How to Become a Psychologist in South Carolina
South Carolina offers up more than a rich historical scene and beautiful beaches; for future psychologists, it offers a great job market. The psychology industry is expected to grow 12% through the year 2018 on a national level, and South Carolina will see its share of that growth as well. Psychologists are offered competitive salaries and new psychologists shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a job.
The world hears the word “psychologist” and conjures up images of a patient lying on a sofa and pouring his or her heart out to a doctor who murmurs “that’s interesting” and “how does that make you feel.” In fact, a psychologist is trained to assess patients, diagnose mental illnesses and disorders, prescribe treatment plans and work with their patients to ensure that treatment goals are being met.
Quite frankly, often times a patient’s health and well-being is in the hands of their psychologist. This is why the state of South Carolina puts strict requirements in place to make sure individuals are highly trained and ready to take on the responsibility of being a psychologist.
Education Requirements for Psychologist Licensing in South Carolina
If you’ve earned a doctoral degree in psychology, you’re on the right track to becoming a psychologist in South Carolina. The laws and statutes in South Carolina require you to attend a regionally accredited educational institution. There are a few other requirements as well. The program must be at least 3 years of full-time graduate study, not including a pre-doctoral internship.
However, if you’re pursuing a career as a school psychologist in the state of South Carolina, the doctoral degree law does not apply to you. The requirements for a school psychologist include a Master’s Degree as well as an advanced program approved by the State Board of Education.
South Carolina offers up a few great doctoral programs in psychology, including those available from Bob Jones University, Clemson University and Converse College. Most doctoral programs take between 2 and 4 years (after obtaining a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree) and many include internships or supervised residencies. Explore SC psychology schools.
Supervised Professional Experience Requirements for a Psychologist
Applicants for licensure in South Carolina must also complete 2 years (3,000 hours) of supervised experience, which must be completed post-doctorally. Each year must be at least 1,500 hours of actual work which includes direct service, training and supervisory time. A pre-doctoral internship or residency may be counted as one of the two years of experience.
Note: You may find additional information about how to earn a psychology license in the state of South Carolina by visiting the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
Psychology Career Outlook in South Carolina
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are approximately 890 clinical, counseling and school psychologists in the state of South Carolina. In May of 2011, it was reported that these psychologists earned an annual median wage of $59,240. The BLS defines the median wage as the center line, so half of the psychologists in South Carolina earned more than $59,240 and half earned less than that. 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.