Wisconsin Psychology Licensure Requirements
If you are interested in becoming a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin, you are required to complete a doctoral degree in psychology, obtain supervised work experience, and pass state and national exams, according to the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board (the Board). Because it can be a complex process, we’ve created this guide to help you navigate it. Below we detail all of the steps required to become a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin.
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 Wisconsin
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
The first step to becoming a psychologist in Wisconsin is to complete a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years (120 credit hours) if you are attending school full-time. You may choose to study psychology or another subject. Keep in mind that if your undergraduate degree is in a subject other than psychology, you will likely have to take some prerequisite coursework before entering your graduate program.
After completion of the bachelor’s degree, some people choose to enroll in a stand-alone master’s degree program in psychology. This can be helpful if you are interested in gaining more experience before applying to doctoral programs. Master’s degree programs in psychology usually take about two to three years (30-40 credit hours), and can involve studies in general psychology or a specialty area. However, many students in doctoral programs earn master’s degrees as part of their doctoral studies, so getting a master’s degree is optional and might be influenced by the parameters of the doctoral program you choose.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
After you have completed your bachelor’s degree (and, optionally, a master’s degree), the next step towards becoming a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin is to complete a doctoral degree in psychology. Doctoral programs in psychology typically take four to seven years to complete, and award either Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees. Since there are some differences between these degrees, you can read more about the differences between them on our home page.
To be eligible for licensure in Wisconsin, you must graduate from a program that is regionally-accredited and approved by the board of education in the state in which it is located. The doctoral degree must also include a supervised practicum, internship, field, or laboratory training.
For information on doctoral programs to consider in Wisconsin, visit our Psychology Schools in Wisconsin page.
3. Submit your application to the Board.
After completing your doctoral program, you must apply for a license using the LicensE application platform. You will need to include your official transcripts, authorization for the release of FBI information, as well as $165 for various application and exam fees. For more information, see the Board’s credentialing information document.
4. Pass the Wisconsin psychology licensing exams.
After the Board approves your application, they will notify you when you are approved to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The EPPP is a national exam consisting of 225 multiple-choice items assessing broad knowledge of psychology. It costs $687.50 to register for the exam, and you must receive a scaled score of 500 or higher to pass.
The Board will also send you instructions for the State Psychology Examination, an online test assessing knowledge of Wisconsin state laws relevant to the practice of psychology. This exam is untimed, but must be completed within three months of beginning it. To pass it, you need to score 80% or higher. For more information about the specific content of the State Psychology Examination, see the Board’s page on examinations for psychologists.
5. Gain one year of postdoctoral supervised experience in your area of training.
Before your psychology license can be issued, you also need to complete 2,000 hours of supervised work in psychology, over at least one year and no more than two years. Only hours that you have earned after your doctoral degree is completed are eligible to be counted. During the time that you are earning these hours, you must be supervised by a licensed psychologist. At least 25% of these hours must be spent working directly with patients and a total of 65% of the experiences must be spent in activities related to providing services to patients (the 25% required face-to-face client contact hours count towards this total).
You can begin these hours at any time after you have completed your doctoral degree, and may actually choose to do them before you submit your licensure application or take the licensing exams. Whenever you choose to complete them, you need to notify the Board when you have finished these hours by having your supervisor(s) complete the Verification of the Supervised Practice of Psychology form and submit it to the Board.
6. Wait for notification that your license has been issued.
After you have completed your application, the licensing exams, and your supervised hours, congratulations! You have met the requirements for licensure in Wisconsin. All you have to do at this point is wait for the Board to notify you that your license has been issued. Be aware that you cannot begin practicing independently until the Board informs you of this.
Wisconsin Licensure by Reciprocity
If you are already licensed as a psychologist in another state, you may want to transfer your license to Wisconsin. To apply for licensure through reciprocity, you will need to apply using the LicensE application platform and pay the associated fees. You will also need to complete the State Psychology Examination. If you meet the requirements, you may wish to apply for an interim psychologist license while you wait for your permanent license. If the Board reviews your application and determines your credentials to meet those required by Wisconsin, they will issue you a license. Otherwise, they may contact you with information about other qualifications you need to meet before you are able to obtain a Wisconsin license.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Once you have obtained a license to practice psychology in Wisconsin, you will need to ensure that it stays valid for as long as you are practicing. Your license will need to be renewed by September 30 of all odd-numbered years. You can complete the forms online via the Health and Business Renewal Application and will need to pay $60 each time you renew your license.
To be eligible to renew your license, you also need to complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) during every two-year renewal period. Six of your CE hours need to be earned from educational experiences related to jurisprudence, ethics, or risk management. CE hours earned from education in supervision or suicide are multiplied by 1.5 (i.e., if you attend a four-hour CE opportunity in this category, it counts as six hours). Note that if you earn more CE hours than you need during a renewal period, you cannot carry any of them over to the next one.
CE activities approved by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Wisconsin Psychological Association (WPA), and some other organizations are approved by the Board for CE hours. Other activities, such as graduate-level courses in psychology, teaching, or publishing books and articles, can also count. For a full list of qualifying organizations and activities, visit the Board’s page on continuing education.
School Psychologist License
Although the process described above is appropriate for most psychologists seeking licensure in Wisconsin, if you are considering working as a school psychologist, there are different steps to follow. In Wisconsin, school psychologist licenses are issued by the Department of Public Instruction. To be eligible for this license, you must complete a school psychology program that awards a PhD, a PsyD, a Doctor of Education (EdD), an Education Specialist (EdS) degree, or the equivalent of one of these. Additionally, your training must have included two semesters of a supervised internship working as a school psychologist. Visit the Department of Public Instruction’s page on pursuing licensure for more information.
After you receive your school psychologist license, you can also apply for licensure as a private practice school psychologist to practice outside of schools. This license is issued by the Psychology Examining Board. To qualify, you need to hold a regular school psychologist license in Wisconsin, submit an Application for Private Practice of School Psychology along with a $150 fee, and complete the State Psychology Examination.
Wisconsin Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a psychologist in Wisconsin, excluding teachers, was $82,090 as of May 2021.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average salary of $81,270.1 The long-term outlook is positive for anyone seeking a job as a psychologist in Wisconsin. The total number of psychologist jobs (excluding educators) in Wisconsin is expected to increase by 4.3% between 2020 and 2030.2. Specifically, jobs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology are expected to increase by 5.1% during this time period, while psychology jobs in the “all other” category are expected to increase by 3.5%.2 Postsecondary psychology teachers jobs are projected to increase by 5.6%.2
|Average Annual Salary1
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
|Psychologists, All Other
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
- Wisconsin Psychological Association (WPA): State affiliate of the APA, hosting events, resources, and other resources for Wisconsin psychologists.
- Wisconsin School Psychologists Association (WSPA): Supports school psychologists in the state with professional development and networking opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Wisconsin?
To become a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree, a doctoral degree, and at least one year of work experience. The amount of time this process can take varies, but generally takes around 10 years to complete.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin?
How much do psychologists in Wisconsin make?
The average psychologist in Wisconsin (excluding educators) earned$82,090 in May 2021.1 Factors that may impact psychologists’ salary include the type of psychology practiced, years of experience, proximity to a metropolitan area, and the demand for psychologists in your particular area.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Wisconsin: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wi.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm