If you want to help others make their lives more productive, then establishing a career in psychology would be a good choice for you. Here’s a guide that outlines how to become a psychologist in Pennsylvania.
Job Duties of a Psychologist
These specialists are responsible for studying human behavior, diagnosing behavioral and mental issues, and administering therapeutic interventions to cure mental illnesses.
Requirements to Become a Psychologist in Pennsylvania
If you want to become licensed, you will have to fulfill a long list of requirements, the details of which are mentioned below:
- Education Requirements
The Board has made it mandatory for all applicants to complete a doctoral degree (PsyD or PhD) in Psychology. There was a time when the educational requirement for licensure in Pennsylvania was a master’s degree. However after the Professional Psychologist Practice Act was amended, the educational requirements were made more stringent.
- Training Requirements
In order to meet the Board’s training regulations, you will have to complete two years of supervised work experience.
- Certification and Licensing Requirements
The State Board of Psychology regulates the licensure and practice of psychologists in Pennsylvania; therefore you will have to send an application to them in order to get your license issued. This will involve submitting a series of documents along with the application form. Once your application is deemed eligible, you will be required to pass the Board exams.
Steps Involved in Becoming a Psychologist in Pennsylvania
The following steps are involved in becoming a psychologist in Pennsylvania:
- Complete Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies in Psychology
A strong foundation is needed if you want to obtain an advanced degree in psychology. Hence, it is advised that you enroll in a 4-year long bachelor’s program (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) in Psychology. After completing your undergraduate studies, you can enroll in a 2-year long master’s program (Master of Arts or Master of Science) in Psychology.
- Complete a Doctorate Program
As per the Board’s requirements, you will have to complete a doctoral degree that is either accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or the American Psychological Association (APA). It can also be designated by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).
- Fulfill the Training Requirements
You will need to complete 2 years of supervised training experience in order to be deemed eligible to apply for a licensure. You must also complete three hours of approved training related to child abuse identification and reporting.
- Obtain a State License
The following needs to be done in order to obtain a license:
- An application form has to be submitted to the State Board of Psychology, along with a non-refundable application fee of $105.
- You will have to ensure that the Board receives all supporting documents including your official transcripts (which will be directly sent by the university), documents that verify your work experience, a letter of good standing (LOGS), and a National Practitioner Data Bank Self-Query report. The verification of supervised experience must be sent in a sealed envelope and should have your supervisor’s signature on the seal.
- You will also have to submit a recent criminal history records check.
- Once your application is approved, you will have to take the Board exams. You will be given your license once you pass these exams
As per the data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists in Pennsylvania earned an annual mean wage of $83,610 in May 2018. In fact, Pennsylvania was among the five states that had the highest level of employment in this occupation.