Counseling psychology salary

Counseling psychology salary DEFAULT

Counselor and Psychologist Salary Ranges

Counselor and psychologist salaries vary. See what you could earn after you get your psychology degree.


A psychologist’s salary varies greatly depending upon level of education and the environment in which a psychology professional practices.

Psychology salaries for doctorate-holders will average $6,000 to $8,000 more per year than those with a master’s degree. Job prospects for those holding a master’s degree in areas other than industrial-organizational psychology should expect the job field to be competitive.

Employment opportunities will increase primarily in schools, hospitals, substance abuse clinics, consulting firms and private companies. So, how much can you expect to earn as a general psychologist or psychologist specializing in a particular field of psychology? Read on to find out.

Psychology Salaries by Specialty

Job Title/SpecialtyMedian Annual Salary*
School Psychologist$82,180
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist$96,270
Clinical Psychologist$79,820

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook

Counselor/Therapist Salary

Job Title/SpecialtyMedian Annual Salary*
Substance Abuse Counselor$47,660
Mental Health Counselor$47,660
Marriage and Family Therapist$51,340
Vocational Counselor$58,120
School Counselor$58,120
Rehabilitation Counselor$37,530

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook

Social Worker Salary

Job Title/SpecialtyMedian Annual Salary*
Healthcare Social Worker$57,630
School Social Worker$48,430
Mental Health / Substance Abuse Social Worker$48,720

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.


Highest Paying Psychology Careers

The field of psychology is very diverse. There are many potential paths your career can take, and a wide range of salaries you might earn. Of course, it's useful to know which careers pay the best, especially in difficult economic conditions. To that end, here's a guide explaining which psychology careers have the highest annual salaries as of 2019, and what education and training are required for those careers. Keep in mind, though, that salaries can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as years of experience, educational achievement, geographic location, and more.

1. Psychiatrist

Average Yearly Salary:$216,090

Education Required:Psychiatrists must first earn a bachelor's degree, then complete medical school, then undergo a four-year residency. This amounts to about 8 years of post-undergraduate study.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses and disorders. The field of psychiatry is one of the highest paying fields associated with psychology, largely due to the amount of schooling and training required. Even so, salaries in this field can vary widely depending on geographic location, area of specialization, and the type of services rendered. A psychiatrist who works in a physician's office, for example, will generally earn less than a psychiatrist who works in an outpatient care center ($222,460 annually vs. $233,920 annually).

2. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$102,530

Education Required:Most professionals in this field hold a doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology, and job opportunities (and salaries) are more abundant for those who have completed this level of schooling. However, there are some jobs available to those who hold a master's degree.

Industrial-organizational psychologist work with companies and corporations, using psychological principles to make intelligent hiring decisions, increase productivity levels, and conduct market research. Once again, the salaries for this profession vary greatly depending on experience. The upper echelon of these professionals earns more than $250,000 each year, but a typical starting salary for a doctoral graduate is around $57,500 a year.

3. Neuropsychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$93,440

Education Required:Doctorate degree in neuropsychology or clinical neuropsychology.

Neuropsychologists study behavior, cognition, and emotion by studying the physical structures and functions of the brain. This may include performing brain scans, conducting cognitive tests, studying the effects of various drugs and substances on the nervous system, and treating individuals struggling with brain injuries. Neuropsychologists work in a number of settings, such as hospitals, mental health clinics, colleges and universities, research centers, and pharmaceutical labs.

4. Engineering Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$90,340

Education Required:There are some entry-level jobs available to psychologists with master's degrees, but those with doctorate degrees will have a much easier time finding jobs and will earn higher salaries.

As the name suggests, engineering psychologists fuse the principles of psychology and engineering. Also known as human factors engineers, they study human behavior and capabilities, specifically as they relate to system design and operation, as well as technology and machinery. These professionals work in a number of settings, increasing efficiency and productivity while minimizing injuries and risk. Salaries vary largely depending on their area of employment. Working in the private sector, for example, usually yields much higher earnings than working in a university setting.

