Hawaii was home to slightly fewer than 1.5 million people in 2015, according to U.S. Census estimates, but it boasts an employment rate for trained psychologists that’s among the highest in the nation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the concentration of jobs available for graduates of psychology schools and colleges in Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2015, behind only Massachusetts, Vermont and New Mexico and ahead of California.
Here are a few other facts about degrees and careers for psychologists in Hawaii:
- The National Center for Education Statistics counts seven psychology schools and colleges in Hawaii, of which two offer doctoral psychology programs recognized by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists and the American Psychological Association (APA)
- Hawaii’s total of approximately 750 active clinical, counseling and school psychologists may not seem like a lot, but the BLS has Hawaii tied with California in the No. 4 spot nationally for its percentage of psychology jobs on the overall statewide market
There are also some interesting facts about psychologist salary averages on the Hawaiian Islands:
- Clinical, counseling and school psychologists working in the Aloha State earned a mean annual wage of $82,610 in 2015, more than $4,000 higher than the national average in the field, and the top 10 percent of earners took home more than $127,460 the same year
- Psychologists in urban Honolulu earned considerably more on average than their counterparts outside the capital city — the mean yearly salary for Honolulu residents was $82,380 in 2015, right about at the statewide average, while psychologists in the nonmetropolitan area comprising the islands of Maui, Kauai and the big island of Hawaii earned about $66,770 the same year
|Urban Honolulu, HI||Psychologists, All Other||120||$98,530|
|Urban Honolulu, HI||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||310||$95,660|
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
Hawaii psychology licensing requirements
Candidates for a psychology license in Hawaii can request an application from the Professional & Vocational Licensing division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). Here are the basic licensing requirements for aspiring Hawaii psychologists, as listed on the DCCA website:
- Hold a regionally accredited doctoral degree from an APA-approved program in psychology or educational psychology
- Apply for and successfully complete the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
- Provide verification of at least 1,900 hours of internship experience or other supervised clinical work performed as a part of earning one’s doctorate
Graduates of psychology schools and colleges in Hawaii also must provide documentation of academic work at the graduate level in six specific areas within psychological study:
- Biological bases of behavior
- Cognitive-affective bases of behavior
- Social bases of behavior
- Individual differences
- Psychodiagnosis and individual assessment
Regardless of their date of issue, Hawaii psychologist licenses must be renewed by June 30 of each even-numbered year. Different licensing rules may apply to candidates with certain special sets of circumstances; check the state-published list of Hawaii psychology license requirements for more details.
Featured psychology colleges in Hawaii
Here’s some information on psychology schools in Hawaii with programs recognized by the APA, the National Register or U.S. News & World Report, as well as some under-the-radar institutions to check out:
University of Hawaii
The Manoa location of the 10-campus University of Hawaii system offers a variety of psychology degrees at different levels, including a Ph.D. program that’s ranked among the top 100 nationally by U.S. News and recognized by the National Register and APA alike. Undergraduate students can choose between a comprehensive survey of psychological principles in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program and an in-depth, research-oriented Bachelor of Science (BS) degree designed for students who plan to take their academic path through medical school. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree can apply to a Master of Arts (MA) program that includes a research mentorship and aims to leave students well-prepared for doctoral work.
- Department: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Psychology
- Location: Manoa, Hawaii
- Online options: University of Hawaii undergraduates can choose between two online degree options, a BA in psychology based at the Manoa campus and a BA in social sciences with a psychology concentration based at the West Oahu campus.
One of the great things about studying psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is the opportunity to interact and get to know the professors. There are a number of small classes and unique research oriented opportunities that students can take advantage of. I think it really helps prepare students for their future careers or graduate education, whichever path they might choose. – Dr. Sinnet, Associate Professor – Undergraduate Chair, University of Hawaii Department of Psychology
Hawaii School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
The Honolulu campus of Argosy University features psychology programs at every degree level, including a two-year Associate of Arts (AA) and a full four-year BA for undergraduates to master’s programs in clinical psychology, forensic psychology and marriage and family therapy. There are also two doctoral programs available to Argosy students — a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree program in clinical psychology and a counseling psychology program that leads to a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree — of which the PsyD degree has earned recognition from both the APA and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. The PsyD program requires completion of a total of 98 semester credit hours and includes vital knowledge areas such as psychological assessment, clinical practicum, professional issues, clinical knowledge, psychological intervention and science and scholarship.
- Department: Hawaii School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
- Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
- Online options: Numerous online programs are on offer through the greater Argosy University system, including an AA and BA in psychology, a counseling psychology EdD program and MA programs in clinical mental health counseling and industrial-organizational, sport-exercise and forensic psychology.
Hawaii Pacific University
Hawaii Pacific University, or HPU, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in various disciplines of psychology. The BA degree for undergraduate students works to introduce a range of important psychological concepts and ensure that students are prepared to tackle the challenges of graduate study, while the master’s program narrows its focus to the discipline of clinical mental health counseling and serves to supply students with enough training to choose for themselves whether they’d like to become licensed as professional counselors and begin practicing out of grad school or go on to earn their doctorate in a post-graduate program. HPU is also home to an active psychology club and a chapter of Psi Chi, the psychological international honor society.
- Department: Hawaii Pacific University Department of Psychology
- Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
- Online options: HPU does offer some online programs, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree available fully online, but psychology degrees must be earned in a traditional classroom at present.
Brigham Young University – Hawaii
Aspiring psychologists at the Laie campus of the mainland-based BYU university system can begin preparing for their long academic journey in a few ways. Brigham Young University – Hawaii undergraduate students who are certain that they want to pursue a sequence of degrees in psychology can enroll in a bachelor’s program that concentrates the bulk of its coursework on general psychological concepts and research methods, while those hoping to explore aspects of the subject in some depth without committing to a full degree plan can supplement their existing degree plan with a minor concentration in psychology or organizational behavior.
- Department: BYU Hawaii Department of Psychology
- Location: Laie, Hawaii
- Online options: Although BYU Hawaii does offer some individual courses online, no fully online bachelor’s degree program currently operates out of the northern Oahu campus