Rehabilitation Psychologists are responsible for assisting individuals with mental and physical health conditions, psychosocial problems, developmental disabilities and cognitive issues to cope with their disability.

If you want to specialize in this meaningful and rewarding field, then skim through this informative guide. It will teach you how to become a Rehabilitation Psychologist in the U.S.

Should I Become a Rehabilitation Psychologist?

Do you have good listening, communication and analytical skills? If yes, then a career in Rehabilitation Psychology would be ideal for you.

Candidates who want to work in the field of Psychology have to meet certain training and education requirements. Take a look at the table below to familiarize yourself with these set of requirements.

Education RequiredMaster’s or Doctoral Degree (depending upon the position).
TrainingInternship/Residency.
Licenses/CertificationsPsychologists in clinical practice need to have an active state license.
Key Skills/QualitiesProblem-Solving Skills, Observational Skills, Patience, Integrity and Interpersonal Skills.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National$98,230 (Psychologists – All Other)
Job Outlook (2018-28)14% (Psychologists)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

According to the wage estimates published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall demand for professionals working in the field of Psychology will increase by 14% from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Rehabilitation Psychologist

If you want to start your career as a Rehabilitation Psychologist, you will have to clear the following stages:

  1. Get an Undergraduate Degree
  2. The first step is to get admitted to a 4-year long Bachelor’s program. Students have the option of either pursuing a Bachelor of Science program in Rehabilitation Psychology, or a more general degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts/Science in Psychology. These programs emphasize course work in the following areas: Positive Psychology, Theories of Counseling, Counseling Skills and Techniques, and Assessment in Rehabilitation.

  1. Get a Master’s Degree
  2. After completing the undergraduate studies, candidates should consider enrolling in a Master of Arts or Science in Psychology. They should look for programs that offer courses in Rehabilitation Psychology and Mental Health Counseling. The Master’s degree can be completed within two years.

  1. Complete a Doctoral Program
  2. Once the Master’s coursework and thesis requirements have been met, candidates should start working on their doctoral application. Many universities are currently offering Ph.D. programs in Psychology that focus on the following areas: Neuropsychology, Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine, and Rehabilitation. Candidates have the option of either enrolling in a Ph.D. program or a Psy.D Program. Both of these degrees take around five to seven years to finish.

  1. Obtain a License
  2. Rehabilitation Psychologists who are involved in providing clinical services to patients require a state license. In order to be eligible for this license, candidates have to complete the pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training, and have to pass a licensure exam.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Rehabilitation Psychologist?

Just like other fields of Psychology, this field also requires candidates to earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a Doctoral Degree in Psychology. The candidates can complete the Bachelor’s program in four years, the Master’s program in one to two years, and the Doctoral program in around five to seven years. Thus, all in all, it usually takes around eleven to thirteen years to join this profession.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Rehabilitation Psychologist?

Candidates who want to work as Rehabilitation Psychologists in the U.S. are required to satisfy the following conditions.

  • Individuals have to earn a doctoral degree in Psychology.
  • They have to meet the pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training requirements.
  • Rehabilitation Psychologists who are offering clinical services to patients are required to get licensed by the State Board.

How Much Do Rehabilitation Psychologists Earn?

The occupational data for Rehabilitation Psychologists is not available on BLS.

All those categories of Psychologists that have not been listed separately on BLS have been clubbed into one category, which has been labelled as ‘Psychologists’ (All Others). Therefore, we will use wage estimates of this category. It has been reported that Psychologists (All Others) made an annual mean wage of $98,230 in May 2019.