Perhaps few places feel the significance of skilled psychological care as deeply than as Wisconsin where, according to a 2016 report from The Green Bay Press Gazette, more than half the counties are federally-designated mental health provider shortage areas. Pediatric, developmental, and school psychologists are particularly sparse, leaving children and parents without much-needed support for months at a time. While such circumstances provide some degree of job security.
A glimpse of Wisconsin's psychology education and career field based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics and American Psychological Association (ACA):
- There were 1,980 clinical, counseling and school psychologists working in Wisconsin in May 2015.
- These professionals earned an average annual wage of $77,380 that year.
- There were 33 psychology colleges in Wisconsin as of spring 2016.
- Four psychology schools in Wisconsin offered online learning options in psychology.
- Nine psychology departments in Wisconsin are APA-accredited.
Like all states, Wisconsin psychologists must complete a rigorous licensing process to validate their ability to provide safe, effective mental health care.
|Region||Career||Total Employment||Annual Median Wage|
|Green Bay, WI||Mental Health Counselors||N/A||N/A|
|Green Bay, WI||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||110||$63,760|
|Madison, WI||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||610||$75,640|
|Madison, WI||Mental Health Counselors||N/A||N/A|
|Madison, WI||Psychologists, All Other||40||$57,840|
|Madison, WI||Marriage and Family Therapists||N/A||$52,910|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||1,050||$85,040|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||Mental Health Counselors||N/A||N/A|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||Marriage and Family Therapists||160||$49,330|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||Psychologists, All Other||N/A||N/A|
Wisconsin psychology licensing requirements
Psychologists must be licensed by the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board (WPEB) to work within the state — a process that ensures they have the training and experience deemed necessary for safe and effective practice. One must complete all WPEB requirements
- Earn a doctoral degree in psychology or an approved psychological specialty from a regionally accredited institution. Additional curricular requirements are available online through the WPEB or the American Board of Professional Psychiatry (ABPP).
- Complete 3,000 hours of clinical training under the supervision of a licensed psychologists. At least half of those hours must be accrued postdoctorally.
- Submit a licensing application with all supporting documentation and pay related fees.
- Pass the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) with a score of 75 percent or higher. Note that candidates must earn doctoral degrees before they take the exam, but need not complete all supervised post-doctoral hours.
- Complete the State Psychology Examination — a computer-based test covering Wisconsin's Administrative Code — with a score of at least 80 percent.
- Report to the PEB for for an oral interview and licensing approval.
Psychologists' training does not end with formal licensure. The Wisconsin Psychological Association (WPA) stipulates that professionals must renew their licenses every odd-numbered year to continue practicing within the state. Among the requisites: completing at least 40 board-approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over the preceding two-year period, a minimum of six hours of which must include ethics, risk management, or jurisprudence training. It is important to note that the WPEB will only accept CEUs offered through certain graduate programs or professional organizations, including the: American Psychological Association, National Association of School Psychologists, Canadian Psychological Association,Wisconsin School Psychologists Association or WPA.
While requirements rarely change, psychology students and professionals are encouraged to review the WPEB's Administrative Code for the most current initial and renewed licensing information.
Featured psychology schools in Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin - Madison (UW-Madison)
U.S. News & World Report suggests The University of Wisconsin - Madison's psychology programs are among the best available: the publication ranked the university's individual Clinical Psychology, Psychology, Biological Neuroscience and Developmental Psychology doctoral programs each among the top 10 in the nation 2016, and the institution-at-large among the 50 psychology schools in the world. According to UW-Madison's Department of Psychology, doctoral psychology graduates must complete seminars, methodology courses, and psychology workshops in one of six concentrations: biological psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, perception, or social psychology and personality. Each program is designed to provide the extensive academic and research training necessary for academic, clinical and research positions.
- Departments: Department of Psychology
- Location: Madison
- Online options: Students must report to campus for courses, seminars, and research activities, and approved clinics for supervised practica and internship
The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UW-Milwaukee)
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers psychology students a complete path to licensure, from online or on-campus undergraduate training through doctoral degrees in two distinct disciplines. According to UW-M official website, the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program uses a scientist-practitioner training model designed to train psychologists as generalists, though faculty research and clinical interests provide more targeted training in behavior therapy, pediatric health psychology and neuropsychology. The school's Ph.D. in Psychology program, on the other hand, follows an apprenticeship model that emphasizes individualized research experience along with integrated courses and seminars within a psychological specialty.
- Department: Psychology in the College of Letters & Science
- Location: Milwaukee
- Online options: Doctoral students must attend courses, workshops, seminars, and research activities on campus, but undergraduate students may be able to complete some of their coursework online.
Marquette University offers both bachelor's and doctoral degrees in psychology. Like UW-Milwaukee, Marquette's Ph.D. program uses a scientist-practitioner training model that integrates academic training with clinical and research experience. Unlike other featured programs, however, its master's program is only available to doctoral students, who can complete both in four to five years on average. Among the programs requirements: academic coursework, a master's thesis, supervised clinical practica, a separate 12-month pre-doctoral internship, and a doctoral dissertation. Some courses are available online, through the line-up changes each term. Master's students must pass a qualifying exam before they can begin their doctoral studies.
- Department: Department of Psychology
- Location: Milwaukee
- Online options: While most degree requirements must be complete on-site, Marquette offers a limited number of online psychology courses each term
1. "Chapter Psy 2: Requirements for Examination and Licensure of Psychologists," Administrative Code, Psychology Examining Board, Wisconsin State Legislature, State of Wisconsin, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/psy/2.pdf
2. "Psychology: Wisconsin Administrative Code," Department of Safety and Professional Services, State of Wisconsin, http://dsps.wi.gov/Boards-Councils/Administrative-Rules-and-Statutes/Psychology-Administrative-Rules-and-Statutes/
3. "Chapter Psy 4: Requirements for Renewal and Continuing Education," Administrative Code, Psychology Examining Board, Wisconsin State Legislature, State of Wisconsin, ,https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/psy/4.pdf
4. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
5. "Search for Accredited Programs," 2016, American Psychological Association, http://apps.apa.org/accredsearch/?_ga=1.260631757.1983335796.1462059967
6. "Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: Occupational Employment and Wages," May, 2015, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm