How to Become a Psychologist in Arkansas
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The state of Arkansas is known for its forestry, rice production, and the beautiful natural state parks. However, like most other states in the US, it’s also home to a thriving psychology industry. According to Discover Arkansas, the psychology industry is expected to grow nearly 11% through the year 2022, meaning there will be an increased need for qualified professional psychologists. This translates to higher salaries and better opportunities for those who plan to make psychology their career.
However, the state has put forth some very strict requirements for future psychologists in an attempt to ensure that patients and clients receive only the best care from qualified, competent professionals. Only those who meet these requirements can obtain a psychologist license within the state.
Education Requirements for Psychologist Licensing in Arkansas
Future psychologists in the state of Arkansas must earn their Doctorate’s degree in psychology or a very closely related field from a nationally or regionally accredited institution. The Arkansas Board of Psychology Examiners recommends programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association, or programs that meet their very specific course requirements. It must consist of at least 80 semester hours. There are 19 accredited schools offering psychology programs in Arkansas, so finding a great one shouldn’t be a problem for students.
In addition to their doctoral degree, individuals must take part in an internship accredited by the APA, lasting at least 2,000 hours or one year. This internship can count against the supervised professional experience needed in order to obtain a psychologist license in Arkansas. Read more about psychology degrees in AR.
Supervised Professional Experience Requirements for a Psychologist in Arkansas
In addition to the internship future psychologists must participate in, they will need to accumulate at least another year’s worth of experience working under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. It is required that the experience consist of full, 40-hour weeks for a total of 2,000 hours. Individuals may not take longer than four years to complete this step toward their psychologist license.
Examination for the Psychologist License in Arkansas
The standard examination for measuring the knowledge and competency of psychologists in the state of Arkansas is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).
This examination consists of 225 multiple-choice questions, 175 of which are scored, with 50 being pre-test items. The individual must apply through the Arkansas Board of Psychology to take the examination, being sure to include the required fee. The scores will be sent back to the board and they will contact future psychologists with the results.
Note: To find out more about becoming a psychologist in Arkansas, please visit the Arkansas Psychology Board.
Psychologist Career Outlook in Arkansas
Employment information is regularly collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in all states and for all industries. As of May, 2013, there were approximately 580 clinical, counseling and school psychologists employed in Arkansas. These professionals earned an annual median wage of $62,500, which is just slightly lower than the national average for this industry. The “median wage” is defined as the center line, meaning that half of psychologists within the state earn more than this amount while the other half earn less.
There are a variety of things that can affect the actual salary of a psychologist, including their experience, their location within the state and their employer’s pay scale.