Michigan State Licensing Requirements

licensing-michiganWith gorgeous scenery and over 100 beautiful beaches, Michigan has long been a treasured gem in the Midwest. In the upper peninsula of Michigan, Mackinac Island has been touted as one of the top ten islands in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.

If you are interested in earning a psychology degree, Michigan is more than just a great vacation spot. It is also the perfect place to start your new career.

Psychology Majors: Where to Attend School in Michigan

The University of Michigan offers great programs if you’re looking to earn a psychology degree in Michigan. The psychology department not only has a host of research labs, but it is also affiliated with the school’s Detroit Initiative program. In this program, students are provided with countless opportunities to cooperate with non-profit organizations in the community and discover the intervention methods that these organizations have employed.

Michigan State University offers innovative psychology programs in psychology, such as behavioral neuroscience, ecological-community psychology and social/personality psychology. If you are working towards a psychology degree at Michigan State University, you can also gain valuable experience at the school’s psychology clinic, which offers therapy services and community outreach programs.

The University of Phoenix’s Detroit and West Michigan campuses also offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mental health counseling, human services and psychology.

Michigan Job Market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychology professionals working in the metropolitan areas immediately surrounding Detroit should see higher salaries than in other areas of the state. Here are the average annual salaries for psychology-related degree holders:

Psychology Career Average Annual Salary*
School Psychologist $76,330
Mental Health Counselor $48,190
Marriage and Family Therapist $50,900
Social Workers $60,170

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.

Michigan Licensure Requirements

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, all health license applicants must undergo a criminal background check and submit fingerprints. If you want to use your psychology degree in Michigan, you must also pass the appropriate national board examination. Here are the additional requirements, depending on your field:


  • A doctoral degree in psychology
  • Completion of a 2,000-hour supervised internship


  • At least a master’s degree in counseling or related field
  • Completion of 3,000 hours of counseling experience under supervision, of which 100 hours must be in the immediate presence of the supervisor (for applicants with a master’s degree)
  • Completion of 1,500-hour supervised counseling experience, of which 50 hours must be in the presence of the supervisor (for applicants who have completed 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours beyond a master’s degree)

Marriage and Family Therapist

  • A master’s degree in marriage and family therapy that includes a 300-hour practicum of direct client contact
  • Completion of supervised post-degree experience that includes 1,000 hours of direct client contact

Social Worker

The state offers licenses for bachelor’s social workers (BSW) or master’s social workers (MSW).

  • A bachelor’s degree (for BSW) or master’s degree (for MSW) in social work
  • Completion of 4,000 hours of post-degree experience under supervision (for MSW)

Making the Most of Your Psychology Degree

Whether you are still working on your psychology degree in Michigan or trying to find work in your field, discover career-related support by joining a professional organization. As a member, you will have access to job opportunities, continuing education courses and important information on current issues. Below, a list of just a few of these organizations located in Michigan:

  • Michigan Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Michigan Association of Art Therapy
  • Michigan Counseling Association
  • Michigan Psychological Association
  • National Association of Social Workers: Michigan Chapter

Did You Know?

  • In 1817, Michigan was the first state to establish a university, which was the University of Michigan. It opened in Detroit but later moved to Ann Arbor.
  • Nicknamed the “Great Lakes State,” Michigan is the only state to have four out of the five Great Lakes within its border: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie.
  • Except for Alaska, Michigan has more shoreline than any other state in the US. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.

Sources: www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_47644.htm#19-0000, www.cbsalary.com/state-salary-chart.aspx, www.lsa.umich.edu/psych, www.michigan.gov, www.michigan.org, www.netstate.com/states/intro/mi_intro.htm, psychology.msu.edu/


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