Becoming a Psychologist in New York – Education & License Requirements [2024 Guide]

Last Updated: May 25, 2024

New York is one of the largest and most diverse states in the country, and its bustling metropolis is home to a diverse and thriving psychology community. With a large and diverse population, a thriving economy, and a rich cultural heritage, New York is a great place to pursue a career as a psychologist.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a psychologist in New York, this article will guide you through the necessary steps to become licensed and practice psychology in the state.

How to Become a Psychologist in New York - Requirements for a Licensed Child, Counseling and Clinical Psychologist in NY

How to Become a Licensed Psychologist in New York

To become a psychologist in New York, you need a doctoral degree in psychology, complete supervised professional experience, pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, and pay a licensing fee. You also need to complete 36 hours of continuing education credits during each 3-year registration period.

Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field lays the foundation for your education and future career as a psychologist in New York.

During your undergraduate studies, you will learn about the history and development of psychology, as well as the key theories, concepts, and methods used in the field. You will also study the biological and social factors that influence human behavior, as well as the ethical considerations involved in the practice of psychology.

Additionally, you will gain critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills, which are essential for success in any career, but especially in psychology. These skills will allow you to analyze data, develop hypotheses, and evaluate the validity of research. By the end of your bachelor’s degree program in New York, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the field and be well-prepared for the next step in your education and career.

The bachelor’s degree is an important first step in the journey to becoming a psychologist in New York, as it provides you with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in your graduate-level studies.

Earn Your Master’s Degree (Optional)

Although not required for licensure in New York, earning a master’s degree in psychology may significantly enhance your professional development. A master’s program provides you with opportunities to specialize in specific psychology areas.

During your master’s program you will further deepen your understanding of psychological theories and practices, and gain a more advanced understanding of research methods. You will also be introduced to new areas of psychology, such as neuropsychology, developmental psychology, and abnormal psychology, allowing you to explore different specialties within the field.

In addition to coursework, many master’s programs also offer opportunities for hands-on experience through internships or supervised clinical work. This practical experience will give you the chance to apply your knowledge in real-world settings and work with clients under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. This experience will not only help you build your professional skills and knowledge, but also provide you with valuable networking opportunities and a competitive edge in the job market.

By the end of your master’s degree program, you will have a well-rounded understanding of psychology and be well-prepared to continue your education and training at the doctoral level. Whether you are interested in working in a private practice, research institution, or other setting, the master’s degree will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in your future career as a psychologist in New York.

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

Earning a doctoral degree in psychology is the final step in your journey to become a licensed psychologist in New York. This program will provide you with the advanced training and knowledge necessary to work independently as a psychologist and help clients with their mental health needs.

During the doctoral program, you will have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of psychology, such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, or forensic psychology. This will allow you to focus your studies on the area that interests you the most and gain a deeper understanding of the specific theories, practices, and research methods used in that specialty.

In addition to coursework, the doctoral program will also involve conducting original research and writing a dissertation. This research project is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your mastery of the field of psychology and make a significant contribution to the knowledge base of the profession.

Doctoral Internships

Internships play a critical role in the education and training of psychologists in New York. They provide students with practical experience in real-world settings, allowing them to apply the theories and techniques they have learned in their coursework to real-life situations. This hands-on experience is essential for developing the skills and confidence needed to succeed as a psychologist. Internships must be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

In New York, there are many different internship opportunities available for aspiring psychologists, including hospital-based programs, community mental health centers, and private practice settings. These internships can be completed as part of a master’s degree program or during the doctoral degree program.

During an internship, students typically work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist and are responsible for conducting assessments, diagnosing mental health conditions, and developing treatment plans for clients. They may also provide individual, family, and group therapy and participate in case conferences and other professional development activities.

Submit Your application to the New York Office of Professions for a Limited Permit

To fulfill the requirement of two years of supervised experience for full licensure as a psychologist in New York, you can apply for a limited permit once you have earned your doctoral degree. This permit allows you to practice psychology under supervision and counts towards your mandatory experience. The permit is valid for a total of three years, with the possibility of a one-year extension in certain circumstances.

To apply for this permit, you must submit a fee of $70, payable by check or money order to the New York Department of Education. Additionally, you will need to complete your portion of the Certification of Professional Education form and send it to your educational institution for completion. Once the form and an official transcript are received by the Office of Professions, they will process your application for the limited permit.

Gain Two Years of Supervised Professional Work Experience

To become a licensed psychologist in New York, you must have supervised field experience for a minimum of two years, equating to 1,750 clock hours per year. Part-time experience is accepted, but must be equivalent to full-time hours.

The experience must be completed after earning a doctorate degree in psychology and must be approved by a licensed psychologist. The supervisor must have at least two hours of weekly supervision with one hour of face-to-face interaction and must be employed by or own the practice where the experience is obtained.

The experience must be continuous for at least six months, with the possibility of being accepted as a doctoral-level practicum, internship, or research approved by a university. Teaching psychology at a university or college can also be considered as long as it meets the state’s education law requirements.

Pass the Examination for Professional Practices in Psychology (EPPP)

Next, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). This exam is mandatory for all psychology license applicants in the state. New York requires a scaled score of 75, which means that you must answer 70% of the questions correctly.

To take the EPPP, you must first apply for eligibility through the New York State Office of Professions. Once your eligibility has been determined, you will receive a notice from ASPPB inviting you to register for the exam.

The registration process is done online and you can choose a date and time that works best for you. With the right preparation, you can demonstrate your mastery of the subject and become licensed to practice psychology in New York.

Submit the Remaining Documents of Your Application

After successfully passing the EPPP exam and fulfilling your supervisory experience requirements, it’s time to apply for your psychologist license in New York. To do so, you will need to submit the following to the NYS Office of Professions:

  • Proof of exam scores demonstrating your eligibility
  • Verification of completed supervisory experience
  • A non-refundable application fee of $294

You can easily submit your application online and include any additional necessary documentation.

Get Your Full Psychologist License

Upon fulfillment of all the requirements and a thorough review by the Office of Professions, you will be granted a license to practice psychology in the state of New York. This license signifies that you have successfully completed all necessary steps and are now authorized to provide psychological services to the public.

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

To maintain your psychology license in New York, you must complete 36 hours of continuing education from a Department-approved provider during each three-year registration cycle.

Your license is valid for life, but you must renew your registration every three years to keep it active. The initial renewal after receiving your initial license may be prorated to align with your birth month. You should expect to receive a renewal notice approximately four months before the end of each registration period.

What are the Requirements for Psychology Licensure Reciprocity in New York?

Out-of-state psychologists can apply for a license in New York through reciprocity or by obtaining a limited permit. To apply for a full license, the applicant must have passed an exam comparable to the EPPP, and include the score with their application. The licensing fees are the same for both in-state and out-of-state applicants. The Certificate for Professional Qualifications is not accepted by New York.

Out-of-state psychologists can also opt for a limited permit, which is valid for 12 months, or until they receive the results of their professional licensing exam. To be eligible for a limited permit, the applicant must have lived in the state for less than six months, have qualifications approved for the licensure exam, and have those qualifications approved by the NYS Office of Professions.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in New York?

In total, the process to become a psychologist in New York can take approximately 10-14 years, depending on your educational path, the specific requirements of their doctoral program, and the duration of their postdoctoral supervised experience.

On average, it typically takes around 6-8 years to complete a doctoral degree in psychology, followed by 2 years of supervised professional experience, and then passing the EPPP. Once all requirements are met and the application is reviewed, it can take few months to receive the license to practice psychology in New York.

What are the Career Paths and Job Opportunities for Psychologists in New York?

Becoming a licensed psychologist in New York offers a range of career paths and job opportunities. The field of psychology is broad and encompasses a variety of specialties, including clinical, counseling, school, child, and research psychology.

