Illinois Psychology Education Overview

Psychology Licensure in Illinois

The amazing state of Illinois features one of the largest cities in the country in Chicago, it also has a tremendous breadth of opportunity for those human services professionals who plan on working as a licensed Psychologist. Just as the state itself is expansive and has a diverse population, so too there is a wonderful diversity of organizations, agencies and institutions that have need of licensed Psychologists. There are many potential career options for licensed Psychologists in Illinois, including: working at a hospital in Chicago, being employed at a school in Aurora or setting up a private practice in Rockford. Boasting a population of over 12.8 million people, Illinois has a population that creates need for Psychologists in many different settings. If you go to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics page on psychology, you will see data explaining that Psychologists in Illinois can expect to earn a mean yearly wage of $68,1801. If the thought of working in a medical setting is appealing, then you may wish to seek employment in one of Illinois’ 200+ Major hospitals2. For those who have a degree concentration in child Psychology, or wish to work with children, it is worth noting that you have the option of working in one of Illinois’ 879+ public school districts3. Such a wide variety of career paths make it very likely you can find the ideal career niche for your personality and specific skillset. Below you will find a guide to help you step-by-step with the process of attaining full licensure to practice Psychology in the state of Illinois.

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Required Educational Background

Meeting all the requirements to become a licensed Psychologist in Illinois will take discipline and perseverance on your part. Working through all the steps for licensure will give you a great foundation to begin a lucrative and fulfilling psychology practice. You will need to have earned both your Bachelor and Master of Psychology and go on to get your doctorate of psychology which is required for licensure in Illinois.

Earning your Bachelor of Psychology will give you tremendous insight into the field of psychology while simultaneously giving you a degree that positions you for a multitude of career options in human services. Even if you choose to not go on to gain licensure you will have a valuable degree on your resume.

Illinois does not have a licensure level for those holding Master’s degrees. Of course, to reach the doctorate level and earn your license you will be required to have earned your Master of Psychology degree. However, even if you are not interested in continuing your schooling in order to earn your doctorate, having a Master of Psychology degree on your resume is a valuable asset that will command the attention of potential employers in a wide variety of human services positions. Many doors will open for you with a Master of Psychology degree.

Once you have been awarded your Ph.D. in psychology from an APA approved school you will need to begin accumulating your required post-graduate hours of field experience.

Field Experience

To verify your field experience component, you will need to take the following actions:

  • You will need to have a two year supervised work experience requirement fulfilled. This is 3500 hours as 1750 is considered a year of experience. You can earn a year of experience while studying for your doctorate, the other year must occur post-graduate.
  • You will then need to apply for your license, have it approved and take your examinations as explained below.

You will want to familiarize yourself with the Illinois specific rules and regulations for licensure. These laws change so it is good to make sure you have current information, you can find that information here:


Once you have completed your field experience you can apply to take the psychologist licensure examination

  • Pass the Clinical Psychologist test with a score meeting the Illinois minimum.

You can find some helpful information about your clinical psychologist test here: