How Much Money Does a Psychologist Make a Year?

Do you want to know How Much Money Does a Psychologist Make a Year? Well, then maybe it is a career you want to pursue but are kind of confused if you will be able to earn good cash or use it to make a good living. Yes, you are in the right place for this review. Just keep on reading. You will get to know all about the money a psychologist makes in a year.

How Much Money Does a Psychologist Make a Year?

How Much Money Does a Psychologist Make a Year?

If you have ever had a session with a psychologist, you will know how expensive therapy can be. A session can simply cost $60 to $250 per hour, so when you are considering a career in psychology, you might wonder how much a psychologist actually makes.

The median income for psychologists was about $82,180 in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but a psychologist’s income can also vary based on their specialty, years of experience, and location. When considering a psychologist’s earnings, you should keep in mind that the career path requires a substantial amount of education and training.

How Much Does a Psychologist Make?

While a salary of over $80,000 can sound appealing, recognize what it takes to simply earn that income.

To become a psychologist, you will then need to have at least a master’s degree; however, the majority of psychologists go on to earn doctoral degrees. They might also be licensed and even certified, which requires additional training and ongoing education.

Earning a graduate degree in psychology can also be expensive. The Education Data Initiative reports that the average debt for students who simply hold a Ph.D. is well over the amount of $158,000. With such a high debt amount, that median salary might be less attractive.

Psychologists might then experience a variation in earnings. The highest 10% of psychologists earned more than $137,950, so it could be a lucrative career. Exactly how much you can earn is largely dependent on your specialty. Below are some average salaries for multiple specialties:

  • A School Psychologist

Average salary: Over $62,000

For those who simply enjoy working with children, a career in school psychology might be a good fit. A school psychologist works in primary, secondary, or post-secondary institutions assessing students. They may also consult with parents, make recommendations for children with learning disabilities, and even address behavioral problems.

  • Professor of Psychology

Average salary: Over $64,000

Psychologists can also opt for teaching careers, either full-time or an adjunct positions. Professors also teach the fundamentals of psychology to college students — both those majoring in psychology and those majoring in other subjects.

  • Forensic Psychologist

Average salary: Over $71,000

Forensic psychologists simply work within the legal system to be able to evaluate individuals for mental competency, make recommendations to the court about sentencing, and also serve as expert witnesses, and even consult with law enforcement.

  • A Clinical Psychologist

Average salary: Over $80,000

A clinical psychologist also works directly with patients dealing with mental health conditions. They will even evaluate and also diagnose patients and design treatment plans to help individuals manage their diseases. These psychologists might then work in their own private practice or be employed by a larger practice or hospital.

  • An Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Average salary: Over $84,000

An industrial-organizational psychologist simply works with companies to help improve workplaces. They also analyze human behavior and even use psychological principles to address workplace problems like productivity, employee morale, performance evaluations, and employee burnout.

  • Neuropsychologist

Average salary: Over $94,000

A neuropsychologist simply focuses on the physical structure of the brain. They work with patients who might have suffered brain damage due to injuries or illnesses to evaluate brain function. These psychologists help to design a treatment plan with a patient’s care team.

What Affects Your Potential Earnings?

Your earnings as a psychologist can simply be dependent on the factors listed below.


As demonstrated above, specialization impacts income. For example, a school psychologist will likely be on the lower end, with an average salary of about $63,347. By contrast, a neuropsychologist can earn significantly more, with an average salary of about $94,747.

When you are considering a specialty, you should keep in mind that the higher earnings are often the result of additional education and training, which can simply mean a larger amount of student loan debt and more time spent in school.

Education level

While it is possible to then practice psychology with only a master’s degree, earnings will also be lower for a master’s graduate than for a doctoral graduate. In general, psychologists with doctorates and also with certifications command higher salaries. To maximize your earning potential as a psychologist, consider how much education and training you need to achieve your goals.


In addition to your specialty, the sector you simply work in then affects your income. Whether you just decide to work independently and also open your own practice or work in a hospital, your place of employment can simply impact your earnings. Below are the median salaries for psychologists in different sectors:

  • Business and Industry: $100,000.
  • Government: $92,000.
  • Self-Employed: $85,000
  • Public Educational Institutions: $73,000.
  • Private Educational Institutions: $71,000.

The highest-paid psychologists can then typically work in business, consulting with employers and also manufacturers. On the other hand, the lowest-paid tend to work in private educational institutions.


Where you simply live also affects your income. Areas with a high cost of living, such as California, will often result in a much higher salary than if you lived in the Midwest.

The top-paying states for psychologists are:

  • California: Average salary of $124,910.
  • Alaska: Average salary of $118,270.
  • Illinois: Average salary of $115,340.
  • Virginia: Average salary of $109,060.
  • Colorado: Average salary of $103,560.

For a better idea of how you can locate impact earnings, then check out this map from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows average salaries for psychologists by state.


Is a Career in Psychology Right for You?

There are simply a number of factors that can affect how much psychologists can make. It’s a fascinating field with many opportunities for helping others. The average salary for a psychologist is simply higher than the national average for all occupations, but it also requires more education and training. When considering a career in psychology, you should carefully weigh the pros and also the cons to make the best decision for you.

Is Being a Psychologist Worth It?

If you simply enjoy working with people and also want to help them achieve their full potential, then becoming a psychologist can simply be extremely rewarding. While you will often face challenges, seeing your clients make real progress and also working towards their goals can simply give you a feeling of accomplishment.

Is Psychology easy to study?

Psychology is also one of the more difficult degrees, and many of your assignments will simply require you to cite your sources and will also require you to back up a lot of the arguments that you have.


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