Jan 29 / Sarah Scupham

Life after Clinical Psychology Postgraduate study

So, you have nearly or just completed a lot of study… and you’re not sure if you’re ready for full-time work nor if you want to spend more time and money on a registrar program for
endorsement as a Clinical Psychologist.

Our team at Benchmark Psychology / the Psychology Registrar Endorsement Program (PREP) have compiled some considerations, and perspectives from former psychology Masters graduates on the team who have taken varied pathways to their role in psychology.
“Navigating life immediately after masters was hard. I knew I needed to jump into full-time work, but I didn’t know where to start. How do I apply for the endorsement program? What was required of me? Did I want to work in private practice? What was a sole trader? So many questions! Turning to the team at Benchmark Psychology to have some of these answered was so helpful!” 
Sarah Scupham

Why Consider Endorsement for Clinical Psychology?

Even after many years of study, a Masters in Clinical Psychology is a reasonably generalised
qualification. This means you have a wide range of job options in front of you, even fresh
out of university. However, many masters graduates consider the registrar program as a necessary step in their dream role or specialisation as an endorsed Clinical Psychologist. It also benefits that you do earn money working, while keeping up with (ideally) specialised training and learning in the field.

Endorsement for a Clinical Psychology specialisation is also a way to earn more money.

According to careers site talent.com, once endorsed in one of the nine areas of speciality
listed by Board of Psychology Australia, the national average salary jumps from
$90,000 to $113,000.

Figures from Talent, based on 1432 salaries across Australia, July 2023.

Where are the most opportunities for Clinical Psychologists?

In July 2023, seek.com listed the most roles in ‘Health and Medical’ sectors, representing
more than 4,700 openings with an average salary $108,153. Communities Services & Development had the second-highest number of openings (1,691 jobs), with an average salary of $90,875. Government and Defence was hiring the third highest number of Clinical Psychologists with an average salary of $101,015.

How Much does a Registrar Program Cost?

Upon general registration with AHPRA, you’ll be required to pay an application fee of $509,
and a registration fee of $415, or $339 for those practising in NSW. These costs are often not
paid for by your employer, and is something you will need to start saving for if you haven’t already.

The registrar program requires you to complete supervision hours and ongoing active continuing professional development (CPD). If you were completing the full-time program (80 hrs), you will need 40 supervision hours per year, and 40 hours of CPD per year.

The ongoing cost of active CPD and supervision varies. While there are some free CPD materials
available, these are often not considered to be ‘active’ CPD nor very tailored to your area of development or practice. Your supervisor may assist you with finding materials, or you can enrol
in a program like PREP’s fully guided registrar program or on-demand content.

We estimate that a 2 year registrar program can be completed for as little as $10 000 and as much as $21 000 depending on your values around low price vs quality supervision and professional development.

When can I start a Registrar Program?

Once you’ve completed your masters and got an academic transcript, you may apply for
general registration. You must make an application for general registration and renew your registration annually whilst undertaking your registrar program and beyond. The period of registration is December 1 to November 30 each calendar year. The application form: AGEN-76 application form must be uploaded via APHRA’s registration portal along with payment for the application and registration fees.

When making your application for approval of your registrar program, you’re required to
have secured a Board-approved supervisor and detail your planned pathway to registration.
Once approved for registration, you have no more than five years to complete your active
CPD hours and supervision and submit your application for endorsement. Further, if you
require more than two renewals of your registration after the first year (totalling three years
of registrar registration), you will be required to complete a new application for provisional
If you want to learn more about the finer details of completing a registrar program we have a free info pack that you can download from here