Mental Health
Child Life Specialist

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Career photo
Salary: $22,069 - $34,369
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Hourly: $10.71 - $19.23
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Outlook: 2 Stars
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Length of Training: 4-6 years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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Length of Training/Requirements
College programs consist of a broad range of liberal arts courses and comprehensive courses relating to the healthy as well as the hospitalized child/adolescent. The curriculum may include Child Growth and Development, Children under Stress, Child Psychology, Children in the Hospital, and Family Dynamics. Not all child life specialists are graduates of specialized child life studies. Individuals from education, recreation, child development, and similar fields may enter the profession based on previous work experience and relevant training. In addition, practicums and internships provide supervised clinical experience in a child life setting and are often required prior to working as a child life specialist. Graduate training includes administration, research, or advanced clinical issues.

Licensure/Certification

Certification is available by examination from the Child Life Certifying Committee (CLCC) of the Child Life Council. Requirements include completion of a Bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 10 courses in child life, child development, child and family studies, or closely related areas, and 480 hours of child life clinical experience supervised by a certified child life specialist. They must be recertified after five years either by examination or by accruing 50 professional development hours (PDHs). To maintain certification, one must pass a recertification exam at least once every 10 years or recertify by an application process involving professional development hours.


Educational Programs
University or College City Degree*
Abilene Christian University Abilene B,M
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Baylor University Waco B
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Houston Baptist University Houston B
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Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio San Antonio B,M
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Prairie View A&M University Prairie View D
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Southwestern University Georgetown B
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Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches B
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Texas A&M University-Kingsville Kingsville B
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Texas Southern University Houston B,M
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Texas State University-San Marcos San Marcos B,M
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Texas Tech University Lubbock B,M,D
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Texas Woman's University Denton B,M
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The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington B
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The University of Texas at Austin Austin B,M,D
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University of Houston Houston B
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University of North Texas Denton B,M
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*D- Doctorate  M-Masters  B-Bachelor  A-Associates  C-Certificate