North Carolina State Licensing Requirements

With its mild weather, beautiful beaches and majestic landscape of mountains, North Carolina has a lot to offer for those who wish to study psychology in the state.

However, when you also consider its lack of congestion and reasonable cost of living, North Carolina sounds more like the perfect setting for your new psychology career once you’ve graduated.

Going to Psychology School in North Carolina

With several campuses across the state, the University of North Carolina is a great option for working towards your psychology degree in North Carolina. Below, just a few of school’s majors related to the field of psychology:

  • Clinical Health Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • School Psychology
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

Pursue a Psychology Degree Online

If you are interested in taking psychology classes online, try Adler School of Professional Psychology, the oldest independent school of psychology in the nation. Here you can earn a master of arts in counseling psychology, which will prepare you to become a licensed professional counselor. Designed for students who are working full time, the program also features a community service practicum, through which students can participate in community organizations and volunteer projects.

For students seeking psychology degrees online in disciplines other than counseling, the following schools have excellent programs:

  • Ashford University
  • Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
  • Purdue University Global
  • Northcentral University
  • Pacific Oaks College

North Carolina Job Market

Along with the costs of living, salaries are typically higher in the state’s larger cities, like Charlotte or Raleigh, than in less-populated areas. Overall, here is what you can expect to earn with a psychology-related degree in North Carolina:

Psychology Career Average Annual Salary*
Psychologist $87,800
Mental Health Counselor $48,280
Marriage and Family Therapist $50,860
Social Worker $47,260

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.

How to Become a Licensed Psychologist in North Carolina

Arguably the most crucial component of your career is obtaining licensure. Along with a psychology degree, North Carolina has the following prerequisites for practicing in the state:


  • A doctoral degree in psychology
  • Completion of supervised work experience for two years, of which one year may be conducted during the doctoral program

Professional Counselor

  • A master’s degree in counseling
  • Completion of 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, which must include 2000 hours of direct client contact
  • A passing score on the Jurisprudence Exam

Marriage and Family Therapist

  • A master’s degree in marriage and family therapy
  • Supervised clinical experience for the duration of 1500 hours, of which 500 hours may be completed during the master’s program

Social Worker

North Carolina recognizes four different certifications of social workers: certified social worker (CSW), certified master social worker (CMSW), certified social worker manager (CSWM) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

  • A bachelor’s degree (for CSW, CSWM) or master’s degree (for CMSW, LCSW) in social work
  • Completion of two-year supervised work experience in an administrative setting (for CSWM)
  • Completion of two-year supervised work experience in a clinical setting (for LCSW)

What to Do in North Carolina

When you’re not busy working towards your psychology degree, you’ll want to take advantage of all the state has to offer. From the mountains to the coast, North Carolina provides plenty of inspiration for weekend outings.

If you’re eager to explore the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, plan a getaway to the Biltmore Estate, the nation’s largest home and most-visited winery. Are you a history buff? Visit Wilmington, where you can learn about the heroism of the crew of the Battleship North Carolina during World War II. Of course, you can always escape from the hard work of your psychology courses with a trip to the beach. The coast of North Carolina has an abundance of gorgeous, laid-back beaches, like Corolla or Rodanthe in the Outer Banks, Emerald Island, Topsail Beach and Bald Head Island, just to name a few.



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