Clinical Supervisor Education Requirements and Job Duties

Clinical supervisors require graduate-level formal education and field experience. Learn about the education requirements, job duties and certification options to see if this is the right career for you.

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Clinical supervisors manage counseling and psychology practitioners to ensure patients are getting the best quality treatment. In order to become a clinical supervisor you'll need extensive on the job experience, formal education of at least a post-master's certificate or a doctoral degree, as well as great organizational, scheduling, development, team leadership and communication skills.

Essential Information

Clinical supervisors are licensed counseling, psychology or social work practitioners who oversee the management of other practitioners through the application of supervisory modules and techniques. Certificate and Ph.D. programs are available for licensed practitioners to become clinical supervisors. Certifications are also available for these positions.

Required Education Post-master's certificate or doctoral degree
Other Requirements Voluntary certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 17% for all medical and health services managers*
Median Salary (2015) $53,025 for clinical supervisors**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

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Educational Requirements for Clinical Supervisor

A licensed practitioner holding a master's degree in counseling, psychology or social work can become a clinical supervisor. The prospective clinical supervisor must either complete a post-master's certificate or Ph.D. program. Licensed practitioners may also become clinical supervisors through hands-on supervisory experience in the field.

Program Details

The postgraduate certificate in clinical supervision program is available for practitioners who wish to move into a supervisory role in mental health and human services disciplines. The certificate program trains students in the models of clinical supervision by teaching supervisory techniques and styles. Students learn to assess performances using evaluations. Focused training is provided in identifying and resolving conflicts in the clinical relationship.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Education and Supervision also provides advanced hands-on training in supervisory roles through internships. However, the Ph.D. program covers a variety of academic, research and clinical supervisory roles, whereas the postgraduate certificate is specifically designed for those seeking careers as clinical supervisors.

Certification Requirements

Clinical supervisors may become certified in many states as a certified clinical supervisor. To take the certification exam a licensed practitioner must hold current licensing as a mental health provider, a master's degree and related experience. Certifications for clinical supervisors are also offered by the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Job Duties

Clinical supervisors oversee the casework and professional issues of employees. They review and assess client treatment plans, including short- and long-term goals. Clinical supervisors review clinical records to evaluate the necessary level of patient care. Supervisory techniques are utilized to solve problems and implement interventions among employees.

Clinical supervisors promote the development of counseling skills and approaches through evaluations and assessments. They are also responsible for addressing legal and ethical issues within mental health counseling. Clinical supervisors also track documentation and record-keeping for organizational and administrative purposes.

If you're interested in becoming a leader in a clinical setting for counselors and psychologists, helping them develop their counseling skills and ensuring that patients are receiving the care they need, then a career as a clinical supervisor may just be for you.

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