5. Psychology Teacher

Average Yearly Salary:$85,050

Education Required: Postsecondary psychology teachers must have earned a master's degree or doctoral degree. High school psychology teachers need at least a bachelor's degree and must also obtain state certification.

Psychology teachers prepare and teach coursework in psychology, counseling, and related career paths. They prepare the next generation of psychologists for many of the other careers listed on this page. They may also conduct psychological research and write research papers on behalf of the university they work for. University psychology teachers earn $85,320 per year on average, while junior college psychology teachers earn $84,280. However, psychology professors at top universities and research institutions earn starting salaries of about $110,000. Psychology teachers at high schools are less common and earn about $60,000 per year.

6. Clinical Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$81,330

Education Required:Clinical psychologists typically need a doctorate degree in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.). They must then complete a supervised residency which lasts one or two years, and pass their state's licensing exams.

The field of clinical psychology employs the most workers of any field within psychology. These professionals assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent mental illnesses and disorders. They work in a wide range of settings, such as mental health clinics, hospitals, and private practices. As with other psychological professions, salaries vary widely. The most important factor affecting salary is years of experience. Clinicians with 5 years of experience, for example, earn about $60,000 a year, whereas clinicians with 14 year of experience earn about $115,000 a year.

7. Counseling Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$81,330

Education Required:Counseling psychologists must hold a Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. degree.

The fields of counseling psychology and clinical psychology are closely related; in fact, the two involve roughly the same type of work, such as mental health treatment and psychotherapy. The difference is that clinical psychologists typically work with individuals suffering from more severe kinds of mental disorders, and counseling psychologists work with individuals suffering from less severe disorders. Many counseling psychologists, instead of working with clients, choose to teach at universities, conduct scientific research, or offer vocational counseling.

8. School Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$77,430

Education Required:School psychologists generally must complete a specialist program in school psychology. These programs consist of 60 hours of graduate-level coursework, and culminate in either a master's degree or an Ed.S. degree. Roughly one-third of professionals working in this field hold a doctorate degree.

School psychologists work closely with other professionals in the education system--teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents--to help children thrive not only emotionally and psychologically, but also academically. The work of a school psychologist involves assessing and diagnosing learning problems, offering counseling to children, designing behavioral interventions, and fostering supportive learning environments. It's estimated that job prospects for school psychologists will grow by 11% over the next ten years.

9. Forensic Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$61,220

Education Required:Most forensic psychologists hold a doctorate degree, although some jobs are available with a master's degree.

Forensic psychologists work within the law enforcement and judicial systems, using their knowledge of psychology to solve crimes and understand criminals. Their work may involve constructing psychological profiles of criminals, investigating cases of domestic and child abuse, testifying in court, sorting out child custody disputes, and training law enforcement officers.

10. Sports Psychologist

Average Yearly Salary:$60,000

Education Required:Sports psychologists typically need to hold a master's or doctorate degree in sports psychology, or a graduate-level degree in a related area such as counseling or clinical psychology.

Sports psychologists apply their knowledge of psychology to the realms of sports and athletics. They work to understand and optimize athletes' motivation and ability, with the goal of helping athletes improve performance, train more effectively, and recover quickly from injuries. Salaries vary depending on the areas in which they work. The average salaries range from $50,000 and $85,000, but sports psychologists who work with athletes in professional leagues may earn well over $100,000 a year.

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Salary for Counseling Psychologists

Also known as:  Child Psychologist, Child Psychometrist, Clinical Psychologist, Eating Disorder Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Geropsychologist, Pediatric Psychologist, School Psychologist, School Psychometrist, Vocational Psychologist helps find better paying jobs across all specialties and locations. Sign up in our talent cluster and get scouted today!

The average person often faces stressors and external stimuli which may require professional help to overcome. The role of counseling psychologists is to assist individuals in dealin with personal problem and life crises, or simply to assist individuals in become more productive and well-adjusted in vocational, personal, social, and educaitonal spheres. They provide counseling via one-on-one or group therapy sessions, and may conduct interviews and record detailed clinical histories in order to provide the best assistance possible for patients. In cases where therapy is not effective, they may recommend facilities or physicians who can help. Doctoral degrees, Master's degrees, and/or professional certifications are required for this profession.

A Counseling Psychologist can earn average salaries of between $46,410 - $138,550 depending on the level of education. will most likely receive an average wage of eigthy-nine thousand two hundred and ninety dollars per year.

can receive the highest pay in California, where they receive an average job salary of about $115,830. These people are compensated the highest in Health Care and Social Assistance, where they earn average wages of $97,820.

Are you an aspiring counseling psychologist? Want a new opportunity where you can earn a higher salary? Join our counseling psychologist talent pool today, and get scouted!

The national wage distribution is shown below. To overlay local salaries for a Counseling Psychologist, please select your state.

Counseling Psychologists tend to make the most in the following industries:

In general, they earn less within the industries below:

How I make money as a Psychologist in Private Practice - My 7 streams of income of a Therapist.

Counseling psychologist salary

The average salary for a counseling psychologist in the United States is around

Avg Salary

Counseling psychologists earn an average yearly salary of $78,200.
Wages typically start from $45,240 and go up to $132,670.

32% above national average ● Updated in 2019

Counseling psychologist earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Counseling psychologist salary by state

State NameAverage Salary
District of Columbia$84,780
North Carolina$62,470
North Dakota$83,730
New Hampshire$73,840
New Jersey$85,160
New Mexico$66,810
New York$88,710
Puerto Rico$47,300
Rhode Island$86,370
South Carolina$61,030
South Dakota$68,780
West Virginia$50,890

How do counseling psychologist salaries compare to similar careers?

Counseling psychologists earn about the same as related careers in the United States. On average, they make less than neuropsychologists but more than physical therapists.

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)


Psychology salary counseling

How to Become a Counseling Psychologist

Counseling Psychologist Listening to Patient | Careers in PsychologyBetween managing home responsibilities, work, and family relationships, everyone can benefit from talking to a professional to discuss obstacles in their everyday lives. Pursuing a career as a counseling psychologist is a great way to give back to others, practice empathetic listening, and learn skills to navigate your own obstacles along the way.

This rewarding career is a great choice for many people. Learn more about how to become a counseling psychologist, what the career includes, and the next steps to pursue a psychology degree online.

Popular Counseling Psychology Degree Programs

Clinical Psychology vs. Counseling Psychology

Because the two are so similar, clinical psychology and counseling psychology are often mistaken for each other. Despite the similarities, clinical psychology and counseling psychology are somewhat different as well.
Clinical psychologists and counseling psychologists both treat a wide variety of mental and emotional problems. However, counseling psychologists typically focus on individuals whose symptoms are less severe, such as those coping with everyday stresses and adjusting to life's rollercoaster ride. Clinical psychologists, on the other hand, often treat patients with more serious symptoms and disorders.
Now that you understand the different types of psychology, let’s look into how to become a counseling psychologist in more detail.

What Does a Counseling Psychologist Do?

Counseling psychologists work with individuals, couples, groups and families to help them develop healthy relationships. They practice several talk therapy techniques to get to the root of the distress and offer solutions to help patients overcome obstacles. They listen to patients and offer advice as needed.

Here is more information about the work environments and day-to-day duties of counseling psychologists:
● Counseling psychologists can choose to specialize in certain areas, like grief counseling or vocational stress.
● The number of patients that a counseling psychologist works with at one time can vary. Some only work with their patients on a one-on-one situation, while others may work with small groups of people.
● Most counseling psychologists interact with their patients every day. They are often presented with a wide range of mental and emotional concerns.
Many counseling psychologists specialize in person-centered therapy, which is a type of therapy that is based on patients' individual life experiences. In person-centered therapy, the psychologist listens to their patients and can help steer them toward changing themselves for the better.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another common type of treatment used by counseling psychologists. This type of therapy focuses on clients identifying and understanding their negative beliefs. Since these negative beliefs often affect a person's mood and emotions, the client and the psychologist then work towards changing them.

Is Counseling Psychology a Good Career?

Whether pursuing a career as a counseling psychologist is a good career is a personal decision and depends on both your experience and natural personality and interests.

Great counseling psychologists create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for patients. They’re understanding and non-judgmental so that patients will open up to them. Cognitive psychologists encourage their patients to talk about their feelings and behaviors and ask questions to understand their unique concerns. By getting to know their patients, cognitive psychologists can work to help them deal with and remedy their obstacles.

With this in mind, a career in counseling psychology is good for people who care about others and want to help them solve the problems they are facing. Psychologists are kind, understanding, patient, and non-judgemental.

Becoming a Counseling Psychologist

Let’s look at how to become a counseling psychologist, including education requirements and information on the many places where counseling psychologists can work.

Counseling Psychology Education Requirements

Those interested in counseling psychology careers will usually start by earning a four-year Bachelor's degree in psychology. Advanced degrees are usually necessary. Several universities offer master’s and Doctoral degrees in counseling psychology. Choosing a psychology school will depend on where you want to work and if you want to specialize in a specific niche when working as a counseling psychologist.
The curriculum requirements to become a counseling psychologist are typically similar from one university to the next. In addition to learning the fundamentals of psychology and research methods, future counseling psychologists will also often learn about different therapy and counseling techniques.
People wonder if it’s hard to become a counseling psychologist and the answer depends on how much schooling you want to pursue. Generally, you will need at least four years of undergrad study as well as two to eight years of graduate schooling.
How long it takes to become a counseling psychologist depends on your education requirements and where you work.

Where Do Counseling Psychologists Work?

A counseling psychology career can often lead a person in several different directions. In general, counseling psychologists should have no trouble finding work. For example, they can often find employment in places like mental health clinics, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and schools.

For those looking for a little more control over their counseling psychology careers, opening their own practice is another option.

How Much do Counseling Psychologists Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for counseling psychologists was $78,200 as of May 2019.

Of course, average salaries for counseling psychologists vary according to where they work. Here are a few examples:

● Child daycare services: $120,130
● Home healthcare services: $105,440
● Offices of other healthcare practitioners: $100,300
● Outpatient care centers: $99,870
● Offices of physicians: $95,960

Counseling Psychology: A Career That Gives Back

Pursuing a career as a counseling psychologist is a great way to learn more about how to process emotions and stressors, understand how to listen and empathize, and help others. To learn how to begin an education and become a counseling psychologist, find a psychology degree program that fits your needs.

Employment Outlook & Career Guidance for Counseling Psychologists

Helping individuals of all ages to address and create a healthy balance between the extremes encountered in a lifetime (such as sadness and happiness, success and hard times, joy and pain), counseling psychologists are trained to assist patients and clients resolve some of life's toughest issues. By identifying psychologically sound coping methods on an individual and group basis, professionals often find employment in hospitals, with community organizations, and at other facilities that provide counseling services.

What Type of Positions Can a Counseling Psychologist Hold?

In addition to assuming positions at community mental health centers, family service agencies, psychiatric hospitals, counseling centers and medical schools, about 21% of counseling psychologists work in private practices while 34% of counseling psychologists work in academia. Many counseling psychologists provide psychotherapy services with numerous available career paths that one may follow, such as:

  • Administering career testing and offering vocational counseling to help clients choose a profession, cope with workplace conflict, or adjust to a new job environment.
  • Working with specific discussion and therapy groups related to grief, pregnancy, parenting, divorce, and/or long-term illness.
  • Administering personality tests for large corporations and businesses seeking new employees.
  • Establishing a private practice to provide relationship counseling to newlyweds, couples experiencing communication issues, and same-sex couples.
  • Treating patients in a clinic that deals with addiction, such as overeating, smoking, and/or drugs.

Stacey Glaesmann, M.A. says that undergraduate degrees in any type of psychology field are limiting; however, adds that it is not impossible to find a position in the field. A common job position for someone with a Bachelor's degree is in research as an assistant (RA). Glaesmann suggests that those with an interest in pursuing graduate school should get involved in a couple of studies as an RA while still an undergrad. Learn more about how to become a counseling psychologist.

"Start off as clinical mental health counselors and eventually serve in supervisory and administrative roles. Some go on to pursue a doctoral degree, which affords them the opportunity to teach and conduct research."

– Christopher J. Quarto, Ph.D

Spotlight Masters in Counseling Psychology Program

Employment Opportunities for Counseling Psychologists Are Also Found In:

  • Mental Health Settings: In psychiatric hospitals, community mental health centers, university counseling, or in a private practice, counseling psychologists provide services to individuals or families who seek relief from psychological disorders, such as depression, addiction, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
  • Human Service Settings: A counseling psychologist that works in a human services environment can provide assessment and diagnosis services for individuals, families, and other groups of people. Some develop intervention protocol to remedy issues related to their specific job. Others help clients improve their wellbeing, resolve crises, and ease stressful situations pertaining to physical, social, emotional, vocational, educational, developmental, and organizational disorders.
  • Education Settings: Colleges and universities often employ counseling psychologists to help students cope with personal issues that may affect their daily life and studies, such as coming to terms with the death of a loved one or friend; adjusting to college life; and overcoming health obstacles, such as an eating disorder. They also assist students who are preparing to graduate and enter the workforce.
  • Research Settings: Those who conduct research related to the field often seek answers to issues that can affect the success of psychological treatment methods. Topics may include the psychological impact of exposure to a major disaster; ethics in mental health; and exploring themes of experimental psychology.

"If a student wants to have more [job] options, he/she should consider going to graduate school to earn a Master's (in counseling, school counseling, children's counseling, social work, or marriage and family) and then taking his/her state licensing exam."

– Stacey Glaesmann, M.A. 

Ways for Counseling Psychologists to Increase Desirability as a Job Candidate

Creating and updating a Curriculum Vitae (CV) helps demonstrate effort to a potential employer and an individual's desire to develop as a professional in the field. A CV should contain education history, academic experience, research experience, teaching experience, poster presentations, professional memberships, invited talks, published works, and any other relevant experience.

Attending continuing education events and pursuing additional online training are a few ways that a job candidate can add experience and credentials to a CV.

Quarto also suggests obtaining volunteer and paid work experience related to a specific field of interest as a way for job applicants to increase their chances of landing a position that concentrates on their specific preferences. Networking with professionals at conferences and starting a community service project are also beneficial to those who lack prior job experience in the field.

"Volunteering with an organization, non-profit or research study begets experience, which is very valuable in the mental health field."

– Stacey Glaesmann, M.A.

Qualities that employers typically look for in a counseling psychologist include

  • The ability to successfully persuade others to change their minds or behavior.
  • A culturally sensitive professional, who is able to maintain health boundaries.
  • Knowledge of principles and methods related to the diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental dysfunction.
  • Demonstrates an effective balance between showing empathy and holding clients/patients accountable for their actions.
  • Establishes and applies policies and procedures on a consistent basis.
  • Upholds a belief that people can, and do change.
  • The ability to set an optimistic yet realistic tone regarding a patient's progress.

Ways for a Counseling Psychologist to Increase His/Her Salary

"Oftentimes the salary will increase by virtue of working for an agency for a period of time. Salaries can also increase by changing from one role (e.g., counselor at an agency) to another role (e.g., supervisor at an agency)."

– Christopher J. Quarto, Ph.D.

Private practice is one of the primary ways that a counseling psychologist can increase his or her yearly income. Psychologists may establish a part-time private practice, opting to see clients on evenings and weekends as a way to earn extra money. Glaesmann says word-of-mouth advertisement can eventually lead to a psychologist transitioning into a full-time private practice environment.

