In Your State: Arkansas

How to Become a Psychologist in Arkansas

Educational Requirements

The Arkansas Psychology Board oversees licensure and education qualifications for any practicing psychological examiner or psychologist in Arkansas. As stipulated by its Rules and Regulations, a psychological examiner must have a master’s degree in psychology or closely related field from a regionally accredited educational institution that the Board recognizes as maintaining satisfactory standards. Similarly, a psychologist must have a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited institution that is recognized by the Board as maintaining satisfactory standards. The program must also be accredited by the American Psychological Association or Canadian Psychological Association, or, barring that, meet set criteria established by the Board.

In addition to their degree, psychologists are required to have at least two years of internship experience before they are qualified to become licensed. Once they are licensed, they must continue their education to either maintain or upgrade their skills. This may be accomplished through an online course, workshop, or published paper, though the method must be accepted by the Board.

Continuing Education Requirements

The Arkansas Psychology Board requires that any licensed psychologist in Arkansas must complete 20 hours of continuing education each year to maintain their license. This mandate helps ensure that psychologists and psychological examiners uphold the best practices of the field and maintain or upgrade their skill set, and reinforces optimal healthcare for patients. Acceptable forms of continuing education include:

  • Any educational experience approved by the American Psychological Association
  • Collaborative study with a psychologist that involves supervised independent study or training
  • Workshops provided by a qualified professional from state or nationally recognized training programs
  • In-service training programs
  • Academic coursework related to the practice of psychology
  • Teaching a new course
  • Publishing an article, book, or monograph in an area of behavioral science
  • Presenting at a workshop
  • Training to upgrade or maintain skills in the mental health field
  • Attending board meetings

Simply reading books or journals and/or meeting minimum requirements for routine licensure purposes are unacceptable forms of continuing education.

Psychology Licensure in Arkansas

As noted by the Arkansas Psychology Board in its Rules and Regulations, it is a misdemeanor for any unlicensed individual to practice or present himself or herself as practicing psychology in the state of Arkansas. Only licensed individuals can use a title incorporating the words “psychology,” “psychologist,” or “psychological.”

  • Licensed Psychological Examiner
    • Education: Master’s degree in psychology or closely related field
    • Exam: Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and other tests as designated by the Board; formal interview and oral examination from the Arkansas Psychology Board
    • Work Experience: None
    • Other Prerequisites: Written, oral, or both as determined by the Arkansas Psychology Board
  • Licensed Psychological Examiner — Independent Status
    • Education: Master’s degree in psychology
    • Other Prerequisites: Individual must be licensed as a Licensed Psychological Examiner issued by the Arkansas Psychology Board
  • Licensed Psychologist
    • Education: Doctoral degree in psychology
    • Exam: Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and other tests as designated by the Board; formal interview and oral examination from the Arkansas Psychology Board
    • Work Experience: Minimum two years internship experience, one of which must be post doctoral

Salaries for Psychologists in Arkansas

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists made a mean annual salary of $68,920 in Arkansas as of May 2011. All other psychologists earned an average of $83,080 a year as of that time. These are the most recent statistics available and are merely intended to provide an idea of professional wages in the state. In addition to location, other factors that can influence the wages of psychologists include employer, field, experience, and economic climate.