California Psychology Education Overview

Psychology Licensure in California

California is a state that boasts a tremendous diversity of potential careers in human services for those who have become licensed psychologists. Whether you work in a children’s hospital in Los Angeles, a private practice in Sacramento or in a school in San Francisco the opportunities and options for licensed psychologists are seemingly endless. California is the most populous US state with a population of over 36 million people. With such a huge population there are a vast amount of careers and opportunities for licensed psychologists. A visit to the website for the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that Psychologists in California enjoy a mean yearly wage of $85,4801. If the thought of working in a fast paced hospital environment is appealing to you there are hundreds of major hospitals in California2 that will often have need of licensed Psychologists. If you enjoy the thought of helping children with emotional issues get the best out of their educational experience, you may wish to look for work in one of California’s 9,846 schools3. With so many different and exciting potential work environments, you are certain to find a career niche that resonates strongly with you. The step-by-step licensing procedure we explain below will help you take the next step on your journey towards a fulfilling career as a licensed Psychologist in California.

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Required Educational Background

You must have already earned your doctorate to achieve Licensure in California. Of course you will first need to have earned both your Bachelor and Master of Psychology degrees to get a Doctorate.

With a Bachelor of Psychology you will learn about your career in psychology and you also find that your Bachelor’s helps you find employment in many other human services careers. Your Bachelor’s is also required if you wish to become a licensed psychologist.

In some states, you can practice a limited level of Psychology under a lower level licensure if you have a Master’s degree in Psychology. However, California is a state that only allows for licensure at the Ph.D. level. It is good to remember that a Master’s in Psychology is a great degree to have for a variety of other jobs in human services other than just seeing it as a stepping stone towards becoming a licensed psychologist.

To begin your path to licensure you will need your doctorate in psychology from a board approved school. Once you have your doctorate you will need to earn your field experience.

California Psychology Field Experience

To begin earning your field experience on the way to licensure, you will need to do the following:

  • You will need to pass a “Live Scan” fingerprint background check through both California and the FBI
  • You will need to submit proof of your education and also your supervision plan to obtain the required experience for licensure.
  • You will need to provide proof of a minimum of 3000 hours of post-doctoral experience. Your required experience period is one in which you will want to narrow your focus to the type of psychology you wish to practice with your license.
  • You will want to familiarize yourself with California’s specific laws and regulations regarding licensure. These laws change so it is good to make sure you have current information, which you can find here:

California Psychology Examination

Once you have completed your field experience you can apply to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). You are also be required to pass the California Psychology Supplemental Examination administered by the California Psychology Board.

Pass the EPPP with a score meeting the California minimum (check site above for up to date laws around acceptable scores)

Pass the California Psychology Supplemental Examination CPSE (more info on this found here🙂

You can find some helpful information about your EPPP here: