How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Earn?

A Clinical psychologist at work
How much does a clinical psychologist make?. Carmen MartA-nez BanAs / E+ / Getty Images

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 look at some salary reports can give you a helpful look at what’s possible.

Median Earning for Clinical Psychologists

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for clinical psychologists as of May 2012 was $67,650.

A PayScale.com salary survey found that the median annual salary for clinical psychologists was $72,825. However, those working in private practice reported a significantly higher median annual earnings of $265,000.

What Do 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 Clinical Psychologist Salaries

In a 2000 survey by the American Psychological Association, the average salary for a licensed clinical psychologist was $87,015. Out of the surveyed psychologists, 15 percent worked in group medical settings, 57 percent worked in private practice, and two percent were employed in some other human services setting.

According to Payscale.com, typical salaries for clinical psychologists range between $45,000 and $106,000. However, it is important to note that several different factors can impact the salary you might expect including the level of education, years of experience, work setting, and geographic location.

For example, for clinical psychologist working in private practice with five years of experience, the average salary in 2009 was $54,000. For those with 10 to 14 years of experience, the average wage was near $100,000.

How Do Clinical Psychologist Salaries Compare?

Clinical psychologists can be very well paid for what they do depending upon where they work and how much experience they have. But how do these salaries compare to other psychology professions.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Job Title

Median Annual Wages

Psychologists, all other

$90,020

Industrial-organizational psychologists

$83,580

Psychologists

$69,280

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

$67,650

Note: These figures include median annual wages as of May 2012.

What’s the Job Outlook Like for Clinical Psychologists?

Clinical 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 11 percent through the year 2022.

It is important to note, however, that the greatest growth is expected for clinical psychologists with doctorate degrees. Those with master’s-level degrees are 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.

References

Ariel A. Finno, Daniel Michalski, Brittany Hart, Marlene Wicherski, and Jessica L. Kohout. (2010). Report of the 2009 APA Salary Survey. http://www.apa.org/workforce/publications/09-salaries/index.aspx

PayScale.com. (2015). Clinical Psychologist Salary. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Clinical_Psychologist/Salary

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Psychologists. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm

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