Become a Psychologist in District of Columbia - DC

Psychologists are in high demand, especially in areas like the District of Columbia, which offers a large number of human services to its citizens. For those looking to learn how to become a psychologist in Washington DC, it is worth noting that the District of Columbia requires 4,000 hours of experience in order to gain licensure, which is double the amount of many States of the Union. When compared to other states, however, the District of Columbia is less stringent when it comes to fulfilling continuing education credits, which Psychologists must fulfill if they want to renew their licenses. Psychologists in the District of Columbia enjoy a pay rate that is 21 percent higher than the national average, and will continue to see a steady amount of growth in job availability through 2018.

How to Become a Psychologist in District of Columbia

Gain 4,000 hours of supervised experience. Applicants who are seeking licensure in Washington DC must gain 4,000 hours of supervised experience within 2-3 years. Candidates can finish these hours either before they complete their doctorate or after, but must not exceed 3 years unless they can provide the Board with just reason. The District of Columbia Municipal regulations for Psychology demands that all applicants complete 200 of those hours under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or independent clinical social worker licensed in the United States. 100 of the 200 hours must be completed under the direct supervision of a licensed Psychologist, and 150 of those 200 hours must be performed under close supervision of the Psychologist. The remaining 50 hours must be completed under direct group supervision.

Apply for licensure. The application for initial licensure in the District of Columbia includes a district exam and the Examination for Professional Psychology Practice. Candidates must have gone through a program recognized by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology as having completed a psychology doctoral program. This is important to keep in mind for anyone interested in how to become a psychologist in Washington DC.

A. District Exam. The District exam is a two-part exam that is offered three times each year, and covers the basic rules, regulations, and ethics and practice standards set for Psychologists who practice in the District of Columbia. The exam may include an interview with the Board, in which the candidate discusses her education and her professional background. Applicants must score a minimum of 75 percent on each portion of the test in order to pass, and cannot be denied licensure on the basis of their interview.

B. Examination for Professional Psychology Practice (EPPP). The EPPP is a national exam administered by the American Association of State Psychology Boards, which grants licensure to Psychologists through the American Psychological Association. Candidates must take the EPPP exam within 60 days of receiving their authorization to take test (ATT) letter, which is administered by the Professional Examination Service. Candidates normally take the exam through a Prometric Testing Center, and must receive a score of 500.

C. Licensure for foreign-educated residents. Applicants who received their education from a foreign doctoral program must provide the Board with proof that they went through a doctoral psychology program that was recognized by the government of the country where they received their education. This process may include an interview, and will require the applicant to provide the Board with documentation. If an applicant provides the Board with documents written in a foreign language, they will have to have the documents translated by a Board-approved translation service. This is important to bare in mind for all non US residents who want to know how to become a psychologist in Washington DC.


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