Will an Online Psychology Degree Qualify Me To Work In A Private Practice Setting?

A master’s or doctorate degree earned online qualifies a therapist to work in a private practice. With a master’s degree or higher, most counselors will have the necessary degree and training to work within a psychological practice. Whether or not that degree was earned online is immaterial.

Credentials For Working In A Private Practice

In order to work in a private practice setting a counselor must hold at least a master’s degree in psychology. Typically a master’s degree in one of the specialties related to counseling psychology is preferable. In addition to a master’s or doctoral degree, a potential private practitioner may also need to have a valid license in their state of practice. Fortunately, degrees that have been earned online are commonly accepted for licensure.

Licensure For Working In A Private Practice

One of the most important issues involved in working in a private practice is the issue of licensure. The requirements for what qualifies a counselor to work as a private practitioner varies from state to state. In order to become licensed private practitioner, there are a few basic requirements that all states hold. According to The Bureau of Labor’s Statistics Occupational Handbook, in order for an individual to become licensed in the United States they must complete an internship, a residency program or a pre or post-doc supervision program. Additionally an individual must have a master’s degree or higher.

In all states in the United States, a therapist operating their own private practice must hold a valid license in their state. However, some states allow clinicians without licensure to work for another psychologist (who holds a state license) in a private practice setting. While some states will require a doctorate degree to practice privately, others grant licenses to master’s level psychologists. What each individual must then evaluate is what limitations their state has in regards to regulations on licensure and private practice.

Employment in a Private Practice Versus Owning A Private Practice

Because the rules on working in a private practice vary so greatly from state to state, another consideration for many potential private practitioners is whether they wish to work in an existing private practice or whether they would like to form their own practice. For individuals who would like to form their own practice they must be licensed by their state. In many states they must also have a doctoral degree. For those individuals who would like to join an existing practice the rules are often less stringent. In some states a license is not a necessity. It is also commonplace for counselors with master’s degrees to work under another psychologist in a private practice.

Obviously, an online psychology degree will qualify a counselor to work in a private practice in many states. It is important to note that each state has their own set of rules and criteria so future private practitioners must be aware of their states rules. As long as the state regulations are followed an online psychology degree will qualify you to work in a private practice.