In Your State: Rhode Island

How to Become a Psychologist in Rhode Island

Educational Requirements

To become licensed as a psychologist in Rhode Island, you must first obtain a doctoral degree in psychology, or its equivalent, from a regionally accredited higher education institution, according to state regulations. The doctoral degree must have been earned through a program accredited by the American Psychological Association, or have equivalent standards of excellence in education and training in place. A student’s doctoral education in psychology will build their knowledge in the following areas: biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of psychology, social bases of behavior, and individual differences, according to state regulations. In addition, students learn skills in research methods and statistical analysis as well as techniques in individual and group counseling, psychological evaluation and assessment, and intervention. Beyond this, becoming a psychologist in Rhode Island entails acquiring two years of supervised experience (one year postdoctoral) and taking national and state exams.

The exception to this rule is school psychologists, who follow a different path toward obtaining their credentials. To obtain a School Psychologists (PK-12) certificate, you must complete an approved school psychology program and possess an advanced degree in school psychology, according to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). In addition, school psychologists must demonstrate that they have mastered field competencies established by NASP and meet all field testing requirements, according to state regulations. Prospective school psychologists start out with a Certificate of Eligibility for Employment, or CEE, and renew it every three years until they meet the requirements for the CEE school psychologist credential, the NASP explains.

Continuing Education Requirements

Psychologists in Rhode Island have to renew their license every other year, and to do so, they must have completed a certain amount of continuing education (CE). Psychologists must complete a minimum of 24 CE credits within their renewal period, according to state regulations. Many psychologists attend approved workshops or conferences organized by the American Psychological Society, or their local branch, the Rhode Island Psychological Society, in order to fulfill these requirements, although other options for earning CE are also available, such as taking postdoctoral college courses in psychology. CE is important to the psychology profession because it helps licensees stay abreast of current issues, research, and best practices in the field so that they can provide the best psychological services possible to the public.

Psychology Licensure in Rhode Island

Rhode Island only has one category of licensure for psychologists, governed by Rhode Island’s Board of Psychology. School psychologists, on the other hand, are certified by a separate process governed by the state’s education agency, and do not obtain a license. Here, we’ve summed up the requirements for traditional psychology licensure in Rhode Island.

  • Licensed Psychologist
    • Education: Doctoral degree in psychology, or its equivalent
    • Exam: Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
    • Work Experience: Two years of supervised experience, typically broken down into a 1,500-hour supervised predoctoral internship, and a 1,500-hour supervised postdoctoral experience
    • Other Prerequisites: Completed application, application fee, supporting transcripts, EPPP exam results sent directly from testing agency, photo of applicant, pre-doctoral and postdoctoral supervised practice forms.

Salaries for Psychologists in Rhode Island

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Rhode Island earned an average yearly salary of $82,100 in May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). All other psychologists in the state reported an annual salary of $74,390 that same year, the BLS noted. Remember that these salary figures are merely averages, and shouldn’t be taken as a guarantee of future salary. Individual salaries can vary a great deal depending on the city you practice in, your level of experience, and the size and type of your employer or client base.