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Alabama Psychology Licensure Requirements

To become a licensed psychologist in the state of Alabama, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, earn a doctoral degree in psychology, pass two exams, and submit an application to the Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology (the Board). To help you navigate these steps more easily, we’ve prepared a detailed guide to earning your psychology license in Alabama.

Table of Contents
How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
Licensure for Psychologists Licensed in Another Jurisdiction
Related Licenses
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Jobs and Salary Information
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

How to Become a Psychologist in Alabama

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.

In order to pursue a doctoral degree and, ultimately, a license in psychology, you will first need to complete a bachelor’s degree. While it is not necessary to major in psychology for your undergraduate degree, there are many schools in Alabama that offer bachelor’s degrees in psychology. A bachelor’s degree typically consists of 120 credit hours and takes about four years of full-time study to complete.

Upon completion of your bachelor’s degree (or if you already have one), you may choose to enter a master’s program. A master’s degree is generally not required for entry to a doctoral program, but many students do complete one, either as a stand-alone program or as part of their doctorate programs. If you have concerns about meeting doctoral program admission requirements after completing your bachelor’s degree, a master’s program may be helpful in bridging the gap. Alabama also offers a master’s-level psychology license as a Psychological Technician. Those interested in this level of licensure will need to earn a master’s degree approved by the American Psychological Association (APA).

2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.

Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree and, optionally, a master’s degree, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. There are two types of doctoral degrees in psychology: a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology. You can read more about the differences between the two on our home page. Regardless of the type of degree you pursue, you will need to earn your doctoral degree from a psychology program housed in a school that is accredited by a nationally-recognized regional accrediting body. You will also need to complete an internship during your program that is equivalent to one year of full-time training, with 25% of the time spent in direct client contact.

When you are applying for licensure, you will have to select an area of specialization (clinical psychology, counseling psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, or school psychology). Applicants who have completed a program in any of these specialty areas that is accredited by the APA will be automatically approved by the Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology (the Board) as meeting the educational requirements. If you attend a program that is not APA-approved, the Board will need to review your transcript to determine whether your education meets the requirements for licensure in your desired area of specialization. These requirements include a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study, at least one of which must be in full-time residence at the institution granting the doctoral degree, as well as a curriculum that includes at least 60 semester hours of coursework in psychology, among others. For more information about programs you might consider applying to, please visit our Psychology Schools in Alabama page.

3. Request an application from the Board.

Because Alabama does not provide application forms online, the first step you will need to take is to contact the Board to request an application packet for doctoral-level licensure. The Board will mail this packet to you once they receive the request. Be aware that the Board only reviews applications every two months, so you will need to request your application and submit your materials as soon as possible after becoming eligible for licensure.

4. Complete the application and send it to the Board.

The application packet you receive in the mail should include a list of materials you will need to complete it (this list is also available on the Board’s website). The application will ask you to provide information about your training and experience and to identify the area of specialization (clinical psychology, counseling psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, or school psychology) in which you will be practicing. It will also require that you identify four psychologists to provide references for you; one must come from your dissertation advisor, departmental chair, or program director and another must be from your pre-doctoral internship supervisor or director of internship training.

In addition to completing the forms you were sent, you will also need to submit a recent, passport-quality photo, request that your official transcripts be sent to the Board, and have two fingerprint cards made for a background check. After you have gathered all your materials, you will need to have your application notarized. When you send the completed packet into the Board, include a $38.25 fee for your background check as well as $400 for the application fee.

5. Pass the Alabama psychology licensing exams.

To complete Alabama’s requirements for psychology licensure, you will need to pass two exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and Alabama’s Professional Standards Exam (PSE). You need permission from the Board to register for both of these exams, which you will receive after they have reviewed and approved your completed application.

The EPPP is a national exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) that consists of 225 multiple-choice questions assessing broad knowledge of psychology. It costs a total of $687.50 to register for the EPPP, and all fees are paid directly to the ASPPB. To pass the EPPP, you need to earn a scaled score of 500 or higher. It is recommended that you review the EPPP practice exam during your preparation for the EPPP.

The PSE is an exam that tests knowledge of the ethical and legal standards applicable to Alabama psychologists. The PSE costs $50 and must be taken at the Board’s office in Montgomery. To pass the PSE, you must correctly answer at least 80% of the 42 multiple-choice questions on the test.

