How to Become a Psychologist in Texas
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The state of Texas has one of the fastest-growing psychology industries in the US. The Texas Workforce Commission estimates that the number of psychology jobs available in the state will grow 23.7% through the year 2020. This means that employers will be offering competitive salaries and benefits, and it shouldn't be difficult to find a great job. However, the “Lone Star State” has several strict requirements in place that individuals must meet before obtaining a psychology license.
The educational requirements in Texas ensure that psychologists have a great base of knowledge to pull from when treating patients. The supervised experience requirements enable psychologists to use the valuable experience they have gained working with previous patients to help their current ones. Finally, the examination requirements ensure the Board that the candidate is properly qualified to take on the responsibilities of being a psychologist.
Education Requirements for Psychologist Licensing in Texas
The first step in earning a psychology license in the state of Texas is graduating from a doctoral program in psychology. Texas offers a number of great psychology programs, including those available at the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and Our Lady of the Lake University. Read more about psychology degrees in Texas.
The doctoral rule does not apply to individuals who are pursuing a career in school psychology. For this career, you only need to graduate from a Master’s program in psychology and then take the National School Psychology Examination.
Depending upon which doctoral program you choose, the length of time it takes to complete it may be different. Most take between 2 and 4 years, though, and many will include supervised residencies and/or internships. This is great because it will count toward your required supervised professional experience.
Supervised Professional Experience Requirements for a Psychologist
Psychology licensure candidates in the state of Texas must complete at least 2 years of what the state calls supervised experience. One year of this may be completed as part of the doctoral program the individual completes. At least one year of this experience must be completed after the doctoral degree has been completed.
Examinations for the Psychologist License in Texas
Individuals seeking licensure as a psychologist in the state of Texas must complete the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP). This test was developed and is administered by the American Association of State Psychology Board. The nationally-recognized test consists of 225 multiple-choice questions.
Individuals must also take the Jurisprudence Examination administered by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. This test includes 100 multiple choice questions consisting of a variety of subjects, from board composition and procedures to professional practice rules and guidelines. Once this test has been passed, individuals must complete the oral examination given by a representative of the TSBEP.
Note: You may find additional information about how to earn a psychology license in the state of Texas by visiting the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ Website.
Psychology Career Outlook in Texas
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are approximately 6,040 clinical, counseling and school psychologists in the state of Texas. In May of 2011, it was reported that these psychologists earned an annual median wage of $64,260. The BLS defines the median wage as the center line; half the psychologists in Texas earned more than the center line 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.