Alaska Psychology Licensure Requirements
The licensure process to become a psychologist in Alaska is regulated by the Board of Psychologists and Psychological Associate Examiners (the Board) and requires a specific educational foundation, supervised professional experience, qualifying national and state examination test scores, and a comprehensive application. The following guide will help you navigate the process and point you in the direction of the proper forms and steps.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Credentials
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Related Licenses
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Become a Psychologist 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, which can be in psychology or another subject. If you major in a subject other than psychology, you will have to complete prerequisite coursework before beginning your graduate program. Most bachelor’s degrees require 120 semester hours to complete, which takes most students four years of full-time study.
You may also choose to pursue a master’s degree in psychology, although this step is not mandatory. Many doctoral degrees include a master’s in psychology as part of their program, so you may have the option to skip a stand-alone master’s program, depending on the doctoral program you choose. However, if you are interested in a master’s-level career, 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 for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). 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. Master’s degrees in psychology typically take between 30 and 40 credit hours to complete.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
Next, the Board requires that you earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or a specialization considered equivalent. 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 can help you choose which one is best for you. Regardless of degree type, the Board requires that you complete the equivalent of three full-time academic years of graduate study at a minimum, at least two of which must be completed at the degree-granting school, and at least one of which must be in full-time residence at the institution. The institution must be accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The Board also stipulates that coursework must cover a foundation of psychology methodology and history, as well as supervised practicum or laboratory experience and a 2,000-hour supervised, pre-doctoral internship.
For more information about the doctoral programs offered in Alaska, see our Psychology Schools in Alaska page.
3. Submit an application to the Board to receive a temporary license.
To begin the licensure process, applicants must submit the Application for a Psychologist License by Examination packet. 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, a state examination fee of $50, and a temporary license fee of $150. The application must also include the candidate’s supervised practice plan, which they will begin to implement upon receipt of their temporary license.
4. Complete one year of post-doctoral supervised experience.
After the Board approves your documents, you will be notified that 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 (ABPP), or a person holding a doctorate in psychology who is approved by the Board. You must have a minimum of one hour of face-to-face individual supervision per week, with direct services provided by the candidate. 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. Upon completion of your post-doctoral experience, 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.
5. Pass the Alaska psychology licensing exams.
If the Board declares you eligible, you can then sit for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a standardized national examination that costs $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 of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing staff, and more information about the exam can be found on the Alaska Professional Licensing website.
6. 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, 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 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 license. You will also submit an Psychologist License by Credentials application packet, along with a credential review fee of $100 and an application fee of $75. Upon approval of your application, you will also need to pay an initial license fee of $500.
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.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
The Board requires that psychologists renew their licenses every two years by submitting a Psychologist License Renewal application. You must also include a biennial license renewal fee of $500, 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.
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 (and never misrepresent 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 an Application for Licensure as a Psychological Associate packet and receive a temporary license before completing two years of post-master’s supervised experience. The application 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 $400, and upon successful approval of your license, another initial licensing fee of $500.
Upon completion of your two years of supervised post-master’s experience, you will be eligible to sit for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Alaska State Law and Ethics Examination. If you pass and your application is complete, you will receive your psychological associate licensure.
School psychologists in Alaska are regulated by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. In order to be eligible for an Initial Type C Special Services Certificate in school psychology, you must hold a master’s degree or higher in school psychology; be recommended by a school that hosts a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), or APA-approved program; and have completed an internship of 1,200 hours with 600 being in a school setting; or be certified by NASP. Type C Special Services Certificates are good for five years. To renew, you must have six semester hours of credit (three in upper division or graduate level) and verification of employment in an Alaska public school district.
Alaska Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
Licensed psychologists have many different career opportunities in Alaska. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of May 2021, practicing psychologists in the state, excluding educators, earned an average annual salary of $97,720, with clinical and counseling psychologists averaging $92,450 annually, school psychologists averaging $87,670, and “all other” psychologists averaging $113,040.1 Postsecondary psychology instructors averaged $84,880 per year.1 Clinical, counseling, and school psychology positions are projected to grow by 16.7% between 2020 and 2030, while “all other” psychology positions are projected to remain stable through 2030, and postsecondary psychology teacher positions are anticipated to increase by 25%.2
|Average Annual Salary1
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
|Psychologists, All Other
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
- Alaska Psychological Association (AK-PA): Professional organization that advocates for psychology science and the profession.
- Alaksa School Psycholgoists Association (ASPA): Educates and empowers members with online resources, state and federal education headlines, and an annual conference, in order to promote the psychological wellbeing of Alaskan children and adolescents.
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 to complete 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, excluding educators, earned an average of $97,720 annually, as of May 2021.1 However, pay ranges based on specialty area, with school psychologists earning $87,670 and psychologists in the “all other” category earning an average of $113,040.1
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alaska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm