Psychology in Washington: Learn About Becoming a Psychologist in WA

Updated September 9, 2022

Learn about typical Washington psychologist salaries, licensing requirements, and the demand for psychologists in the state.

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Despite the high cost of living, Washington has a lot to offer psychologists. An environmentally friendly state, Washington is home to many national parks and forests. In addition, it boasts a higher-than-average happiness score, according to the World Population Review. With lots of mountains and natural scenery, including Puget Sound, Washington residents maintain an active lifestyle that attracts many working professionals.

Psychologist Salaries in Washington

Although Washington is not among the top-paying states for psychologists in the U.S., it ranks higher than the national average. As of August 2022, a Ph.D. psychologist's salary averages $116,824 across Washington. The median psychologist salary in the U.S. is $81,040, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Washington psychologist salaries can fluctuate depending on many factors, such as geographic location and clinical practice area. According to the BLS, Washington psychologists across the state earn between $54,490 and $131,210.

Psychologist Salaries in Washington
Job Title Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Clinical and counseling psychologists $59,490 $97,140 $131,640
School psychologists $76,060 $97,980 $125,560
Psychologists, all other $56,730 $111,030 $131,210

Source: BLS

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Psychologist Licensing in Washington

It takes 8-10 years to earn the educational requirements to become a licensed psychologist. The Washington State Department of Health's Examining Board of Psychology oversees licensure for psychologists in the state.

Washington's requirements for licensing are more rigorous than in other states. Prospective psychologists must take and pass two licensing exams, including one nationally recognized oral exam and a 25-question online test specific to practicing in Washington.

Applicants in any state who meet Washington's requirements may be granted licensure, but the process varies from one state to another. Psychologists licensed in states with similar requirements, andwho have held their license for at least two years, will encounter a simplified licensing process.

License Requirements

Psychologist licensing in Washington requirements include:

  • Complete a doctoral degree (a Psy.D. or Ph.D.) in psychology from an institution accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Meet educational requirements, such as completing a program with at least 40 semester hours or 60 quarter hours, a 12-month residency ,and a dissertation endorsed by the institution.
  • Provide verification of 3,300 hours of clinical supervision and at least 300 practicum hours (100 must be in supervision that meets specific state requirements).
  • Complete an American Psychological Association approved internship involving at least 1,500 hours of supervision.
  • Provide a list of all states where the applicant is currently or has been licensed.
  • Apply for licensure and wait for approval to take the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) exam.
  • Pass the EPPP exam given by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
  • Provide the Washington Examining Board of Psychology the results of your EPPP exam.
  • Once the board has verification of your passing the EPPP and documentation of 3,300 supervised hours, you will be scheduled for the Washington State Jurisprudence Examination.
  • Take and pass the jurisprudence exam.

Learn more about licensing requirements for psychologists in Washington here.

Demand for Psychology in Washington

According to the Health Resources & Services Administration's Health Workforce Simulation Model, by 2030, the national workforce of psychologists is projected to increase by 13%, accounting for 103,440 mental health professionals. In addition, the BLS reports a projected growth of 8% for psychologists in the U.S. from 2020-2030.

The Kaiser Family Foundation evaluates the number of mental health professional shortage areas by state. In Washington, only 16.8% of resident needs are met across the state, resulting in a shortage of 142 practitioners.

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