How Much Money Does A Psychologist Make A Year

How much does a psychologist make

The field of psychology is on the rise and is expected to continue its rapid expansion as an industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of psychologists is expected to grow much faster than the national average, with approximately 26,100 psychologist jobs added between 2018 and 2028, a 14 percent increase.

Using occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’ve analyzed and compiled a list of average psychologist salaries by state in the United States. This article is a comprehensive guide to how much money these professionals make a year and the various careers in psychology that pay well.

Who is a Psychologist?

According to the American Psychological Association, psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. It is the investigation of the mind, how it functions, and how it influences behavior. A psychologist uses psychotherapy to treat a patient, assisting in the relief of symptoms through behavioral change. The psychiatrist’s role as a medical doctor is more focused on prescribing medication and other interventions to manage mental health conditions.

A practicing psychologist will meet with patients, conduct assessments to determine their concerns and what is causing any difficulties, and then recommend or provide treatment, such as counseling and psychotherapy. Psychologists may also have other responsibilities.

They may conduct research to advise health authorities and other bodies on social and other strategies, assess children who struggle to learn in school, give workshops on how to prevent bullying, work with corporate recruitment teams, and much more.

Why do Psychologists Earn a Lot?

Psychologists mostly earn a lot because of the importance of their job. Essentially, psychology helps people because it can explain why people behave the way they do.

A psychologist with this level of professional insight can help people improve their decision-making, stress management, and behavior by understanding past behavior in order to better predict future behavior.

All of this can lead to a more successful career, better relationships, increased self-confidence, and overall improved communication.

Despite the media’s popular stereotype of the private practice therapist, psychology professionals can work in a wide range of industries and fields, from education and criminal justice to marketing and politics.

Today, the study of psychology is so widespread that various sub-disciplines or branches of psychology are widely recognized and frequently used in a variety of industries. Among the sub-disciplines of psychology are:

  • Family psychology, also known as family therapy, focuses on the interpersonal systems found in families.
  • Sports psychology focuses on how psychological factors influence an athlete’s performance.
  • Business psychology focuses on the effectiveness of a workplace or organization by studying people and overall workplace behavior.
  •  Media psychology is concerned with the complex relationship between media and its impact on human behavior.
  • Forensic psychology is the study of people who are involved in the legal system, such as expert witnesses or those under criminal investigation.

Since they play such an important role in every aspect of our lives, it is only natural that they earn as much as they do.

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Where do Psychologists Earn the Most Money?

According to the BLS, the national average annual wage for a psychologist is $85,340, which is approximately 64% higher than the average annual wage for all occupations, which is $51,960. However, salaries can vary dramatically from state to state, more so than salaries for many other occupations. The states with the highest pay for professionals are-

  • California’s average psychologist’s salary is $108,350
  • Oregon’s average psychologist’s salary is $103,870
  • New Jersey’s average salary is $98,470
  • Hawaii’s average salary is $94,550
  • New York’s average psychologist’s salary is $94,140
  • Alaska’s average psychologist’s salary is $91,450
  • Connecticut’s average psychologist’s salary is $90,870
  • Georgia’s average salary is $89,190
  • North Dakota’s average psychologist’s salary is $87,090
  • Louisiana’s average salary is $86,630

Where do Psychologists Earn the Least Money?

The bottom ten states with the lowest pay for psychologists are geographically diverse, but patterns emerge. The states with the lowest salaries are the United States South, Upper Midwest, and Mountain Division of the West. The average salary in West Virginia, the lowest-paying state is more than $26,000 less than the national average. Here are the ten worst states for psychologist salaries:

  • West Virginia’s average psychologist’s salary is $59,200
  • Oklahoma’s average psychologist salary is $60,760
  • South Carolina’s average psychologist’s salary is $63,050
  • Montana’s average psychologist’s salary is $63,720
  • Idaho’s average psychologist’s salary is $64,270
  • Kentucky’s average psychologist salary is $64,330
  • Kansas average psychologist’s salary is $65,320
  • Arizona’s average psychologist’s salary is $66,040
  • Nebraska’s average psychologist’s salary is $66,510
  • Mississippi’s average psychologist salary is $67,570

How Much Money do Psychologists Make in a Year?

