How to Become a Psychologist in Maryland [2024 Updated Guide]

Last Updated: May 25, 2024

To become a psychologist in Maryland, you must complete a doctoral degree in psychology, obtain supervised experience hours, and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and Maryland Jurisprudence Exam. Fingerprints and Criminal History Records Check are also required as part of the application process for licensure.

Becoming a Psychologist in Maryland

What are the Requirements to Become a Licensed Psychologist in Maryland?

Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a psychologist in Maryland is earning a bachelor’s degree. You can choose to major in any field, however, majoring in psychology is highly recommended.

In a psychology undergraduate degree, you will learn the fundamental concepts and theories of psychology, including its history, research methods, and statistical analysis. You will also gain an understanding of the various sub-fields within psychology, such as developmental, social, and clinical psychology.

Additionally, You will develop critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and interpret data, which are essential for a career in psychology. The bachelor’s degree program is also an opportunity to explore different areas of psychology, helping you identify yours areas of interest and potential career paths.

Master’s Degree

Earning a master’s degree in psychology is the next step in the journey to becoming a licensed psychologist in Maryland. Master’s degree program provides you with in-depth training in psychological theories, research methods, and practical skills.

During your master’s program, you will expand on the knowledge and skills acquired in your bachelor’s degree program, including the history and theories of psychology, research methods, and statistical analysis. You will also gain an understanding of the various sub-fields within psychology and have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of psychology, such as clinical, counseling, or educational psychology.

One of the significant benefits of a master’s degree in psychology is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting. During your  master’s program, you may have the opportunity to complete supervised professional experience, working with clients under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. This experience provides you with practical training in psychological assessments, therapy, and other clinical skills.

Doctoral Degree

Earning a doctoral degree (PhD/PsyD) in psychology is the final step in the journey to becoming a licensed psychologist in Maryland.

During your doctoral degree, you will further build on the knowledge and skills acquired in their bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. You will also have the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of psychology and conduct original research.

One of the most significant benefits of a doctoral degree in psychology is the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the human mind and behavior. You will gain a in-depth understanding of the latest research and theories in psychology and have the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a clinical setting.

During your doctoral internship and practicum, you will work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist and gain practical experience in psychological assessments, therapy, and other clinical skills. Internships can be completed in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, and community organizations. You will also have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and gain experience in different areas of psychology.

Fulfill Supervised Professional Experience Requirements

You must meet supervised professional experience requirements to be eligible for licensure. If you are a graduate of a practice-oriented doctoral program, you must complete a minimum of 3,250 hours of supervised professional experience, with 1,750 hours being completed through an internship in a 24-month period.

The remaining 1,500 hours can be fulfilled at various stages of your psychology training, such as pre-internship, pre-doctoral, post-internship, or post-doctoral. At least 75% of the full 3,250 hours, or 2,438 hours, must be face-to-face, on-site hours under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

If you did not attend a practice-oriented doctoral program, a minimum of 3,250 hours of professional work using psychological methods, principles, and procedures are required. This can be achieved through research, teaching, assessment, or other relevant experiences within psychology. These hours can be fulfilled before or after earning a doctoral degree, and a minimum of one hour of individual, face-to-face supervision per week is required.

Submit Your Application to the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists

After completing the necessary supervised professional experience hours, you can apply for psychology licensure in Maryland through either the practice-oriented programs or the non-practice-oriented programs packet.

A non-refundable fee is required when submitting your application, and it is important to ensure that all necessary documentation and information is included, as incomplete applications will not be reviewed. This includes official transcripts from all graduate schools, supporting documentation such as reference coversheets, and fingerprints for a Criminal History Records Check.

The application process for psychology licensure in Maryland requires attention to detail and thorough preparation. Following all instructions and submitting all required materials can increase the chances of a smooth and successful licensure process.

Pass Maryland Psychology Exams

You must pass two key exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Maryland jurisprudence exam.

The EPPP is the official psychology licensing exam used in most states and consists of 225 multiple-choice questions. A passing score on the EPPP is 500, which means that you must correctly answer approximately 73% of the questions on the exam. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) will submit your score to the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists after you pass the exam. To help you prepare, there is also an EPPP practice exam available.

