Psychology Careers and Licensure in Virginia

Virginia is divided into 95 counties and 39 cities and shares borders with North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Washington D.C, West Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean. Few of the most populous metropolitan areas are Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Richmond-Petersburg. It is a huge region comprising of eye-catching natural beauty and areas that can surely leave you mesmerized. Some popular sectors of this state are agriculture and federal agencies like the CIA, which are also the center of work for many Virginians.

Export sector is also spreading its wings in other regions. The income of the state is generated from military, federal government, farming and business. The sector of defense employs 900,000 people, as this state is the only state that is the highest defense spender.

Careers opportunities are favorable for people who have acquired specialized education, as a large workforce is required by many industries operating in Virginia. One such field that has been gaining immense importance is psychology. Psychology careers in Virginia are numerous and are likely to grow more in future.


The United States Census Bureau estimated that Virginia’s population is 8,096,604. There are several sectors that are growing rapidly in Virginia, like the government sector that has been employing 715,900 people; professional and business services employing 668,200; trade, transportation, and utilities employing 636,400 people as predicted by CES Unit and Bureau of Labor Statisticsin May 2011. The projected employment by 2018 in the healthcare and social assistance industry is 485,892, whereas construction industry’s employment is estimated as 267,006. The highest projected employment is in state government with 64,893 (

Psychologists could work in various industries. A forensic practitioner can be employed in state government and law agencies, and health and clinical psychologists can work in the healthcare and social assistance industry. Psychologists assist people with various mental problems, disorders and disabilities that affect mental health. For this, these experts treat people by promoting health practices and finding ways to improve physical and mental issues.

Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in psychology can provide an opportunity to get a job in various industries. The service industry is ranked among the top industries of this state while health centers also provide good job opportunities. Psychologists are required by Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation federal agencies. Other known industries like that process computer chips and data are ranked as the highest and fast growing industries of the state. Skills that psychologists possess are required in marketing and data processing, testing and research, and scientific methodology.

Master’s Degree

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs in healthcare and social assistance are said to increase by 24%. These practitioners are widely employed in places like correctional facilities, hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, counseling centers, nonprofit organizations and mental health facilities. In these areas, they conduct psychological research and practice ways of applying their specialist knowledge.

On the other hand, students must acquire a master’s degree to become industrial-organizational psychologists. They can get employed in utilities and computer industries, electronic products, and manufacturing that employ the highest number of psychologists.

Doctorate’s Degree

Individuals who have earned a PhD degree in specializations like neuropsychology, experimental, developmental, and forensic psychology might be able to find work in various settings. A solid academic background is possible through writing a dissertation, which is a way to enhance research skills and job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 12% growth of psychologists is expected by 2018.

Licensing Requirements

The first step to becoming licensed is to gain experience. Those who have completed their internship would need 1500 hours of experience working under a licensed practitioner. Following, a form from the board’s website has to be downloaded which needs to be filled to cover the requirements prior to sitting for the examination. Then written and national exams are taken to check proficiency in this career. When you have passed Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology and Virginia state jurisprudence examination, you will ultimately become licensed.

Career Opportunities

Clinical Psychologist: Well-known employers with the highest number of job openings for clinical psychologists are General Dynamics Information Technology, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University and County of Fairfax. The projected employment for clinical, counseling and school psychologists by 2018 is 3,410 with an annual average percentage change of 1.7%. Clinical professionals deal with problems such as anxiety, relationship issues, depression, learning disabilities and serious mental illness. (

Social Psychologist: These professionals understand patient’s behavior in relation to their surrounding environment. They observe the living conditions of people, their behaviors and circumstances that affect them the most. During these procedures, they also note the feelings, behaviors, intentions, goals and thoughts. It eventually helps them to understand how psychological factors like intentions and feelings influence each other. Among the noted employers are Qivliq LLC and SAVA.

Salary Trends

Psychologists in Virginia earn an annual income of $67,000 on average,as reported in 2012. (

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