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Utah Psychology Licensure Requirements

Obtaining your education in the field of psychology is only one part of becoming a psychologist in the state of Utah. In order to practice as a psychologist in Utah, individuals are required to complete all licensing requirements which are dictated by the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). The DOPL is tasked with the regulation and enforcement of multiple occupations and professions, including psychology. To complete the licensure process, candidates must ensure that they have completed the necessary education requirements, gained valuable supervised experience in the field, and passed the requisite exam and completed the application. To avoid any missteps, we have outlined below a few of the most important questions to keep in mind during the licensure process:

» How do I become a psychologist in Utah?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD. How do I begin the process of getting a psychologist license in Utah?
» What are Utah’s rules and regulations regarding supervised professional experience?
» What psychology exams am I required to take in Utah?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in Utah by endorsement?
» What other licenses are available for psychologists in Utah?
» How do I renew my psychology license in Utah?
» How much do psychologists in Utah typically earn?

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Utah

While pursuing licensure as a psychologist in Utah may seem daunting, the process does not have to be complicated. To become a licensed psychologist in the state, you are required to get an education preparing you for the field before you start the application process. Outlined below are the three high-level steps to becoming a licensed psychologist in Utah:

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in psychology.

While a doctoral-level degree is ultimately required to be eligible to pursue the licensure process in Utah, a bachelor’s degree is typically required to be admitted to such a program. The bachelor’s degree requirement may be fulfilled by either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program, dependent on the school. An acceptable bachelor’s degree program in psychology typically takes approximately four years of full-time study and about 120 semester credits to complete.

Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, some candidates will choose to enroll in a master’s degree program in psychology or another closely-related discipline. Others will choose to go straight into a doctoral program (see the following step). It should be noted that if a bachelor’s program was completed in a discipline outside of psychology or another closely-related field, candidates will likely have to complete additional prerequisites before enrolling in a master’s program. The master’s degree program in psychology chosen can either be a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA), depending on the school enrolled. Full-time study within a master’s degree program in psychology typically takes around two years and approximately 40 semester credits to complete. Some master’s programs in psychology are stand-alone degree programs, and others are combined programs in the form of doctoral degrees (review Step 2 below).

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

One of the most integral requirements for obtaining licensure as a psychologist in Utah is to complete a doctoral degree program in psychology. An acceptable doctoral degree in psychology may be either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology that is regionally accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). If the candidate’s doctoral program is not approved by the APA, it must be recognized by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)/National Register Joint Designation Committee. It should be noted that the doctoral requirements do not apply to candidates pursuing licensure as school psychologists. For this, a masters-level program, in addition to other specific requirements, are needed. School psychology licenses are granted through the Utah State Office of Education. A doctoral program in psychology typically takes between four and seven years to complete, dependent on the institution, whether a master’s education is included, as well as other potential factors. For more information on accredited doctoral programs in Utah, see our Psychology Schools in Utah page.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Utah.

While completing the educational and other training requirements to become eligible for licensure as a psychologist in Utah may take up to a decade for some, there is more to the process that candidates need to keep in mind. The following section outlines the complete list of steps necessary to obtain licensure as a psychologist from the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

Utah Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Gain 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience (SPE).

Before becoming licensed as a psychologist in Utah, candidates in Utah are required to complete 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience, whether during or after receiving their doctoral degree. This supervised training, overseen by a licensed psychologist, must take no less than two years, and no more than four years post-doc, to complete. If the candidate chooses to complete this requirement after receiving their doctoral degree, he or she must first become licensed as a certified psychology resident (see the Certified Psychology Resident section below). For every 20 hours of pre-doctoral training, and for every 40 hours of post-doctoral training, each candidate must receive at least one hour of supervision, respectively. In order to be approved to practice mental health therapy, candidates must also receive at least 1,000 hours of supervised training in mental health therapy training, with one hour of supervision for every 40 hours of training. All SPE requirements must be documented by the Verification of Supervised Experience form which is included in the application for licensure.

2. Submit a completed application to the DOPL.

The first step to obtaining licensure as a psychologist in Utah is to submit a completed application form to the DOPL. A non-refundable fee of $200 made payable to DOPL must be included with your application, as well as any relevant supporting documents if you provided affirmative answers to the Qualifying Questionnaire and/or Medical Qualifying Questionnaire. You will also need to request for official transcripts to be sent directly from the school to the DOPL. Candidates must also include the Verification of Supervised Experience form included in the application, to be completed separately by each employer.

3. Pass the Utah psychology licensing exams.

If the DOPL determines that you satisfactorily meet the eligibility requirements, you will be approved to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Psychology Law and Ethics Examinations in Utah. Once your application is approved, you will receive further instructions on registering for and taking the exams. Candidates must receive passing marks for the exams within one year of submitting their application for licensure. If this is not achieved within the time frame, the candidate’s application will be denied. In order to receive a passing mark on the EPPP, which costs a total of $687.50, a candidate must obtain an ASPPB-recommended passing score of at least 500 for independent practice. To pass the Psychology Law and Ethics Examinations in Utah, which costs $72, candidates must score at least 75%.

