Thread: LPC vs PHD
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Unread January 17th, 2005, 09:37 AM
JustBen JustBen is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 58
Default Re: LPC vs PHD

Yes, Ph.D.'s are typically reimbursed at higher rates than their Master's-level counterparts. The difference varies from area to area. (I'd suggest you speak with the representatives of some of your local HMO's and insurance companies to get a better idea of just how much the gap might be in your region.)

The real economic advantage of having a Ph.D. in private practice, in addition to the higher reimbursement rates, is that you're probably going to find it easier to generate business as Dr. Perkins than you would as Mr. Perkins -- these sorts of titles mean a lot to people. Witness the wild popularity of John Gray, Ph.D., author of "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus"...despite the fact that Dr. Gray's Ph.D. is from Columbia Pacific University, an unaccreddited institution. Or Dr. Laura Schlessinger, whose Ph.D. is in physiology!

Anyhoo, if you plan to teach, even at an adjunct level, I'd plan on getting your Ph.D. My little corner of the country isn't exactly a paradise of higher education, but you can't even think about a teaching position here in psychology without a Ph.D. There's just too many Psychology Ph.D.'s crawling around for an MA or MS to have a realistic shot. Again, this may be different in your neck of the woods. I'd suggest picking up the catalogs of colleges and universities in your area and checking out the faculty section near the back...this should give you some idea of whether or not Master's-level folks are teaching psych in your area.

And finally - whew, this post is getting long - it's not really appropriate to contrast LPCs and Ph.D.'s. The more accurate matchup is LPC's vs. Licensed Psychologists and, seperately, MA/MS vs. Ph.D. There are plenty of Ph.D.-level LPC's out there. Whether you decide to license as a psychologist or a LPC depends on your academic background and personal preferences. In my state, quite a few folks with Ph.D.s in Psychology are choosing the LPC route...unless your planning to get a permenant job in a state-run mental health hospital, it makes no real practical difference (in my state, anyway).

I'd suggest you try not to feel trapped by your local college/university. There are some decent distance/low-residency programs out there to check out.

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