Wisconsin Psychology Licensure Requirements
In Wisconsin, the Psychology Examining Board issues psychology licenses. If you are interested in becoming a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin, there are several steps you will need to take. You will be required to complete a bachelor’s degree, an optional master’s degree, and a doctoral degree in psychology, obtain supervised work experience, submit an application to the Board, and pass state and national exams. Because this can be a complex process, we’ve created a guide to help you navigate it. Below are instructions on all of the steps required to become a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin. We’ve also included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, such as:
» How do I become a psychologist in Wisconsin?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a psychologist license in Wisconsin.
» What are Wisconsin’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in Wisconsin?
» What other options are there for psychology licensure in Wisconsin?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in Wisconsin by endorsement?
» How do I renew my psychology license in Wisconsin?
» How much do psychologists in Wisconsin make?
Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Wisconsin
There are three main steps to obtaining a license to practice psychology in Wisconsin. You will need to meet certain educational requirements, including earning a doctoral degree in psychology. There are numerous psychology schools in Wisconsin that offer programs designed to help you meet state licensure requirements. You will also need to complete a certain number of supervised work hours. After this, you will be ready to begin the process of becoming licensed in Wisconsin.
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and an optional 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 while you are completing this degree, but it is not necessary—many psychologists majored in other subjects during their undergraduate training. When you graduate, you may be awarded either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, depending on the school you attend and the subject you study. Both types are accepted by graduate programs in psychology.
Some people choose to enroll in a stand-alone master’s degree program in psychology after they finish their bachelor’s degree. This can be helpful if you are interested in gaining more experience before applying to doctoral programs. However, most students in doctoral programs earn master’s degrees during their studies, so getting a master’s degree is optional and might be influenced by the parameters of the doctoral program you choose. If you decide that you are interested in a stand-alone master’s degree, you will likely need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Master’s degree programs in psychology usually take about two years (35-45 credit hours), and can involve studies in general psychology or a specialty area.
2. Earn a PsyD or PhD 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 six years to complete, and award either Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees. Because there are some differences between these degrees, see the American Psychological Association’s page describing these degrees if you are not sure which type of program to pursue.
To be eligible for licensure in Wisconsin, you must graduate from a program that is accredited by the Board of Education in the state where it is located or by another organization that is approved by the Psychology Examining Board in Wisconsin. For information on doctoral programs to consider in Wisconsin, visit our Psychology Schools in Wisconsin page.
3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Wisconsin.
After you have completed the educational requirements described above, you will be ready to start the process of becoming licensed as a psychologist in Wisconsin. For this, you will need to complete a year of supervised postdoctoral work, submit an application to the Board, and pass national and state exams. More information on each of these steps is below.
Wisconsin Psychologist Licensing Process
1. Submit your application to the Board.
The first step in the licensure process is to submit a completed Application for Licensure to Practice Psychology. The checklist on the first page of this document provides information about supplementary materials you will also need to submit, such as transcripts from your graduate school(s).
When you submit your application, you will need to include a total of $165 for various application and exam fees. However, if your yearly income is at or below 180% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), you may be eligible for a fee reduction. If you meet this requirement and would like to request a fee reduction, submit the Application for Initial Credential Fee Reduction along with your licensure application. If you include this form, you only need to pay $97.50 in fees, but know that if your request for a fee reduction is declined, you will be asked to pay an additional $67.50 to meet the full credentialing fee before your application is approved.
One of the items required for a complete application is the Affadavit of Applicant’s Post-Doctoral Supervised Experience form, which is completed by your postdoctoral supervisors to document your supervised experience (see Step 3 below). However, you can submit the application without these forms if you have completed your doctoral degree but have not yet earned all of your supervised hours. This will allow you to take the licensing exams (see Step 2) while you are working on these hours, and you can submit the Affadavit of Applicant’s Post-Doctoral Supervised Experience form when you have finished your supervised experience requirements.
2. 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.
3. Gain one year of postdoctoral supervised experience in your area of training.
Before your psychology license can be issued, you also need to complete one year (2,000 hours) of supervised work in psychology. 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. Additionally, at least 500 of these hours must be spent working directly with patients and 1,300 hours must be spent in activities related to providing services to patients (the 500 required face-to-face hours also 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 Affadavit of Applicant’s Post-Doctoral Supervised Experience form.
4. 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.
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 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 submit a completed Application for Licensure to Practice Psychology (note the instructions on the first page for reciprocal applicants) and a $245 fee. You will also need to complete the State Psychology Examination. 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.
Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information
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 $170 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 legal topics, 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 for psychologists.
Wisconsin Psychology Jobs and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a psychologist in Wisconsin, excluding teachers, is $80,180.1 Counseling, clinical, and school psychologists have an average salary of $79,580, while psychologists in the “all other” category earn an average yearly salary of $80,780.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average salary of $77,810.1
The long-term outlook is good for anyone seeking a job as a psychologist in Wisconsin. The total number of psychologist jobs in Wisconsin is expected to increase by 8.3% between 2016 and 2026.2. Specifically, jobs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology are expected to increase by 9.2% during this time period, while psychology jobs in the “all other” category are expected to increase by 7.4%.2
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||2,620||$79,580|
|Psychologists, All Other||190||$80,780|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||480||$77,810|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.1 Statistics for your locale may vary within this state.
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 about 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) makes $80,180.1 Factors that may impact psychologist salary include type of psychology practiced, years of experience, proximity to a metropolitan area, and the demand for psychologists in your particular area.
- WI Department of Safety and Professional Services – Psychologist – State government page on psychology licensure and related topics.
- Wisconsin Psychological Association (WPA) – Organization for all types of psychologists in the state of Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin School Psychologists Association (WSPA) – Organization for school psychologists in Wisconsin.
- American Psychological Association (APA) – National association dedicated to advocating for and promoting the field of psychology.
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://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm