Psychologist Salaries

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Perhaps the biggest single factor in what a psychologist can expect to earn has to do with whether they are a salaried employee, or independently employed in private practice or consultancy. Numbers for self-employed psychologists are not widely available and can be very difficult to quantify in terms of an average or median since so many different factors are in play; from number of billable hours worked to area of specialty practice. The information found within this salary guide are reflective of those psychologists that report earnings as salaried employees in government, social services, schools, the private sector and more.

According to a 2014 report from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall average annual national salary for psychologists in all specialties and practice settings was $70,700, while those in the top 10 percent earned an average of more than $114,290 during the same period. This is a very incomplete picture of the expected earnings for psychologists, as earnings are known to differ dramatically based on industry, practice setting, specialty, level of experience and education, and geographic location.

A Comparison of Salaries Between Doctoral and Master’s-Prepared Psychologists

The 2009: Report of the APA Salary Survey (the last year the APA published a salary survey) revealed the following, average annual salaries for doctoral-prepared psychologists (by industry):

  • Faculty: $76,090
  • Educational administration: $116,500
  • Research: $80,500
  • Research administration: $116,434
  • Direct human services (clinical): $87,015
  • Direct human services (counseling): $81,000
  • Direct human services (school): $90,000
  • Direct human services (other psychological subfields): $85,000
  • Administration of human services; $90,000
  • Industrial/organizational: $120,000
  • Applied psychology (other fields, including government, nonprofit organizations, independent consulting, consulting firms, and business/industry): $121,000
  • Administrative (counseling, educational, I/O, and developmental psychology): $109,450

The APA Salary Survey also broke down annual, average salaries for master’s prepared psychologists:

  • Faculty: $45,000 (top 25th percentile: $65,000)
  • Research: $57,500 (top 25th percentile: $63,500)
  • Research administration: $66,960 (top 25th percentile: $94,000)
  • Direct human services: $45,000 (top 25th percentile: $62,147)
  • Private practice: $49,500
  • Group practice: $49,000
  • Direct human service: $52,001
  • Counseling psychology: $47,000 (top 25th percentile: $62,934)
  • School psychology: $57,000
  • Administration of human services: $54,000 (top 25th percentile: $80,000)
  • Applied psychology (business, industry, and consulting): $80,000 (top 25th percentile: $112,000)
  • Applied psychology (I/O): $91,500 (top 25th percentile: $134,000)

An Analysis of Psychologist Salaries Based on Industry and Level of Experience

The APA Salary Survey also broke down annual, average salaries by industry and experience level:

Research Psychologist Salaries

  • 5 years or less: $68,040
  • 6-9 years: $80,000
  • 10-14 years: $90,000
  • 15-19 years: $101,000
  • 20-24 years: $127,350
  • 25-29 years: $113,800
  • 30+ years: $145,300

Direct Human Services – Clinical Psychologist Salaries

  • 5 years or less: $69,950
  • 6-9 years: $75,889
  • 10-14 years: $84,000
  • 15-19 years: $84,250
  • 20-24 years: $90,000
  • 25-29 years: $94,000
  • 30+ years: $98,250

Direct Human Services – Counseling Psychologist Salaries

  • 5 years or less: $65,000
  • 6-9 years: $70,500
  • 10-14 years: $70,000
  • 15-19 years: $78,000
  • 20-24 years: $85,000
  • 25-29 years: $88,000
  • 30+ years: $96,000

Direct Human Services – School Psychologist Salaries

  • 6-9 years: $64,692
  • 10-14 years: $93,944
  • 15-19 years: $88,367
  • 20-24 years: $86,533
  • 25-29 years: $110,000
  • 30+ years: $90,278

Applied Psychology – Industrial/Organizational Psychologist Salaries

  • 5 years or less: $ 85,500
  • 6-9 years: $95,000
  • 10-14 years: $ 120,000
  • 15-19 years: $130,000
  • 20-24 years: $ 150,000
  • 25-29 years: $165,000
  • 30+ years: $173,918

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salaries by Industry and Geographical Location

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) broke down salary statistics for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists by industry and geographical location. The national average salary for this group of psychologists was $90,070 as of May 2014, with the top 10 percent earning more than $145,480.

As of 2014, the top-paying industries for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were:

  • Scientific research and development services: $110,550
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services: $105,430
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $100,750
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $83,160
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: $83,110

The top-paying states for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were:

  • California: $105,580
  • Minnesota: $100,030
  • Virginia: $94,920
  • Ohio: $93,580
  • Pennsylvania: $92,780

The BLS also reported the top-paying metropolitan areas for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, as of May 2014:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: $100,030
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $95,960
  • New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NY: $86,580
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA: $81,560