According to Glaesmann, an increasing trend regarding today's counseling psychologists is choosing not to accept insurance (or only accept one or two options), and instead, concentrate on treating private-pay clients. She says this approach can become quite lucrative. By eliminating direct contact with insurance companies, paperwork and billing is handled by the psychologist. Clients are given a receipt for services, and are then told to file insurance claims for reimbursement on their own.

Another way to increase a salary is by offering to take on more responsibility without a raise for a period of time, which can prove to an employer that a professional is worthy of advancement within the workplace. Education also helps professionals command a higher salary.

"A Master's is enough to get work in many agencies [such as United Way, Child Protective Services, and women's shelters], teach at community colleges, and to go into private practice. A PhD is useful if someone wants to teach at University level, do original research, provide testing services (such as ADHD evaluations, IQ tests, etc.) or be able to charge more in private practice."

– StaceyGlaesmann, M.A.

Networking Opportunities and Organizations

Counseling Psychologist NetworkingIn addition to state and local affiliates of national organizations, annual conferences (such as the ones held by the likes of the American Counseling Association and American Psychological Association – APA)  provide counseling psychologists an excellent opportunity to network with others in the field. Events at a conference may include keynote speakers, workshops, symposia, poster sessions, presentations, CE sessions, as well as hosted dinners, dances, and silent auctions.

Niche-related associations available on the local-, regional-, state-, and national levels provide a more targeted networking opportunity for counseling psychologists. For example, the APA has sub-chapters established in each state. Associations and non-profits concentrating on specific niches also host year-round networking events, including luncheons, conferences, and seminars.

Organizations that provide additional networking opportunities for counseling psychologists include:

Continuing Education (CE) Sources

In addition to state-approved CE programs for psychologists, the APA also provides continuing education programs geared towards counseling psychologists. Some of the ways to professionally develop a counseling psychology career is by earning CE credits in topics such as Positive Aging: An Innovative Approach to Counseling Older Adults; Quality of Master's Education: A Concern for Counseling Psychology?; and Contextual School Counseling Approach: Linking Contextual Psychotherapy with the School Environment.

How Much Do Counselors Actually Make?

Counseling Psychologist vs. Clinical Psychologist

Mental health professionals provide valuable services to individuals, families and communities. Those interested in this career path can benefit from learning about the profession and the roles they can pursue. Counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists serve related purposes within the field with several key differences. In this article, we discuss what a counseling psychologist is, what a clinical psychologist is and how the professions differ in terms of job duties, training and salary.

Read more:How To Become a Psychologist

What is a counseling psychologist?

A counseling psychologist is a medical professional who works with patients that experience less severe psychological challenges, such as those associated with everyday stressors and emotional or social concerns. They help patients manage school, work, family or relational challenges, often in outpatient settings.

Counseling psychologists may perform the following duties:

  • Assess patient's mental health status
  • Diagnose mental health conditions and disorders
  • Create treatment plans
  • Communicate with patients' other medical providers
  • Refer patients to additional specialists for assessment and treatment
  • Discuss treatment plans with family members

Related:How To Become a Counseling Psychologist (With Skills)

What is a clinical psychologist?

A clinical psychologist is a mental health professional who diagnoses and prescribes psychological treatment for those experiencing emotional crises and mental illnesses. Clinical psychologists often work with patients experiencing more significant mental health disorders to assess, diagnose and treat them. They use a variety of psychological tools to help patients optimize their well-being and function, including:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on changing the way patients think about their challenges, which can then work to change their behavior.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis involves identifying patients' underlying fears or traumas to help them process them.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): TMS is a treatment for depression using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in areas of the brain that control emotion.

Read more:Learn About Being a Clinical Psychologist

Similarities and differences between counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists

Because these professions both treat patients experiencing mental health challenges, there are some similarities and differences between the roles. These include:

Education and training

The education and training for both counseling and clinical psychologists is very similar. Both professionals first earn a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field, such as sociology or anthropology. Most states require practicing psychologists to earn a doctoral degree.

