In Your State: West Virginia

Psychology Degree Schools in West Virginia

Address: 111 W Congress St.
Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
Type: 4-year, Private for-profit
Accreditation Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission; Distance Education and Training Council
Psychology Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Master of Arts in Psychology
Address: 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, West Virginia 25304
Type: 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Accreditation Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Psychology Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

How to Become a Psychologist in West Virginia

How to Become a Psychologist in West Virginia

Educational Requirements

To practice as a psychologist in West Virginia, you must first obtain a license. To start out as a supervised-psychologist, you must earn a minimum of a master’s degree in psychology from an accredited higher education institution, complete the required amount of supervised experience, pass a written national licensing exam, and pass a state oral exam, according to the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists. The master’s program must entail a minimum of 50 hours of graduate-level course work, of which 80% must be earned on campus, rather than at a distance, the Board specifies. Graduate-level course work must build your skills and knowledge in clinical interviewing, planning for diagnosis and treatment, psychopathology, biological bases of behavior, ethics, and child and adult assessment, the Board explains. In addition, an approved master’s program must include course work in individual psychotherapy, tests and measures, and hands-on training in the form of practicum experiences and a clinical internship.

Alternatively, you may earn a doctoral degree in psychology, such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D., from an accredited higher education institution to qualify for psychology licensure in West Virginia. Doctoral programs offered via distance learning must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet state qualifications for psychology education, the Board stipulates. Required course work is identical to that required in master’s programs, and an approved doctoral degree must include either a predoctoral or postdoctoral supervised internship, according to state law. School psychologists have slightly different education requirements than other psychologists in West Virginia. School psychologists may earn a master’s degree, an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree, a Certificate of Advanced Study, or a doctoral degree in school psychology to qualify for licensure.

Continuing Education Requirements

Psychologists in West Virginia must renew their licenses every two years, and school psychologists must renew every three years, according to the Board of Examiners. Continuing education is required before psychologists can renew their licenses. Regular psychologists must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) in a two-year period, while school psychologists must complete 30 hours of CE in the three-year period, the Board explains. For all licensees, three of the required CE hours must pertain to ethics. Since the field of psychology is constantly advancing, CE helps keep licensed psychologists up-to- date on changes, best practices, and current issues in psychology.

Psychology Licensure in West Virginia

Becoming a psychologist in West Virginia is a graduated process that starts with being licensed as a supervised-psychologist until the psychologist has completed the necessary amount of supervised experience required for the graduate degree level attained. Only after a psychologist has worked successfully under supervision for a set period of time can he or she work independently. The same is true of school psychologists, which have two levels of licensure in West Virginia. The requirements for each type of license are outlined here.

  • Licensed Psychologist (Master’s)
    • Education: Master’s degree in psychology
    • Exam: Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), Oral Exam (the Oral Exam can only be taken after you have completed the required five years of supervised experience)
    • Work Experience: Must complete five years of postgraduate supervised experience that has been approved by the Board before you can practice independently
    • Other Prerequisites: Must be at least 18, be of good moral character, and must not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude
  • Licensed Psychologist (Doctoral)
    • Education: Doctoral degree in psychology
    • Exam: EPPP, Oral Exam (Oral Exam can only be taken after you have completed the required one to two years of supervised experience)
    • Work Experience: Must complete at least one year of supervised experience that has been approved by the Board before you can practice independently (provided you already completed a predoctoral or postdoctoral internship)
    • Other Prerequisites: Must be at least 18, be of good moral character, and must not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude
  • Licensed School Psychologist (Level I)
    • Education: Master’s degree, Ed.S., or Certificate of Advance Study in school psychology
    • Exam: Praxis, Oral Exam (after completing the required supervised experience), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) certification examination administered by the Educational Testing Service
    • Work Experience: Three years of supervised experience (two if graduate study included a supervised internship)
    • Other Prerequisites: Must be at least 18, be of good moral character, and must not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude
  • Licensed School Psychologist (Level II)
    • Education: Master’s degree, Ed.S., Certificate of Advance Study, or a doctoral degree in school psychology
    • Exam: Praxis, Oral Exam, National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) certification examination administered by the Educational Testing Service
    • Work Experience: If master’s degree is held, you must log two school calendar years of experience; if doctoral degree is held, you must log one school calendar year of experience (if an internship was completed)
    • Other Prerequisites: Must be at least 18, be of good moral character, and must not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude

Salaries for Psychologists in West Virginia

The average yearly salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in West Virginia was $52,580 in May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some licensed psychologists choose to pursue college-level teaching careers, and postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average salary of $58,250 that same year, the BLS noted. Keep in mind that these salary figures are merely averages and should not be taken as guarantees of actual salary in the field. Salaries for psychologists in West Virginia vary a great deal depending on how much experience you have, the type of psychology you practice, the size of the city you work in, and the size and type of your employer or client base.