New Jersey Psychology Licensure Requirements
In New Jersey, psychologist licenses are issued by the State Board of Psychological Examiners. To become a practicing psychologist in New Jersey, you will need to complete a doctoral degree in psychology, submit an application for licensure to the Board, pass national and state examinations, and complete at least two years of supervised work. This process can seem intimidating, but we’ve prepared a guide to help you through it. On this page, you’ll find step-by-step instructions to becoming a psychologist in New Jersey, as well as answers to some of the most commonly asked questions people have, such as:
» How do I become a psychologist in New Jersey?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a psychologist license in New Jersey.
» What are New Jersey’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in New Jersey?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in New Jersey by reciprocity?
» How do I renew my psychology license in New Jersey?
» How much do psychologists in New Jersey make?
Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in New Jersey
There are three main steps to becoming a licensed psychologist in New Jersey. First, you will need to complete an undergraduate degree and may choose to complete a master’s degree after this (though a master’s degree is optional). Then, you will need to complete a doctoral program in psychology. Finally, after you have finished your doctoral degree, you should be prepared to begin the process of becoming licensed in New Jersey.
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
The first step towards becoming a psychologist in New Jersey is to complete a a bachelor’s degree. For this, you will need to attend school full-time for about four years and complete approximately 120 credit hours. Although many future psychologists study psychology while completing their bachelor’s degrees, this is not necessary. Many others study related areas such as social work or statistics, and some do not begin studying psychology until their graduate education. Some schools award Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees, while others award Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. Either of these degrees is acceptable if you are planning to attend graduate school to study psychology.
Some people choose to complete a stand-alone master’s degree in psychology after they have finished their bachelor’s degrees. This is not a required step, as most students who attend doctoral programs in psychology also earn a master’s degree during their studies (see Step 2). However, this can be a helpful step if you did not study psychology during your bachelor’s degree.
To be accepted into a master’s degree program in psychology, you will likely need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and complete certain educational prerequisites. Although requirements for these programs vary, they generally involve about two years (35-45 credit hours) of full-time attendance. Some master’s degree programs in psychology are generalist programs, while others focus on specialized areas of psychology. Depending on the program, students may earn a Master of Arts (MA) degree or a Master of Science (MS) degree.
2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.
After completing a bachelor’s degree (and master’s degree, if you choose), the next step is to complete either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. Both of these degrees will fulfill the requirement for a doctoral-level psychology degree that you need for licensure in New Jersey. To learn more about the differences between these degrees, see this page from the American Psychological Association (APA). Both PhD and PsyD programs take about four to seven years to finish.
In New Jersey, applicants for psychology licensure must have attended a psychology program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), is listed in the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards’ (ASPPB) National Register, or meets criteria comparable to those set forth by these organizations. For more information about doctoral programs in New Jersey, please see our page on Psychology Schools in New Jersey.
3. Get licensed to practice psychology in New Jersey.
Once you have completed a doctoral degree in psychology, you are ready to begin the licensure process. To obtain your license, you will need to complete a certain number of supervised clinical hours, submit a detailed application, and pass national and state exams. Detailed information about each of these steps is outlined below.
New Jersey Psychologist Licensing Process
1. Gain two years of supervised clinical experience in your area of training.
To become licensed in New Jersey, applicants must first complete a total of two years (3,500 hours) of full-time supervised clinical experience. Additionally, 1,750 of these hours must be obtained after completing your doctoral degree. The New Jersey Board also specifies that each year must consist of at least 1,000 client contact hours, 200 hours of supervision, and 550 hours of support/administrative work. Your supervisors for these hours must be psychologists who have been licensed for at least two years (either in New Jersey or in the state where you are completing the hours). The forms that you will need to document these supervised hours are included in New Jersey’s Application for Licensure as a Practicing Psychologist (see Step 2 for more details about this form).
2. Submit your application to the Board and request transcripts.
After you have completed your supervised hours, the next step in the licensure process is to submit a completed Application for Licensure as a Practicing Psychologist. Be sure to read this form carefully as you complete it, as it is fairly long and complex. This form requires that some pages to be notarized, and you will also have to include a passport-format photo with it. Some of the pages of this form that ask about your supervised experience must be filled out by your clinical supervisors (See Step 1 above). When this form is completed, you will mail it to the Board along with a $125 filing fee and a $17.50 background check fee.
During this step, you will also want to contact schools where you obtained any bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees and have your transcripts sent to the Board.
3. Have your fingerprints taken for the background check.
After the Board has received and reviewed your application, they will send you information about scheduling an appointment to have your fingerprints taken so they can complete a background check. During this step, you will be required to pay a $58.69 fingerprinting fee when you schedule your appointment.
4. Pass the New Jersey psychology licensing exams.
After your background check has been completed and your full application approved, the Board will notify you that you are eligible to take the psychology licensing exams. The first of these exams is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This is a national exam that assesses your broad knowledge of psychology. The EPPP consists of 225 multiple-choice questions, and you will need a scaled score of 500 or more to pass. When you are approved to take the EPPP, the Board will send you information on signing up for the test. You will need to pay a fee of $687.50 to the assessment center when you sign up.
In addition to the EPPP, you will also need to take New Jersey’s jurisprudence exam. This is a written exam that tests your knowledge of laws and statutes that are relevant to the practice of psychology in New Jersey. This exam must be taken within 90 days of completing the EPPP, and you will need to pay a $100 fee to take this. The Board will also send you instructions on signing up for the jurisprudence exam.
5. Wait for notification that your license has been granted.
Once you have completed all the steps above, congratulations! Now all you will need to do is wait for the Board to receive your exam scores and notify you that your license has been granted. In order to receive your license, you will need to pay a license fee of either $300 (if the license is granted in the first year of a renewal period) or $150 (if the license is granted in the second year of a renewal period). See the Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information section below for information about renewal periods in New Jersey.
New Jersey Licensure by Reciprocity
If you are already licensed in another state, you may be interested in transferring your license to New Jersey. Unfortunately, New Jersey does not have reciprocity with other states, meaning that you cannot automatically transfer your license to New Jersey. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you will not have to complete all the steps a brand new licensee would.
If you are hoping to obtain a license in New Jersey and are already licensed in another state, you will need to submit an Application for Licensure as a Practicing Psychologist to the Board. With this application, you will need to pay a $125 filing fee, a $17.50 background check fee, and an $85 EPPP score transfer fee. After the application has been reviewed, you will also have to pay a $58.69 fee to have your fingerprints taken.
If you have already completed the 3,500 supervised hours that New Jersey requires (see Step 1 of the licensure process above), the Board will issue you a one-year temporary permit that allows you to work independently (i.e., without being supervised). This permit is valid for one year, during which time you are expected to pass New Jersey’s jurisprudence exam. If you do not have the 3,500 supervised hours that New Jersey requires, you will be issued a three-year temporary permit. During the time this permit is valid, you are expected to complete your supervised experience as well as pass New Jersey’s jurisprudence exam.
In both of these situations, you will be eligible to receive your full license in New Jersey after you provide proof to the Board that you have completed the requirements associated with your temporary permit.
Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information
Once you have obtained your psychologist license in New Jersey, you will need to renew it every two years. All psychology licenses expire on June 30 of odd-numbered years, so your renewal paperwork needs to be submitted before this date.
To be eligible for renewal, you will need to obtain 40 continuing education (CE) credits. Additionally, New Jersey has some rules about CE credits. Four of your credits must be from education in topics related to domestic violence. 20 credits must be directly related to psychology and be approved by APA, ASPPB, the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, or the American Medical Association. Up to 20 of the remaining credits can come from approved activities such as publishing articles or giving presentations. If you earn more than 40 CE credits in a renewal period, you can carry up to 10 of them to the next period.
New Jersey Psychology Jobs and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average psychologist salary in New Jersey, excluding teachers, is $102,870.1 Specifically, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists have an average annual salary of $97,790, which is the highest in the nation, and industrial-organizational psychologists have an average annual salary of $107,950..1,2 Post-secondary psychology teachers have an average annual salary of $99,230 (the third-highest-paying state in the US).1,3 Although projected job information for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in New Jersey is not currently available, the number of “all other” psychologists (a category that includes psychologists in research and administrative positions) is expected to increase by 7.9% between 2016 and 2026.4
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||3,500||$97,790|
|Psychologists, All Other||N/A||N/A|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||1300||$99,230|
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 New Jersey?
The process of becoming a psychologist in New Jersey is not short; it requires approximately 10 years of education after finishing your high school degree as well as additional supervised experience after you have earned a doctoral degree. However, completing these steps can lead to a rewarding, well-paid career.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in New Jersey?
To become a licensed psychologist in New Jersey, you will need to earn either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology degree. These will need to be earned through programs that are accredited by certain psychology organizations or meet similar requirements.
How much do psychologists in New Jersey make?
Psychologists in New Jersey are well-paid; the average psychologist in the state (eexclduing teachers) makes $102,870 per year.1 Specifically, practicing psychologists (clinical, counseling, and school psychologists) have an average salary of $97,790, while industrial-organizational psychologists earn an average of $107,950 per year.1
- New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners – Website for the State Board, where you can access all the information relevant to licensure.
- New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) – State association for psychology professionals; includes information on local CE opportunities.
- New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (NJASP) – Organization that supports the practice of school psychology in New Jersey.
- American Psychological Association (APA) – National organization representing psychologists in the United States.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Jersey: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nj.htm
2. 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
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 25-1066 Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251066.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm