay.

Upon successful acquiring of your academic qualifications you proceed to internship program in relevant facilities or agencies in Canada.

Additionally, it might interest you to know some Canadian institutions with full facilities for Clinical Psychology programs, find them below:

Note, your school grade must be considerably high for you to be considered for undergraduate degree program in Canadian institutions.

As an international student you will need to provide language proficiency proof because Canada’s official languages are English and French. Find more details about language proficiency and accepted test results in most Canadian institutions.

Find below other relevant documents that you will need to become a clinical psychologist in Canada as an immigrant:

2) Cost of acquiring relevant qualifications as a Clinical psychologist

Financially, you need to be capable despite having the zeal and other requirements to enroll in University for clinical psychology.

Approximately, it cost $7000 annually for a Canadian to run undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology and $18,000 for international student. Then for your Masters and Doctoral degree program it costs $32,000 as a citizen and $60,000 as international student.

The figures mentioned could be slightly higher or lower in Universities and other institutions offering Clinical Psychology.

Absolutely, it is not cheap to become a clinical psychologist in Canada though possibilities of enjoying scholarships are high. Student’s loans and bursaries are also available but as an international student certain conditions needs to be met. International student also need to present proof of funds because admission consideration in the first place.

3) Apply for Internship program

Professionally, you won’t be eligible to practice as a clinical psychologist in Canada even with your doctoral degree certificate. You will be required to apply for internship program preferably in the environment you wish to work.

The internship program will expose to the realities in the profession of clinical Psychology from experienced persons in the field. The internship program usually last for one year except for few provinces where there might be an extension in duration.

4) Get registered with provincial bodies

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has provincial bodies so once you are done with internship program. The next is getting registered with the Clinical Psychology professional body in your province so you can enjoy the benefits.

Upon successful registration you will be certified and licensed to apply for jobs or establish your Psychology firm in the province.

5) Apply for jobs as a clinical psychologist in Canada

The moment you complete step one to four, the next step is to search for jobs in relevant places. Considering the fact that the jobs of Clinical Psychology are in high demand, you will definitely find job. Places to apply for Clinical psychologist jobs include Schools, correctional facilities, hospitals and others.

Possibly, you can decide to set up your own Psychology firm and carve a niche for yourself through creativity. However, you will to have Work permit or Permanent residence to be qualified to work as Clinical Psychology in Canada.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the subfields in Psychology?

The subfields in Psychology available in most Canadian institutions are stated below:

  • School psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Industrial psychology
  • Sports psychology
  • Counseling psychology
  • Neuropsychological research and experimental research
  • Health psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Education psychology
  • Clinical psychology

Understanding the subfields in Psychology will help your planning on how to become a clinical psychologist in Canada.

What skills do I need to function efficiently as a clinical psychologist in Canada?

Psychology been a sensitive course of study requires that you posses some distinct skills such as:

  • Good communication skills.
  • Excellent observational skills
  • Good listening skills.

Where psychologists are paid the most in Canada?

Edmonton city in Alberta province is the pay highest amount to Psychologist in Canada, it pay $88.79 hourly. Other cities that follow in Ontario, SK, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia province are as follows:

Cities                                                                                                           hourly pay

  • Toronto                                                                                                            $74.19
  • Ottawa                                                                                                             $63.68
  • Saskatoon                                                                                                       $57.01
  • North Battleford                                                                                               $56.99
  • Regina                                                                                                             $56.90
  • Halifax                                                                                                             $53.86
  • Vancouver                                                                                                       $53.21

How long does it take to become a licensed clinical psychologist in Canada?

It is takes up to 12 years to become a licensed clinical psychologist in Canada. This includes the time taking to acquire first degree, masters, Doctoral and internship training program.


Conclusively, becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in Canada takes a longer time but very interesting and rewarding. The academic program is not cheap so ensure you are financially buoyant before you apply to become clinical psychologist.

On average clinical psychologist earn $100,000 annually as salary and their jobs are in high demand in Canada.

Hopefully, this article will provide you details you have been searching for on how to become clinical psychologist in Canada.