Idaho has many career paths available to those who have completed professional-level qualifications in human services fields such as psychology. Several acclaimed universities offer traditional, online, and hybrid psychology programs in Idaho, including Brigham Young University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho. In-class and online psychology degrees in Idaho are available at all levels of undergraduate and graduate study.
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections indicate that demand for psychologists is set to grow at a rate of about 9.8% in the coming years. This outpaces the average expected growth rate for all occupations by about 40%, positioning psychology as an in-demand field with opportunities for qualified professionals. Licensed psychologists work in public, institutional, and private settings in Idaho, earning above-average salaries while serving a robust, growing population base of about 1.7 million people.
Mental Health Initiatives in Idaho
Idaho is in the process of developing a streamlined, regionally administered statewide mental health service delivery network. One source of recent improvements is Optum, a Medicaid-funded program that helped bring about a 300% increase in Idaho families who were able to access psychological counseling services between 2014-15. In late 2016, the state also received a two-year grant designed to boost the availability of evidence-based psychological intervention programs for Idaho children with behavioral health issues and conditions.
Additionally, some counties in the state have become prominent participants in federal programs designed to reduce mental illness incidence rates in prisons. Authorities in Bonneville County have earned widespread praise for their efforts to provide psychological and mental health interventions for incarcerated inmates. The program's goal is to reduce recidivism in the state, as offenders with mental health issues are known to re-offend at above-average rates.
How Do I Become a Psychologist in Idaho?
In Idaho, psychologists must be licensed to practice legally. While the process of obtaining an Idaho psychologist's license is similar to the procedures used in other states, candidates should be aware of several state-specific protocols and requirements. The Idaho State Board of Psychologist Examiners mandates two years of supervised work experience, with annual minimums of 1,000 hours. Candidates must also attain scaled scores of at least 500 on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) examination to become licensed in Idaho.
Choose the Right Path: Candidates require a doctorate degree in psychology or educational psychology to qualify for supervised work experience and licensure examinations. Regulators make no distinction between in-class and online psychology degrees in Idaho, so students can earn these credentials in their preferred format.
Practicing psychologists typically complete additional training programs that qualify them for specializations, and all active psychologists in Idaho must participate in at least 20 credit-hours of continuing education each year. If you plan to eventually teach psychology, you should hold an advanced degree, but you may not require an active license. Such requirements are at the sole discretion of the hiring institution.
Earn Your Degree: Studying psychology online is an excellent option for students requiring scheduling flexibility. Online learning also offers cost advantages over traditional programs. Students must complete an undergraduate degree in psychology before proceeding to the graduate level. Psychology Ph.D programs in Idaho uniformly require applicants to hold a master's degree in the field for consideration.
Beyond any clinical practice, fellowship, or internship requirements necessary for degree completion, you also need at least two years of relevant work experience under the direct supervision of a board-licensed Idaho psychologist. Candidates must work a minimum of 1,000 hours per year during this training period, but there is some flexibility with the timeframe during which it must be completed. At least one of the two years must be undertaken during the candidate's pre-doctoral studies.
Undergraduate psychology degrees typically take four years to complete, while master's degrees take one to two years, and Ph.D degrees usually require at least four years of study. Factoring in the work practicum requirements, candidates must study and train for 11 to 12 years before qualifying for licensure.
Earn Your License: Once all educational and work experience requirements have been met, you qualify to sit the EPPP licensing exam. The most effective way to study for the exam is to take as many practice tests as possible.
As of 2017, the EPPP fee is $600. Students can also take official practice tests, either online or in person, for additional fees ranging from about $55 to $115. Examinees are usually given four hours, 15 minutes to complete the test, and questions draw directly on the knowledge and skills gained through education and work experience. While candidates who pass the EPPP become qualified for many professional opportunities, employment is not guaranteed just by passing the test.
Psychology Licensing in Idaho
Professional psychologists in Idaho can get many types of licenses, depending on the field(s) they are most interested in. Choosing which license to get is an important step in career development, and it's important to be aware of all available options before making a decision. Here is a table explaining the main license types, their prerequisites and associated career paths, and the current fees associated with licensing examinations.
Prerequisites: Ph.D in psychology or educational psychology with a concentration in a career-specific specialization; two years of work experience with a cumulative total of at least 2,000 hours (and at least 1,000 hours per year).
Careers Available With This License: Counseling, clinical psychology, school psychology, forensic psychology, child psychology
Total Fees: $600 (EPPP fee) + $25 processing fee
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Prerequisites: Master's degree in social work, plus ASWB examination and licensing
Careers Available With This License: Social work
Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)
Careers Available With This License: Family therapy, marriage therapy (mostly through private practice)
Total Fees: $195
Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
Careers Available With This License: Veterans Affairs agencies, residential treatment facility counseling, prison counseling, community- and state-based agencies, hospital counseling, group home counseling, crisis counseling
Total Fees: $25 examination administration fee
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Prerequisites: Master's degree with a major in counseling, including at least one professional orientation course + 100 hours of supervised postgraduate counseling work experience. A minimum of 48 semester credit-hours or 72 quarter credit-hours are required
Careers Available With This License: Career development, human growth and development, educational development, psychological assessment
Total Fees: $335 + $25 site fee
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Idaho
An internship is an exchange between a student and an employer or organization allowing the former to gain firsthand experience of typical professional dynamics as a means of confirming their interest in and commitment to the chosen field. Fellowships are professional-level supplemental educational opportunities allowing students to gain practical experience and are generally offered to graduate and post-graduate students.
Another difference is that fellowships are always paid, while internships may not be. Here are three opportunities available to students pursuing online psychology degrees in Idaho:
- Doctoral Internship Program, Boise VA Medical Center: Internships are available to students in psychology Ph.D programs in Idaho through the Boise Psychology Training Program. Four internships are available each year. Students must be American citizens, and priority is given to candidates in generalist fields.
- Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, Boise VA Medical Center: Three postdoctoral fellowships are available at the Boise VA Medical Center — two in primary care-mental health integration and one in rural health.
- Boise State University Internships: Undergraduate psychology students with cumulative GPAs of at least 3.0 qualify for opportunities in the Boise State University internship placement program. Past students have held positions at organizations including All Seasons Mental Health, St. Luke's Hospice, and the Idaho Regional Alcohol Drug Awareness Resource.
Psychology Careers in Idaho
Students who complete online psychology degrees in Idaho and ultimately obtain professional licenses have myriad career options to pursue. Opportunities for generalists include institutional or private-practice positions as counselors or clinical psychologists. Specialists can concentrate on child, forensic, sports, social, school, industrial, and health psychology.
Neuropsychology is another possible career path, particularly for those interested in psychological research. Additionally, those with psychology degrees often qualify for careers in social work. Many organizations hire psychologists, including hospitals, inpatient care facilities, private companies, schools, colleges, research institutes, and universities.
How Much do Psychologists Make in Idaho?
The earning potential associated with psychology careers varies, depending on your relative level of experience, your academic and professional credentials, where you live, and whether you work in a private practice or a public institution. It is also common for generalists and specialists to have some degree of wage disparity, as qualified specialists can be more difficult for employers to locate and may thus benefit from high demand. The statistics below represent averages, as reported by the BLS in 2017.
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Mental Health Service Providers in Idaho
Getting familiar with major Idaho-based mental health service providers is a good strategy for easing the transition into the professional world. A strong knowledge of the state's mental health network will help guide your internship, fellowship, and job search focuses during and after your study period. To help you get started with your research, here are some prominent public and private mental health service providers:
- Pathways: Jointly operated by ACES Community Health Services and Pioneer Health Resources, Pathways has many community-based and outpatient services, family support services, and peer support services.
- Ability Health & Rehabilitation LLC: This Boise-based private practice serves couples, families, children, and teens. It also offers targeted case management services as well as peer support and community-based rehabilitation services.
- Human Supports of Idaho Behavioral Health Services: With offices in Boise and Caldwell, this private practice is among the state's most complete providers of mental health, crisis intervention, and counseling services.
- Sullivan Mental Health Services: Based in Idaho Falls, this private practice specializes in providing individual counseling and family counseling services. The organization offers support for anxiety, depression, grief, substance abuse, behavioral issues, and other mental health concerns.
- NAMI Idaho: Idaho's chapter in the National Alliance on Mental Illness provides extensive resources to everyone impacted by mental health issues through research, education, advocacy, and connections to support networks.
Mental Health Research Centers in Idaho
If you're interested in a career in psychological research, you will benefit from learning more about Idaho's major mental health research centers. Building professional connections with the personnel at these organizations can give your post-graduation job search efforts a valuable boost. Here are three of the state's leading mental health research centers:
- University of Idaho: The school is constantly engaged in psychological and mental health research initiatives. It also supports student research opportunities by forging matches with faculty members, based on the professor's research interests.
- Advanced Clinical Research: Established in 1984, this community-based clinical research organization operates in Boise as well as Salt Lake City. The center specializes in clinical trials for drugs in development, with a special emphasis on Phase II to Phase IV testing.
- Idaho Psychological Association: The Idaho Psychological Association is an excellent resource and information source for current psychological and mental health research initiatives in the state. Its affiliates can guide students and recent graduates to ongoing research participation opportunities throughout the state.
Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations can be an extremely valuable ally to recent graduates and established psychologists. These organizations introduce members to ongoing professional development and continuing education programs, as well as networking opportunities, research initiatives, conferences, and many other benefits. Some psychology and mental health professional associations also maintain career services and job boards to help qualified professionals connect with a broader range of rewarding employment opportunities.
- Idaho School Psychologist Association: This advocacy and professional organization specifically serves school psychologists, with highly regarded leadership guiding members to many professional development activities.
- Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association: The IMHCA is a niche professional organization dedicated uniquely to the needs and concerns of clinical mental health counselors. It is open to licensed counselors, mental health counseling educators, and students in applicable university-level programs.
- Idaho Psychological Association: This large, well-known professional association provides extensive resources, educational opportunities, and networking opportunities to qualified members throughout the state.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Idaho
Bill Bendiner and Doug Morganson Scholarship
This scholarship is open uniquely to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students majoring in health, human services, or visual arts fields.
- Amount Offered: $500 to $12,000
- Scholarship Deadline: January 12
- Eligibility Requirements: Open to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington residents who are members of the LGBTQ community, or straight allies with proven activism and community service records.
Pride Foundation Scholarship
Ten of the Pride Foundation's 50 scholarships are offered to LGBTQ students and straight allies in psychology programs who have a demonstrated commitment to social justice and LGBTQ community issues.
- Amount Offered: Up to $10,000
- Scholarship Deadline: January 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Open to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington residents with demonstrated financial need and leadership skills.
Soaring Heart Scholarship
This scholarship is available to students in high school, undergraduate, or graduate programs who have a demonstrated commitment to supporting individuals dealing with serious illness, death, or trauma, especially as a result of violent or suicidal acts.
- Amount Offered: $500 to $12,000
- Scholarship Deadline: January 12
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be United States citizens and residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington state.
Idaho Hispanic Scholarship Fund
These scholarships are designed for lower-income, college-bound Idaho students with Hispanic or Latin American ethnic backgrounds. Awards can be used for transportation, course materials, or tuition fees.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: April 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Open to Idaho residents of Hispanic or Latin American racial origin with GPAs of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must be high school seniors at the time of application.
Idaho Opportunity Scholarship
This scholarship is available to promising students planning to attend a qualified Idaho college on a full-time basis. It is designed to provide financial assistance to students in need who are enrolling in their first undergraduate degree program.
- Amount Offered: $3,000 annually, renewable for up to three years
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Open to Idaho high school seniors, GED diploma holders, and undergraduate students with cumulative GPAs of at least 3.0. Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents.
GEAR UP Idaho Scholarship
Offered by the Idaho State Board of Education, GEAR UP Idaho scholarships are open to students age 22 or younger who have participated in a GEAR UP program.
- Amount Offered: Varies, based on available funding and the number of qualified applicants
- Scholarship Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be high school graduates with an open letter of acceptance to a higher education institution within Idaho's state boundaries.
Horatio Alger Idaho Scholarship
The Horatio Alger Idaho Scholarship is available to high school seniors living in Idaho who have displayed integrity in overcoming significant adversity to pursue higher education opportunities.
- Amount Offered: $10,000, paid in annual installments over the course of the student's undergraduate study period
- Scholarship Deadline: October 25
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be Idaho residents and high school seniors at the time of application. Preference is given to applicants with demonstrated involvement in community activities, and award recipients must commence college studies the autumn after receiving the scholarship.
University of Idaho
The University of Idaho offers scholarships to students in psychology courses, including four annual awards open specifically to psychology majors.
- Amount Offered: Variable, depending on funding availability and the number of qualified applicants
- Eligibility Requirements: Eligible students receive automatic consideration, based on information supplied by the school's scholarship office.
Denise O'Donnell Day Scholarship
This scholarship, offered by Boise State University, is open to students planning to major in psychology through full-time enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program.
- Amount Offered: Variable
- Scholarship Deadline: February 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Full-time psychology majors with GPAs of at least 3.0 are eligible to apply.
Idaho State University scholarships
Incoming students at Idaho State University may qualify for scholarships designed for undergraduates (residents and non-residents), transfer students, international students, and graduate students.
- Amount Offered: Variable
- Eligibility Requirements: Variable; please refer to specific scholarship opportunities for eligibility information.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Idaho
It is very important for students to obtain degrees only from accredited institutions. These institutions have demonstrated a commitment to meeting high academic and professional standards, and the degrees they confer are universally recognized by employers and other American and international universities. For instance, an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is a requirement for students wishing to proceed into graduate-level studies at other colleges and universities.
Some Idaho colleges and universities have regional accreditation; others have national accreditation. Both types of are valid, but national standing tends to apply to for-profit schools while regional accreditation tends to apply to publicly funded, degree-oriented, non-profit educational institutions.
In Idaho, regional accreditation is governed by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Students should look for this accreditation when applying to programs offering online psychology degrees in Idaho. The American Psychological Association Commission also offers accreditation to Idaho higher learning institutions that offer Ph.D-level clinical psychology programs.
Explore Psychology Careers
Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Idaho
This database lists all accredited psychology programs offered in the state of Idaho that afford students the opportunity to complete their degrees online. It can be used by prospective students seeking a bachelor's or master's in psychology online in Idaho, as well as those looking to study at the Ph.D level.