How Much Does A Psychologist Make?

How Much Does a Psychologist Make? Learn that psychologists earn well above the national average! Explore the path to this rewarding profession, where experts conduct research and aid in mental health improvement.

Achieving this requires obtaining a doctorate for licensed practice due to the crucial nature of their work. Licensed psychologists, with their specialized education and impactful roles, often surpass the median U.S. salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earned a median annual salary of $81,040 in May 2021. Discover more about psychologist salaries and strategies to enhance your income potential in the field of psychology.

What Is the Average Psychologist Salary?

The BLS provides details on the average pay for different types of psychologists:

– Clinical, Counseling, or School Psychologist: $79,510

– General Psychologist: $102,900

– Industrial-Organizational (IO) Psychologist: $105,310

But, there’s more to the earnings story. Psychologists can boost their income through experience. They can also enhance salary prospects by using tactics like researching salaries offered by other employers during negotiations.

Highest-Paying Psychology Jobs

No need to stress if you don’t have or aren’t aiming for a Ph.D. There are plenty of high-paying jobs for folks with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology. And, of course, there are also well-paying opportunities for those with a doctoral degree.

  • Psychiatrist

Average Annual Income: $216,090

Education Needed: Psychiatry, closely linked to psychology, requires extensive medical training. It involves about eight years of education after completing an undergraduate degree. Prospective psychiatrists need to finish medical school and undergo a four-year residency after obtaining their bachelor’s degree.1

Psychiatry is among the well-paying sectors in psychology, but pay can differ widely based on your specialization, workplace, and the nature of your tasks.

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Average Annual Income: $105,310

Qualifications: Typically, a master’s degree in psychology suffices, though having a doctorate is advantageous. While job opportunities exist at the master’s level, obtaining a doctorate in workplace psychology opens doors to better prospects and higher incomes.

Workplace psychologists apply psychological knowledge to address work-related challenges. Their tasks include boosting employee efficiency, selecting the right candidates, and conducting market research surveys.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace psychologists in scientific research and development earn an average of $122,660 annually. Those working in academic institutions earn around $110,070 on average.

  • Neuropsychologist

Average Earnings: $90,460 per year

Education Needed: To enter this field, you must obtain a doctoral degree in neuropsychology or clinical neuropsychology.

Neuropsychologists focus on exploring the brain and cognitive science. Individuals in this profession typically conduct cognitive assessments, analyze brain scans, evaluate individuals dealing with brain injuries, and research the effects of drugs on the nervous system. They may be employed at educational institutions, medical facilities, research institutions, mental health clinics, or pharmaceutical laboratories.

  • Clinical Psychologist

Average Annual Income: $81,330

Education Needed: To become a mental health therapist in many states, you’ll need a doctoral degree in psychology. Beyond formal education, there’s a requirement for one to two years of supervised residency and successful completion of state licensing exams for practice as a licensed mental health therapist.

Mental health therapists specialize in understanding, identifying, addressing, and avoiding mental health issues. This field represents the most extensive job sector in psychology. Professionals work in diverse environments, such as hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practices.

  • Engineering Psychologist¬†

Average Annual Income: $79,818

Education Needed: Starting roles demand a master’s degree, yet having a doctorate opens up more job prospects and higher pay.

Engineering psychologists focus on enhancing the design of systems, operations, and equipment to boost efficiency, productivity, and reduce injuries. Like other psychology specialisations, salary variations are significant based on the work environment. Those in the private sector earn notably more than their counterparts in academic institutions.

  • Counselling Psychologist

Median Annual Income: $72,540

Qualifications: To pursue a career as a counseling psychologist, you need a PhD, PsyD, or EdD degree.

Emotional support therapists engage in tasks similar to clinical psychologists, providing psychotherapy and mental health assistance. They generally focus on individuals dealing with milder mental health challenges.

Though the primary domain is mental health, some professionals in this field choose research, academic instruction, or vocational guidance as part of their career path.

  • Forensic Psychologist

Average Income: $59,440

Education: Although some positions accept a master’s degree, a doctoral degree in clinical, counseling, or forensic psychology is usually required.

Forensic psychologists address legal-related psychological matters. Tasks may involve creating criminal psychological profiles, handling child custody disputes, investigating child abuse, giving expert testimony, coaching witnesses for court appearances, and providing law enforcement training.

  • Job Title: School Psychologist

Average Annual Income: $58,360

Qualifications: In many states, you need to finish a 60-credit school psychology specialist program, resulting in a master’s or EdS degree. About 32% of school psychologists possess a PhD, PsyD, or EdD degree.

School psychologists operate within the education system, identifying and addressing behavioral and learning issues in children. They frequently partner with educators, medical professionals, and parents to assist children in overcoming social, emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges.

  • Sports Psychologist

Typical Income: Around $55,000 annually

Education Needed: Typically, you’ll need a master’s or Ph.D. in sports psychology or a related field like clinical or counseling psychology. These experts delve into the mental aspects of sports, concentrating on areas like motivation and athletic excellence. They apply their psychological expertise to enhance athlete performance or aid individuals in recovering from sports-related injuries.

Job Growth for Psychologists

The BLS anticipates a 6% increase in demand for licensed psychologists between 2021 and 2031, slightly surpassing the average growth rate of 5% for all U.S. professions. This steady growth creates opportunities for new Ph.D. graduates in psychology to pursue various well-paying jobs.

Enhance your soft skills and connect with potential employers to get ready for your initial job. If you’re an experienced professional eyeing a shift to psychology, explore top career options for changers after thorough research.

What Psychology Field Pays the Most?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in May 2021, IO psychologists had the highest middle salary at $105,310. An IO psychologist usually studies how employees behave and suggests ways to enhance workplace productivity.

When checking out job options, keep in mind that psychology offers various career paths beyond IO. New grads seeking employment should explore other jobs that offer a good salary for psychologists.

Common Psychology Careers Include:

  • Clinical psychology
  • Counseling psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Neuropsychologist

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychologist Salaries

Is psychology a good career?

Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts consistent job expansion for individuals holding a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate in psychology. Furthering your education or considering a role in a different industry can propel your career forward.

Moreover, these occupations offer a median salary surpassing the average earnings of the typical U.S. worker. Working in a field dedicated to assisting others in overcoming challenges can bring about heightened personal and professional fulfilment.

How much does it cost to become a psychologist?

Based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average student paid over $19,000 for tuition and fees in the 2020-2021 academic year. When additional expenses are factored in, the total cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree exceeds $140,000 for some students. Those attending private schools often faced even higher costs.

If you’re pursuing licensure, it’s essential to consider the expenses of a master’s or doctoral degree, with graduate programs generally being more expensive per credit than undergraduate ones. Fortunately, you can cut costs by attending an in-state public school, opting for online learning, or applying for psychology scholarships.

How long does it take to become a psychologist?

To become a licensed psychologist, you might spend around 16 years completing your undergraduate and graduate studies. Getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology usually takes four years, and a master’s program can be just as lengthy for some students.

Doctoral programs may extend from 4 to 8 years, with additional time for training and dissertation completion. After earning your doctorate, some states mandate about a year of supervised post-doctoral experience before you qualify for licensure.

Does education make a difference in psychology salaries?

According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the level of education has a big effect on how much psychologists can earn, especially when comparing master’s and doctoral degrees. People with a doctorate can get jobs with a higher average salary compared to those with different qualifications.

Keep in mind that where you work, your job title, the industry, and your employer all play a role in how much you can earn as a psychologist. These variations might mean that some experienced professionals make more money than those with higher degrees.

What is the highest salary in psychology?

According to the BLS, the highest-earning 10% in May 2021 had a typical psychology salary of $133,200. They made around 300% more than the average national salary and were employed in management or business.

Other well-paying sectors were physicians’ offices and specialty hospitals. Besides the industry, factors like location played a role in the earnings of top psychologists in 2021. Licensed professionals in California, Oregon, and Alaska had the highest average salaries, ranging from $112,210 to $113,040, the best nationwide.¬†