Psychology in Colorado

Updated August 17, 2022

Do you want to pursue a psychology career in Colorado? This guide explores how to become a psychologist in Colorado, what you could make, and the state licensing requirements.

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Colorado has increased spending and hired more staff to improve mental health services in hospitals and more than 200 public schools. The Centennial State employs about 980 clinical and counseling psychologists and 1,190 school psychologists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Concentrations of psychologists vary by city. Colorado Springs employs 210 clinical and counseling psychologists and 190 school psychologists. The Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood areas have the highest concentration of psychologists, with 370 clinical and counseling psychologists and 650 school psychologists.

Want to become a psychologist in Colorado? Explore this guide for more on psychologist licensing in Colorado, health shortage areas, and Colorado psychologist salary ranges.

Psychologist Salaries in Colorado
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $39,760 $86,760 $133,850
School psychologists $76,730 $103,240 $133,160

Source: BLS

Online Doctorate Programs in Psychology

Psychologist Licensing in Colorado

The Colorado State Board of Psychologist Examiners, made up of three public and four professional members, oversees licensure in Colorado for psychologists. To get a license, applicants need to meet the requirements listed below.

Colorado does not have a license reciprocity for psychologists who hold licenses in other states. However, licensed psychologists from other states can receive Colorado licensure if they meet the educational and work requirements and pass the exams.

Becoming a licensed psychologist in Colorado requires the same level of difficulty as for other states, such as New Jersey. States like Alabama, Hawaii, and Ohio provide an easy pathway for psychologists to become licensed with less restrictive postdoctoral-hour requirements. Colorado requires applicants to complete 1,500 postdoctoral hours, whereas Connecticut, Indiana, and North Dakota, and Utah do not require any postdoctoral hours.

License Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college
  • A master's degree (optional)
  • Complete a Ph.D. in psychology or a doctor of psychology degree from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association
  • One year of supervised work experience
  • A psychologist candidate permit, a one-time registration that lasts for four years
  • Pass the National Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and the Colorado's Mental Health Jurisprudence Examination
  • 1,500 postdoctoral hours, which can include 500 research hours and 500 teaching hours. Postdoctoral hours must include 75 supervised hours.
  • An online application with fee and transcripts

Demand for Psychology in Colorado

Colorado needs qualified mental healthcare workers. The state has 65 health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) for mental health care. Agencies designate HPSAs based on how many healthcare workers there are to the population. For a population of more than 2.8 million, Colorado has only 34% of its mental healthcare needs met. The state needs an additional 126 mental health care workers to remove HPSA designations.

High-need areas for mental health workers include Denver, Boulder, Montezuma, La Plata, Mesa, Garfield, and El Paso. Prospective psychologists can help reverse shortages by working in high-need areas.

A study by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing found that roughly 2.5 million residents in Colorado live in areas that have mental health worker shortages. Psychologists continue pushing for laws that would allow them to take on more interns for apprenticeships.

Nationwide, employers could see a 5% increase in demand for psychologists, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.

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