As one of the most densely populated states, the Sunshine State attracts a wide variety of professionals. The areas of psychology, therapy, counseling, and social work specifically are expanding so you can bet many find employment in these growing fields. Home to many well-known colleges and universities such as Florida National University, students can gain quality higher education in these areas.
In order to work as a licensed psychologist in Florida, it is of the utmost importance that the right educational path is planned out. The state of Florida requires all licensed psychologists to have a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited or approved school. Start a plan in order to obtain what is necessary for getting the proper licensing that the state of Florida requires from Florida National University.
Look at the bigger picture when pursuing a profession. You’ll need to understand what kind of education is required, exactly how much of an education you’ll need, and aside from achieving a college degree, what other certifications are necessary. In the case of pursuing the career of a psychologist, some students prefer to get their undergraduate from a different university that’s different from where they’d get their doctorates.
In order to work as a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida, all candidates are required to have a doctoral degree, either a Ph.D. or a PsyD in psychology or a closely related field from an approved institution. Transcripts of your doctorate are required when applying for licensure.
What are the Duties of a Psychologist?
There are at least 3 types of psychologist professions: clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. Watch this video that further explains the specific duties of these three branches produced by Career One Stop as shown on the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) website:
Looking at the Bigger Picture
First, let’s get into the details of what exactly you’ll need to practice psychology in Florida.
Bachelor’s Degree in Phycology
There are a couple of ways you can go about getting your undergrad in Psychology. When pursuing the career of a Psychologist, the natural line of academic work is too major in Psychology. However, the academic path isn’t always so clear for every student. Oftentimes, students may not decide until later on in their academic career that they want to become a Psychologist. In this case, academic advising weighs in heavily to determine which of the acquired credits can be applied toward the career path of a psychologist.
For students who may have been studying Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, or any other degree program that’s loosely related to the field of psychology early on in their college career—whether they’re studying here at Florida National University (FNU) or at another college, students still have the choice to switch their major to Psychology.
The bachelor’s degree takes at least four years to complete on a full-time basis. At FNU, this degree can also be obtained online. If you’re thinking about pursuing a degree in psychology, you typically have at least two years into your academic to make the change before it starts affecting your time and money.
Master’s Degree in Phycology
FNU does not offer a master’s degree program in Psychology. However, graduates who have completed their bachelor’s degree in Psychology at FNU will be able to transfer their credits to almost any master’s degree program in the nation because we’re regionally accredited. Depending on which university you attend and the type of master’s program, it can take from 1 to 2 years to complete.
Regionally accredited universities are considered most prestigious because the academic standards are stricter than a nationally accredited college. While both regional and national accreditations are acceptable, nationally accredited universities will have its limitations in regards to which master’s program will accept your undergrad credits. This is why choosing the right bachelor’s degree in Psychology is extremely important.
Doctorates (Ph.D.) in Phycology
FNU does not presently offer a doctorates program in Psychology. In most if not all universities, the masters and doctoral programs blend together as a dual enrollment degree program. Here again, this will depend on the college you choose to enroll in.
To sum this all up, becoming a Psychologist in the state of Florida requires extensive education. You don’t necessarily have to start with an associate’s degree. Students who have decided early on to pursue a career as a Psychologist may aim for a bachelor’s degree. However, it’s not uncommon to earn an associate’s degree first. Associate credits earned from a regionally accredited college can be transferred to FNU’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology program.
This all depends on the academic career path of each individual. Everyone’s situation is different. With the guidance and support of FNU’s academic counselors, we can set you on the right collegiate path with our regionally accredited undergraduate program.
Much like a clinical doctor or almost any healthcare professional working with patients, aspiring healthcare professionals will need to commit a certain amount of clinical hours; so it is with the profession of a Psychologist.
After acquiring the education needed, the next step is gaining 4,000 hours of supervised experience in order to qualify for licensure. According to the Florida Board of Psychology, after passing the exam and getting licensed, Psychologists must complete 40 hours of continuing education and will need to renew their license every two years. For more information about licensing and registration, visit the Florida Board of Psychology’s website.
Supervised Practice Hours
Since you are guiding the lives of others, practice is certainly needed while being supervised by a licensed professional. You must complete 4,000 hours of supervised experience to gain your own licensure. Intimidating as that sounds, 2,000 of those hours will be completed during a doctoral internship, leaving the remaining 2,000 to be completed postdoc. While it won’t count towards your 4,000, you can also volunteer to be a mental health counselor to gain even more practice while helping others. Or if want to begin working before you earn your official license, consider applying for a provincial license. Then if you hold one of the previously mentioned doctoral degrees, you’re allowed to practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.
Your psychology license in Florida requires you to take 2 exams. First, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) offered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). This exam is required by most state boards for licensure, not just Florida, and covers general psychological theories and practices. You must score 500 out of 800 to pass.
However, Florida’s Health Psychology Laws and Rules Exam is state-specific and is administered by Pearson VUE. The exam is designed to ensure that you’re able to practice ethically and legally within the state if you score 80% or higher.
Renewal And Continuing Education Credits
You must renew your license every 2 years. To renew your license, you’ll need to submit a request, along with a $300 fee. Additionally, documentation of the proper continuing education credits of 40 hours is required. You’ll keep up to date with topics such as professional ethics, domestic violence, patient safety, and Florida rules and statutes.
The State of Florida offers an Endorsement of Other State License instead of reciprocity. Unfortunately, this process takes longer to fill out than the traditional application and requires strict law-to-law comparison of the psychology licensure requirements in your previous state and those of Florida. Your education, experience, and exam scores must be at least substantially equivalent to Florida’s.
Florida National University Can Get You Started!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median wage for psychologists across the nation is $77,030 in 2018. Many factors impact salary, such as the branch of psychology you specialize in. There are many concentrations to choose from, including clinical, counseling, developmental, forensic, geriatric, industrial, school, and much more. However, as a practitioner in Florida, you might have the chance to earn more. The BLS lists the average annual salary for psychologists in the state as $97,210. We know what you’re thinking – where can I sign up?
Florida National University can definitely start you on the right track toward becoming a professional licensed Psychologist. Our 4-year bachelor’s degree program will prepare you for entry-level positions and for applying to advanced master-level programs. Graduates of the FNU Bachelor of Science in Psychology program will be well-positioned to take the career path of their choice, whether it’s clinical, counseling, or in school.
Get the Financial Assistance You Need to Earn Your Degree
FNU also makes it affordable to earn your undergraduate degree with the help of our Financial Aid department that has access to scholarships and other types of financial assistance. Furthermore, our team will help you complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form to help you discover what kind of federal loans and/or Pell Grants you qualify for.
Choosing to become a Psychologist takes plenty of steps, but FNU can help you take the first few. Apply for your undergrad in Psychology at FNU by contacting one of our advisors today!