How to Become a Psychologist in South Dakota
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South Dakota offers up more than Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, especially if you’re planning to learn and practice psychology in the state. The job market is great and according to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, the number of psychology jobs in the state will grow by 12.8% through the year 2020. This means that new psychologists shouldn't have difficulties finding a job, and will be offered competitive pay and benefits.
The responsibility a psychologist takes on with each and every patient is significant; the patient trusts their psychologist to properly assess and diagnose mental conditions as well as prescribe the best possible method of treatment. A lot of care and time is spent on the psychologist’s part attempting to increase their patients’ overall mental health and well-being. For this reason, the state of South Dakota wants to make sure their psychologists are properly qualified before issuing them a license. Therefore, there are several requirements that must be met before a license can be obtained.
Education Requirements for Psychologist Licensing in South Dakota
The first step in becoming a psychologist in any state, including South Dakota, is obtaining the proper educational training. The statutes and laws in South Dakota require future psychologists to complete a doctoral program in psychology from a regionally accredited school. South Dakota offers up a few different doctoral programs, including those available at the University of South Dakota. Please find a full list of psychology degrees in SD.
The length of time it takes to complete a doctoral program will depend upon the program you choose and your current educational background. Most take between 2 and 4 years to complete, and many will include internships and/or supervised residencies which can help with the supervised professional experience required by the state. Read up on the available SD psychology schools.
Supervised Professional Experience Requirements for a Psychologist
The next step in obtaining licensure within the state of South Dakota for psychology is earning supervised experience. You must complete a supervised psychology internship that amounts to no less than 1800 hours over a period of no more than 2 calendar years. After you earn your doctoral degree, you’ll need to obtain at least 1 year of supervised psychology practice under a licensed and approved psychologist.
Examinations for the Psychologist License in South Dakota
The final step in becoming a psychologist is completing the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), which is the industry standard for future psychologists. This test will cover the topics you learned while earning your doctoral degree, including various bases of behavior, diagnosis, assessment, intervention and more. The test consists of 225 questions with multiple choice answers and you’ll be given a little over 3 hours to complete it.
Note: You may find additional information about how to earn a psychology license in the state of South Dakota by visiting the South Dakota Department of Social Services.
Psychology Career Outlook in South Dakota
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are approximately 230 clinical, counseling and school psychologists in the state of South Dakota. In May of 2011, it was reported that these psychologists earned an annual median wage of $68,900. The BLS defines the median wage as the center line; half of the psychologists in South Dakota earned less than $68,900 while half earned 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.