Psychology in Alaska

Updated August 18, 2022

Looking to learn more about getting licensed and practicing psychology in Alaska? Explore this page for information on licensing requirements, salary outcomes, and the demand for psychologists in the state.

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In Alaska, only 110 clinical and counseling psychologists serve the entire state population of nearly 735,000 people. Despite its low population, the state's need for counselors and psychologists continues to grow. In fact, a recent study from the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy Economics expressed a shortage of mental health professionals in many parts of the state, especially underserved rural areas. The same study highlighted the "prevalence of serious psychological distress" in Alaska as one of the highest rates in the country.

Explore this guide to learn more about practicing psychology in Alaska.

Psychologist Salaries in Alaska
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $59,480 $81,600 $133,860
School psychologists $62,560 $82,390 $105,230
Psychologists, all other $74,360 $113,340 $137,780

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Psychologist Licensing in Alaska

In Alaska, the Board of Psychologists and Psychological Associate Examiners holds all licensing authority for professionals working in the field. This board sets the requirements for licensure, including required education, examinations, supervision experience, and any continuing requirements for license renewal.

Those who already hold a license to practice psychology in another state may apply for reciprocity in Alaska, a shortened and streamlined process to licensure. Alaska offers reciprocity for all other states, according to the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Earning a psychology license in Alaska requires meeting many of the same standards present in other states, including holding a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology or an approved field in education, sitting for a state and national examination, and completing a minimum of one year of supervised practice. Read below to learn more about the licensing process and requirements in Alaska.

License Requirements

To earn a license to practice psychology in Alaska, applicants must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or general "education in a field of specialization considered equivalent by the board"
  • Complete at least one year of supervised postdoctoral experience
  • Pass approved state and national psychology examinations
  • Submit an application with all required information, documentation, letters of reference, and fees
  • Complete continuing education requirements as set by the state board during each renewal period

Demand for Psychology in Alaska

The 2019 study from the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy Economics at the University of Southern California outlined the steadily growing need for mental health professionals throughout Alaska. According to data, the state's rural areas especially lack access to mental health care, and an overall lack of psychiatric care beds and facilities in the state also contribute to this ongoing need.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) noted that only 35.7% of people living with mental illness in Alaska receive any form of treatment, while the other 64.3% never receive care or assistance.

A recent survey from the Arctic Mental Health Working Group found that 20% of the state's population needed mental health services, but an alarmingly low rate (19%) of those in need actually received services through state-run programs.

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