How Can I Become a Child Life Therapist

Download this page: How do I become a CLT 


Please note: ACLTA represents Child Life Therapists. If you are interested in the field of Play Therapy (form of psychotherapy/counselling), then please refer to information on the websites of the Australian Play Therapists Association ( and/or the Australasia Pacific Play Therapy Association (


What qualification do I need to become a Child Life Therapist?

The required qualification for Child Life Therapists across Australia is a degree in Education. Whilst Early Childhood is preferred, some hospitals will consider a Primary Teaching degree should the candidate be able to demonstrate significant experience with children under 8.


Is a postgraduate qualification in education sufficient?

A postgraduate qualification in education will only be deemed as meeting the requirements to become a Child Life Therapist if the undergraduate degree can be shown to have included at least two years of study in child development.


Is there any specific training or study I can undertake in relation to Child Life Therapy?

At this time, there is no specific training offered by tertiary institutions in Australia to become a Child Life Therapist. Once employed, Child Life Therapists will undertake a training package to support them to transition from the education to healthcare setting and develop the necessary knowledge and skills to work in this role. ACLTA do facilitate professional development opportunities such as biennial conferences and webinars, which we encourage those looking to enter the profession to attend.


How can I find out about job vacancies in the profession?

There are a number of ways that you can find out about job vacancies:

  • Sign up for job alerts from the relevant health department in your state
  • Like our Facebook page- jobs will often be advertised on this channel and on the ‘Current Advertised Positions’ on this website


 What else can I do to increase my suitability for employment?

  • Find employment, experience and/or postgraduate study that relates to working with children. Most Child Life Therapists have many years of experience and/or have completed extra study in inclusive education, healthcare or the arts. This will make you a more desirable applicant for a Child Life Therapist role, as you will be able to draw on a solid foundation of background knowledge
  • Volunteer at your local Children’s Hospital or Paediatric Ward. This is a perfect opportunity to learn about the healthcare environment while supporting the work of your local hospital. You may find there are opportunities to support your local Child Life Therapists, or other vital services. Speak with your local hospital’s volunteer coordinator to find out more.
  • If you are completing an education degree, there may be the possibility of completing a practicum/placement in a larger Child Life Therapy Department. Usually these students will need to be completing their studies with a high grade average, and be in the final year of their degree. Contact the relevant department in your closest Children’s Hospital to check for opportunities.


We wish you the best of luck in your career!little girl playing doctor with play needle


The ACLTA Executive 2017.





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