Highly trained experts who are devoted to helping people overcome mental health issues, behavioral problems and emotional disorders are called psychologists. If you intend to become a psychologist, here is what you must know.

What Does a Psychologist Do?

The study of human psychology requires an in-depth knowledge of emotional, cognitive and social processes as well as detailed observation of human behavior. Psychologists interpret these factors and evaluate how human beings relate to each other and their environment. Most psychologists choose to work in a clinic and provide consultations to their clients independently. Others, however, often work in teams as healthcare professionals or in collaboration with other doctors, physicians and social workers. Psychologists also work in the research and development field.

How to Become a Certified/Licensed Psychologist in Los Angeles?

You must fulfill certain educational, work and other requirements if you want to work as a certified/licensed psychologist in Los Angeles, California. Here is a step by step guide to help you get on track.

  1. Education Requirements
  2. If you want to work as a psychologist in Los Angeles, CA, you must obtain a licensure/certification. To get the license/certification, you need to complete a doctoral degree. You must possess at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree or a 2-year master’s degree to enroll in a doctoral degree. There are numerous universities in LA that offer these degrees such as, UCLA and the Pepperdine University etc.
  1. Licensure/Certification Exam
  2. Obtaining a license in Los Angeles, CA can seem like a daunting task because the state of California requires its psychologists to clear two different exams before issuing a license. However, individuals with a post-doctoral accredited internship, those who work for an educational institution or have a waiver from the state department are exempted from these exams and can apply for a license directly.The first licensure exam is called the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) exam and the second one is known as the California Psychology Law and Ethics Examination (CPLEE). Both exams are conducted by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). Candidates are required to submit the Supervision Agreement and Verification of Experience form documenting 3,000 hours of CPE training.

  1. Applying for Licensure/Certification
  2. Passing these exams makes you eligible to apply for a licensure/certification. You need to submit an application and pay the application fee to acquire the license/certification.

How Much Can I Make as a Psychologist in Los Angeles?

Most psychologists often choose to specialize and work as Industrial or Organizational Psychologists. However, they may also specialize to work as Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists. Apart from these two specializations, there are other psychologists in this field who do not fit into either category. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the annual mean salary of Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists from 2016 to 2018 as follows:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (CA) $90,210 $94,910 $108,350
Annual Mean Salary (US) $78,690 $81,330 $85,340

Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
This income chart shows that the annual mean salary of Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists in the state of California has been consistently increasing from 2016 to 2018. Apart from this, the data on BLS website states that California has been among the 5 highest paying states for this profession since 2016.

Career Outlook of Certified/Licensed Psychologists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 14% increase in the employment growth for Psychologists from 2018 to 2028. This employment growth rate is stated to be much faster than the average for other occupations.