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Arizona State Licensing Requirements

greetings from arizona

Arizona has an impressive variety of schools and programs for starting your psychology career.

Whether you want to attend college in a bustling metropolis or a laid-back mountain town, pursuing a psychology degree in Arizona means that you will have a wealth of options at your fingertips, and they all lead to your success as a teacher or administrator within the state.

Psychology Majors: Where to Attend School in Arizona

Maybe you want to earn a psychology degree in Arizona, but you would prefer to live in an area that experiences all four seasons. If this describes you, head to Flagstaff, Arizona. Here, you can attend school at Northern Arizona University, which offers undergraduate programs in psychology and social work, as well as master’s programs in counseling and psychology.

In a very different part of the state, in Tucson, the University of Arizona has an extensive psychology department with programs that are broken down into five major areas of specialization:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognition and Neural Systems
  • Ethology and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Psychology, Policy and Law
  • Social Psychology

For students who are interested in developmental psychology, the school has a program in the Division of Family Studies and Human Development. In the College of Education, students also have the option of school psychology or counseling programs and a rehabilitation counseling program, which was recently ranked fifth in the nation by US News and World Report.

Arizona Job Market

Below is a list of average annual salaries for psychology professionals in Arizona:

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
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Median Hourly Wage$40

Job growth9.9%

Total Employment650

Metro area Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $92,730 $55,310 $140,050
Tucson, AZ $82,630 $60,690 $144,430

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics

Arizona Licensure Requirements

After obtaining your psychology degree, you will need to apply for licensure in order to practice. Arizona does not require that you take a state law exam, but it does mandate that you receive a passing score on the proper national exam in your area of specialization. Here are the additional requirements for each type of psychology-related licenses:


  • A doctoral degree in psychology
  • Supervised professional work experiences that total 3,000 hours, half of which can be completed during the doctoral program through an internship that is approved by the American Psychological Association.

Professional Counselor

  • A master’s degree in counseling
  • Within 24 months, completion of a supervised work experience in counseling, of which half must include direct client contact

Marriage and Family Therapist

  • A master’s degree in a behavioral health science program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
  • A minimum of 3,200 hours of supervised post-degree experience, including 1,600 hours of direct client contact and 1,000 hours of client contact with couples and families

Social Worker

The Arizona Board of Health Examiners offers three different types of licenses for social workers: baccalaureate social worker (LBSW), master social worker (LMSW) or clinical social worker (LCSW).

  • A bachelor’s degree (for LBSW) or master’s degree (for LMSW or LCSW) in social work
  • Supervised work experience that includes 3,200 hours of clinical social work, half of which must involve direct client contact (for LCSW)

Making the Most of Your Psychology Degree

As you enroll in a program to earn psychology degree, you should learn about the professional associations that are available to students. Membership in these organizations offers substantial benefits, such as these:

  • Access to career opportunities and community resources
  • Information about legislation that affects your work and what you can do in response to new laws regarding your specialty area
  • Forums for interacting with peers and experts in your field
  • Consultation with advocates in your profession regarding legal and ethical issues

Did You Know?

  • Arizona has over 275 ghost towns, many of which have become tourist attractions, such as Jerome and Tombstone.
  • Arizona has more mountains than Switzerland and more parks and national monuments than any other US state.
  • When the Grand Canyon was first recognized as a National Park in 1919, it had over 44,000 annual visitors. Today the park receives close to five million visitors annually.

Sources: www.arizonainformation.info/fun-facts.htm, www.azbbhe.us/ADOPTED%20RULES.pdf, www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/32/02071.htm&Title=32&DocType=AR, www.azpa.org/associations/7002/files/Member%20Benefits%20Overview.pdf, www.cbsalary.com/state-salary-chart.aspx, www.coe.arizona.edu/dps/degrees_and_programs