New Mexico Psychology Licensure Requirements
In New Mexico, psychology licensure is regulated by the Board of Psychologist Examiners (the Board). To become a licensed psychologist in New Mexico, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, complete two years of supervised work experience, and pass two exams. This can be a complicated and time-intensive process, so we’ve prepared this guide with information about everything you need to do to earn your psychology license in New Mexico.
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
How to Become a Psychologist in New Mexico
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
The first step for anyone who wants to become a practicing psychologist in any state, including New Mexico, is to earn a bachelor’s degree. This will usually take four years of full-time attendance (about 120 credits) to complete. You do not have to study psychology for your bachelor’s degree, but doing so can help you meet the prerequisites that you will likely need when you are applying for graduate programs in psychology.
Some people choose to earn stand-alone master’s degrees in psychology after their bachelor’s degrees, though these are optional. They are not always required for entry into doctoral programs in psychology, and many students in doctoral programs earn master’s degrees as part of the degree requirements. However, choosing to pursue a master’s degree can help you gain more experience before applying to doctoral programs. Another reason to consider a stand-alone master’s degree in psychology is that New Mexico issues a master’s-level psychology license, which is a good option if you do not want to go through the entire process of becoming licensed as a psychologist but would still like to work in the field. If you decide to pursue a master’s degree in psychology, know that these programs typically require between 30 and 40 hours and take one to two years to complete.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
The next required step in the process of becoming a psychologist in New Mexico is to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. It usually takes between four and seven years to finish a doctoral degree in psychology, depending on the training requirements of the program you attend. There are two types of doctoral degrees in psychology, and you should become familiar with the differences between them before applying. Some programs offer Doctor of Philosophy (PhD in Psychology) degrees, while others offer Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees.
In New Mexico, both PhD and PsyD degrees are acceptable for licensure, but your specialty area of training must be clinical, counseling, or school psychology. Additionally, you must earn your doctoral degree from a program that is accredited by either the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). If you earn your degree outside the US or Canada, the Board may accept your training if they determine it is equivalent to the APA and CPA standards for accreditation. Up to one year (1,500 hours) of the required supervised experience required for licensure may be obtained in practicum hours during the doctoral program; up to one year (1,500 hours) may be obtained in an American Psychological Association (APA)-approved doctoral internship, and up to one-half year (750 hours) may be obtained in a non-APA-approved doctoral internship.
Please see our Psychology Schools in New Mexico page for programs to consider for the educational requirements described above.
3. Submit your initial application to the Board.
New Mexico requires applicants to register and apply for a psychology license online. Your initial application will include a criminal background check, three letters of reference, official transcripts sent directly from your school, and an application fee of $125. You will need to fill out your parts of the a Program Practicum Verification form, the Supervisor’s Verification of Experience form, and the Practicum Supervisor Experience Documentation form and send them to the corresponding doctoral supervisors to complete their part and return to the Board.
4. Gain two years of supervised experience in your area of training (if you have not already met this requirement).
Before receiving a full license to practice psychology in New Mexico, you must complete two years (3,000 hours) of supervised experience. There are a number of training experiences that you can apply to this requirement. Up to 1,500 hours earned during a practicum experience from your graduate training can be counted, as long as the practicum meets the guidelines provided by the ASPPB. If you completed an APA- or CPA-accredited predoctoral internship, you can count 1,500 of those hours towards your supervised hours; if you attended an unaccredited predoctoral internship, you can count 750 of those hours. If you have not reached the required 3,000 hours by the time you earn your doctoral degree, you will need to earn the remainder of them through a supervised postdoctoral placement.
While you are earning your supervised experience hours, you must work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. To meet the Board’s requirements, you must receive at least one hour per week of individual, face-to-face supervision while you are completing your supervised experience; however, some of your placements may require more supervision to meet APA or other organizations’ standards. You will need to document all postdoctoral experience using the Supervisor’s Verification of Experience form.
5. Pass the New Mexico psychology licensing exams.
Before the Board will issue your full psychology license, you will need to pass two exams. The first exam you will need to take is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a national psychology licensure exam. There are 225 multiple-choice questions on the EPPP, covering a wide variety of topics in psychology. You must earn a scaled score of at least 500 to pass. You will also need to pass the jurisprudence exam, which will be sent to you after the Board receives your initial application. This exam covers ethical standards, rules, and Board regulations related to the practice of psychology in New Mexico and costs $75 to take.
6. Complete your application for full licensure.
After you have completed your supervised experience hours, you can submit an application for your full license to the Board. You must also have your predoctoral and postdoctoral supervisors complete the Supervisor’s Verification of Experience forms and mail them directly to the Board.
You will also need to submit any additional materials at this time, including your transcripts and three letters of reference, as well as return the completed jurisprudence exam which costs $75.
7. Receive your license from the Board.
After the Board has received all of your required application materials and determines you have met the requirements for licensure, they will issue your permanent psychology license. This will allow you to begin practicing without supervision, but you must wait until the Board has notified you that your license has been granted before starting to work independently.
Keep in mind that during your first year of licensure, you must also submit evidence to the Board that you are knowledgeable and aware of cultural issues specific to New Mexico. For further information on documentation that meets this cultural competence requirement, contact the Board.
New Mexico Licensure by Reciprocity
Psychologists who are licensed in other states may be able to apply for licensure in New Mexico by reciprocity. To be eligible, your current license must be in good standing and you will need to meet the education and training requirements for licensure in New Mexico. Additionally, you must have at least two years of experience and have passed the EPPP exam. Applicants who hold a Certificate of Professional Qualification(CPQ) from ASPPB, are registered with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (HSP), or are certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) are also eligible for licensure in New Mexico if they have been in good standing for at least two years in another jurisdiction. To apply using one of these credentials, you will need to submit a certified copy of your certificate along with your online application.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
After you have earned your psychology license in New Mexico, you will need to renew it by July 1 every other year (the Board will notify you whether your license expires in odd- or even-numbered years). Registration fees are $500 each time you renew and you can renew online.
To be eligible for license renewal, you must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) by the end of each two-year renewal period. Of these 40 hours, at least two must be on topics related to cultural diversity, four must be in equity and inclusion, and at least four hours must be from activities related to education in ethics. Of the 40 required total hours, at least 15 of these hours must come from the Board’s category I activities, which include formal seminars sponsored by recognized organizations and graduate-level coursework in psychology. Category II activities include teaching, authoring academic works, and presenting at conferences. For a full list of approved CE activities and rules, see the Board’s website.
Conditionally Licensed Prescribing Psychologist
Active psychologists in New Mexico who have completed psychopharmacological training that meets the Board’s standards may apply to become conditionally licensed prescribing psychologists, allowing them to prescribe medicine under certain circumstances. They will also need to pass the Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP) and other requirements outlined by the Board.
In New Mexico, psychologist associates are master’s-level clinicians who are able to practice psychology under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist (though any work related to psychological testing or assessment can only be supervised by a psychologist). To be eligible for this license, you must hold a master’s degree from a department of psychology, counseling psychology, or school psychology that meets the Board’s coursework requirements and involved at least two semesters of practicum experience in counseling, clinical, or school psychology.
To apply for a psychologist associate license, use the same online application, including the $125 application fee, official transcripts sent directly from the school, and three letters of reference. Note that you will need to identify the licensed psychologist or psychiatrist who will be supervising your work and submit the Psychologist Associate Supervisory Agreement. Before your license can be issued, you must also pass both of New Mexico’s licensure exams: the EPPP and the jurisprudence exam. During the first year that you hold your license, you will also need to submit documentation to the Board that shows you are familiar with New Mexico culture.
In New Mexico, the profession of school psychologist is regulated by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED). To apply for a school psychologist license for PreK-12, you need to have a regionally-accredited master’s, education specialist, or doctorate degree that meets Board critera or have a psychologist or psychologist associate license issued from the Board that includes 12 semester hours of child-focused coursework in development, assessment, and intervention along with 600 supervised hours of experience in a school setting. You also must pass the Praxis exam for school psychologists or possess a certificate from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The fee for an initial license is $150 and the application is completed on the Online Licensure Portal.
New Mexico Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
The average salary for a practicing psychologist in New Mexico (excluding postsecondary psychology teachers), as of May 2021, was $92,987, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average of $80,730 per year.1 The number of positions for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in New Mexico is expected to increase by 10.7% between 2020 and 2030, and the number of postsecondary psychology teachers is expected to increase by 14.3% during the same 10-year period.2 All other psychology positions, however, are not expected to see any growth through 2030, with only 10 average annual openings expected.2
|Average Annual Salary1
|Clinical and Counseling
|Psychologists, All Other
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
- New Mexico Psychological Association (NMPA): Promotes practice and research in psychology and lists CE opportunities.
- New Mexico Association of School Psychologists (NMASP): Supports school psychologists in the state by holding yearly conferences and providing other resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in New Mexico?
You must earn a doctoral degree–either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)–in counseling, clinical, or school psychology. This degree must be earned from a nationally-accredited program in the US or Canada or one that provides equivalent training.
Does New Mexico require supervised postdoctoral experience?
In New Mexico, you must complete a total of 3,000 hours of supervised experience before becoming licensed. It is possible to complete these hours during your doctoral training if you attend an APA-accredited internship. If you do not complete all 3,000 hours by the time you graduate, however, you will need to complete the rest of them through supervised postdoctoral experience.
How much do psychologists in New Mexico make?
The average salary for practicing psychologists in New Mexico as of May 2021 was $92,987, while the average salary for postsecondary psychology teachers in the state was $80,730.1
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Mexico: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nm.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm