Psychologists study the human mind and analyze behavioral traits to help people deal with various mental health issues. These include stress, depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.
They provide individual treatment/therapy sessions and also work with larger groups. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, there were more than 2,400 employed clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Washington. Do you want to join their ranks? Read this guide to find out how to become a psychologist in The Evergreen State.
Should I Become a Psychologist in Washington
|Bachelor’s, Master’s (optional) and Doctoral degree in Psychology|
|Critical Thinking, Active Listening, Complex Problem Solving, Social Perceptiveness, Problem Sensitivity|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$87,450 (Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||14%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Washington||$77,700 (Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists)|
Sources: O*Net Online and US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Psychologists treat patients facing mental and emotional difficulties. They are also employed by large organizations/companies to improve the job satisfaction and workplace productivity of employees. Mental health practitioners working in academia and similar places also carry out research and publish papers.
As per the records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for psychologists are likely to grow by 14% (more than most other professions) from 2018 to 2028. This increase will be driven by rising demand for qualified mental health practitioners in hospitals as well as schools, social service agencies and businesses.
Steps to Become a Psychologist in Washington
Follow this process to become a psychologist in Washington.
- Get a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree
You will begin your journey by enrolling in a 4-year Bachelor’s degree program. In this regard, the most common options are listed below.
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology
*Majoring in Psychology is not mandatory at this stage. You may choose to specialize in another subject.
Once you are done with your Bachelor’s degree, you may decide to enroll in a Master’s program. This is optional since you will be earning a Master’s degree as part of your doctoral education program later on. However, if you have majored in anything other than Psychology at the undergraduate level, then a Master’s degree can be really helpful before enrolling in a doctoral degree program.
You will spend 2 years studying for a Master’s degree in Psychology. The following options are most popular.
- Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology
- Master of Science (MS) in Psychology
- Obtain a Doctoral Degree
After completing your Bachelor’s (and possibly Master’s) degree, you need to go for doctoral education. To that end, you can choose one of the following options.
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology
- Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
It can take around 4 to 7 years to complete a doctoral degree in Psychology.
- Gain Work Experience
When your doctoral education is complete, you can start working under supervision. To be eligible for the award of a license, you need to complete 2 years of supervised work experience. In all likelihood, you will be starting work while still studying for your doctoral degree.
- Get Your License to Practice in Washington
After you have gained the requisite work experience, you can apply for your license with the Washington State Department of Health. The following exams must be passed for eligibility.
- Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
- Washington Jurisprudence Exam (JP Exam)
How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Washington?
You will spend 4 years getting a Bachelor’s degree. This will be followed by 2 years of Master’s studies (optional) and 4 to 7 years of doctoral education. After that, you need to acquire mandatory work experience of 2 years for licensure. All in all, you are looking at a timeframe of 10 to 14 years.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Psychologist in Washington?
Following are the requirements for becoming a psychologist in Washington.
- Get a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (optional) in Psychology.
- Obtain a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in Psychology
- Get the work experience needed for licensure.
- Earn your license from the Washington State Department of Health.
How Much Can I Make as a Psychologist in Washington?
In 2019, Washington’s clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned $77,700 in annual mean wage. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.