In addition to the EPPP, you must also pass the Maryland jurisprudence exam with a score of 75% or higher. This exam covers the state’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and other regulations and laws specific to practicing psychology in Maryland.

Passing both the EPPP and the Maryland jurisprudence exam is essential for psychology licensure in Maryland.

What are the Requirements for Psychology Licensure Renewal and Continuing Education in Maryland?

As a psychologist in Maryland, it is important to maintain your professional development through the renewal of your psychology license every two years. In order to be eligible for renewal, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours of Continuing Education (CE) within the two-year renewal period, with a maximum of 20 CE hours being independent credit hours.

It is mandatory to complete at least 3 CE hours related to the laws and ethics of practicing psychology and managing risks during your professional practice, and at least 3 CE hours dedicated to enhancing your competence in serving culturally diverse populations.

What are the Requirements for Psychology Licensure by Reciprocity in Maryland?

The state of Maryland does not have a full reciprocity agreement with other states, but it provides a temporary limited reciprocity for a maximum period of one year for out-of-state applicants. To be eligible for limited reciprocity, an out-of-state applicant must fulfill the following conditions: have an active and valid license in good standing from another state, get approved to take the Maryland Jurisprudence Exam, and have a confirmed date to take the next available exam.

If you hold certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) or are credentialed as a Health Service Psychologist by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NRHSP), you can apply for a license in Maryland through an abbreviated application process.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Maryland?

The length of time it takes to become a psychologist in Maryland depends on several factors, including the level of education you pursue, the amount of supervised experience you complete, and the pace at which you move through the process. Typically, including undergraduate degree, it can take anywhere from 9 to 12 years to become a licensed psychologist in Maryland.

It is important to note that the process can vary for each individual and some may complete it more quickly or take longer than others.

Is Masters Enough to Become a Psychologist in Maryland?

No, in Maryland, you need to have a doctoral degree in psychology to become a licensed psychologist.

What are the Career Opportunities for Psychologists in Maryland?

As a licensed psychologist in Maryland, you can pursue a wide range of career opportunities within the field of psychology. Some popular career paths include clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, forensic psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, health psychology, and neuropsychology, among others.

Psychologists in Maryland may also work in academic settings as teachers or researchers, or in government agencies as policy makers or program evaluators. Some psychologists also choose to start their own private practices and offer services such as therapy, assessment, and consulting. The opportunities for psychologists in Maryland are diverse and varied, and depend on the psychologist’s education, experience, and area of specialty.

What is the Job Outlook for Psychologists in Maryland?

The job outlook for psychologists in Maryland is generally positive, with growth in the field expected to remain steady in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of psychologists in Maryland to grow 7% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

This growth can be attributed to a variety of factors, including an increasing demand for mental health services, a growing elderly population, and a greater awareness of the importance of mental health treatment.

Many healthcare organizations and institutions in Maryland are increasing their focus on the mental health of their patients and employees, which is driving demand for psychologists in a variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practices.

How Much Does a Psychologist Earn in Maryland?

As of March 2024, the average annual salary for psychologists in Maryland is around $111,522, but this can vary based on several factors such as specialty area, years of experience, and type of employer.

Psychologists who work in private practice or in research roles tend to earn higher salaries compared to those who work in public or nonprofit sectors. It is important to note that salaries for psychologists can fluctuate based on the local economy and job market demand.

What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Therapist?

In the field of mental health, the terms “psychologist” and “therapist” are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion about their differences. However, they are distinct professions that require different levels of education and training.

A psychologist is a licensed mental health professional who holds a doctorate degree in psychology. They have extensive training in psychological theory, research, and clinical practice. Psychologists are trained to diagnose and treat mental health conditions and are authorized to conduct therapy sessions, administer and interpret psychological assessments, and provide a variety of other mental health services.

A therapist, on the other hand, is a broad term that encompasses a range of mental health professionals, including licensed clinical psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and others. These professionals may have varying levels of education, training, and certification, and the specific services they can provide may vary depending on their state’s laws and licensing requirements.

While both psychologists and therapists can provide therapy services, the type and depth of treatment provided by a psychologist is typically more comprehensive and complex than that provided by other therapists. Psychologists have specialized training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions and can provide a wider range of interventions, including psychotherapy, behavioral therapies, and other evidence-based treatments.

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