6. Wait for notification that your license has been issued.

After you pass the EPPP and PSE, you are still not eligible to begin practicing psychology until your license has been granted by the Board. Your EPPP score should be automatically transferred to the Board, and after they have proof that you have passed both exams, they will notify you when your license has officially been issued.

Alabama Licensure for Psychologists Licensed in Another Jurisdiction

If you are already licensed as a psychologist in another state and would like to become licensed in Alabama, you will need to request and complete an application packet (accompanied by the $400 application fee and $38.25 background check fee). You will need to request a Verification of Licensure form from all licensing states/jurisdictions and verification from either the ASPPB or American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), whichever is relevant to you, that your certification is current and in good standing. After the Board reviews your application, you will need to take and pass the PSE ($50) before being granted your Alabama psychology license.

License Renewal and Continuing Education

To keep your Alabama psychology license active, you will need to renew your license yearly. During each renewal period, you must also earn 20 hours of continuing education (CE) credits. CE programs offered by APA-approved organizations are automatically approved as counting towards these requirements; the Board must review any other CE activities to determine whether they qualify. You can count up to six credits in a renewal period for being the presenter for a Board-approved CE activity. If you earn more credits in a renewal period than is required, you can carry over up to three hours to the next renewal period.

Once you have completed your CE requirements, you can apply for renewal by completing the Psychologist License Renewal Form and submitting it to the Board, along with a Continuing Education Application for your CE activities and a $250 fee. All renewal materials are due by October 15 each year.

Psychological Technician

In Alabama, it is possible to become licensed with a master’s degree as a psychological technician. To be eligible for this license, you must have earned a master’s degree from an APA-approved psychology program (or one deemed to be equivalent by the Board). To apply for this license, you will need to contact the Board and request an application packet. The application fee is $260 and there is also a background check fee of $38.25. After your application has been reviewed, you will also need to pass both the EPPP and the PSE (note that a passing EPPP score for a psychological technician license is 400). The EPPP costs $687.50 and the PSE costs $50.

Once licensed, psychological technicians are able to perform some professional activities independently. These include administering and interpreting some psychological tests, providing psychoeducation, and screening new patients to determine appropriate referrals. They can also provide personality testing, conduct therapy, and assist with forensic or neuropsychological evaluations, but must be supervised by a licensed psychologist while engaging in these activities.

School Psychologist

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) regulates the profession of school psychologist. For a Professional Educator Certificate, applicants must have a master’s or specialist degree, a passing score on the Praxis exam for school psychologists, and ,eet the most current Alabama Certification Assessment Program (AECAP). Applicants with a master’s degree qualify for a Class A certificate, while those with an Education Specialist (EdS) degree qualify for a Class AA certificate. To keep your license current, every five years, you will need to verify that you’ve had three full years of full-time satisfactory educational experience and 50 hours of professional development; three full years of full-time satisfactory educational experience and three graduate semester hours; 50 hours of professional development and three graduate semester hours; or six graduate semester hours.

Alabama Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of May 2021 show that the average salary for a psychologist in Alabama (including educators) was $81,223.1 This varies across different types of jobs: clinical and counseling psychologists earn an average of $84,360 and school psychologists earn an average of $62,650, while psychologists in the “all other” category earn an average of $96,660 per year.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $85,170.1

The number of new jobs for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Alabama is expected to increase by an average of 7.8% between 2020 and 2030.2 Postsecondary psychology teaching positions are expected to grow by 8.2% during the 10-year period, and by contrast, psychology jobs in the “all other” category are not expected to see any growth during that time period.2

OccupationNumber Employed1Average Annual Salary1
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists370$84,360
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN.Av.N.Av.
Psychologists, All Other130$96,660
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary530$85,170
School Psychologists250$62,650

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a psychologist in Alabama?

To become a licensed psychologist in Alabama, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and a doctoral degree before being eligible to apply for licensure. Meeting these requirements usually takes about 10 years, but can take more depending on the requirements of your programs and whether you decide to earn a stand-alone master’s degree.

Does Alabama require any supervised postdoctoral experience to become licensed?

Unlike many other states, Alabama does not require any supervised postdoctoral hours to become licensed as a psychologist. You are eligible to apply for licensure as soon as you have earned your degree from a Board-approved doctoral program in psychology.

How much do psychologists in Alabama make?

The average salary for a psychologist in Alabama is $81,223.1 However, average salaries vary based on area of specialty and range from $62,650 (school psychologists) to $96,660 (“all other” psychologists).1

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alabama: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_al.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm