Licensure FAQs

Licensure Frequently Asked Questions

Can an individual trained in industrial-organizational become a Licensed Psychologist? If so, what is the process?

Yes, an individual who is trained in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychology can become a licensed psychologist, although the specifics depend on the state where licensure is sought. To be eligible for licensure, an individual must first fulfill the licensing state’s educational and training prerequisites. Currently, only graduates of doctoral psychology programs meet states’ educational requirements. Most states also require candidates for licensure to complete a supervised experience that is overseen by a licensed psychologist. Eligible candidates who meet the educational and supervised experience requirements must then pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), often referred to as the "E-Triple-P," and a state-specific jurisprudence and ethics examination to achieve licensure.

Is a license required to practice I-O psychology?

This varies by state. In their licensure laws, states specify activities that psychologists perform that require licensure. In some states, the only psychology activities requiring licensure are healthcare services (e.g., assessment, diagnosis, counseling, therapy, etc.). In other states, licensure laws may explicitly identify I-O activities that require licensure, or they may state that any psychologist engaged in assessment, coaching/counseling, or similar activities must be licensed.

Do I need to be licensed to call myself an I-O psychologist?

This varies by state. Some states have titling laws that specify who is allowed to call themselves a psychologist. States with titling laws often do not allow those who engage in I-O practice to call themselves a psychologist unless they are licensed, even if they have completed a PhD or master’s degree in I-O psychology. In these states, individuals may indicate that they engage in I-O consulting and that they have an advanced degree in I-O psychology.

In my state, only individuals who have received a doctoral degree from an APA-accredited program are eligible for licensure. Would my I-O program have been APA-accredited?

As noted previously, all states establish educational requirements for their licensed psychologists. Most states specify that graduation from a doctoral program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) meets their educational requirements. This is problematic for those trained in I-O psychology because APA only accredits clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs; accreditation is not available for I-O Psychology programs. However, many states offer "equivalency" options for meeting their educational requirement. For examples, states with equivalency options may accept a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited university and proof that the student has completed graduate-level courses in selected topics (e.g., research methods, statistics, measurement, assessment). Some states with equivalency options also allow non-residents to apply for licensure. This provides an alternative path to licensure for those with I-O doctoral degrees in states that require graduation from an APA-accredited program. To better understand the licensure mandates of each state, links to each state’s board of psychology is provided below. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) also provides helpful licensure resources.

What does a “supervised experience” include and how do I meet this requirement?

Each state establishes its own requirement for a supervised experience. This includes who qualifies as a supervisor, the types of activities that must be completed in the supervised experience, the number of hours that the licensure candidate must spend in the supervised experience, what the candidate must do to demonstrate competency in the assigned experiences, documentation requirements, etc, In many states, the required activities are based on job requirements for health services psychologists (HSPs). This is of course frustrating for I-O psychologists seeking licensure. Fortunately, many states recognize that job requirements for I-O psychologists different from those of HSPs and specify alternative types of supervised experiences that will meet the state’s licensure requirements. You can learn more about each state’s supervision requirements via the state links below.

What does the EPPP cover?

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) encompasses six domains, often described through categorization schemes like the "Big 6" by Prepjet, an exam preparation company. These domains include:

  1. Clinical Psychology
  2. Psychopathology (Abnormal Psychology)
  3. Ethics & Professional Issues
  4. Lifespan Development
  5. Physiological Psychology & Psychopharmacology
  6. Industrial & Organizational Psychology

The exam covers a range of topics within these domains, including theory, evidence-based practice, application, and current research.

Given the topics covered, the EPPP can be challenging for I-O psychologists, who typically do not have extensive education or experience with the first five domains. This is especially true for practitioners who have been out of school for several years and may not be familiar with current research, especially in areas outside their specialization. To overcome this challenge, one effective study strategy is to utilize an exam preparation service. These services provide structured study plans, resources, and practice questions tailored to cover all domains of the EPPP to help candidates prepare more effectively for the exam.

Can a Licensed Clinical or Counseling Psychologist become an I-O psychologist?

According to APA ethical standards, all psychologists are expected to practice only within their area of expertise. Therefore, even though a Licensed Clinical or Counseling Psychologist could acquire training and experience in I-O psychology, this does not automatically grant them the right to identify or market themselves as an I-O psychologist.

What is SIOP doing to advocate for I-O access to state licensure?

SIOP’s Policy on Licensure clearly outlines SIOP’s position that SIOP members should be allowed to be licensed in states that require licensure and that SIOP should supply guidance to state licensing boards on how to evaluate the education and training of an I-O Psychologists.  Currently, SIOP’s Licensing, Certification and Credentialing Committee (LCC) is actively collaborating with key stakeholders, including ASPPB, APA, and state licensing boards to advocate for changes in the qualification’s language. The goal is to allow graduates of doctoral programs in I-O psychology that are substantially equivalent to APA-accredited programs to meet states’ educational requirements for licensure. This initiative also aims to recognize supervised experiences in I-O psychology as valid substitutes for the experiences completed by HSPs. The LCC's ultimate objective is to establish alternative licensure pathways, facilitating the process for individuals with I-O backgrounds to achieve licensure.

For any questions not addressed here, please reach out to SIOP’s Licensing, Certification, and Credential committee; current members of the committee can be found here.

Links to State Boards of Psychology

Links to U.S. Territories & Canadian Provincial Boards of Psychology