A full state-by-state analysis of salaries for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is shown below (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Alabama
660
85440
Alaska
210
68030
Arizona
1980
61710
Arkansas
580
67280
California
18710
81050
Colorado
2330
72640
Connecticut
1730
86120
Delaware
280
81020
District of Columbia
390
82740
Florida
3060
74040
Georgia
2240
72470
Hawaii
770
87620
Idaho
620
71820
Illinois
4210
65910
Indiana
1340
69990
Iowa
710
78780
Kansas
1140
62820
Kentucky
980
61660
Louisiana
300
81540
Maine
220
79920
Maryland
1690
73840
Massachusetts
4880
78220
Michigan
2710
72510
Minnesota
2780
73280
Mississippi
370
54820
Missouri
1270
68280
Montana
380
59230
Nebraska
460
63530
Nevada
460
66770
New Hampshire
350
69150
New Jersey
3690
85670
New Mexico
870
63210
New York
10600
85130
North Carolina
2540
65020
North Dakota
180
65560
Ohio
3180
72970
Oklahoma
1120
53090
Oregon
1260
71910
Pennsylvania
5400
68250
Puerto Rico
230
34090
Rhode Island
580
94590
South Carolina
960
54160
South Dakota
260
73830
Tennessee
1510
74020
Texas
5630
61580
Utah
1340
61720
Vermont
410
61010
Virgin Islands
40
53650
Virginia
2490
72310
Washington
1760
70080
West Virginia
630
49720
Wisconsin
2280
72430
Wyoming
250
70790

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Salaries by Industry and Geographical Location

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial-organizational psychologists nationwide earned an annual, average salary of $90,070, as of May 2014, with the top 10 percent earning more than $145,480 that year.

As of 2014, the top-paying industries for industrial-organizational psychologists were:

  • Scientific research and development services: $110,550
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services: $105,430
  • Management of companies and enterprises; $100,750
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $83,160
  • Management, scientific, and technical and consulting services: $83,110

The top-paying states for industrial-organizational psychologists were:

  • California: $105,580
  • Minnesota: $100,030
  • Virginia: $94,920
  • Ohio: $93,580
  • Pennsylvania: $92,780

The top-paying metropolitan areas for industrial-organizational psychologists were:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: $100,030
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $95,960
  • New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ: $86,580
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA: $81,560

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s 2012 Income and Employment Survey reported the following average starting salaries for new psychology graduates:

  • Doctoral graduates in industrial/organizational psychology: $81,815
  • Master’s degree graduates in industrial/organizational psychology; $65,521
  • Doctoral graduates in human resources/organizational behavior: $87,704
  • Master’s degree graduates in human resources/organizational behavior: $95,901

The Wall Street Journal listed I-O psychologists among its “Hot Jobs,” as jobs in this subspecialty of psychology are projected to increase 26 percent through 2018.

A full state-by-state analysis of salaries for industrial organizational psychologists is shown below. Salary information for this psychological specialty is only available for select states. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
California
40
105580
Massachusetts
220
82590
Minnesota
80
100030
Mississippi
30
69580
New York
150
86340
North Carolina
Estimate Not Available
81200
Ohio
60
93580
Pennsylvania
70
92780
Virginia
80
94920
West Virginia
Estimate Not Available
72680

Psychologists (All Other) Salaries, by Industry and Geographical Location

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also breaks down salaries for psychologists other than industrial-organizational, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. Although not specifically named, these psychologists would likely be specialists in the areas of:

  • Neuropsychologists
  • Developmental psychologists
  • Forensic psychologists
  • Cognitive psychologists
  • Research psychologists
  • Faculty/administrators in psychology

According to the BLS, psychologists in the “all other” category earned a national average salary of $89,810 as of May 2014. The top 10 percent earned more than $120,670 during the same period.

The top-paying industries for all other psychologists in 2014 were:

  • Outpatient care centers: $170,930
  • Educational support services: $166,860
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: $99,490
  • Scientific research and development services: $99,460
  • Offices of other health practitioners: $98,750

The top-paying states for all other psychologists were:

  • Illinois: $125,230
  • Minnesota: $120,500
  • Maryland: $100,710
  • Virginia: $99,410
  • Wisconsin: $98,910

A full state-by-state analysis of salaries is shown below (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Alabama
120
87570
Arizona
140
88160
Arkansas
70
79190
California
1230
89550
Colorado
220
77710
Connecticut
170
85670
District of Columbia
220
91400
Florida
1690
87910
Georgia
310
81960
Illinois
470
125230
Indiana
130
85220
Iowa
60
94990
Kansas
110
84010
Kentucky
180
78390
Louisiana
250
87340
Maryland
470
100710
Massachusetts
680
80320
Michigan
340
79680
Minnesota
250
120500
Missouri
170
85400
Montana
50
71470
Nebraska
50
81590
Nevada
50
85160
New Jersey
100
87210
New Mexico
110
89130
New York
590
98710
North Carolina
320
83200
North Dakota
40
84490
Ohio
310
88110
Oklahoma
100
77290
Pennsylvania
410
82980
Puerto Rico
270
63380
South Carolina
110
85420
Tennessee
180
82570
Texas
610
87780
Utah
60
77400
Vermont
40
67580
Virginia
320
99410
Washington
410
95290
West Virginia
90
74060
Wisconsin
140
98910

*Values are equal to or greater than $90 per hour and $187,199 per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data higher than these values.

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