Psychology in South Carolina: Learn About Becoming a Psychologist in SC

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Updated August 30, 2022

Explore our guide on psychologist licensing in South Carolina, average psychologist salaries in the state, and options on how to help South Carolina residents access psychological services.

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South Carolina is home to the University of South Carolina, which offers a nationally ranked doctoral psychology program. With consistently low rankings regarding access to mental health care, South Carolina offers abundant opportunities for licensed psychologists.

Keep reading for more on psychologist licensing in South Carolina, the demand for psychology professionals, and expected South Carolina psychologist salary ranges.

Psychologist Salaries in South Carolina
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $34,860 $78,930 $129,780
School psychologists $37,410 $62,070 $98,670
Psychologists, all other $47,580 $110,550 $136,840

Source: BLS

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Psychologist Licensing in South Carolina

The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology regulates psychologist licensing in South Carolina. Obtaining a psychologist license in South Carolina requires the completion of 3,000 supervisory hours, along with passing one national exam and one oral exam. Candidates must also submit two separate applications: preliminary and formal.

At this time, South Carolina does not honor license reciprocity for out-of-state psychologists.

However, the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology will consider out-of-state applicants who provide evidence of comparable education and postdoctoral supervision, upon submission of a preliminary application.

License Requirements

To obtain psychologist licensing in South Carolina, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduate from an American Psychological Association or comparably accredited doctoral psychology program.
  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience, half of which must be postdoctoral.
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and pay a $687.50 fee.
  • Submit a preliminary application to the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology, along with a curriculum vitae and a $500 fee.
  • Upon approval of the preliminary application, applicants will receive a formal application.
  • After submitting all applications, candidates must pass a board member-conducted oral examination.

Demand for Psychology in South Carolina

South Carolina meets only one-third of its residents' mental health care needs, identifying the state as a health professional shortage area, per the Kaiser Family Foundation. In fact, over 2 million South Carolina residents live in areas with insufficient mental health professionals.

Children make up a particularly underserved population in the state. Around 53,000 youth in South Carolina reported experiencing depression in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the severity of South Carolina's shortage of mental health services.

South Carolina's strides toward making improvements have slowly enhanced its youth services. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health recently obtained funds for initiatives within the state's school systems, which included the addition of more school psychologists.

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