With a psychology degree and license to practice in New York, you can work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, clinics, government agencies, research institutions, and private practices.

Clinical Psychologist: Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat individuals with mental illness and emotional difficulties. They use psychological assessment, counseling, and psychotherapy to help patients. They may work in private practices, hospitals, community mental health centers, or other healthcare facilities.

Counseling Psychologist: Counseling psychologists provide individual, family, and group counseling to help individuals with a range of emotional, behavioral, and mental health problems. They work in schools, universities, mental health centers, and private practices.

School Psychologist: School psychologists work in K-12 schools to help students with academic and social-emotional problems. They assess and evaluate students and provide individual and group counseling. They also consult with teachers and parents to develop interventions and support programs.

Research Psychologist: Research psychologists conduct experiments, surveys, and studies to advance the field of psychology and understand human behavior and mental processes. They may work in universities, research institutions, government agencies, or private corporations.

Child Psychologist: Child psychologists are generally concerned with the primary issues that children and adolescents are faced with as they grow up. Developmental milestones, social skills, educational issues, and behavioral or emotional problems are common areas of focus with child clients

Other career paths for psychologists in New York include industrial-organizational psychology, forensic psychology, sports psychology, and neuropsychology.

What is the Job Outlook for Psychologists in New York?

The job outlook for psychologists in New York is positive and growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for psychologists to grow by 11% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing demand for mental health services, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is driving this growth.

New York has a high concentration of psychologists, with over 13,000 psychologists employed in the state as of May 2023. This, combined with a growing population, creates numerous job opportunities for psychologists in New York.

Additionally, the demand for school psychologists, health psychologists, and industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to increase, as schools and healthcare organizations continue to place a greater emphasis on mental health and wellness.

Overall, the job outlook for psychologists in New York is promising, with a strong demand for their services and a growing number of job opportunities in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, schools, and businesses.

How Much Does a Psychologist Earn in New York?

The average annual salary for licensed psychologists in New York State is $135,317 as of March 2024. However, the actual salary for psychologists can vary greatly depending on several factors such as education, experience, specialty area, and location. For example, psychologists working in private practices or in the metropolitan areas of New York City and Long Island tend to earn higher salaries compared to those working in rural or suburban areas.

Additionally, those with advanced degrees and specialized training can command higher salaries. Salaries can also vary depending on the size and type of employer, as well as the region of the state where the psychologist is located.

Can I Become a Psychologist in New York With a Master’s Degree?

In New York State, you cannot become a licensed psychologist with only a master’s degree. To become a licensed psychologist in New York, you are required to have a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology from an accredited program.

Can I Get My PhD in Psychology Without a Master’s Degree?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a psychology without first obtaining a master’s degree. Many doctoral programs in psychology offer a direct path from a bachelor’s degree to a Ph.D., bypassing the separate master’s degree. These programs often incorporate the coursework and research components of a master’s degree within the doctoral program.

Can I Become a School Counselor in New York With a Master’s Degree?

Yes, you can become a school counselor in New York with a master’s degree. To be certified as a school counselor in New York State, you need to fulfill specific requirements:

  • Education: You must complete a New York State registered program in school counseling or a program in a related field that meets the requirements set by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). This typically involves obtaining a master’s degree or higher and completing a minimum of 30 graduate semester hours in counseling and guidance.
  • Experience: You need to complete a supervised internship or practicum in school counseling, which consists of a minimum of 100 clock hours of supervised experience with school-aged students.
  • Workshops: You must complete the following workshops: Child Abuse Identification and Reporting, School Violence Prevention and Intervention, and Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Training
  • Examination: You must pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) School Counselor Assessment.
  • Fingerprinting and Background Check: New York State requires fingerprinting and a background check for all individuals seeking certification in education-related professions.

Once you have met these requirements, you can apply for an Initial Certificate as a school counselor, which is valid for five years. During this time, you need to complete three years of experience as a school counselor and any additional required coursework. After successfully completing these requirements, you can apply for a Professional Certificate as a school counselor in New York State.

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