How Much Do Psychologists Make?

General psychologists make a median annual salary of $77,030 per year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). An individual psychologist salary may be different from this average due to a variety of factors, including location, industry, experience, and specialty.

If you are considering becoming a psychologist, it’s important to know what to expect, especially the salary you should receive in this type of career.

Earning Potential

Salaries for psychologists are competitive and lucrative compared to other fields. The BLS reports that psychologist salaries in the lowest 10 percent averaged less than $42,330 — still significantly higher than the national average salary across all occupations, which is $37,690. The highest-earning psychologists in the top 10 percent earned an average of more than $124,520.

Psychologist Salary Over Time

Experience is an important factor in determining how much money psychologists will earn. As in many careers, psychologists’ salaries increase each year, with a big jump in earnings coming after the fifth year of professional practice.

In addition, as psychologists become more experienced, they can look forward to promotions, raises, and new job offers. A growing network and reputation will lead to more clients and opportunities.

Psychologist Salary by Industry

Many different industries hire psychologists, and salaries across these different industries typically vary. For example, according to the BLS, government positions pay more than positions in other industries, while school psychologists tend to make less.

Average psychologist salaries in the most common industries include:

  • Government: $94,910
  • Hospitals: $83,910
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: $77,030
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $74,470

While salary is an important consideration in choosing a specialty and industry, potential psychologists have several factors to take into account. This includes what type of industry you want to work in, geographic location, and education level. Government and school psychologists usually work full time during business hours. Hospitals and healthcare psychologists may have irregular schedules with weekend and evening hours.

Psychologists running a private practice may set their own hours, and may need to have flexible non-business hour options to meet the needs of their clients.

Employment Outlook

Demand for psychologists is predicted by the BLS to go up over the next ten years. More and more people are turning to professional help to get assistance with managing their emotional and psychological problems. Because of this, overall employment of psychologists is projected to increase by 14%, which is higher than the national average for all occupations. The highest increase is projected for school psychologists due to an increased awareness of the connection between mental health and learning.

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