How Much Do Psychologists Make?

If you're considering this career field, here are some employment statistics

Psychologist taking notes with a patient in the background

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If you're considering a career in psychology, you may be wondering how much money psychologists earn each year and what the work hours are like. Salaries and schedules in this field vary widely depending upon educational level, specialty area, and years of experience.

Some individuals working in the field of psychology earn around $40,000 a year, while others earn six-figure salaries. Psychologists who work in schools or the government usually have full-time schedules during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. Those who work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities may have evening and weekend hours. And psychologists in private practice typically have the option to set their own hours.

The following are some of the median annual salaries for different psychology jobs, according to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and 2021 PayScale data when government data aren't available).

Salaries for Various Psychology Jobs

Career and School Counselor: $58,120

Clinical Psychologist: $81,650

Developmental Psychologist: $67,990

Experimental Psychologist: $81,350

Forensic Psychologist: $72,370

Health Psychologist: $81,630

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: $96,270

Psychiatrist: $214,380

Marriage and Family Therapists: $51,340

Neuropsychologist: $94,550

School Counselor: $58,120

School Psychologist: $63,050

Social Worker: $51,760

Sports Psychologist: $72,260

Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Behavioral Disorder Counselors: $47,660

Earnings and Salaries in Different Settings

While wages vary considerably based on specialty area and employment sector, you can learn more about salary averages from information provided in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. These estimates reflect averages across the entire U.S., so there will be considerable variation within each specialty area and geographic region.

While salary should never be your only consideration when choosing a career, looking at pay estimates can give you a better idea of what you might expect to find in different professions. Also, be sure to note that years of experience also play a critical role in determining yearly salaries. New graduates just entering the field can expect to encounter lower starting salaries while more experienced professionals may be able to command much higher salaries.

Salaries for Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

The areas of clinical, counseling and school psychology represent three of the largest employment areas within psychology. Professionals who work in these parts of the field diagnose and treat behavioral and emotional problems, learning disabilities, and mental disorders using individual, group, and family therapies. They may also design and implement programs that help with behavioral issues in children.

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

Salaries can vary depending upon many factors including the specific industry in which a psychologist is employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following mean annual earnings for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists employed in the different industries in 2020:

  • Outpatient care centers - $109,100
  • Individual and family services - $84,000
  • Home health care services - $103,520
  • Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals - $90,130
  • Elementary and secondary schools - $80,960
  • Educational support services - $80,500
  • Offices of physicians - $99,590
  • Offices of other health practitioners - $101,860

Salaries for Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-organizational psychology is a specialty area, with an expected 3% increase in jobs between 2019 and 2029. While job growth is expected in this industry, it is important to note that this is a relatively small profession, with only 1,100 professionals as of 2019.

Industrial-organizational psychologists apply the principles of psychology to problems in administration, human resources, management, marketing, and sales. They may work on policies; help with employee selection, training, and development; and optimize work settings to improve employee productivity.

As of May 2020, the mean annual earnings of industrial-organizational psychologists were $112,690, with a median annual wage of $96,270.

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Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Department of Labor.  School and Career Counselors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Updated April 9, 2021.

  2. U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020: 19-3032 Industrial-Organizational Psychologists. Updated March 31, 2021.

  3. U.S. Department of Labor. Psychologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Updated April 9, 2021.

  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020: 19-3031 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists. Updated March 31, 2021.

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