Psychologist Salary Information

Psychologist Salary - Psychologist with child

Ways to View Psychologist Salary Information

A career in psychology can provide a lifetime of rewards. Certainly, one of the most important will be the positive impact you can have on peoples’ mental health, their lives, and relationships. Another will be your salary.

Psychologist Salaries by Career Field

According to the latest psychology salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average (mean) salary for a psychologist varies by career segment. For comparison, the average national salary for All Occupations in the BLS handbook is $49,630 or $23.86 per hour

Psychology CareerAnnual SalaryHourly Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$78,690$37.83
Industrial-organizational Psychologists$104,570$50.27
Marriage and Family Therapists$54,090$26.00
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary$84,440-
Social Scientists and Related Workers$80,860$38.87
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors$44,160$21.23
Psychologists, All Other$94,650$45.51

Similar to the BLS, Indeed.com reports the national salary for psychologists to be $80,000 as of September 2017 and Payscale.com reports it to be $73,225.


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Psychology Salaries by State

All reported salary averages are dependent on the sample size and the demographic and geographic spread of the respondents. As you’ll see below, salaries from the BLS range dramatically by geographic region. Coastal states and the upper mid-west are the highest paying states for psychologists.

Psychologist Salaries by Years of Experience

While an advanced psychology degree helps you to pave your way to a nice income, your on-the-job work experience will also be a large predictor of your salary potential.

According to Payscale.com, you can see that the best psychology salaries generally go to those with the most experience. Most specifically, those psychologists with experience in patient counseling, psychological testing, and autism.

  • Entry-level experience (0-5 yrs) = $65,000
  • Mid-career (5-10 years) = $80,000
  • Experienced (10-20 years) = $89,000
  • Late-career (>20 years) = $98,000

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Psychology Salaries by Career and Years of Experience

Payscale.com also reports pscyhology salaries by career and years of experience:

Experience0-5 yr5-10 yrs10-20 yrs>20 yrs
Clinical Psychologist$69,000$78,000$90,000$94,000
Counseling Psychologist$53,000$64,000$65,000$72,000
Forensic Psychologist$60,000$72,000$82,000$118,000
School Psychologist$54,000$60,000$66,000$72,000
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist$61,000$94,000$112,000$131,000

Factors That Influence Psychology Salaries

As in all career fields, your salary as a psychologist will be influenced by a variety of factors. What you earn as a professional may be higher or lower than the average national salary based on the following factors:

Geographic Location

Where you choose to work will play a big part in determining how much you’ll earn as a psychologist. For instance, in New York City, salaries for qualified psychologists are typically much higher than in rural locations, such as Lincoln, Nebraska.

When considering location, you should also take into account the cost of living. The cost of living in New York City is much higher than it is Lincoln, Nebraska. Whether you decide to work in the big city or choose to set up shop in a rural town, your salary will likely be similar to that of other psychologists in your area. Check out the national salaries by state in the map above.

Work Experience

All things being equal, work experience is one of the largest factors influencing salaries. For recent college graduates, or those just getting started, salaries are often lower than for psychologists who’ve been working in the industry for several years.

Experience is a great qualifier and a great teacher. With time, your skills as a psychologist as well as your confidence will increase. Another benefit of experience is developing your professional reputation. You’ll gain recognition among your peers and reputation within your community that will help to sustain and grow your business and professional worth.

Education Level

As you attain higher levels of education your earning potential will increase, as will your attractiveness to potential employers and partners. Psychologists with a master’s or doctoral degree usually have the best job prospects. Earning an advanced degree will not only expand your job prospects, but it will enable you to negotiate a higher salary or compensation package.

Type of Industry

The industry you choose to work in, as well as your psychology specialty, will greatly impact your near and long-term earning potential. For example, industrial and organizational psychologists working for a large corporation will likely earn more than their counterparts working in other healthcare industries. For some psychology specialties, hospitals and clinics tend to pay higher salaries than other employers and vice versa.


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