Psychologists in California enjoy bright future prospects in terms of salary and job outlook. Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists had an annual mean wage of $108,350 in California, and an employment of 17,310, higher than any other state.
If you want to become a psychologist in California, you would be interested in the following information about the steps to become a psychologist in California.
Steps to Become a Psychologist in California
In order to practice as a psychologist in California, you will need to fulfill a series of educational and experience requirements. The following steps will help you understand the process better.
- Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Even though there is no specific major requirement at this stage, it is ideal if you major in psychology. However, most graduate schools would accept you even if you have majored in some other subject. You will be required to complete certain prerequisite courses though, in such a case.
- Complete a Master’s Degree
Even though this is not a mandatory requirement, it will help enhance your knowledge of the field, and pave the way to a doctoral degree.
- Get a Doctoral Degree
This is the minimum level of education required to obtain a state license to practice as a psychologist in California. There are two options for students who want to embark on this path – PsyD, which has a more clinical focus and PhD, which is more research oriented. Most doctoral programs would take four to seven years to complete.
- Get Your License to Practice in California
After you have completed the educational requirements, you will have to pass two additional exams and gain some postdoctoral experience. The California Board of Psychology provides a detailed look into the kind of experience required to be eligible for licensure in California.
- Get Supervised Professional Experience – 2 years/3,000 hours
- Ensure you have completed all required pre-licensure courses
- Clear all the exams required by the California Board of Psychology
- File a request for license with the Board
- Receive your license and begin practicing in the state of California
What Is the Work Environment like for Psychologists?
The work environment for psychologists depends on the kind of job they are employed in. Some psychologists work alone, conduct independent research, speak with clients or carry out counseling sessions with patients. Others may find work as part of a healthcare team or facility, collaborating with doctors, physicians and social workers to treat various kinds of illnesses relating to mental health.
Psychologists who work in private practice often set their own working hours, while many work as independent consultants to big companies. Evening and weekend shifts are also common for psychologists who accommodate their clients’ schedules. Psychologists employed in hospitals or other healthcare facilities may have to work for specific hours and might also have to put in weekend and evening shifts.