Do you want to explore the depths of human behavior? If yes, then a career in the field of psychology would be best suited for you. Read this detailed guide to learn about how to become a psychologist in Alabama.

Job Duties of a Psychologist

Psychologists are responsible for diagnosing a variety of mental and behavioral disorders. After identifying these illnesses, they make customized treatment plans to help patients make modifications to their behaviors.

Requirements to Become a Psychologist in Alabama

Becoming a psychologist in Alabama is time-consuming; hence it is recommended that you do comprehensive research before entering this profession. Here is a list of the requirements that you will have to meet if you want to start a career in this field:

  1. Education Requirements
  2. The highest degree that you will have to acquire is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). Regardless of which program you opt for, these programs usually take around 4 to 7 years to complete.
  1. Training Requirements
  2. After completing the education requirements, you will have to complete a post-doctoral internship, which is around 10 to 11 months long.
  1. Certification and Licensing Requirements
  2. You need a license to practice in Alabama, therefore after graduating you will have to make an application to The Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology. If you meet all the requirements, you will be asked to sit for a licensure exam. If you are able to pass this exam, you will receive your licensure. If you fail, you must wait for six months before appearing for the exam again.

Steps Involved in Becoming a Psychologist in Alabama

In order to become a license psychologist in Alabama, you will have to pass through the following stages:

  1. Complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
  2. You will have to obtain a Bachelor of Science (B.S)/Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Psychology, followed by a Master of Science (M.S) in Psychology from an accredited institution. The curriculum of these degrees will incorporate topics like Clinical Psychology, Assessment Techniques, Abnormal Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.
  1. Obtain a Doctorate Degree and Complete the Required Training
  2. Since the state licensure requires a doctorate degree, hence it is advised that you obtain one after you complete your master’s program. You can either opt for a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Psychology. Upon degree completion, you will have to complete a post-doctoral internship.
  1. Apply for a License and Start Practicing
  2. You will have to apply to the Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology in order to get your license. When applying for the license, you will have to meet the following requirements:

    • Should be a citizen of the United States and should be legally residing there
    • Should have a good moral character
    • Should hold a doctoral degree from a school/department of psychology (the educational institution must be recognized and accredited by regional and national accrediting bodies)
    • Should not be involved in any unethical practice as specified in the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association, which mentions guidelines related to Privacy and Confidentiality, Competence, Assessment and Therapy
    • Should display competence in psychology – this will be shown by passing all exams conducted by the Board
    • Should not have failed any exam given by the Board within the preceding six months

    Your application will not be considered if it is incomplete. It must contain all the necessary documentation (such as completed reference forms, degree validation form, transcripts, etc.). You must also specify your specialization while making the application. You will then be required to appear for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Once you have cleared the exam, the Board will give you your license.

Employment Data

As per the data published by O*Net Online, the annual median wage of Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists in Alabama was $60,370 in 2018. Hence, this field is quite rewarding.