What Is the Average Salary of a Psychologist?

If people seek you out for advice or you're a good listener, you may want to consider a career in psychology. Read on to find out how much psychologists earn and what their job outlook is like. Schools offering Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Psychologists are mental health professionals that observe, interpret and record human behavior. They study human behavior to better understand human activity. If you decide on a career in psychology, you can go into research and come up with new hypotheses and theories on human behavior. If you're not interested in research work, then you can work in a clinical or counseling setting and help people improve their quality of life by helping them overcome psychological and emotional issues.

Important Facts About Psychologists

Median Salary (2014) $70,700 (for all psychologists)
Entry-level Education Master's or doctoral degree, depending on the field
Licensure Required for all psychologists who practice independently
Work Environment Private practice offices, clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, human resources offices, business settings, colleges and universities, private research organizations, government agencies, schools, community treatment centers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average Salaries for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average annual wage for this clinical, counseling and school psychologists in May 2014 was $74,030 (www.bls.gov). The median annual income was $68,900. Those who were in the top tenth percentile for wage estimates had a yearly income of $113,640 or more.

Child day care services paid the highest average wage for this type of psychologist, and the annual average wage was $96,180, according to May 2014 BLS figures. Elementary and secondary schools had the highest employment level and paid an annual mean wage of $72,710.

The top paying state for clinical, counseling and school psychologists was Rhode Island, where they had an average yearly income of $94,590. Other states with high pay included Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey and Alabama. California had the highest employment level and paid an average wage of $81,050.

Average Salaries for Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

If you're a psychologist employed in industrial or organizational work, your earnings would be different than those in other fields. The average annual wage for these psychologists was $90,070 in May 2014, according to the BLS. The median wage was $76,950, and those in the top tenth percentile of wages made $145,480 or more.

Scientific research and development services paid the highest wage for these psychologists, with an average salary of $110,550 in May 2014. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services had the highest employment level at that time, paying an average salary of $83,110.

The BLS listed California as the top paying state for this field as of May 2014, and its mean annual wage was $105,580. Other states with top pay included Minnesota, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts had the highest employment level and paid a mean wage of $82,590.

Average Salaries for All Other Psychologists

The BLS reported that all other psychologists earned a mean wage of $89,810 in May 2014. Median earnings at that time were $92,110, and those in the top tenth percentile of wages made $120,670 or more.

Outpatient care centers paid a mean wage of $170,930 in May 2014, which was the highest in the field. The federal executive branch of the government was the top employer of these psychologists and paid an annual mean wage of $88,580.

Illinois was the state with the highest mean pay of $125,230 in May 2014, according to the BLS. Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia and Wisconsin also had top mean wages at that time. Florida employed the highest number of psychologists not otherwise categorized and paid a mean wage of $87,910.

Job Outlook

The BLS projected that psychologist jobs in general would grow at a faster-than-average rate. The expected amount of growth for all psychologists was 19% from 2014-2024. This growth projection was based on higher demand for psychologists in mental health centers, social service agencies, treatment clinics, private companies, schools and hospitals. If you possess a doctoral degree and focused your studies in a specific specialty like health or counseling, you'll be in a good position to find employment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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