Psychology in South Dakota: Learn About Becoming a Psychologist in SD

Updated August 30, 2022 · 1 Min Read

Explore our guide on psychologist licensing in South Dakota. Learn about average psychologist salaries in the state and options on how to help South Dakota residents access psychological services. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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South Dakota has one of the lowest populations in the U.S. but demonstrates one of the greatest needs for licensed psychologists. With nine Native tribes within the state's cultural makeup, South Dakota offers a diverse population for practicing psychology.

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

Psychologist Salaries in South Dakota
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $52,840 $94,050 $126,750
School psychologists $60,030 $64,280 $78,870
Psychologists, all other $26,630 $101,340 $119,770

Source: BLS

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Psychologist Licensing in South Dakota

Psychologist licensing in South Dakota is managed by the South Dakota Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Obtaining a psychologist license in South Dakota requires completing 1,800 supervisory hours. Additional requirements include the successful completion of one national exam and one South Dakota-specific oral exam.

South Dakota honors license reciprocity for psychologists who have held an out-of-state license for at least the past five years. Applicants must submit South Dakota's license verification form for all past and present licenses held. Upon board approval, applicants must pay the state's licensure fee.

License Requirements

To obtain psychologist licensing in South Dakota, applicants must complete the following items:

  • Graduate from a regionally accredited doctoral psychology program, or comparably accredited doctoral program.
  • Complete at least 1,800 hours of postdoctoral supervised experience within two years or less.
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and pay a $687.50 fee.
  • Pass a South Dakota-specific oral examination before the Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
  • Submit an application to the board, along with a $300 fee.
  • Subsequent application fees apply, depending on the application month.

Demand for Psychology in South Dakota

With almost half a million residents spread throughout areas that lack adequate mental health care, licensed psychologists in South Dakota are greatly needed. The state's glaring shortage of mental health professionals is reflected by the 83% of residents with unmet mental health care needs.

An underserved population in South Dakota include the state's Native tribes and peoples. South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation holds a staggering 80% unemployment rate. Compounded by high rates of suicide, substance abuse, and isolation, South Dakota's Native residents face numerous psychological concerns.

South Dakota Urban Indian Health (SDUIH) has been paving the way for tribal assistance during the past few years, particularly with mental health services. As COVID-19-related shutdowns have decreased, soaring numbers of Native individuals are seeking psychological services at SDUIH. Additional licensed psychologists in South Dakota will be essential to SDUIH's mission.

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