The following is a list of Masters in Psychology programs throughout South Dakota.
Psychology Education In South Dakota
South Dakota is known for the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, but there is more to it than that. Indeed, it is also a great place to work as a psychologist. According to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, there is a projected increase of 12.8% in demand for psychologists between 2010 and 2020. As a result, if you have met all the psychology requirements that the state has put in place, finding a job with a competitive salary and great benefits should not be a problem.
Psychologists take on a very significant responsibility in terms of improving the overall mental health and well being of residents. They have to be able to assess and diagnose patients, as well as prescribe and review treatment options. This is why the state has put in place some very strict requirements in terms of who can be a psychologist, relating to their education, experience and examination.
Educational Requirements to Become a Licensed Psychologist in South Dakota
One of the most important steps towards becoming a psychologist in South Dakota is gaining the proper education. This means that you must obtain a doctorate degree from a school that is regionally accredited. Before you can be accepted into a doctoral program, however, you must complete a four year bachelor's degree, followed by a two year master's degree. You then have to choose between a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. at doctorate level, which will take you between three and seven years to finish. All programs must include a residency and/or internship, as this will count towards your supervised experience requirements.
Supervised Professional Experience for Psychologists in South Dakota
Once you have completed your doctorate degree, you will need to gain supervised professional experience. During your degree program, you will need to complete 1,800 hours of supervised experience during internship or residency, and you must completed this within two consecutive calendar years. After your degree, you must complete another year of experience. The supervisor must be an approved and licensed psychologist.
South Dakota Psychologist Licensure Examinations
Finally, you will need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is a national test administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). The test consists of 225 multiple choice questions that relate to the eight nationally recognized core elements of psychology, being:
• Biological Bases of Behavior
• Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior
• Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior
• Growth and Lifespan Development
• Assessment and Diagnosis
• Treatment, Intervention, Prevention and Supervision
• Research Methods and Statistics
• Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues
You must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly in order to get a passing rate and you have 3 hours and 20 minutes to complete it. The test currently costs $600. However, this is subject to change.
The Career of a Psychologist in South Dakota
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there were just 260 psychologists employed in the state of South Dakota as of May 2014. These were all classed as clinical, counseling and school psychologists. Their average annual salary was $73,830, which was a 4.8% rise compared to the last count. The industry itself had grown by 9.1%. An average salary means that half of all psychologists earn less than that amount, whereas the other half earn more.
Once you start your career as a psychologist, after meeting all the necessary requirements, you will truly notice the difference between the Psy.D. and the Ph.D., which is also why it is so important to have carefully considered your options before making the decision between the two. With a Psy.D., you will most likely be involved in direct clinical work. Your role will be to work with patients on a one to one basis and provide them with treatment to improve their overall mental health and well being. If, on the other hand, you completed a Ph.D., you are licensed to do this work, but it is more likely that you will be influencing the field of psychology as a whole. Those with a Ph.D. often work in research, developing new diagnosis and treatment methods. Alternatively, you could work in universities, lecturing new psychology students about your field of expertise.