Your career goals often determine which type of graduate degree you pursue. For those interested in clinical practice, a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) may be the best option. Professionals who want to focus on research may opt for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology.

All practicing psychologists earn state licensure in the state in which they practice, which can take an additional one to two years after earning a doctorate degree. Often, state licensure requires the following elements:

  • A doctoral degree from an accredited psychology program
  • Up to two years of supervised clinical experience seeing patients, some of which may need to be post-doctoral experience
  • A completed application for licensure
  • A passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, which the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards administers

While waiting for your official license, you may be eligible to apply for a provisional license that allows you to work during this time. Most states require licensed psychologists to complete a minimum number of continuing education credits each year to maintain licensure. Clinical psychologists can also choose to become certified through the American Board of Clinical Psychology (ABCP), which requires a minimum number of clinical hours and an internship in clinical psychology.

Related:Neuropsychologist vs. Psychologist: What's the Difference?

Job duties

Counseling and clinical psychologists both work closely with patients to help them address their emotional, social and mental challenges. Counseling psychologists often use a humanistic approach to bring about behavior modification and provide coping skills. They work with individuals, families and organizations to treat the following concerns:

  • Parent and family challenges
  • Marital conflict
  • Work-life or school-life balance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Counseling psychologists provide counseling services to identify and assess fears, traumas and other concerns. They determine the frequency and intensity of counseling sessions and work with a diverse range of patients and families. Counseling psychologists implement the most appropriate interventions based on patients' histories, diagnoses and goals. They may offer psychometric testing to aid in their treatment strategy. These psychologists take detailed notes and monitor patients' progress, adjusting their treatment as necessary.

Conversely, clinical psychologists typically work with patients who experience significant and persistent mental health issues that may require more advanced and intensive therapy to treat. The responsibilities of a clinical psychologist include providing diagnoses based on psychometric tests, biopsychosocial evaluations and therapy sessions. They evaluate the medical and physical conditions of patients in collaboration with other healthcare providers. In addition to designing treatment plans for their patients, clinical psychologists may also design and carry out research studies, publishing their findings in professional journals.

Related:20 Skills Needed To Be a Psychologist

Places of employment

Since both counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists work with patients, employment facilities sometimes overlap. Both professionals may work in the following settings:

  • Private practice
  • Hospitals
  • Counseling centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Schools and universities
  • Community services programs

Because clinical psychologists often work with patients who may need more in-depth treatment, they may work more frequently in facilities such as:

  • Inpatient treatment centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Crisis centers
  • Behavioral health hospitals

Salary and job outlook

The average salary for psychologists is $95,065 per year, while clinical psychologists earn an average of $99,973 per year. Psychologists' salaries may vary based on geographic location, years of experience and specialty. For example, clinical psychologists working in a private inpatient facility may earn more than a counseling psychologist working for a community health center.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 3% job growth rate for all psychologists, which is about equal to the average rate for all jobs between 2019 and 2029. This equates to about 5,300 new positions for counseling, clinical and school psychologists during that time. The BLS attributes this growth to an increasing awareness among the general population about the connection between mental wellness and overall wellbeing.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


Similar news:

The 9 Highest Paying Psychology Careers

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Average Salary: $102,530

Educational Requirements: In most cases, a master's degree in psychology is the minimum training required, although having a doctorate degree may be to your advantage. While there are opportunities available at the master's degree level, earning a doctorate degree in industrial-organizational psychology offers greater opportunities and higher salaries.

Industrial-organizational psychologists use their knowledge of psychology to tackle workplace issues. Increasing worker productivity, selecting the best employees for particular jobs, and developing market research surveys are just a few of the things that an industrial-organizational psychologist might do.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that I/O psychologists employed in the scientific research and development industry earned an average annual wage of $149,780. Those employed at colleges, universities, and professional schools earned an average of $70,360.

The typical starting salary for a master's degree graduate is around $40,000. Meanwhile, the starting salary for a doctoral graduate is approximately $55,000.

According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the top 5% of their members earn in excess of $250,000 a year.


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