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Alaska Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you are looking to pursue a career as a licensed psychologist in Alaska, you will need become licensed with the state’s Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners. The licensure process requires a specific educational foundation, supervised professional experience, appropriate national and state examination test scores, and a detailed and well-documented application. The following guide will help you navigate the process and point you in the direction of the proper forms and steps. Common questions that arise during the journey include:

» How do I become a psychologist in Alaska?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a psychologist license in Alaska.
» What are Alaska’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in Alaska?
» Can I become licensed in Alaska with only a master’s degree?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in Alaska by credentials?
» How do I renew my psychology license in Alaska?
» How much do psychologists in Alaska make?

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Alaska

Becoming a licensed psychologist in Alaska requires completing many different milestones and steps. First, you will need to have the correct undergraduate and doctoral educational foundation before beginning the licensure process with the Board. Read on to learn about the three high-level steps to gaining psychology licensure in Alaska.

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

First, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). You can complete your degree in a subject other than psychology, but in that case, you may need to take additional prerequisite courses before beginning an advanced program in psychology. Most bachelor’s degrees require 120 semester hours to complete, which can take around four years on a full-time academic schedule.

You can optionally pursue a master’s degree in psychology, although this step is not mandatory. A Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA) usually requires 36 to 54 semester hours, which can take two full-time academic years to complete. Many doctoral degrees offer a master in psychology as part of their program (see Step 2 below), so you have the option to skip a separate master’s program, depending on the doctoral program you choose. However, if you are interested in a stand-alone master’s program, Alaska offers a psychological associate license that only requires a master’s degree. If you choose to pursue a master’s degree for psychological associate licensure, the institution must be accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council of Postsecondary Accreditation. The psychological associate license also requires that at least 48 semester credit hours of your graduate coursework be in psychology and that the program include practicum experience.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

Next, the Board requires that you earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or a specialization considered equivalent by the Board. Your doctoral degree can be either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Although both degrees can qualify you for psychology licensure in Alaska, there are some key differences that you can read about on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) website to help you choose which one is best for you. Most doctoral programs take four to seven years to complete, depending on your timeline, focus area, and academic decisions. The Board requires that you complete the equivalent of three full-time academic years of graduate study at a minimum, with two years in academics and one year in full-time residence at the institution. The Board also stipulates that your courses cover a foundation of psychology methodology and history, as well as supervised practicum or laboratory experience and a pre-doctoral internship.

For more information about the doctoral programs offered in Alaska, see our Psychology Schools in Alaska page.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Alaska.

After completing your educational foundation in psychology, you still need to complete some additional steps on the road to licensure. You will need to complete post-doctoral supervised experience, submit a detailed application, and pass a national and a state examination. The steps below explain further action you need to take to become a licensed psychologist in Alaska.

Alaska Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Submit an initial application to Board to gain approval of supervised experience plan and a temporary license.

The Board requires that you be approved for a temporary license and submit a post-doctoral supervision plan before beginning your required post-doctoral supervised experience. Both the temporary license and supervision form can be found in the general Application for a Psychologist License by Examination packet. You will need to submit these two documents and a $150 temporary license fee to the Board, separately from the rest of the application (you will fill out and submit the entire application in Step 3 below).

2. Complete one year of post-doctoral supervised experience.

After the Board approves your documents, you can begin your supervised experience in psychology. You must complete at least 1,500 hours in a time period between 10 and 24 months. Each week, your work should include 20 to 40 hours of supervised experience. At least 80% of this supervised experience must be with a licensed psychologist, a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, or a person holding a doctorate in psychology who is approved by the Board. You must have a minimum of two hours of face-to-face supervision per week, and one hour must be on an individual basis. An additional two hours a week must be spent in learning activities covering case conferences, ethics, co-therapy, and other content assigned by your supervisor. Your supervisor must document and verify your hours with a Statement of Supervised Psychological Experience form, which can also be found in the general application.

3. Submit the rest of your application to the Board.

After you complete your supervised hours, you can submit the rest of the general Application for a Psychologist License by Examination. This packet must be supported by five letters of reference, including two from licensed psychologists and one from the applicant’s doctoral committee membership. Candidates must also submit official transcripts, a complete vita documenting all practice experience, an application fee of $200, and a state examination fee of $50. If your application is approved, you will also need to submit an initial license fee of $775.

4. Pass the Alaska psychology licensing exams..

If the Board declares you eligible, you then can sit for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a standardized national examination that costs a total of $687.50 and tests your comprehension of psychological ideas, theories, and practices. To pass, you must earn a scaled score of 500 or better. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) offers an EPPP practice exam to all applicants, so you can prepare to take the test in a timed manner.

After passing the EPPP, the Board will approve you to sit for the Alaska State Law and Ethics Examination, which is given four times a year in Juneau and Anchorage. You can receive a study packet for the exam by contacting the Division staff, and more information about the exam can be found on the Alaska Professional Licensing website.

5. Receive your license from the Board.

When you have fulfilled the above conditions and submitted all of the required paperwork, the Board will review your materials during a regular meeting. If they approve your application, you will receive your psychology license from the Board.

Alaska Licensure by Credentials

If you hold a psychology license in another jurisdiction, you may be qualified to earn an Alaska license by credentials. To be eligible for this, you must hold a doctoral degree in psychology and have fulfilled examination and other requirements for the out-of-state license that were similar to or higher than the requirements for the Alaska Board. You also must be in good standing with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) or be registered with a credentialing organization in psychology approved by the Board. To apply, you will need your previous licensing jurisdiction to verify your psychology licensure. You will also submit an Application for Licensure as a Psychologist by Credentials form, along with a credential review and application fee of $75. Upon approval of your application, you will also need to pay an initial license fee of $775.

Out-of-state licensed psychologists who are in the state temporarily can apply for a Courtesy License, which allows you to practice in Alaska for no more than 30 days in a 12-month period. This license can only be awarded once in a person’s lifetime, and it is intended for someone providing a specific, temporary service within the state (you must not be a resident of Alaska). The Application for Psychologist Courtesy License also must be submitted with a verification of license sent from your current jurisdiction, a $200 application fee, and a $200 courtesy license fee. Once awarded a courtesy license, you must submit a monthly Psychology Courtesy License Monthly Report form indicating the number of days practiced under this license.

Psychological Associate License

Those with a master’s degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or a field of specialization considered equivalent by the Board can apply for psychological associate licensure. A licensed psychological associate can practice psychology independently in Alaska without being under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist. However, the state does require you to identify yourself as a psychological associate in all communications (not represent yourself as a doctoral-level psychologist).

At least 48 semester credit hours of your graduate coursework must be in psychology, and you must have completed a practicum. The application steps are similar to psychology licensure in the state of Alaska, but there is one significant difference. Psychological associate applicants need to submit a supervised experience plan and an application for a temporary psychology associates license before completing two years of post master’s supervised experience. However, you will need to pass an objective examination developed or approved by the Board before you can start your supervised experience (as opposed to the psychology license, where you finish your experience before taking the examination). The temporary application and supervised experience plan forms and all related documentation can be found in the Application for Licensure as a Psychological Associate packet.

Once the Board has approved your supervised experience, you can complete the application, which includes transcripts, a vita, proof of practicum from your master’s program, and five recommendations. With the application, temporary license, and examination costs, you will need to submit fees totaling $275, and upon successful approval of your license, another initial license fee of $550. Once all documentation is received, you will be invited to take an objective examination approved by the Board. If you pass and your application is complete, you will receive your psychological associate licensure.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

The Alaska Board requires that psychologists renew their licenses every two years by submitting a Biennial Psychologist License Renewal application. You must also include a biennial license renewal fee of $775, although recently licensed psychologists may have an opportunity for a prorated fee (see application form). Psychology license renewal in Alaska requires an average of 20 credit hours of continuing education each year. At least three of these hours must be in professional ethics. The remaining hours can be completed through accredited academic institutions or in non-academic continuing education programs that are sponsored by organizations approved by the APA or another professional organization representing the mental or behavioral health professions. Individuals must submit a sworn statement form, provided by the continuing education organizer, about the continuing education hours before the license renewal date.

Alaska Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

Licensed psychologists have many different opportunities to work in Alaska. Practicing psychologists in the state, excluding educators, earn an average annual salary of $97,000, making it one of the top-paying states for psychologists in the nation.1 Clinical, counseling, and school psychology positions are projected to grow by 9% each year through 2026, although all other psychology positions and postsecondary psychology teacher positions are projected to remain stable through 2026.2

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists280$96,350
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All OtherN/A$97,650
Psychology Teachers, PostsecondaryN/AN/A

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.1

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The exact timeline depends on your educational choices and the application process. Bachelor’s degrees usually take four years, and a doctoral degree can take four to seven years (depending on many different factors, such as whether you complete an included master’s degree). After finishing your educational foundation, you will need to complete a year of supervised professional experience, as well as fulfill all application requirements and examinations. All in all, the process can take close to 10 years.

What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Alaska?

Licensed psychologists in Alaska are required to have a doctoral degree in psychology, either a PhD in psychology or a PsyD. However, the Board also offers a psychological associate license that only requires a master’s degree in psychology.

How much do psychologists in Alaska make?

Psychologists in Alaska, whether in clinical, counseling, or school psychology or another area, earn an average of $97,000 annually.1 In fact, Alaska is one of the top five highest-paying states in the nation for psychologist positions (second-highest for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists and fifth-highest for “all other” psychologists).3,4

Additional Resources

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alaska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 19-3031 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 19-3039 Psychologists, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm