Arizona Psychology Licensure Requirements
To practice as a psychologist in Arizona, you must seek licensure through the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners (the Board). Licenses will not be granted without meeting several state-specific requirements, including getting a doctoral degree, gaining supervised professional experience, and passing national exams. To help you understand the necessary steps, we have created this guide to help cover the steps involved and provide an in-depth understanding of each step.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Reciprocity
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Related Licenses
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
How to Become a Psychologist in Arizona
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
To become a practicing psychologist in Arizona you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related area. An undergraduate degree will typically require four years of full-time study and the completion of approximately 120 semester credits. It can be in psychology or another subject, but keep in mind that if it is in another subject, you will likely need to take additional coursework before being admitted to a graduate program in psychology.
Upon earning a bachelor’s degree, some psychology licensure candidates pursue a master’s degree, either in psychology or another similar field. Master’s degree coursework is usually around 30 to 40 credit hours and takes around two years to complete. Master’s may be either stand-alone or part of the thesis portion of a doctoral degree.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
Those seeking licensure in Arizona state must hold a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in clinical, counseling, school, or educational psychology, or in another subject area in applied psychology as determined by the Board. Schools may offer either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology degree. You can find out the differences between the two types of degrees on our home page.
To meet Arizona’s requirements, doctoral programs must result in a doctoral degree after no fewer than three full-time years of study with at least two of these taking place at the degree-granting institution. Candidates must also complete a dissertation in addition to the supervised internship and preinternship professional experiences, as well as a residency, at their doctoral degree-granting institution. The residency must require 18 semester hours or include at least 300 hours of in-person meetings with faculty within a span of 12 months. In addition, at least 1,500 hours of the supervised professional experience required for licensure must be completed during a doctoral internship.
Find psychology schools in Arizona with programs where you can meet state education requirements.
3. Submit your application to the Board.
Those seeking psychology licensure in Arizona state will need to submit an Application for Examination and/or Licensure along with $350 to the Board. For application approval, the Board must have National Practitioner Data Bank self-query results, an Arizona Statement of Citizenship and Alien Status page, the Required Mandatory Confidential Information form (included in the application), verification forms for other certificates and licenses, two references, and all other requested supporting documentation. An original photo of the applicant taken within 60 days of application should also be provided.
Applications will remain incomplete without official transcripts and confirmation that the applicant satisfied residency requirements. Applicants must have school officials and supervisors attest in writing that supervised preinternship experience, internship training programs, and supervised postdoctoral experience met the standards set forth by the state of Arizona.
4. Gain two years of supervised experience in your area of training.
Psychologists in Arizona will need a total of 3,000 hours of professional experience under the supervision of a licensed professional. At least 1,500 of these hours must be accrued through an internship during the doctoral program. The other 1,500 hours can be attained through a combination of supervised preinternship experience, additional internship training, or supervised postdoctoral experience.
To be applied towards hour requirements, a supervised preinternship must be preceded by appropriate educational coursework that prepares the student for the experience. Multiple part-time preinternships may be applied. A training plan that describes the activities, goals, and objectives for the training will be required for each training site. If you are applying preinternship hours towards licensure, the work documentation and training plans must be sent to the Board upon preinternship completion using the Supervised Preinternship Experience Verification form along with the Preinternship Site form (only if you have multiple preinternship sites).
Internships must meet the approval of the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Accreditation, be an Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) member, or be approved by the Board. Internships should be completed within a 24-month time span. You will need to document your supervised internship experience on the verification form.
Up to 1,500 hours of postdoctoral professional experience may be applied to license hour requirements after educational institutions verify in writing that an applicant has finished their degree and completed the initial 1,500 hours of internship experience. This supervised xperience should be completed within a 36-month timeframe and documented using the Postdoctoral Professional Psychology Experience Verification form.
A temporary license may be required by your employer to accrue supervised professional experience. In this case, a written training plan must be submitted with the application for a temporary license.
5. Pass the Arizona psychology licensing exams.
All applicants must pass Parts 1 and 2 of the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), as Arizona is an early adopter of the Part 2-Skills exam. The EPPP may be taken before, during, or after the supervised experience is earned. Candidates receive one score for each part of the exam, and a score of 500 is considered passing on each part. After Board approval of the initial application, your information will be passed on to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). You may take the EPPP before or after you have completed your supervised experience. A practice exam is available on the ASPPB’s website.
6. Receive your psychology license from the Board.
After you’ve passed the EPPP, the Board will be notified by the ASPPB. Applications will need to be processed for completeness and substance before approval and licensure will be granted. This should take place within 120 days. However, if documents are missing or more information is needed, it may take significantly longer. Once the Board has approved and verified all parts of your application, your psychology license will be sent to you.
Arizona Licensure by Reciprocity
Licensure by Credential
To qualify for psychology licensure by credential, candidates must be an American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) diplomate, hold a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ) by the ASPPB, or hold the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology credential. Those with National Register credentialing must have a minimum of five years of independent doctorate-level psychology experience and evidence to qualify.
Applicants will be required to pay a $350 fee and complete an Application for Licensure as a Psychologist by Credential. The Mandatory Confidential Information and Arizona Statement of Citizenship and Alien Status forms on pages following the application will need to be completed as well. Copies of birth certificates, passports, and other relevant identifying documentation listed on the Alien Status form must be attached. The Board requires the results from a National Practitioner Data Bank self-query and verification of licensure forms before application approval. Application materials can be sent directly to the Board or by using their online submission portal. Verification of all professional licenses must be sent separately and come directly from the sources.
The Board may issue a temporary license to out-of-state candidates who meet all requirements but haven’t yet taken the EPPP Part 2-Skills exam.
Licensure by Universal Recognition
The Board also accepts applications for licensure by universal recognition. To be eligible, applicants must prove that they are a resident of Arizona, be currently licensed or certified for at least one year in another state, meet all education, work, exam, and supervision requirements, and submit an application with the $350 fee, and a photo taken in the last 60 days. Applicants will also need to submit results from National Practitioner Data Bank self-query and complete the Mandatory Confidential Information pages of the application. Application materials can be sent directly to the Board or by using their online submission portal. Verification of all professional licenses must be sent separately and come directly from the sources.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Arizona psychologists with odd-numbered licenses renew them on odd-numbered years, and those with even-numbered licenses renew them on even-numbered years. The license must be renewed on or before the last day of the licensee’s birth month. During their renewal year, they are responsible for submitting a renewal application via the online Licensee Portal to the Board before the set deadline. Active status renewals will require fees of $500 while inactive status renewals will cost $85.
An included record of continuing education within the application will also need to be filled out. To meet Arizona state standards, licensees must have a minimum of 40 continuing education hours, four of which must be in ethics and an additional four either in domestic violence or abuse of partners, children, or vulnerable adults. No hours can be applied to future renewal periods and all will require documentation.
The Board also regulates licensure for behavior analysts. To qualify for licensure, individuals need a graduate-level degree in the area of psychology, behavior analysis, education, or a related field deemed appropriate by the Board, unless candidates complete a program with coursework that is Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approved. They must also complete a minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised training from work experience, independent fieldwork, or a university practicum. The guidelines for the experience should meet those of a nationally recognized board for behavior analyst certification as well as have Board approval. Should the Board disagree with these standards, it may suggest alternates.
Those applying for this licensure must fill out and submit an application along with the Mandatory Confidential Information page, Arizona Statement of Citizenship and Alien Status form, and verification of credential, if applicable. Supporting documentation, including copies of passports or birth certificates will be required in addition to a $350 application fee. Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Board from graduate institutions. Following application approval, a prorated $500 initial licensing fee will need to be paid.
In Arizona, school psychologists are regulated by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). In order to qualify for the Standard School Psychologist PreK-12 certificate, applicants will need to have one of the following:
- A graduate degree in school psychology of at least 60 credit hours
- A doctoral degree in psychology and complete a re-training program in school psychology
- Five years of full-time experience within the last 10 years working as a school psychologist in a school setting
- A Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential
- A diploma in school psychology from the American Board of School Psychology (ABSP)
In addition, you will need to complete at least 1,200 hours of a supervised internship or three years of experience as a certified school psychologist within the last 10 years. If you meet these requirements, you can submit the online application along with the fee. You will also need to submit an Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint card with your application and have official transcripts sent from your college or university. Applicants from other states who hold a comparable school psychologist certificate can apply for out-of-state certification.
Arizona Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, the average annual salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists is $76,870 in the state of Arizona.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn a yearly average of $77,770 and all other psychologists in Arizona earn a yearly average of $96,710.1
Projections Central estimates that jobs in the clinical, counseling, and school psychologist field will experience a change of 10.4% by the year 2030.2 These positions have the greatest average projected growth. Psychologist jobs in the “all other” category are expected to increase by 2% within the same timeframe.2
|Occupation||Number Employed1||Average Annual Salary1|
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists||720||$76,870|
|Psychologists, All Other||180||$96,710|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||570||$77,770|
- Arizona Association of School Psychologists (AASP): Engages school psychologists with development and leadership opportunities in order to support the well-being of Arizona children.
- Arizona Psychological Association (AzPA): A group of licensed professionals who advocate on behalf of those within the field as well as the general public.
- Southern Arizona Psychological Association (SAPA): Supports professionals in the Tucson and nearby southern Arizona counties by providing opportunities for continuing education, advocacy, and collaboration to its school psychologist, psychologist, and student members.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Arizona?
Bachelor’s degree programs generally take four years of full-time study to complete. Doctoral programs with included master’s degrees can take between five and seven years. Some individuals will need to complete 1,500 hours of postdoctoral experience to meet state requirements. It is likely that the process to become a psychologist in Arizona will take around a decade to complete.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Arizona?
A doctoral degree in either counseling, school, educational, or clinical psychology or a related area as determined by the Board will be necessary to become a psychologist in Arizona. The institution from which the degree is granted must hold regional accreditation. Individuals who hold a master’s degree are eligible to become licensed behavior analysts in the state.
How much do psychologists in Arizona make?
Data from the BLS indicates that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists practicing in the state of Arizona earned a yearly average salary of $76,870 as of 2021.1 “All other” psychologists earned an average annual salary of $96,710, while postsecondary psychology teachers earned $77,770.1
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Arizona: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm