Psychologist Salary

Psychologist’s Salary Information

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Psychologist Job Description
Psychologist Training and Education

Psychologist Salary

Paul Good PhD Psychologist

Psychologists are experts on human behavior and mental processes. They diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders by observing and interpreting how a person relates to others and their environment.

Some work exclusively in research, while others work directly with patients or clients. Some work as part of a health care team, and some work independently or in private practice. There are many specific fields of psychological practice, ranging from clinical or counseling care to forensic psychology in the criminal justice system.

The Skinny on Salaries

The median annual salary for psychologists is $68,640. This number gives a fair average of salaries nationwide; however, there is a fairly drastic range from the bottom ten percent (who earn less than $39,200 annually) to the top ten percent (who earn over $111,000 annually). Such a huge range is fairly unusual in healthcare salaries – so what’s causing it?

Determining Factors

One of the greatest factors determining a psychologist’s salary is their chosen field of practice. Most psychologists tend to be either general clinical or counseling psychologists, though this large group makes some of the lowest average salaries. The more specialized a psychologist is, or the more niche their specialty is, the higher their salary tends to be. This is the prime reason why there is such a great difference in average salaries: many specialties under the psychology “umbrella”.

For example, the national median annual salary for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is $66,810. Industrial-organizational psychologists comprise the second largest group; however, the salary average jumps considerably to an annual median of $87,330. Psychologists in all other specialties make an average of $89,900, though the top earners make salaries well into six figures.



Education level is also a significant factor. Employers will be more attracted to those with a master’s degree or a doctorate, and will typically be willing to pay more right off the bat. Earning that advanced degree will give a new psychologist great leverage in negotiating starting pay, and will definitely expand his employment opportunities.

Another factor worth considering is experience. While an advance degree denotes a solid foundation in psychological principles, psychology is all about working with people – something that is really only learned in real-world application. Thus, the higher salaries will typically go to those with more experience in the field.

For example, an industrial psychologist fresh out of school will typically earn a starting salary of around $43,000. In five years, that could jump to over $70,000, and in twenty years, that number could reach well over $100,000.

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Industry Breakdown

Looking closer at various industries, we can see the effects on psychologists’ annual average compensation. While a psychologist working in employment services earns above $90k per year, those working in residential care may be earning less than $53,380 annually.

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Elementary and Secondary Schools

$34.38

$71,510

Offices of Health Practitioners

$40.22

$83,650

Individual and Family Services

$32.65

$67,900

Outpatient Care Centers

$38.25

$79,550

Residential Care Facilities

$25.66

$53,380

Employment Services

$46.67

$97,060

Psychiatric & Substance Abuse Hospitals

$36.82

$76,580

As we discussed earlier, industrial-organizational psychologists can often earn significantly higher salaries. They are typically employed by commercial companies rather than in the health care industry. Some common industries that employ industrial-organizational psychologists include:

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Consulting Services

$78.41

$163,080

Scientific Research & Development

$45.75

$95,160

State Government

$38.41

$79,890

Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools

$36.04

$74,960

It’s worth noting, however, that the number of psychologists employed in these fields is drastically lower than the number employed in clinical, counseling or school settings. While there are currently over 100,000 clinical, counseling and school psychologists nationwide, there are a mere 1,230 employed in industrial-organizational practice.

Geographic Breakdown

Of course, a final and significant determining factor is geographic location. A psychologist’s salary will generally vary quite a bit from one state to the next – and from rural to metropolitan areas.

As mentioned earlier, however, salaries do also vary greatly from one specialty to the next. We are providing a state salary breakdown for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists; however, the averages may be slightly higher or lower for those working in industrial-organizational or other fields. While average salaries may be higher for specialized psychologists in each state, this group comprises the majority of psychologists employed today. Thus, looking at the salaries of clinical, counseling and school psychologists gives us realistic median numbers.

STATE

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Alabama

$36.58

$76,090

Alaska

$34.68

$72,130

Arizona

$28.17

$58,600

Arkansas

$33.13

$68,920

California

$40.66

$84,580

Colorado

$38.34

$79,750

Connecticut

$38.23

$79,520

Delaware

$32.16

$66,890

District of Columbia

$38.38

$79,830

Florida

$32.98

$68,600

Georgia

$30.18

$62,760

Hawaii

$45.65

$94,960

Idaho

$29.56

$61,490

Illinois

$32.78

$68,180

Indiana

$31.00

$64,480

Iowa

$31.54

$65,590

Kansas

$26.91

$55,960

Kentucky

$25.71

$53,480

Louisiana

$34.43

$71,610

Maine

$35.30

$71,420

Maryland

$34.01

$70,730

Massachusetts

$37.05

$77,070

Michigan

$34.24

$71,220

Minnesota

$30.95

$64,380

Mississippi

$22.70

$47,210

Missouri

$31.45

$65,410

Montana

$26.08

$54,240

Nebraska

$32.34

$67,280

Nevada

$32.27

$67,120

New Hampshire

$31.00

$64,490

New Jersey

$46.25

$96,200

New Mexico

$31.26

$65,020

New York

$40.03

$84,090

North Carolina

$30.29

$64,320

North Dakota

$30.07

$62,550

Ohio

$36.57

$76,050

Oklahoma

$25.11

$52,240

Oregon

$33.75

$70,200

Pennsylvania

$34.64

$72,060

Rhode Island

$39.47

$82,100

South Carolina

$28.48

$59,240

South Dakota

$33.13

$68,900

Tennessee

$30.87

$64,200

Texas

$30.90

$64,260

Utah

$28.14

$58,530

Vermont

$31.35

$65,210

Virginia

$32.36

$67,300

Washington

$35.86

$74,590

West Virginia

$25.28

$52,580

Wisconsin

$31.37

$65,240

Wyoming

$32.31

$67,210

Related Sites:

National Health Services of the UK Psychology Job Salaries

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2 Responses to Psychologist Salary

  1. Ezequiel Grinder on July 9, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Deciding to be a RN is the best things I ever did for my future.

    donlouver99.tripod.com

    • Bob Rapp on April 21, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you for the feedback. Bob