Some people in psychology make around $40,000 per year, while others make six figures. Psychologists who work in schools or the government typically work full-time Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

Those who work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities may be required to work in the evenings and on weekends. In addition, psychologists in private practice usually have the freedom to work their own hours.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists was $89,290 in May 2020. The lowest 10% of workers earned less than $46,410, while the highest 10% earned more than $138,550.

What Careers in Psychology Make the Highest Amount in a Year?

#1. Psychiatrist

Salary: $216,090 per year

Psychiatry, as a medical profession, is inextricably linked to the study and application of psychology. Approximately eight years of post-secondary education. Following completion of a bachelor’s degree, aspiring psychiatrists must attend medical school and then complete a four-year residency. Psychiatry is one of the most lucrative fields associated with psychology.

However, salaries in this field can vary greatly depending on your specialty, where you work, and the type of work you do.

#2. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Salary: $102,530

Industrial-organizational psychologists apply their psychology knowledge to workplace issues.  An industrial-organizational psychologist may increase worker productivity, selecting the best employees for specific jobs, and developing market research surveys, to name a few tasks.

A master’s degree graduate’s starting salary is typically around $40,000. Meanwhile, a doctoral graduate’s starting salary is around $55,000. According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the top 5% of members earn more than $250,000 per year.

#3. Neuropsychologist

Salary: $90,460 per year

Neuropsychologists are experts in the brain and cognitive science. People in this field frequently perform cognitive tests, run brain scans, assess people with brain injuries, and research how drugs affect the nervous system. They could work in colleges and universities, hospitals, research facilities, mental health clinics, and pharmaceutical laboratories.

#4. Clinical Psychologist

Salary: $81,330 per year

Clinical psychologists have received training in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. This is also the most common area of employment in psychology. Clinical psychologists can be found in a variety of settings, including hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practice.

Individual and family services workers earned an average of $81,160 in May 2017, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Employees in other health practitioners’ offices earned an average of $92,130 per year.

#5. Engineering Psychologist

Salary: $79,818 per year

Engineering psychologists work to improve the design of systems, operations, and equipment to increase efficiency, productivity, and safety. The area of employment, like other specialty areas of psychology, plays a significant role in determining salary. Engineering psychologists in the private sector earn significantly more than those in university settings.

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#6. Counseling Psychologist

Salary: $72,540 per year

Counseling psychologists do many of the same things as clinical psychologists, such as providing psychotherapy and mental health treatment, but they usually work with clients who have less severe forms of mental illness.

While mental health is one of the most important areas of counseling psychology, some practitioners prefer to conduct research. They may also teach university courses or offer career counseling.

#7. Forensic Psychologist

Salary: $59,440

Forensic psychologists deal with legal-related psychological issues. Developing psychological profiles of criminals, dealing with child custody issues, investigating child abuse, providing expert testimony, preparing witnesses to testify in court, and providing training to law enforcement are some duties that a professional in this field may perform.

#8. School Psychologist

Salary: $58,360

School psychologists work within the educational system to diagnose and treat children’s behavioral and learning issues. They frequently collaborate with other professionals, such as teachers and doctors, as well as parents, to assist children in overcoming social, emotional, behavioral, and academic issues.

Jobs in this field are expected to grow by about 11% over the next decade, according to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

#9. Sports Psychologist

Salary: $55,000 per year

Professionals in this field frequently concentrate on issues such as motivation and athletic performance. They use their psychological knowledge to help athletes perform better or to help people recover from sports injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Psychiatrist. Psychiatrist jobs are by far the highest-paying jobs available to psychology majors. According to PayScale, the average salary is $217,798. A psychiatrist should be board-certified as a psychologist.

The annual salary of $101,723 In Australia, the average psychologist’s salary is $101,723 per year or $52.17 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $89,298 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $121,273 per year.

In Canada, the average psychologist’s salary is $93,578 per year or $47.99 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $79,181 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $120,296 per year.

Yes. Psychology is a highly rewarding and financially rewarding field of study. A psychologist’s salary is determined by a variety of factors, including his or her educational background, area of specialization, and level of experience in the field.

Yes. The highest-paying psychologist jobs can pay up to $167,000.


Psychology professions are extremely diverse, and salaries and annual earnings are equally so. In a down economy, many students have turned their attention to some of the highest-paying jobs in psychology.

While there are several careers with higher-than-average yearly salaries, it is important to remember that actual earnings are determined by a variety of factors such as geographic location, industry, educational background, and years of experience.



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