What is Psychology?
Choosing where to earn a psychology degree in Nevada is equally as important as your decision to study psychology. Do you want to stay close to home and enjoy in-state tuition or are you looking to head out on your own to a new area? Is there a particular field you want to be your specialty? Maybe the warm climate and sunshine sparked your desire to become a psychologist in Nevada despite the fact that you live elsewhere. There are many deciding factors involved when choosing where to study.
Nevada has a high demand for psychologists and the projections for this field show considerable growth statewide over the next ten years. Mental Health America has said that Nevada residents have less accessibility to mental health care but a higher incidence of mental illness. That shows the need for licensed psychologists and long-term opportunities available in the field.
Nevada psychology students have numerous benefits available. Never paying state income tax, combined with a low cost of living in much of the state, can offer a couple of solid reasons to choose Nevada for your schooling. The state also boasts fantastic entertainment, like world-renowned shows and a plethora of outdoor adventures.
Having strong industry growth coupled with the many perks of living in the state, Nevada is a superb choice for psychology majors. In this guide, you will find vital information to help you choose the best psychology degree program for you. From degree options to possible career paths, this guide is your comprehensive tool for psychology schools in the Silver State.
Online Psychology Education in Nevada
Psychologists study minds and behaviors and how humans relate to one another and their surroundings. The field of psychology includes a variety of specialties like counseling psychology, school psychology, and cognitive psychology. Some psychologists research, formulate theories, and test new ways to help people.
As a psychologist, here are some of the job duties you could perform:
- Carry out scientific studies
- Analyze individuals
- Identify disorders related to emotion, behavior, and more
- Conduct research
- Create and discuss treatment plans
- Supervise interns and other staff
- Administer tests
- Applied behavior analysis and other types of treatment
- Write articles, reports, and papers
A psychologist has many career paths available based on their degree level and specialty.
Your potential places for employment once you graduate may include:
- Private Practice
- Nursing Homes
- Pain Centers
- Community and Mental Health Centers
- Rehabilitation Facilities
- And More
There are four degree levels available in Nevada for psychology students. Each level has different credit hour and degree requirements for completion. The degrees vary in what career paths will be available to you once you graduate, as well as their difficulty. Below is a breakdown of each degree level offered and what level you can reach in this profession, depending on how much education you earn.
Online Associate Degree in Psychology (AS)
An online associates in psychology is an undergraduate degree that provides essential career skills and the academic and technical basics to give you entry-level career options and practical learning opportunities as a social services assistant, home care aid, or psychiatric technician. However, completing a degree at this level will not give you the ability to work one-on-one with clients except in a very limited way.
If you don’t want to become a licensed psychologist but want to study and work in the field, this two-year program could be great for your educational and employment plans. This option is also friendly to your pocketbook since it costs less than other degree programs. Another perk is how quickly it will get you career-ready, as it can get earned in 24 months (two years) or less, depending on where you study and how you choose to participate in classes (in-person or online).
Online Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (BS)
Like an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate program. However, that is where the similarities between the two programs end. This degree level goes beyond the basics and provides you, the student, an opportunity to choose a focus for your studies, like majoring in psychology or counseling. It will take you twice as long to earn this degree than its two-year counterpart, but the benefits are worth it. With a four-year program under your belt, you’ll command a higher pay rate and gain access to considerably more job opportunities.
An online undergraduate in psychology gives you skills that can be utilized in numerous industries including as a correctional treatment specialist, medical and health services manager, or human resources specialist. It is possible to earn this degree faster if you choose accelerated courses or specific online options. Additionally, you may be able to work with clients as a substance abuse counselor. If you focus your degree and earn the appropriate certification, you could start your career working as a counselor and helping those who are trying to overcome their addictions to drugs or alcohol. This is a great first step in working with patients in the field of psychology, though you will need to earn a master’s to work in any other form of counseling or therapy.
Online Master's Degree in Psychology (MS or MC)
Here is a postgraduate academic qualification earned by completing an additional two-three years of high-level education in a focused area. Earning a master’s degree shows you have advanced knowledge, techniques, and skills in a specialized field. A master’s creates opportunities for advancement in your chosen career path and leads to a higher earning potential. It also gives you transferable professional skills that can crossover into many industries.
With a Master’s in Psychology, you’ll have a wide selection of job opportunities waiting. It’s a good idea to research the job and the duties involved before choosing a specialty. Some career options are school psychologist, counselor, and occupational psychologist. However, you may also move into research or education once you have earned a degree at this level. The degree you earn and the certifications you need depend on where your career is headed, so be certain you know what you want from your career before you sign up for any program.
Online PhD Degree in Psychology (PhD)
There are two types of doctorate degrees. One centers around research and the other focuses on a profession. A doctorate is considered the pinnacle of your education. It is the highest degree you can attain and demonstrates that you are an expert in a specific field of study or your profession. To earn a PhD, you need to thoroughly analyze, research, and offer new perspectives or solutions in your specialty.
With a PhD, your top-tier employment options are practically limitless. You will effortlessly edge out your lesser degree-holding competition with your expertise and skill set. Career options at the doctorate level include applied researcher, mental health clinician, professional consultant, and many others. The duration of the program varies based on several factors, but you can expect to spend a minimum of four, or up to eight, years working on your doctorate.
When it comes to clinical psychology or work as a psychologist, you may have to reach this level of education in order to gain licensure at all.
Become a Psychologist in Nevada
It is vital to have a general idea of the direction you’d like to go in your career before choosing your path in the field of psychology. Some jobs do not need licensure and accept a two-year degree, while others go as far as requiring a doctorate with a postgraduate certification for you to be considered for the position. Other factors like time, money, and program availability can affect your road to a psychology profession.
If you aspire to become a psychologist in Nevada, the Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners has set forth specific requirements you must complete. You’ll need to attain a doctorate in the field from a recognized institution with national accreditation and two years of supervised practice with 2,000 hours pre-doctoral and 1,750 hours postdoctoral experience. There are also two tests, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Nevada State Exam, that future psychologists must pass.
Once you meet the above criteria, you can apply for licensure in Nevada by sending the completed registration form to the Board with a $150 application fee. Upon receipt, you’ll receive an email from the ASPPB (Association for State and Provincial Psychology Boards) for the PLUS (Psychology Licensure Universal System). Some individuals may qualify for an expedited process.
If you are considering earning a graduate degree, you may want to consider a psychology graduate program that will provide you with a focused concentration. These programs are generally twelve to twenty-four months (one or two years) long and offer specific training in the psychology field. One example is UNLV’s quantitative psychology program which offers methodological, statistical, and psychometric training on an advanced level.
Potential Careers for Psychology Graduates
- School Psychologist:
Utilizing a higher level of human understanding combined with child and adolescent development, a professional in this field works in collaboration with faculty, students, and families to promote emotional well-being, better academic performance, and crisis intervention. They may also conduct additional testing and assessments. You could work with the entire student body, individual students, or both. Counseling and school psychology is a rewarding career that can have a lasting positive impact on the students and their families.
- Organizational Psychologist:
Organizational psychologists use scientific methods in a workplace environment to improve employee productivity, job satisfaction, program effectiveness, and implement new programs, among other job duties. Essentially, they find solutions to job-related issues. As an organizational psychologist, you could work at a consulting firm, corporation, community organization, school, or research facility.
- Behavioral Disorder Counselor:
Behavioral disorder counselors help clients develop the skill set to overcome negative behaviors. Clientele could suffer from substance abuse, eating disorders, alcoholism, mental health issues, or other related issues in psychology. As a counselor in this area, you would use behavior analysis to assist patients with treatment and support to aid in recovery or to correct problematic behavior. A professional in this field could have a private practice or work in a hospital, clinic, school, or rehabilitation center.
- Mental Health Counselor:
Mental health counselors discuss symptoms and treatment plans with their patients. Utilizing psychotherapy, the counselor assists patients in understanding their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions and helps identify triggers or stressors. Counselors also help by providing problem-solving and coping mechanisms. Some methods you could use in this field are cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal therapy. You could work in prisons, mental health centers, and community health facilities.
- Psychiatric Technician:
Here is an entry-level position that does not require licensure. A psychiatric technician performs basic tasks like changing dressings, checking vital signs, administering medications, and general daily care of patients. As a technician, you can work in residential mental health facilities, psychiatric wards, and other mental health-related settings. One thing of note, someone working in this position spends a considerable amount of time on their feet when on the job.
- Social Worker:
There is no licensure required to become a social work assistant. With an associate degree, you can become an assistant and help patients and their families while supporting the care facility. Some job duties include paperwork, food stamps or Medicaid assistance, client transportation, and aiding individuals in care facilities with daily tasks. Many social work assistants work with organizations related to individual or family service but they can also work in nursing homes, government groups, and community service facilities.
- Victim Advocate:
Working as a victim advocate in Nevada, you would support crime victims and act as a guide for them throughout the criminal justice process. Advocates are essential in ensuring victims know their rights and get treated fairly. They also help prevent any adverse actions resulting from a client’s victimization. Advocates are assigned through the court system, social service programs, police departments, and medical facilities.