Health psychologists develop and implement various methods of promoting wellness and health among the public and individuals. They focus on diagnosing and treating illnesses that affect the bodily and mental conditions of their patients.

Should I Become a Health Psychologist?

Education Required Doctoral degree
Major Requirement Psychology
Training Required
Licenses/Certifications Required
Key Skills Integrity, Analytical Skills, Communication Skills, Problem-Solving Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Observational Skills and Patience.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) $98,230 (Psychologists, All Other)
Job Outlook (2018-28) 14% (Psychologists)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Health psychologists play an essential role in multiple fields. They use their knowledge to help doctors understand the socioeconomic and emotional factors that may lead to certain illnesses. They also help them understand the effects of illnesses. Research conducted in this field helps to improve the relation between health psychologists and other medical professionals.

Career Outlook for a Health Psychologist

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for psychologists are projected to grow 14% from 2018-2018. Their services will be demanded in multiple sectors such as, Healths, mental health centers, hospitals and social service agencies. Awareness regarding strong connection between physical and mental health will make people access their services with less hesitation. These professionals will also be needed for aging groups and veterans suffering from war trauma.

Steps to Become a Health Psychologist

  1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. The first step to become a health psychologist is to get a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During this program students study various courses like abnormal psychology, developmental psychology and statistics, etc.

  1. Get a Master’s Degree
  2. The second step to become a health psychologist is to get a master’s degree. Some graduate Healths accept students who do not have a background in psychology; however, they have to complete course work in subjects like statistics and psychology etc. Health psychologists are required to have a Master’s degree but those who want to practice, have to earn a doctoral degree.

  1. Get a Doctoral Degree
  2. Students who want to practice in the US have to get a doctoral degree. Completing a doctoral program requires 2-4 additional years of education. This program results in either a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.

  1. Get Post-Doctoral Training
  2. Students have to complete a post-doctoral training for up to two years to fulfill the licensure requirements. Clinical health psychologists can get this training through residency program, post-doctoral internship or by working under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

  1. Get Licensure
  2. Candidates have to gain licensure to start practicing in the US. They are required to have a doctoral degree and professional experience so they can take the licensing exams. These are some of the general requirements; however, specific requirements differ with state.

  1. Obtain Certification
  2. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) provides certification in clinical health psychology through the American Board of Clinical Health Psychology (ABCHP). Candidates are required to pass an exam organized by the ABCHP. Applicants must be licensed before they can apply for certification.

  1. Continuing Education
  2. Continuing education is required by psychologists to get their license renewed. However, each state has its own requirements to maintain licensure. Some psychologists also choose continuing education to advance their career.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Health Psychologist?

Aspiring health psychologists have to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree. They are required to complete a doctoral degree and gain professional experience to be eligible for licensure.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Health Psychologist?

Following are the requirements to become a health psychologist:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degree
  • Get a doctoral degree
  • Get the required professional experience
  • Pass the state specific exam for licensure
  • Obtain Certification


How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Health Psychologist?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Psychologists, All Other working in the US were earning an annual mean salary of $98,230 in 2019.