Psychology Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Hawaii
Hawaii isn’t only about fun in the sun, although there are definitely worse places to take a vacation. The state also has a small but broad and diverse post-secondary education system. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Hawaii had a total of 23 degree-granting institutions as of 2014. The bad news is that enrollment in universities on the island is decreasing slowly but steadily. There were more than 57,000 students enrolled in the 10 public institutions in the state as of the Fall of 2014, but the expectations for the Fall of 2015 is that enrollment will drop to closer to 55,000 students according to the University of Hawaii's Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. Psychology schools in Hawaii may not be as plentiful as they are in larger states, but there are a number of worthwhile options to choose from and plenty of like-minded students to network with and learn from. In 2009-10, the last year that the NCES kept subject-specific degree data, Hawaii gave out 357 bachelor’s degrees in psychology and another 112 master’s degrees in psychology as well. Hawaii has an excellent combination of two-year and four-year public schools offering a variety of psychology degree programs and classes, as well as a small group of private institutions, both for-profit and non-profit, that make it appealing for students aspiring to start a career in the industry.
The state’s four public four-year universities – the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, and The University of Hawaii Maui College all offer psychology degree programs that are certainly worth researching, and private schools such as Chaminade University and Hawaii Pacific University also offer psychology degree programs but with, in all likelihood, steeper tuition and fees. If you are more interested in a two-year program, the psychology education options can differ slightly. Schools like Honululu Community College offer serious programs designed to give students the foundation for a psychology degree, while other community colleges like Kapiolani Community College and Kauai Community College only offer a handful of courses in psychology and related fields.
There are three other options you will definitely want to consider. The University of Phoenix has a campus in Honululu and offers a wide variety of psychology degrees in Hawaii. Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Hawaii has one of the more prestigious psychology programs in the state.
Remember, before choosing a school, give some serious thought to what type of psychology degree you wish to pursue and what sort of career you wish to have in the industry. For beginners looking to dip a toe in the water and see if they like it, psychology classes at a community college will be a good place to start. For those committed to becoming a licensed clinical psychologist, entertaining one of the doctoral programs at a public or private four-year university is almost assuredly the right place to start. According to state licensure requirements, those searching for licensure as psychologists in Hawaii must first earn a doctoral degree in psychology or educational psychology from "a regionally accredited institution of higher education". The problem is that the universities in the state don't grant a lot of doctoral degrees on an annual basis. In the 2013-14 school year, the University of Hawaii System granted less than 200 doctoral degrees and even if the doctoral degrees granted by private institutions are included, it is safe to assume that the state doesn't produce a lot of licensure-ready psychology candidates on a yearly basis.
Online Psychology Schools in Hawaii
Despite a relatively small pool of choices for where to get your college education, Hawaii has a surprising variety of online psychology degree programs and classes for interested students. If a student has his/her heart set on enrolling in one of the state-specific four-year institutions and really want to take an online psychology degree program, the University of Hawaii at Hilo offers an online bachelor’s degree program in psychology. Other than that, online psychology courses are available at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the University of Hawaii Maui College, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Outreach College. Some of the state’s community colleges, such as Hawaii Community College, Leeward Community College and Kapiolani Community College also offer online introductory psychology courses. Private schools like Chaminade University offer online psychology classes to its students but perhaps the best place to find a diverse set of online psychology degree programs in Hawaii is to consider the national online education providers that operate in Hawaii.
Schools like Grand Canyon University, Colorado Technical University Online, Capella University, and Baker College Online are just some of the schools that offer online psychology degrees of different levels to students in Hawaii. Schools like Capella, the University of the Rockies, and Walden University even offer doctoral degrees in psychology entirely online for students who wish to become licensed psychologists but can’t or don’t want to take courses in the traditional format.
This is not a comprehensive list of online psychology schools in Hawaii and so if none of these options are for you, make sure to check out our schools listing page for more information about online psychology schools in Hawaii and programs in your area.
Career Opportunities for Psychologists in Hawaii
Hawaii doesn't just boast an abnormally high population of professional psychologists but it also offers nearly unmatched average salaries for its professionals in the industry. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics said in May of 2022 that Hawaii employed about 660 professional psychologists whose average annual salaries ranged from $96,680 and $111,450 depending on specialty. With nearly 700 professional psychologists spread across the islands, there seems to be a wealth of opportunities for students aspiring to start their psychology careers in Hawaii. There is more good news for the industry in Hawaii as government sources estimate that between 2020 and 2030, employment of psychologists in Hawaii will grow 14% and there will be a number of new job openings for professional psychologists looking for work. If nothing else, it is clear that Hawaii values the importance of psychologists and has done an excellent job of attracting plenty of worthwhile and talented professionals to the island. Learn more about HI psychologist license requirements.
2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET (a website sponsored by the US Department of Labor) job market trends and salary figures for clinical and counseling psychologists and psychologists (all other) are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed July 2023.
Psychologist Salary in Hawaii
Table data taken from 2020 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm)