New Mexico Psychology Licensure Requirements
In New Mexico, psychology licensure is regulated by the Board of Psychologist Examiners. 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 a guide with information about everything you need to do to earn your psychology license in New Mexico. On this page are instructions for every step of the licensure process as well as answers to questions you may have about being a licensed psychologist in New Mexico, such as:
» How do I become a psychologist in New Mexico?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a psychologist license in New Mexico.
» What are New Mexico’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in New Mexico?
» Can I become licensed with only a master’s degree in New Mexico?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in New Mexico by reciprocity?
» How do I renew my psychology license in New Mexico?
» How much do psychologists in New Mexico make?
Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in New Mexico
There are many components to becoming a practicing psychologist, and the requirements in New Mexico are no exception. However, it can be helpful to think of the process in terms of three major steps. First, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree and may choose to earn a master’s degree after that. Second, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. Finally, the third step is to complete the Board’s licensure process, which will allow you to receive your license.
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) and you will earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) when you graduate. You do not have to study psychology for your bachelor’s degree, but doing so can help you meet prerequisites that you might 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 a combined degree. 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 usually take two to three years to complete; you may also need to meet prerequisites for psychology coursework and take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Depending on the focus of the program, some award Master of Science (MS) degrees and others award Master of Arts (MA) degrees.
2. Earn a PsyD or PhD 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.
Please see our Psychology Schools in New Mexico page for programs to consider for the educational requirements described above.
3. Get licensed to practice psychology in New Mexico.
After you have completed the educational requirements for becoming a practicing psychologist in New Mexico, you will be ready to take the steps to become licensed through the Board. There are many details to this part of the process, but below are instructions for everything you need to know to submit a successful application to the Board.
New Mexico Psychologist Licensing Process
1. Submit your application to the Board for a provisional license (optional).
If you will be completing postdoctoral supervised professional experience hours in New Mexico, ask your supervisor or training director if they require you to hold a provisional license. This license allows you to practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist for up to 18 months while you are completing your supervised professional experience (SPE), and some training sites will likely require it for billing purposes. If you are instructed to obtain a provisional license, apply by completing the Board’s Psychology Application form, having it notarized, and mailing it to the Board with the $125 application fee.
There are some supplemental components to this application you will need to complete. You must have your undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent to the Board, submit three letters of reference, and complete a background check (which costs $44). You must also complete the Board’s jurisprudence exam and mail it to the Board with a $75 exam fee.
Note that New Mexico is one of the states that participate in the Psychology Licensure Universal System (PLUS) through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). If you are interested in applying through PLUS, you can submit an application to the Board through the PLUS website instead of mailing in the application form linked above. For more information about applying through PLUS, see the Board’s instructions for submitting an application using this method. The fee for applying through PLUS is $300.
If you are not completing postdoctoral supervised professional experience in New Mexico or your SPE site does not require you to hold a provisional license, you can skip this step.
2. Gain two years (3,000 hours) of supervised professional experience (SPE) 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 professional experience (SPE). 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 SPE; 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 SPE 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 SPE; however, some of your placements may require more supervision to meet APA or other organizations’ standards.
3. 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 of these is the jurisprudence exam that you must complete to earn a provisional license. This exam covers ethics, rules, and regulations related to the practice of psychology in New Mexico and costs $75 to take.
The second 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. Fees for the EPPP are $687.50 and you must earn a scaled score of at least 500 to pass. The Board will give you permission to sign up for the EPPP when you earn a provisional license.
If you did not need a provisional license, you must complete the jurisprudence exam when you submit your application for full licensure and will be granted eligibility for the EPPP after the Board has reviewed your application.
4. Apply to the Board for full licensure.
After you have completed your SPE hours, you can submit an application for your full license to the Board. For this, complete the Board’s Psychology Application form, have it notarized, and mail it to the Board with $125 for application fees. Note that if you choose to apply through the PLUS program, described in Step 1 above, the application fee is $300. You must also have your predoctoral and postdoctoral supervisors complete the Supervisor’s Verification of Experience form and mail it to the Board.
If you did not hold a provisional license, you will also need to submit additional materials, including your transcripts, three letters of reference, a background check (which costs $44), and a completed jurisprudence exam, which costs $75. If you have not taken the EPPP, you can sign up after the Board reviews your application and sends you instructions for registering.
5. Receive your license from the Board.
After the Board has received all of your required application materials and determines you have met 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.
Know 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 five years of experience and hold a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) from ASPPB or be registered with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, or you must have been licensed for at least 10 years in your current state.
To apply for licensure by reciprocity, complete the Psychology Application and return it to the Board with a $125 fee. Before being granted a license, you will also need to take the jurisprudence exam.
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 in psychology from a program that meets the Board’s coursework requirements (which can be seen in the application linked below) and involved at least two semesters of practicum experience in counseling, clinical, or school psychology.
To apply for a psychologist associate license, complete the Psychologist Associate Application for Licensure and return it to the Board with the required $300 in application fees. Note that on this application you will need to identify a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist who will be supervising your work. Before your license can be issued, you must also pass both of New Mexico’s licensure exams: the EPPP (which costs $687.50) and the jurisprudence exam (which costs $75). 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.
Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information
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 through MyLicense.
To be eligible for license renewal, you must complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) by the end of each two-year renewal period. Of these 40 hours, at least four must be in topics related to cultural diversity (and two of these hours must be specifically in ethnic diversity) and at least five 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.
New Mexico Psychology Jobs and Salary Information
The average salary for a practicing psychologist in New Mexico (excluding postsecondary psychology teachers) is $75,690, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $90,750 per year.1
The number of positions for psychologists in New Mexico is expected to increase by 6.35% between 2016 and 2026, which suggests that there will be good prospects for anyone looking to work as a psychologist in the state during those years.2 Clinical, counseling, and school psychology positions are expected to increase the most during that 10-year period, with projected growth of 8.4%.2
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||1,150||$70,990|
|Psychologists, All Other||100||$80,390|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||N/A||$90,750|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.1
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 a practicing psychologist in New Mexico is $75,690.1 The average salary for postsecondary psychology teachers in the state is $90,750.1
- New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners – State government department that regulates licensure for psychologists and psychologist associates.
- New Mexico Psychological Association (NMPA) – State organization promoting practice and research in psychology; lists CE opportunities.
- New Mexico Association of School Psychologists (NMASP) – Organization for school psychologists in New Mexico; holds yearly conference and provides other resources.
- American Psychological Association (APA) – National psychology organization that supports students, practitioners, and researchers across all fields of psychology.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Mexico: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nm.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm