Psychology in Illinois

Updated August 15, 2022

Planning to practice psychology in Illinois? Learn about psychologist licensing Illinois requirements and typical Illinois psychologist salary ranges.

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More than 4,000 psychologists work in Illinois. The supply of psychologists is close to the level of demand in most affluent areas of Illinois, but there is a high unmet need in rural and lower-income areas.

Whether you already have a degree or are considering attending psychology school in Illinois, this guide provides information about state psychologist licensing requirements, typical Illinois psychologist salaries, and the demand for mental health care professionals in the Prairie State.

Psychologist Salaries in Illinois
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $39,760 $81,500 Data not available
School psychologists $39,120 $74,870 $103,590
Psychologists, all other $38,310 $101,600 $130,050

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Doctorate Programs in Psychology

Psychologist Licensing in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation provides licensure for psychologists. Unlike many states, psychologist license options in Illinois feature limited prescribing authority for psychologists who meet the education and background requirements. These include coursework in human biology, anatomy, and pharmacology, along with a passing score on the Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists.

The Prairie State offers licensing reciprocity for psychologists from states whose qualifications are "substantially similar" to psychology licensing requirements in Illinois. It also offers licensure for senior psychologists with 20 or more years of practice and no substantiated complaints.

License Requirements

Psychologist licensing Illinois requirements include but are not limited to:

  • A doctoral degree from a program approved by the American Psychological Association or otherwise recognized by the Illinois government.
  • One year (at least 1,750 hours) of supervised post-doctoral experience, with at least one hour of face-to-face supervision per week.
  • At least half of the experience hours must be spent in direct client care.
  • A passing grade on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
  • A criminal background check — not all convictions will result in the denial of a license, though sex offender convictions or others that indicate abuse of a vulnerable person are very likely to do so.
  • No delinquent child support or IRS tax payments.

Demand for Psychology in Illinois

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that there are 188 designated mental health professional shortage areas in Illinois, with a population of 7,776,006. These areas would need an additional 324 providers to adequately meet the demand.

Illinois has a high proportion of immigrants, with 13.9% of the population born outside the United States, leading to increased demand for culturally competent and multilingual psychologists. In Chicago, 18% of the population was born outside the country.

While most Illinois immigrants are from Latin America or Asia, Chicago has one of the highest populations in the United States of people with Ukrainian ancestry. The city is becoming a hub for refugees from the Ukraine and Afghanistan wars. Psychologists fluent in languages from these countries remain in high demand.

In southern Illinois, in particular, the opioid epidemic has increased the need for psychologists with experience in substance abuse treatment. Children are also disproportionately exposed to violence in Chicago, with 60% of children under five living in concentrated areas where homicides occur. This exposure also increases the need for child psychologists.

Feature Image: Bjarte Rettedal / Stone / Getty Images

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