Become a Psychologist in Missouri - MO
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of psychology will experience a steady growth rate of 12 percent through the year 2018. Psychologists of all specialties will be in higher demand as the population continues to grow and change, especially in the fields of substance abuse, hypnosis, special needs, education, counseling, and clinical psychology. The State of Missouri will especially need psychologists on its college campuses, especially as the rate of students pursuing higher education continues to grow.
How to Become a Psychologist in Missouri
- Get a Bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology, or another social science. Anyone interested in knowing how to become a psychologist in Missouri can get a Master's degree in psychology, but a degree in the social sciences provides the strongest foundation for the material students will learn in their Master's and Doctoral programs.
- Volunteer or work in a supervised counseling position. Even though undergraduate experience will not count toward the two years of supervised experience required for certification, it always reflects well upon an aspiring if she pursues supervised counseling positions through a nationally recognized program during her undergraduate years. These programs and environments may also help her figure out what kind of Psychologist she wants to be. Working as a Peer Advisor, Safe Zone Counselor, Residential Assistant, or holding an on-campus job that involves counseling will be beneficial.
- Get licensed. As soon as a Missouri-based candidate has finished her postdoctoral work and can prove that she meets all the requirements, she needs to take three exams to obtain licensure in Missouri. These exams include the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP, Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards), a jurisprudence exam, and an oral exam.
- Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. The EPPP is a 225 question computer examination that licenses candidate for practice. Candidates must sit for this exam within 60 days of receiving an authorization to take test (ATT) letter from the Professional Examination Service (PES). Each Missouri applicant must take the exam through a Prometric Testing Center, and must make an appointment with the center each time they take the test. If a candidate fails the exam, she can take it three more times within the course of the next year.
- Jurisprudence Exam. The Jurisprudence exam is a three hour, 100-question exam that covers the Missouri Psychological Practice Act and Rules, placing special emphasis on the Ethical Rules of Conduct. Applicants must score 70 percent or better on the exam in order to pass.
- Oral Exam. The oral exam also covers the Missouri Psychological Practice Act and Rules. More information can be found on the Missouri Committee of Psychologists' Web site (http://pr.mo.gov/psychologists.asp).
- Forms of Licensure
- Licensure by Examination. According to the State Committee of Psychologists, an applicant must score at least 70 percent on the State and EPPP examinations in order to be licensed. Candidates who take the test more than eight times in a two year period, will be denied licensure.
- Licensure by Endorsement of Written EPPP Examination Score. Applicants who have taken the EPPP test may apply for their licenses if they provide the State Committee of Psychologists with their licensure endorsement fee, EPPP score sent directly from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, and completed application.
- Licensure by Reciprocity in Missouri. This form of licensure is for people who can prove that they are licensed as a psychologist in another jurisdiction, and does not require any sort of examination. An applicant must be at least 21 years of age and be diplomat or member of the American Board of Professional Psychology or the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.
Once the Missouri-based candidate is licensed as a professional Psychologist within the state of Missouri, she will be able to practice under a valid license for two years. At the end of the two years, she must prove to the Missouri Committee of Psychologists that she has completed all her continuing education requirements.