Access to qualified mental health care is a major factor in community health and wellness — a tendency that draws many psychologists to their work. For those practicing in New Jersey, however, these personal rewards align with financial ones. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that New Jersey clinical, counseling and school psychologists are among the highest paid nation. The statistics:
- In 2015, New Jersey was home to 3,670 licensed clinical, counseling and school psychologists, and the nation's highest psychology employment rate.
- New Jersey psychologists' average wage was the second-highest in the nation that year: $90,520.
- An average 2015 salary of $97,890 made the state's capital Trenton one of the ten most lucrative metros for psychologists.
All psychologists must be licensed to practice in the United States. While specific state requirements vary, formal education is a universal must. About psychology schools in New Jersey:
- The National Center for Education Statistics indicates there were 26 psychology colleges in New Jersey in 2016.
- Four schools offered online psychology degrees.
- Three psychology schools in New Jersey are accredited by the American Psychological Association.
|Region||Career||Total Employment||Annual Median Wage|
|Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division||Mental Health Counselors||550||$51,610|
|Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division||Marriage and Family Therapists||780||$74,730|
|Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||540||$85,580|
|Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||1,060||$79,280|
|Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division||Marriage and Family Therapists||1,090|
|Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division||Psychologists, All Other||60||$108,130|
|Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division||Mental Health Counselors||1,940||$50,430|
|Trenton, NJ||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||360||$93,670|
|Trenton, NJ||Marriage and Family Therapists||360||$76,410|
|Trenton, NJ||Mental Health Counselors||$49,240|
New Jersey psychology licensing requirements
Each state sets its own psychology licensing criteria. Here's an overview of what it takes to become a licensed in New Jersey. Visit the State Board of Psychological Examiners (SBPE) to learn more.
- A doctorate in psychology from a regionally-accredited institution. The Board may accept approved Ph.D.'s, Psy.D.'s and Ed.D.'s in other relevant disciplines. Visit the SBPE to review curricular specifics.
- A completed licensing application submitted with: your official transcripts; an abstract of your dissertation; two character references; a criminal background check consent form and a certificate verifying your compliance with the child-support enforcement law.
Two years (3,500 hours) of practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Half of these hours are accrued post-doctorally.
Passing scores on the written and oral portions of the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology. Visit the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards for specifics.
The SBPE sets and enforces New Jersey's psychologist licensing criteria, which includes a two-year license renewal cycle. Unlike most states, New Jersey licensing renewal is not contingent on continuing education courses.
Featured psychology schools in New Jersey
Rutgers University is one of three psychology colleges in New Jersey with APA-accredited programs. Three programs, to be precise, including bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in clinical, cognitive and social psychology; behavioral neuroscience; and human learning and assessment, among other disciplines. Programs balance core courses, electives and seminars with fieldwork, internships and research. Note that U.S. News & World Report ranked Rutgers among the top psychology schools in the nation in 2016.
- Departments: Department of Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology and Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology
- Location: New Brunswick, Newark and Camden
- Online options: Rutgers offers a fully-online Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Learning, Cognition and Development (LD&C). The University recommends this program to anyone interested in the psychology of human growth and education, like aspiring school psychologists.
When it comes to program options, Rowan University is one of the best-stocked psychology colleges in New Jersey. Students can pursue undergraduate degrees and specializations in Psychological Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior Services for Children and their Families. Graduate options include the Master of Arts in School Psychology, Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis, Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Psychology, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and, for medically-inclined students, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) in Psychiatry. Rutgers offers on-site psychology residencies and research opportunities.
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University is a private Catholic institution with a hefty number of APA-accredited psychology programs. Undergraduate students can earn the B.A or B.S. in Psychology, with or without honors, while graduate students can pursue M.A. in Psychology or M.A.E. in Psychological Studies programs. What really distinguishes Seton Hall from other featured psychology schools in New Jersey, however, are its dual degree programs, which allow students to earn bachelor's and master's degrees concurrently. The University notes that all of its programs prepare students for doctoral psychology studies or entry-level positions in or out of psychology.
- Department: Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy
- Location: South Orange
- Online options: Seton Hall University does not currently offer online psychology programs.
1. "State & Area Data: Psychologists," Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-7
2. State Board of Psychological Examiners, Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, The State of New Jersey, http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/psy/
3. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
4. "Search for Accredited Programs," American Psychological Association, http://apps.apa.org/accredsearch/?_ga=1.260631757.1983335796.1462059967