How to Become a Psychologist in New York

Psychology Education Guide for New York

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What is Psychology?


Studying psychology can be one of the most satisfying choices a person can make. Numerous job prospects exist in the discipline of psychology, which is diversified and applicable to fields outside the psychology discipline. A bachelor's degree in psychology can lead to careers as a psychologist, social worker, counselor, or therapist, or can help you find a career in HR or business.

Numerous psychology colleges and degree programs may be found in New York. Traditional and online choices, as well as undergraduate and advanced degrees, are available to students all over the state. In New York, students can study topics such as human behavior, addiction, mental health, and more through psychology degrees. Bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees are all available in psychology and it is essential to select a school that will adequately equip you for the vocation you wish to pursue.


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Psychology Education in New York


A psychology professional is someone who has completed a degree in psychology and has been certified by a governing body, such as the American Psychological Association (APA). Certification typically requires passing an exam and completing continuing education requirements.

Psychology professionals work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, schools, and corporations. They can use their training to help people with mental health issues, conduct research, and teach. They may also work with athletes to improve performance or help businesses improve productivity or they can find high-level careers in law enforcement, in which they will help law enforcement professionals understand the motives behind crime. And, again, they may also find work outside the psychology discipline if they decide they wish to work in business. Because human behavior is important in many industries, they may find positions in human resources, marketing, and more.

Online Associate Degree in Psychology (AS)

There are many different schools that offer associate degrees in psychology. The courses you take will vary depending on the school you choose, but they will typically cover topics such as human development, abnormal psychology, and research methods, among others. You will learn about important concepts and theories, and you will also develop important skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.

These degrees can prepare you for a number of careers in many fields, though you are unlikely to be able to work as a counselor or therapist without more education. A benefit of earning an associate degree or an online degree in psychology is that it can end up being more affordable than the more traditional programs. It can lower the costs of living, allow you to work while you attend, and mean that you don’t have to pay the fees paid by those who attend on-campus.

No matter how you choose to attend, these programs usually require that students complete around 60 credit hours, which should take two years if you are attending full-time. If you choose to work and attend only part-time, it may take three to four years to complete your study. Even so, this can help you by increasing your pay or allowing you to complete a bachelor’s program later in your career. If you attend a school that is accredited, then you may be able to move most, if not all, of your credits to this later degree, allowing you to start your bachelor’s as a junior instead of a freshman.

Online Bachelors Degree in Psychology (BS)

Psychology is a fascinating field of study that investigates how the human mind functions. In order to better comprehend oneself and others, it can be useful to comprehend these processes. A bachelor's degree in psychology can provide students with the information and abilities need to work in the area or continue into graduate studies, which will likely be required if you wish to work as a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

There are numerous routes to earning a bachelor’s psychology degree. An online bachelor's degree program is one option that is becoming more common and easier to find across the country. This type of program can be convenient for students who cannot attend on-campus classes or who wish to continue working while studying. There are numerous credible online programs, though students should evaluate their unique requirements while selecting one.

Whether you choose a traditional program or not, you will need to complete around 120 credit hours for most programs at this level. This will take around four years for most full-time students, though you may find an accelerated course or choose to earn some credits during the summers in order to speed up the degree.

Online Masters Degree in Psychology (MS or MA)

Choosing to further your education by earning a master's degree in psychology can be a great decision for your career, especially if you choose to remain in the field and work as a counselor, therapist, or researcher. A master's in psychology can open up many opportunities for you in the field of psychology and can lead to higher paying jobs. However, before you decide to enroll in an online master's degree program in psychology, it’s important to do your research and make sure that the program is accredited and will provide you with the necessary training and education you need.

Once you do sign up, you can expect it to take around another two years to earn this degree. Many programs offer at least some online courses, allowing you to work more easily while you complete the degree. At this level, you will be able to focus your career, as well. If you are earning a degree in counseling, you can choose a concentration in substance abuse counseling, marriage and family counseling, or on another option.

Online PhD Degree in Psychology (PhD)

A PhD in psychology can be earned online through various universities throughout the state of New York. Earning this degree online can be convenient and a great way to network with other professionals in the field, gain access to a tenure track as a professor, move your career forward, and more. The courses you take will cover various areas of psychology, from abnormal behavior to research methods. After completing your coursework, you will complete unique research and a dissertation on a topic of your choosing. Many online PhD students choose to specialize in an area such as forensic psychology or counseling. No matter what field you choose to focus on, you will need to defend your dissertation once it is complete. You will have a faculty member who will help you through your research, suggesting where you should focus and letting you know when you’ve missed the mark, but your defense will be entirely up to you.

Online Psychology Certifications

A Psychology Certificate Curriculum is often an intensive program that prepares students for psychology graduate study. These certificates cover courses required for success in prestigious graduate programs, such as PsyD and PhD programs. The curriculum can be completed in two semesters or longer, depending on the student's schedule. A bachelor's degree in psychology and an interest in the topic are required for admission to these types of programs.

A graduate of an online psychology degree program will provide access to a wider variety of professional opportunities. Those with a bachelor's or master's degree may find employment in community mental health, private practice, or education. Doctorate-holding individuals may become consultants or establish their own private practice. They may even pursue a PhD to improve their professional prospects. After finishing an online psychology degree program, further degrees and certifications are also available.

Become a Psychology Professional in New York


In order to become a psychology professional in New York, there are specific steps that must be followed.

  • Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology

    In order to obtain a bachelor's degree in psychology, one must attend an accredited college or university. As with all other states, gaining licensure in the field of psychology requires a huge amount of education, of which a bachelor’s degree is just the first step. Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. A degree in psychology can prepare students for careers in many different fields such as mental health, marketing, research, and teaching. You can enter another field with just the bachelor’s degree, such as a career in business, but if you wish to gain licensure you will need to continue your psychology education.

  • Step 2: Pursue a graduate degree in psychology

    Graduate study in psychology can lead to a career in research, teaching, or clinical work. A variety of specialties are available such as forensic psychology, health psychology, and sports psychology. You can earn a master’s degree in the field and work as a counselor or therapist, but the most common degree earned by those who wish to obtain full licensure in psychology is the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), which typically takes around four more years to complete. Other degrees include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology and the Master of Arts (MA) in psychology. A master’s will let you work in private practice, but those who wish to work as psychologists in the state will need to earn a PhD.

  • Step 3: Complete your supervised work experience

    Whether you earn experience through an internship during your schooling or only gain it through supervised work that you enter into after gaining your degree, everyone wanting to work in the psychology or counseling field will need it at some point. Anyone looking to earn licensure in New York must have supervised work experience. This allows the state to ensure that you really know what you’re doing before they provide licensure. It can also help you to network with other professionals in the field.

  • Step 4: Pass the licensure examination psychology

    Becoming a licensed psychologist requires more than just completing a degree program in psychology and supervised experience. Once all of these requirements are met, candidates must sit for an exam. The examination is designed to test competency in key areas of psychology such as research methods, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Successful completion of the exam leads to licensure and the ability to practice independently as a psychologist.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Psychology?


After obtaining your bachelor’s in psychology, you may be wondering what kind of career options are available to you. In truth, there are many different directions you can go with a psychology degree, but many of the ones you would assume are accessible at this point may not be. You cannot work as a psychologist in a clinical or private practice setting with just a bachelor’s, though you may be able to counsel patients in group settings on issues such as mental health and addiction. Alternatively, you could use your knowledge of the human mind to pursue a career in marketing, human resources, or education, which usually require little more than a bachelor’s degree. With a little creativity, there are many possibilities. So, if you’re not sure what to do with your psychology degree, don’t worry – you have plenty of options.

Potential Careers for Psychology Graduates


  • Child Counselor/Psychologist:

    A child counselor or psychologist provides counseling and support to children who are experiencing emotional difficulties. The role includes assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological problems in children. They also often work with parents and families to provide education and support.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in psychology or related field
    • Licensed as a psychologist in the state of practice
    • Experience working with children and families
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in the US in 2021 was $78,200.
    • The mean annual wage for clinical and counseling psychologists in New York is $120,350 and school psychologists earn $97,640
  • School/Education Psychologist:

    A school or educational psychologist will work with school staff, students, and parents to provide psychological services within the school setting. These services may include individual and group counseling, psychological testing, consultation, and crisis intervention. They will work to promote the psychological well-being of students and to help them reach their academic and social potential.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s or Doctoral degree in Psychology
    • State licensure as a psychologist
    • Experience working in a school setting

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for school psychologists in the US in 2021 was $78,780
    • The mean annual wage for school psychologists in New York is $97,640
  • Psychiatrist:

    A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists are trained to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, from anxiety and depression to more serious disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In addition to medication, psychiatrists may also provide talk therapy or other forms of treatment.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Must be a licensed medical doctor
    • Completion of psychiatric residency training
    • Board certification in psychiatry

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for psychiatrists in the US in 2021 was $249,760
    • The mean annual wage for psychiatrists in New York is $197,730
  • Substance Abuse/Addictions Counselor:

    A substance abuse/addictions counselor is responsible for providing counseling and support to individuals with substance abuse addictions. They will work with clients to help them overcome their addiction, develop coping skills, and build a support system. They will also provide education on addiction and its consequences.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling or related field
    • Licensed counselor in the state of practice
    • Experience working with individuals with substance abuse addictions

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in New York is $56,050
  • Family and Marriage Therapist:

    A family and marriage therapist is responsible for providing therapy to couples and families in order to help them resolve conflict and improve communication. They will work with clients to identify goals and create a treatment plan and will also provide support and guidance to clients as they work through difficult issues.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling, social work, or a related field
    • Licensed by the state in which you practice
    • 2-5 years of experience working with couples and families in therapy

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in the US in 2021 was $49,880
    • The mean annual wage for marriage and family therapists in New York is $62,210
  • Psychology Researcher:

    A psychology researcher will be responsible for conducting research on various topics within the field of psychology. They will be required to design and implement research studies, collect and analyze data, and write reports and papers based on their findings. In addition, they will be responsible for presenting their findings at conferences and in journals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field
    • Strong research and analytical skills
    • Excellent writing and communication skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for survey researchers in the US in 2021 was $59,740 and social science research assistants earned $49,720
    • The mean annual wage for survey researchers in New York is $84,530 and social science research assistants earn $56,330
  • Psychology Professor – Postsecondary:

    A psychology professor is responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate students about psychological theories, research, and practices. They must develop and deliver lectures, create course materials, lead discussions, and grade papers. In addition to their teaching duties, professors may also conduct psychological research and publish their findings in academic journals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Ph.D. in Psychology
    • Teaching experience

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for psychology teachers, postsecondary in the US in 2021 was $77,860
    • The mean annual wage for psychologists, all other in New York is $104,580
  • Career Counselor:

    A career counselor provides guidance and support to individuals in their job search. They assist with resume writing, job interview preparation, and job placement and may also provide career development and job counseling.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master's degree in Counseling, Psychology, or a related field
    • 2+ years of experience in career counseling or a related field
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in New York is $70,150

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