Certified Psychology Resident

As a certified psychology resident, an individual may perform all acts and practices as a licensed psychologist, but only under the supervision of an approved licensed psychologist and with conditions attached to their role as a psychology resident. A certified psychology resident is prohibited from the independent practice of psychology. Certified psychology resident applicants are not required to sit for an exam in order to be approved. This exemption allows for prospective licensed psychologists to fulfill their SPE requirements after being awarded their doctoral degree.

To apply for certification as a psychology resident, candidates must submit a completed application for licensure (using the same form as above), request for official transcripts from their doctoral program to be sent directly to DOPL, submit a completed “Educational Course Listing” form included within the application accompanied by detailed course information, as well as the non-refundable application fee of $85.

Utah Licensure by Endorsement

Some psychologists who have attained licensure in other states find themselves relocating to the state of Utah. In addition to the their application for licensure and non-refundable processing fee of $200, a candidate must submit the Request for Verification of License form, as well as the Verification of Active Practice As a Licensed Psychologist form (both are included in the application document). Candidates must prove that they have had at least 2,000 hours, or one year, whichever is greater, of active practice as a licensed psychologist in the previous jurisdiction. Supporting documentation may also be required to prove that the candidate holds the Diplomate status in good standing from the APA, holds current credentials as a Health Service Provider from the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, or holds a current Certificate of Professional Qualification from the ASPPB.

Once the DOPL approves the submitted application and relevant supporting documentation, the candidate will be approved to sit for the Utah Psychology Law and Ethics examination, of which a passing score must be achieved within six months of submitting the licensure application. To officially complete the licensure process, candidates must submit the original documentation from the testing agency verifying a passing score.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

Licensing for psychologists in Utah expire on September 30 every two years (on the even-numbered year). Renewal of licensure must be obtained by the licensee prior to the slated expiration date. The DOPL will mail a renewal notice to licensees at least 60 days before the license expires. The fee to apply for renewal of licensure is $128 for psychologists in Utah. To maintain their legitimacy, psychologists in Utah must complete at least 48 hours of continuing education (CE) for each two-year period beginning October 1 of each even-numbered year. New licensees receive a prorated requirement for their first renewal period. Licensees must ensure that all continuing education obtained is directly relevant to their professional practice. For teaching in a college, university, or continuing education course in psychology, as well as for performing as a supervisor for a prospective candidate for licensure, a maximum of 10 hours of CE may be recognized. A minimum of six hours may be recognized for completing CE in law and ethics and a maximum of 18 hours per two-year period may be recognized for the participation in APA-recognized internet or distance-learning courses. Certified psychology residents are only required to complete at least 24 hours of continuing education that is directly related to their professional practice.

Utah Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

While wage information for some psychologists in Utah is not available, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn an average annual wage of $78,970.1 For postsecondary psychology teachers in Utah, the average annual salary is $81,120.1 According to Projections Central, clinical, counseling, and school psychologist professions are poised to grow by an average of 30.5% between 2016 and 2026 in the state of Utah, over double the 14.2% growth they are expected to see in the US as a whole.2 Postsecondary psychology teachers are expected to grow by a whopping 46.7% change in the state, compared to only 15.1 in the US during that same time period.2

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists1,450$78,970
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other70N/A
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary390$81,120

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 Utah?

The time it takes to become a licensed psychologist in Utah is largely dependent on a number of factors, such as how quickly you complete your educational requirements, supervised training requirements, and the licensure application process. Typically, it may take up to 10 years to reach the status of licensed psychologist. Earning a bachelor’s degree as a full-time student generally takes four years, while pursuing a master’s degree with full-time study takes approximately two years. The most integral aspect of the journey to licensure is obtaining a doctoral degree, which may take anywhere from four to seven years, depending on the pace of study and supervised training.

What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Utah?

According to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL), in order to be found eligible to apply for licensure as a psychologist in the state of Utah, candidates must have attained either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) from a regionally-accredited APA-recognized program.

How much do psychologists in Utah make?

The average annual salary of licensed clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Utah, according to the BLS, is $78,970.1 At this time, BLS has not published salary data for other kinds of psychologists in Utah; however, postsecondary psychology teachers are reported to earn an average annual salary of $81,120.1

Additional Resources

  • Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) – The DOPL is the agency responsible for overseeing the professional practice of psychology in the state of Utah. It administers and enforces specific laws related to the regulation and licensing of psychologists in Utah. It is also the official platform for the general public to investigate the licenses and qualifications of psychologists in their area.
  • Utah Psychological Association (UPA) – The UPA works diligently to advocate for the needs and interests of psychologists in Utah. They engage in political outreach that significantly impacts licensed psychologists as well as the others they serve.
  • The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) – The ASPPB works to regulate industry standards of psychology practice by ensuring that consistent standards are maintained, with a particular focus on protecting the general public.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) – The APA is the leading organization that oversees scientific and professional standards in psychology in the United States.

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 Employment and Wage Estimates, Utah: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ut.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm