How to Become a Psychologist in Pennsylvania
If you are considering learning and practicing psychology in the “KeystoneState,” you’ll be happy to know that it has a fantastic job market for psychologists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the clinical, counseling and school psychologist jobs in Pennsylvania will increase by seven percent from 2012 to 2022 through the year 2020 and industrial-organizational psychologist jobs will increase by 26%. All other psychologist jobs will increase by 14%. This encourages competition for the available psychologists, which ensures competitive salaries and benefits.
One in four adults aged 18 or older will suffer from a mental illness in any given year. A psychologist can help those individuals by diagnosing their condition, prescribing a plan of treatment, and guiding their client through that plan. This is a lot of responsibility, and the state of Pennsylvania understands that. For this reason, they do everything possible to make sure individuals seeking a license in psychology are properly qualified. This includes requiring a strict set of educational, experience and examination achievements that must be met.
Education Requirements for Psychologist Licensing in Pennsylvania
The first step in obtaining your psychology license in the state of Pennsylvania is graduating from a doctoral program in psychology that is approved by the American Psychological Association or designated by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) National Register Designation Project. Pennsylvania offers up some great programs, including those available at Duquesne University and Bryn Mawr College. Read more about PA psychology degrees.
Different doctoral programs can take different lengths of time to complete, but most require an additional 2 to 4 years after you've obtained your Master's Degree. School psychologists are the exception to the rule; if you're pursuing this career, you need only earn a Master's Degree in school psychology.
Supervised Professional Experience Requirements for a Psychologist
The next step in becoming a psychologist is obtaining the required supervised professional experience. In the state of Pennsylvania, you’ll need at least 12 months or 1,750 hours worth of experience. Half of that experience must include performing diagnosis, assessment, therapy, interventions, supervision or consultation and receiving supervision or consultation.
Note: To learn more about how to earn a psychology license in the state of Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology.
Psychologist Career Outlook In Pennsylvania
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are approximately 5,060 clinical, counseling and school psychologists in the state of Pennsylvania. In May of 2011, it was reported that these psychologists earned an annual median wage of $72,060. The BLS defines the median wage as the center line, so half of the psychologists in Pennsylvania earned more than this amount while half earned less. 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.