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 the state, individuals are required to complete all licensing requirements which are dictated by the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). 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.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Endorsement
- Related Licenses
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Licenses
How to Become a Psychologist in Utah
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) 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. An acceptable bachelor’s degree program in psychology typically takes approximately four years of full-time study and about 120 semester credits to complete. Your bachelor’s degree may be in psychology or another field; if it is not in psychology, however, you may be required to take additional coursework before beginning your graduate program.
Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, some candidates will choose to enroll in a stand-alone master’s degree program in psychology or another closely-related discipline. Others will choose to go straight into a doctoral program, which sometimes includes a master’s degree in the curriculum. Full-time study within a master’s degree program in psychology typically takes around two years to complete.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
One of the most integral requirements for obtaining licensure as a psychologist in Utah (and all states) 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 and approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) or recognized by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)/National Register Joint Designation Committee. A doctoral program in psychology typically takes between four and seven years to complete, depending on the institution, whether a master’s education is included, as well as other factors. You can read about the differences between a PsyD and a PhD in Psychology on our home page. For more information on accredited doctoral programs in Utah, see our Psychology Schools in Utah page.
3. Gain 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience.
Before becoming licensed as a psychologist in Utah, candidates in Utah are required to complete 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience (SPE), 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, they must first become licensed as a 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. 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 degrees.
To apply for certification as a psychology resident, candidates must submit a completed application for licensure, 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, and the non-refundable application fee of $85. 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 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.
4. Submit a completed application to DOPL.
The first step to obtaining licensure as a psychologist in Utah is to submit a completed application, either online or on paper to 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. Fingerprint cards will also need to be submitted, and you will need to request for official transcripts to be sent directly from your school(s) to DOPL. Candidates must also include the Verification of Supervised Experience form, which is included in the application, to be completed separately by each employer.
5. Pass the Utah psychology licensing exams.
If 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 on the exams within one year of submitting their application for licensure. In order to receive a passing mark on the EPPP, a candidate must obtain an ASPPB-recommended passing score of at least 500 for independent practice. They also must pass the Psychology Law and Ethics Examinations in Utah, administered by the Division’s exam vendor, Prov. It costs $72, candidates must score at least 75%.
6. Receive your license from the Board.
Once DOPL has determined that you meet the qualifications for licensure, they will notify you that you are licensed to practice in Utah as a psychologist.
Behavior Analyst/Assistant Behavior Analyst
DOPL also offers two licenses for those interested in behavior analysis: licensed behavior analyst (LBA) and licensed assistant behavior analyst (LaBA). Behavior analysts must hold an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis or a related field, while assistant behavior analysts must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree with required coursework in the field. LBAs need to complete 1,500 hours of supervised experience, while LaBAs need to complete 1,000 hours, over a five-year period. Both need to pass an examination from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Candidates will need to apply online.
School psychology licenses are granted through the Utah State Board of Education. For candidates interested in pursuing licensure as school psychologists, a master’s degree is the minimum degree needed. In addition to a degree, prospective school psychologists in Utah need to accumulate an internship of one school year (1,200 clock hours) in school psychology. At least half of these hours should be in a school setting. They must also be recommended by a Board-approved institution that offers school psychologist preparation.
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 application for licensure and non-refundable processing fee of $200, candidates must provide official documentation of their out-of-state license that is in good standing; documentation that they have had at least 2,000 hours, or one year, whichever is greater; and additional documentation proving that the requirements for licensure in their previous state are substantially equivalent to those in Utah (or proof of status from various psychology boards).
Once the DOPL approves the submitted application and relevant supporting documentation, the candidate will be approved to be fingerprinted and 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.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Licenses 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. DOPL will mail a renewal notice to licensees at least 60 days before the license expires. The fee to apply for renewal of psychologist licensure is $128 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 participation in APA-recognized internet or distance-learning courses. Certified psychology residents are only required to complete at least 24 hours of continuing education every two years, which must be directly related to their professional practice.
Utah Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that all psychologists, excluding educators, earned an average annual wage of $81,267 as of May 2021.1 For postsecondary psychology teachers in Utah, the average annual salary was $96,460.1 According to Projections Central, clinical, counseling, and school psychologist professions are poised to grow by an average of 24.3% between 2020 and 2030 in the state of Utah, over double the 10.4% growth they are expected to see in the US as a whole.2 Postsecondary psychology teachers are expected to grow by a whopping 40.7% change in the state, compared to only 10.2% in the US during that same time period.2
|Occupation||Number Employed1||Average Annual Salary1|
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists||910||$87,030|
|Psychologists, All Other||130||$92,580|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||290||$96,460|
- Utah Association of School Psychologists (UASP): Seeks to advance effective practices, research, and policy development in order to empower Utah’s school psychologists.
- Utah Psychological Association (UPA): Advocates for the needs and interests of psychologists in Utah by engaging in political outreach that significantly impacts licensed psychologists and the others they serve.
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?
According to the BLS, as of May 2021, the average annual salary of Utah psychologists, excluding educators, was $81,267.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers were reported to earn an average annual salary of $96,460.1
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021 Employment and Wage Estimates, Utah: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ut.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://www.projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm