A career in psychology is one of the fastest-growing professions right now that can be very rewarding, making it well worth the effort to be licensed to practice.
Demand for psychologists is projected to increase 14% in general through 2026, per the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. However, getting licensed in psychology can be an intimidating process if you're not properly prepared.
In fact, as part of the process of getting licensed in psychology, you must not only fulfill the education requirements for a professional degree, but your state board also requires other prerequisites met to obtain a license.
According to the BLS, psychologists earn $79,010 on average, but education and experience play a vital role in how much a psychologist can earn.
Popular psychology careers you can pursue include clinical psychology, neuropsychiatry, private counseling, psychiatry, and organizational psychology.
Preparing for a Career in Psychology
Psychology as a career offers many opportunities to help improve people's lives all round, thus contributing to a better society. However, to become a psychologist and provide a wide range of psychological services, most states require you to have a license.
You must also have a master's degree in psychology or a doctorate in counseling, clinical, or school psychology to become certified by the board.
However, the exact requirements for psychology licensing differ by state, so be sure to check the guidelines for your area before applying for a license.
In fact, one former postdoctoral student in training advises first determining the area you might like to work in and then study the criteria for that state, which will then enable you to structure your postdoc efforts around them to help prevent any licensing delays.
Each state also has its own experience requirements; however, in general, you should also plan to complete at least 2,000 hours of internship and at least 2,000 hours of supervised post-degree experience.
To find information regarding the education requirements and more for your state, check your local college psychology program or the state board of psychology. You can also locate psychology programs by state and more using reliable websites online.
Importance of Licensures
Psychology licensing is required for consumer protection to show the public that you are qualified to help them. Therefore, it should be deemed as important to your career.
However, because becoming a licensed psychologist can be a bit taxing, it is suggested you begin studying for your psychology licensure in your second year as a student or before.
Most notably learn early the differences in required supervision hours for the postdoc and predoctoral internship and any requirements concerning taking the exams and graduate courses to help you better prepare.
Career Opportunities in Psychology
Career opportunities run far and wide in the field of psychology. However, as already mentioned, some of the most popular careers include Cognitive Behavioral Psychology, Business Psychology, Child Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology, and more.
Getting your psychology license doesn't have to be loathsome if you allow yourself sufficient time to prepare. And don't be nervous about getting help from others who have gone through the process if you become confused along the way. State psychological associations can also help.
In the meantime, be sure to save all information regarding your postdoc, internship, and doctoral degree so it is on hand to help save time. Likewise, keep all information you've obtained on licensing requirements, so you can easily refer to it when you need it.