Psychotherapists use talking techniques and therapies to help people who are distressed, or have mental health problems.

Average salary (a year)

£30,401 Starter


£43,772 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

in your own business managing your own hours

How to become a psychotherapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course


You'll usually need to complete a degree and postgraduate award in psychotherapy.

Your course should be one recognised by the:

Courses can take up to 4 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
  • experience of working with children or vulnerable adults

More information


You could start by doing a Level 3 or 4 Diploma in Counselling before moving onto further training at degree and postgraduate level.

You'll usually need to have completed a counselling certificate to do a diploma, or have a lot of experience of working with vulnerable people.

Some colleges have a minimum age limit to start this type of course.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More information

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in psychotherapy from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a day-to-day basis, your work could involve:

  • encouraging clients to talk about emotional or relationship problems
  • analysing past events and behaviours so that changes can be made
  • assessing a client's way of thinking and how they deal with their feelings
  • helping develop new strategies for coping
  • having regular supervision sessions with your mentor.

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in a consultation room or in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could take on a training, teaching or mentoring role, or become self-employed and set up in private practice.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a psychotherapist right now.

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Courses In England

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