Colorado State Licensing Requirements

licensing-coloradoIf you want to begin a psychology career in a state that promotes environmentally friendly standards and active, outdoorsy lifestyles, look no further than Colorado. Not only does the state have breathtaking scenery and ultimate tourist destinations, like the luxurious town of Aspen, it also boasts a strong economy.

Take Denver, for example. Nicknamed the “Mile-High City,” this metropolis features a median household income that is more than 15 percent higher than the national median household income, according to denver.org. By the year 2030, it expects a 50-percent growth in population and an additional 800,000 job openings. If you consider your career aspirations to be mile-high, start working towards a psychology degree in Colorado.

Psychology Majors: Where to Attend School in Colorado

Located in Colorado Springs, University of the Rockies has a wide range of programs in psychology, marriage and family therapy and counseling. Some of the more unique specializations include the following:

  • Business Psychology
  • Sports and Performance Psychology
  • Organizational Consulting
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution

The school, which offers online classes in addition to traditional courses, also offers a certificate program in general psychology.

Another exceptional school where you can earn a psychology degree in Colorado is the University of Colorado at Boulder. The school’s clinical psychology program was recently recognized by the National Institute Mental Health for its work in treatments for mood disorders. Students can also acquire valuable training through the three clinics affiliated with the University of Colorado: Women’s Mental Health and Wellness Clinic, Raimy Clinic and Sutherland Center.

Colorado Job Market

If you get a job with your psychology degree, you are likely to earn more if you work in a larger city, such as Boulder or Denver. Below are the average annual salaries of psychology professionals throughout the state:

Psychology Career Average Annual Salary*
Psychologist $82,030
Mental Health Counselor $48,930
Marriage and Family Therapist $58,860
Social Worker $52,290

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists, Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers

*The salary information listed is based on mean state salary for each profession, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Colorado Licensure Requirements

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Industries is responsible for issuing licenses to psychology professionals. First and foremost, the department requires passing scores on the appropriate national examination and the state’s jurisprudence examination. If you have earned a psychology degree, here are the additional requirements for each field:

Psychologist

  • A doctoral degree in psychology
  • Completion of a post-doctoral experience that includes 1,500 hours of clinical services
  • Completion of 75 hours of post-doctoral supervision over a period of twelve months, 50 hours of which must be face-to-face supervision

Professional Counselor

  • A master’s degree in counseling
  • Completion of a 2,000-hour post-degree internship, of which 100 hours is under direct supervision

Marriage and Family Therapist

  • A master’s degree or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy
  • Completion of 2,000-hour post-degree experience and 100 hours of post-degree supervision, of which 50 hours must be face-to-face supervision (for applicants with a master’s degree)
  • Completion of 1,500-hour post-degree experience and 75 hours of post-degree supervision, half of which must be under immediate supervision (for applicants with a doctoral degree)

Social Workers

  • Colorado issues two different types of licenses for social workers: Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
  • A master’s degree in social work (for LSW or LCSW)
  • Completion of 3,360 hours of post-degree experience, including 96 hours under supervision with 48 hours of face-to-face supervision (for LCSW)

Making the Most of Your Psychology Degree

As someone working towards a psychology degree, you might consider enrolling in a professional association. Whether national, state or local, an association will greatly aid in the success of your career. Here are some of the state and local organizations in Colorado:

  • Art Therapy Association of Colorado
  • Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Colorado Association for Play Therapy
  • Colorado Behavioral Health Care Council
  • National Association of Social Workers: Colorado Chapter

Did You Know?

  • Colorado is the only US state to turn down the Olympics when Denver was invited to host in 1976.
  • Colorado’s name means “red-colored.”
  • The mountainous region of Colorado is six times the size of Switzerland.
  • Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write “America the Beautiful” while looking over Pikes Peak.

Sources: www.denver.org/, www.dora.state.co.us, psych.colorado.edu, www.theagapecenter.com/Organizations/Colorado.htm

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