How Much Do Psychologists Make

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Psychologist with patient

While most people don’t get rich practicing psychology, some do. The following is a list of the highest paying psychology careers and and psychology related jobs.


Average Salary: $165,500 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
If you have what it takes to become a psychiatrist it may just well be worth it. A psychiatrist is one of the highest paying jobs in psychology. But big bucks don’t come without a big price. To become a psychiatrist you’ll need eight years of post-undergraduate schooling. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, psychiatrists are required to complete medical school as well as a four-year residency program. While most psychiatrists earn a considerable amount, salaries will vary depending on area of specialization and level of experience. For example, a psychiatrist working in a medical office with a few years of experience may earn roughly $150,000 per year, while a veteran psychiatrist working in an outpatient care center can make over $200,000 per year.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Average Salary: $98,800 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
Since industrial-organizational psychologists don’t practice psychology in a counseling/therapy setting they aren’t typically required to be licensed as a psychologist. Consequently, they aren’t required to earn a doctorate degree, although most do anyway. While a master’s degree will suffice for this career, a doctorate degree offers industrial-organizational psychologists greater career advancement opportunity and earning potential.

Industrial-organizational psychologists work with corporations and businesses to help improve workplace performance. Some of their primary responsibilities include improving the productivity of employees and teams, developing market research surveys and identifying which workers are best suited for particular positions. While the average beginning salary for industrial-organizational psychologists with a master’s degree is about $50,000, experienced industrial-organizational psychologists with a doctorate degree can earn up to $250,000 per year. These salary figures make an industrial-organizational psychologist occupation work one of the top paying psychology jobs.


Average Salary: $90,500 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
The minimum requirement to become a neuropsychologist is a doctorate degree in neuropsychology (or clinical neuropsychology).

Neuropsychologists are cognitive scientists that specialize in the study of brain function and processes. Neuropsychologists work in a variety of settings including hospitals and medical centers, research facilities, health clinics, laboratories and colleges and universities. They perform various tasks including the treatment of brain injury, study of the nervous system, analysis of the effects of drugs on the brain, and performing a variety of cognitive tests. This highly skilled field is one of the most well-paid psychology jobs out there.

Engineering Psychologist

Average Salary: $81,550 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
Most engineering psychologists today possess a doctorate degree in psychology, but positions are still plentiful for those with a master’s degree. The highest paid engineering psychologists will typically have a doctorate degree in psychology.

The main goal of engineering psychologists is to improve productivity, improve operational efficiency, and decrease the risk of injury by enhancing the design of vital business systems and equipment. If you want to maximize your earning potential as an engineering psychologist you’ll need to pick the right position and industry to work in. Salaries for engineering psychologists can vary drastically from one area of employment to the next. Engineering psychologists who work in the private sector typically make more than those who work in academia for colleges and universities.

Clinical Psychologist

Average Salary: $75,100 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
The minimum requirement for becoming a licensed practicing clinical psychologist in most states is a doctorate degree in psychology. Clinical psychologists must also complete a supervised post-graduate residency program and pass a state-licensing exam.

Clinical psychology is one of the largest and most popular branches of psychology. Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, prevent and treat a variety of behavioral disorders and mental illnesses. They work in research centers, universities and colleges, hospitals, medical clinics, mental health facilities, and private practices. As is the case with other psychology professions, experience greatly influences how much a clinical psychologist can earn. Clinical psychologists just getting started can expect to earn about $50,000 per year, where more experienced psychologists can earn up to $100,000 per year.

Counseling Psychologist

Average Salary: $73,520 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
The successful counseling psychologist should have a doctorate degree (PsyD, EdD or PhD) in psychology.

Like clinical psychology professionals, counseling psychologists provide a variety of mental health services including psychotherapy. However, unlike clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists generally treat patients with more mild forms of mental illness and/or behavioral disorders. In addition to addressing mental health and behavioral issues, counseling psychologists also work at universities, provide career counseling and conduct research.

Forensic Psychologist

Average Salary: $60,430 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
Those pursuing a career in forensic psychology come from a variety of educational backgrounds. However, forensic psychologists typically have a doctorate degree in forensic, clinical, or counseling psychology.

Forensic psychologists focus on psychological issues relating to the law. Just a few of their responsibilities include serving as expert witnesses for legal defense and prosecution teams, developing psychological profiles of criminals, prepping witnesses to testify in court, training other law enforcement professionals, dealing with issues relating to child custody, and investigating child abuse.

School Psychologist

Average Salary: $58,740 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
The minimum requirement to become a school psychologist in most states is a master’s or Ed.S. degree. However, more and more school psychologists are earning doctorate degrees in psychology (PhD, PsyD or EdD). In addition to an advanced degree, many schools also require the completion of a 60-credit school psychology specialist program.

School psychologists often work in cooperation with other educational professionals in an effort to diagnose and treat learning problems and behavioral disorders in school age children. Their overall goal is to help children overcome emotional, behavioral, social, and academic problems so that they can develop normally and have a productive academic learning experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, career opportunities in school psychology are expected to grow faster than the average over the next decade.

Sports Psychologist

Average Salary: $57,000 per year

Education and Training Requirements:
The demand for sports psychologists is growing, and so is the pay level. Starting salaries in this branch of psychology are roughly $45,000 year. However, experienced sports psychologists working with professional athletes can earn up to $100,000 per year. To become a sports psychologist you’ll need a graduate degree (preferably a doctorate degree) in sports psychology or a related field such as counseling or clinical psychology. While this is not the most lucrative job in psychology, it is certainly a field with a lot of opportunity.

As the name suggests, sports psychology deals with the psychological aspects of sports and athletics. Sports psychologists frequently focus on finding ways to motivate athletes and increase athletic performance by helping athletes to maintain a positive mental attitude and to quickly recover from sports related injuries.

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