Average Salaries for Clinical Psychologists

A Clinical psychologist at work
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Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat individuals suffering from 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 2016 was $73,270.

A PayScale.com salary survey found that the median annual salary for clinical psychologists was $74,798. However, those working in private practice reported significantly higher annual earnings of anywhere from $110,000 to $312,000.

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 $48,246 and $109,506. 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 zero to five years of experience, the average salary is $69,000. For those with 10 to 20 years of experience, the average wage is $90,000.

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


Industrial-organizational psychologists


Social scientists


Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists


Note: These figures include median annual wages as of 2016.

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 14 percent through the year 2026, 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-organization 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 post-graduate residency, and the completion of state licensing exams.

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Article Sources

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  • Lin L, Christidis P, Stamm K. 2015 Salaries in Psychology. American Psychological Association. Published May 2017.
  • PayScale.com. Clinical Psychologist Salary. Updated November 4, 2017.
  • U.S. Department of Labor,Bureau of Labor Statistics.Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition: Psychologists. Updated October 24, 2017.