Psychology Careers and Licensure in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is the 33rd most extensive, 9th most densely populated and 6th most populous state of U.S. It borders with 6 states including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. It is among those states that does not have a border with the Atlantic Ocean. Among its well-known cities are Philadelphia, York, Lebanon and Reading.

Pennsylvania’s economy is ever-green because its cities are known as prosperous areas contributing a lot to the state, like Philadelphia, which has six Fortune 500 companies. Other than that, this city is known for its insurance and financial industries. On the agricultural side, this state is ranked at 19th for being a huge producer of mushrooms, apples, Christmas trees, milk, corn and grapes. Other economic sectors like banking, gambling, and filming contribute to the state’s overall development. Pennsylvania has plenty of opportunities for individuals who have specialized in different areas of study. Psychology careers in Pennsylvania can be an opportunity for those individuals who are residing in this state or have moved from some other place. This could be a viable way to attain positions in various companies and climb eventually to the top positions.


The United States Census Bureau mentions that the population of this state was 12,742,886 on 1st July 2011. Employment rate in this state is quite high. According to the Pennsylvania fast facts in the June 2012 edition report, the number of employment for May 2012 was  5,977,000. Industries with growing companies are 2,072 in number; manufacturing industry has around 394 companies, healthcare and social assistance entail 295 companies, professional scientific and technical services have 258 companies, there are 178 wholesale trade companies, and administration and waste services have almost 144 companies. The total employment figure in May 2012 in the manufacturing industry was 567,900 whereas in healthcare and social work it was 917,600 and in professional and technical services it was around 314,300.

Psychologists could apply for different posts in these industries and they could work in firms that are witnessing sky-high success.  Other than that, the excellent employment rate could attract more qualified individuals from other states to work in Pennsylvania. By opting for one of the concentrations one might work as forensic, health, clinical, developmental or a social psychologist.

Education Requirements

Those who have pursued formal education in psychology from an accredited institute might have a bright future in the state of Pennsylvania.

Bachelor’s degree

If you have gained a solid background in writing, interpersonal communication and research methodologies, then you might get employed in major organizations like University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia International Airport or Wal-Mart. Whereas insurance, real estate, trade and finance companies also hire a great number of social scientists. Skills of veracity testing, organizational analysis and behavior analysis are developed through an undergraduate program in psychology.

Master’s degree

Degrees at this level might be helpful to track changes in today’s world that could be related to culturally diverse populations, life expectancies and socioeconomic changes. Psychologists with a master’s degree could apply in mental health settings as they can work for private and public health care facilities, social service agencies, residential facilities, nursing homes and senior centers.

PhD degree

Individuals with a PhD degree could have diverse job opportunities along with a good salary. Forensic, neuropsychology, developmental and clinical psychologists could have better work opportunities in Psychology; therefore, look for companies that hire psychologists. Psychologists with a PhD degree usually work in government agencies, private practices, mental health clinics, outpatient care centers, universities and hospitals.

Licensing Requirements

Fulfillment of the licensing requirements are vital to practice specialized work. No matter which industry you intend to get employed in, employment rests on a license. So it should be acquired right after completion of the educational process. The first requirement is 2 years of supervised experience in this field in which 1500 hours should be completed after receiving the doctorate degree. Once you are done with this, the form should be downloaded from the representing board of the state. These steps would make you eligible for an examination by the Pennsylvania Psychology Law Examination and national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

Career Opportunities

Skilled psychologists have tremendous opportunities in a wide range of industries. Assistance for that matter can be provided by many volunteering organizations including Community Help Center (State College), Greater Philadelphia Cares, Hands on Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem) and Pittsburgh Cares.

Clinical Psychologists: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in 2011 that clinical psychologists held about 5060 jobs.  Their duty is to diagnose and treat patients with emotional, behavioral, cognitive and learning disabilities which may include children and adults. Many behavior modification programs are available to diagnose and treat these issues. Their work is mostly required in the healthcare industry. In Pennsylvania the popular employers are the Air Force, CHE Senior Care Therapy and Silver Springs.

Industrial Psychologist:  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011, industrial-organizational psychologists had 40 jobs. These professionals can be a good asset for the manufacturing and retail industries, whereas others could work for scientific and technical services. Employment options include Foxborough Regional Charter School.

Salary Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that psychologists in Pennsylvania earn on average $72,060 annually.

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