How to Become a Psychologist in Oregon
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The healthcare industry in the great state of Oregon is the fastest growing industry, with a projected growth of 27.9% through the year 2020 according to the Quality Info of the Oregon Employment Department. This is great news for future psychologists, as there will be a wealth of new positions opening, and psychologists will be offered competitive salaries and benefits.
The job of a psychologist is often difficult but it can also be very rewarding. A psychologist can be a client’s greatest ally in fighting mental health issues and illnesses; he or she can assess and diagnose mental disorders, create treatment plans and help their clients work to meet essential goals. Many times, psychologists are successful in providing their client with a greater sense of well-being and mental health. This is a lot of responsibility to take on, so the state of Oregon has put several requirements into place to ensure those who are licensed are properly qualified to handle the job. These include educational, experience and examination requirements that are not easy to meet.
Education Requirements for Psychologist Licensing in Oregon
The first steps in becoming a psychologist include obtaining the right kind of schooling. In the state of Oregon, that includes graduating from a doctoral program in psychology that has been accredited by the American Psychological Association. The state offers up some great doctoral programs, including those available at the University of Oregon, Pacific University, Oregon State University and George Fox University. Read more about OR psychology degrees.
Doctorate’s degrees typically take between 3 and 7 years, depending upon the one you choose. If your program includes a supervised residency or internship, it can count against the supervised experience you need in order to obtain your license. After earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree (which typically takes about 6 years in all), the remainder of the education you need can take between 2 and 4 years. When you are finished, you will have invested between 8 and 10 years in your psychology education. Learn more about Oregon psychology degree programs and schools here.
Supervised Professional Experience Requirements for a Psychologist
The supervised professional experience required in the state of Oregon is outlined in Chapter 675 of the Oregon Statutes. Although you’ve been gaining education for many years, you’ll need to accumulate at least 2 years of experience under the direction of a psychologist licensed in the state of Oregon. One year of this may be completed while you’re obtaining your degree, in the form of a residency or internship.
Note: To learn more about how to earn a psychology license in the state of Oregon, please visit the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners.
Examinations for the Psychologist License in Oregon
Once you’ve obtained your education and the supervised experience required under Oregon law, you’re almost there. The next step is to take the state-required examinations that test whether you’re qualified to be licensed as a psychologist. The first examination is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This examination contains 225 questions and covers various topics including bases of behavior, intervention, prevention and ethics.
The Jurisprudence Exam can be taken while you’re finishing up your doctorate if you desire. This test consists of 60, multiple-choice items designed to “determine the competency of each candidate to practice psychology safely and responsibly in Oregon with knowledge of applicable laws and regulations, including the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct.”
Psychologist Career Outlook In Oregon
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were approximately 1,320 clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Oregon as of May 2011. These psychologists are reported to earn an annual median wage of $70,200. The BLS states that the median wage is the center line; half of psychologists in the state of Oregon earn less than this amount, while half earn more. The lowest ten percent of psychologists on a national level earned lower than $39,060 and the top ten percent earned an annual median wage exceeding $110,410.