Doctors who help patients’ with behavioral and mental health problems are called psychologists. They typically work either at hospitals or have their own practice where they provided face to face consultations.

Should I Become a Psychologist in California

Typical duties of psychologists include,

  • One-on-one consultations
  • Listening to patients’ problems
  • Providing appropriate solutions
  • Prescribing medications as needed etc.

If you have the passion and grit to pursue this career, then this detailed guide can help you become a licensed psychologist in California.

Education Required A doctoral degree
Major Requirement Psychology
License/Certification All Psychologists must be licensed
Experience/Training Supervised field experience (2-years)
Key Skills Integrity and Patience, Communication, Observational Ability, Analytical Skills, Organizational Skills and Problem-solving Skills etc.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) –


$98,230 (Psychologists, All Other)
Annual Mean Salary (2019) –


$117,610 (Psychologists, All Other)
Job Outlook


14% (Faster than the average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

A 14% rise in employment for psychologists is predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) between 2018 and 2028. The BLS predicts a substantial rise in the demand for psychologists at mental health centers, hospitals, social service agencies and schools.

Steps to Become a Psychologist in California

If you are passionate about this career and want to become a licensed psychologist, then follow this step-by-step guide to get started.

    1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree (4 years)

The first step toward becoming a Psychologist begins with a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Several universities in California offer such degrees. For instance, the California Southern University offers a BA in Psychology with 120 credit hours.

    1. Get a Master’s Degree (2 years)

Completing a 2-year master’s degree depends upon whether or not you have completed your bachelor’s degree with major in psychology. It also depends on if your grades were good enough to get you directly into a doctoral program or not. There are many universities in California that offer a master’s degree in Psychology such as, the California Southern University and the California State University etc.

    1. Acquire a Doctoral Degree (4-6 years)

It is mandatory for becoming a psychologist that you complete a 4-6 year doctoral degree in Psychology. Several universities in California offer doctoral degrees in Psychology. For instance, UCLA and the California Southern University.

    1. Gather Field Experience (2-years)

Completion of required education follows working for at least 2 years in the field under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. This is one of the most important factors in licensure process.

    1. Application for a State Issued License

The California Board of Psychology issues licenses for all psychologists in the state. To work as a licensed psychologist in this state, all candidates must fulfill the requirements mentioned below.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in California?

It may take you anywhere between 10 to 12 years (may be more) from acquiring the right education to gaining work experience and licensure. But the duration of becoming a licensed psychologist largely varies based on the choices you make in the educational path.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Psychologist in California?

To practice as a licensed psychologist in California, all candidates need to complete:

  • A doctoral degree in Psychology accredited by the APA or ASPPB
  • Supervised work experience in the field of at least 2 years
    An application for licensure to the California Board of Psychology and take the following licensure exams:

  • Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
  • California Psychology Law and Ethics Examination (CPLEE)
  • After completing all the requirements, you can complete your licensure application and get your license from the California Board of Psychology.

How Much Can I Make as a Psychologist in California?

In 2019 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported $117,610 as the annual mean salary of Psychologists, All Other employed in California. Moreover, California was also named as the highest paying state for this occupation in 2019