How to Become a Psychologist in Colorado

The state of Colorado has very specific guidelines for its mental health care professionals.

The licensing process consists of education, supervised hours, and a licensing exam.  Upon completing these requirements the state that issues a license that can be used to practice as a psychologist in this state.

For a detailed explanation of the process, see below.

What Degree Do I Need to Become a Psychologist in Colorado?

The first step to becoming a psychologist in Colorado is obtaining your bachelor's degree in a subject related to the counseling field, graduating from a University in Colorado will help you meet the state’s licensure requirements.

After you have graduated from you bachelor’s degree you must then go onto a master’s degree, this is the minimum requirement for psychologists in Colorado. After obtaining a masters degree,  you will need to choose to go on and study for either a PhD or a PsyD.

In order to become a licensed psychologist in the state of Colorado, you must obtain a Master’s degree, many students then go on to study for a Ph.D. or a PsyD though this is not imperative to gaining licensure. Find a psychology degree in CO.

Below is the complete educational path for the Psychologists:
Psychologist Educational Track
School Programs Average Education Length Choosing Online or Campus
1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree View Programs 4 Years Online or Campus
2. Earn A Master's Degree View Programs 2 Additional Years Online or Campus
3. Earn a PHD or PsyD View Programs 2-4 Additional Years Online or Campus

Required Supervised Hours and Testing for Licensing in Colorado

While studying for either your master’s or doctorate degree you will have 700 hours of supervised experience through compulsory internships. After you have graduated you are required, over a maximum of two years, to receive 2,300 more hours of supervised experience. Every individual wishing to apply for licensure must have completed 3,000 supervised hours.

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Once you have attained your required total of supervised hours you must then sit the National Counselor Examination or NCE. This exam is required for all those wishing to practice as a licensed psychologist in the state of Colorado.

After you have passed your NCE you are then able to apply for licensure, for further details on how to apply and for all the relevant forms visit the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Website.

Note: For detailed information about how to earn a psychology license in Colorado please see the Colorado Board of Psychology overview of licensure as a psychologist.

What Can I Do with a PsyD vs. a PHD in Colorado?

If you choose to further your studies into psychology and attain a PsyD or a Ph.D. you will be accelerated along the career path significantly, which of these doctorates you choose however will have a noticeable impact on your career options. A graduate with a PsyD can diagnose and treat mental disorders and practice psychotherapy with patients, however, a graduate with a Ph.D. while also qualified for clinical work also has the additional options of becoming a researcher or lecturer.

As in most states, there is a standard difference between a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in that the two programs require differing levels of research. A Ph.D. is very much focused on research and requires its students to complete a thesis that contributes original research to the field, whereas a PsyD places more emphasis on clinical contact and requires a shorter thesis than a Ph.D.

Psychology Career Outlook In Colorado

The average annual salary for a psychologist working in Colorado ranges between $91,820 and $104,810 depending on specialty. However, this varies with experience, education level, and employer. For instance, entry-level salaries for clinical and counseling psychologists often fall between $52,540 and $62,570, but the highest-earning 10% report salaries of $142,650 and higher as of May 2022.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Colorado

Additional Psychology Resources for Colorado:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics market trends and salary figures for clinical and counseling psychologists, school psychologists, and psychologists (all other) are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed July 2023.