When it comes to decisions about what career to pursue, there’s no doubt one of the major considerations is potential earnings.
So what is the average psychologist salary and is this enough money for what they do, or is it maybe too much?
For this particular article we’ll be talking about a clinical psychologist salary which is what most people are referring to when they talk about the salary of a psychologist.
Other types of psychologists such as counseling psychologists or a research psychologist may require less study and/or experience and so should probably expect to earn less than the figures mentioned here.
The Average Clinical Psychologist Salary
The first thing to talk about is probably the average salary for a clinical psychologist. Like many occupations there are various specialties within the industry and different levels of experience which are going to have an impact on what the average psychologists salary is and the range can be quite large on either side of this average.
According to Salary.com, the average salary of a psychologist is $82,115, with 50% of all psychologists having a salary that falls in the range of $72,000 – $92,000
The Lower End Of The Psychologist Pay Scale
When you’re just starting out in any career you’re obviously not going to be able to earn as much as someone with more experience up their sleeve.
So what would you expect to earn as a psychologist who is just getting started with their new career?
Well at the lower end of the pay, the bottom 25% of psychologists earn no more than $72,000, with the bottom 10% earning less than $63,000.
A starting salary would be somewhere under $60,000, but again for certain types of psychologists with less education and qualifications it will be much less than this – sometimes as low as $30-40000 depending on the job and the employer.
The Upper End Of The Psychologist Pay Scale
When you’re thinking about a long term career in psychology, you don’t just want to know about starting salaries and industry averages – you also want to know what sort of money you can be earning if you work hard, build up a great reputation for your skills and wind up at the top end of the pay scale.
So what can you expect to earn if you’re among the elite in the psychology industry?
Well the psychologist salary of the top 25% of earners in the industry is over $92,000, with the top 10% earning six figure salaries.
Is A Psychologists Salary Worth The Effort To Get There?
In order to get to the stage where you can work as a psychologist there is a fair bit of education and practical experience ahead of you.
The first thing you’ll need to do is complete an undergraduate degree, probably with a major in psychology.
Once that has been completed your next step will be to continue on with your graduate studies and complete your Doctorate in either Philosophy or Psychology.
Over the course of these studies you’ll also be engaged in various research studies and possibly clinical training depending on the particular field of psychology you see yourself working in once your studies are completed.
So all up your looking at up to a decade of study to get to the level where you can start working and building up your experience.
So if you are serious about a career in psychology then you are definitely looking at an industry with one of the higher average earnings.
Butt here is a lot of study and training along the way before the psychologist salary reaches the upper levels that you’re possibly looking for.
Average Clinical Psychologist Salary Summary
Average = $82,000
Top end – $100,000+
Potential starting salary – Less than $50,000