Average Salaries for Clinical Psychologists

A Clinical psychologist at work
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Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat individuals experiencing mental illness. How much do people working in this profession earn each year? Salaries can vary considerably depending upon a number of different factors, but you can get an idea from salary reports.

Median Earnings

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for clinical psychologists in 2018 was $76,990.

A PayScale.com salary survey found that the median annual salary for clinical psychologists was $79,117. However, those who are self-employed in private practice reported significantly higher annual earnings of around $110,000.

What They Do

Clinical psychologists make up one of the largest specialty areas within psychology. Licensed clinical psychologists work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, mental health clinics, and academic settings. These professionals are concerned with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illnesses.

A Closer Look at Salaries

In a 2015 survey by the American Psychological Association, the average salary for a licensed clinical psychologist was $80,000. According to Payscale.com, typical salaries for clinical psychologists range between $50,000 and $112,000. However, it's important to note that several different factors can impact the salary you might expect, including your level of education, years of experience, work setting, and geographic location.

For a clinical psychologist with one to four years of experience, the average salary is $72,874. For those with 10 to 19 years of experience, the average wage is $90,337.

Clinical psychologists can be very well paid for what they do depending on where they work and how much experience they have. Here's how their salaries compare to those of other psychology professions according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Job Title

Median Annual Wages

Psychologists, all other

$100,770

Industrial-organizational psychologists

$97,260

Social scientists

$78,650

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

$76,990

Note: These figures include median annual wages as of 2018.

Job Outlook

Clinical psychologists, as well as counseling and school psychologists, are expected to remain in demand in the future as more people seek out help for mental problems such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and other disorders. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists will grow by 15% through the year 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Education and Training

It's important to note that the greatest growth is expected for clinical psychologists with doctoral degrees. Those with masters level degrees can be psychological assistants or go into industrial-organizational psychology, and they're expected to face fierce competition for positions, many of which are not directly in the field of psychology. Most states require a minimum of a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, a supervised postgraduate residency, and the completion of state licensing exams.

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  1. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Updated March 29, 2019.

  2. PayScale.com. Clinical Psychologist Salary. Updated March 16, 2020.

  3. Lin L, Christidis P, Stamm K. 2015 Salaries in Psychology. American Psychological Association. Published May 2017.

  4. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Psychologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Updated September 4, 2019.