Clinical Psychologist Salary

If you are fascinated by human behavior and have a passion for helping people, you might consider a career in clinical psychology. As a clinical psychology practitioner, you will work directly with a variety of individuals to promote mental health. Read on to learn about your earning potential within the field. Clinical psychologist salary also depends on Clinical Psychologist degrees, experiences and also the institution where they practices.


Most of the people when hearing the term “Psychologist” then they think many things. Many of them envision a patient laying on a leather couch, recounting their problems. Others think of school psychologists, helping students through their problems. Still others discount workers in the field as quacks. While there are many different specializations in psychology, clinical psychologists are the ones working with patients in confidence, helping them through their problems, and doing good while earning a clinical psychologist salary.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology focuses on identifying, treating and preventing a variety of mental health disorders. As a clinical psychologist, you will provide an outlet for individuals, groups, and families to talk through and deal with issues ranging from personal feelings to major mental disabilities, including depression and schizophrenia. The field of clinical psychology encompasses a number of specialty areas, such as child psychology, health psychology, and neuropsychology. Clinical psychologists are needed in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, the military, private practice, and healthcare organizations which also important to identify clinical psychologist salary.

Importance of Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is by far the most popular specialization of all psychologists, comprising of over 63,000 jobs in the United States alone.  This number suggests a pattern of enormous growth, as only 20,000 such positions existed as recently as 1974.  Such a drastic increase is largely due to an expansion of the field’s interests and foci; while clinical psychologists dealt primarily with serious mental trauma and emotional distress, it now encompasses topics such as sports wellness and gerontology. Modern practitioners are focused on behavioral, humanistic, familial and psychoanalytical elements of the mind, working to explain and contribute to their patient’s behavior through treatment in these four fields.

Education Requirements for Clinical Psychologists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a doctoral degree is usually required to enter the field of clinical psychology. Aspiring clinical psychologists choose either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in clinical or counseling psychology degree program. As a graduate of a clinical psychology Ph.D. program, you can choose to pursue careers in teaching, research or direct patient care. Ph.D. programs typically require 4-5 years of full-time study and require extensive coursework in areas such as psychotherapy, intervention, assessment, and human development. Independent research is required to complete a doctoral thesis.

Clinical Psychologist Salary

On average, a clinical psychologist’s salary typically ranges from $48,000 to $82,000, depending on an individual’s qualifications, including education, place of employment, and prior experience. The median income for workers in the field is around $64,000, a salary which provides a quick return on a costly educational investment. Those with additional education (typically a Doctorate), several years of experience and a management role, likely in private practice, can earn substantially more. The highest-earning 10% of clinical psychologists made in excess of $106,000.

Entry-Level Salaries for Recent Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Salary

According to the 2009 doctoral employment survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), a recent graduate can expect to earn approximately $50,000-$70,000. In 2019 this earning increases about to 14 percent. The median starting salary for graduates providing direct human services in clinical psychology was $61,000, while those beginning their careers in school psychology earned a median salary of $58,000. The APA also reported that Ph.D. holders working as assistant professors earned a median annual salary of $56,727, while those working in research earned a median salary of $60,000.

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Doctor of Clinical Psychologist Salary (Ph.D. Graduates)

According to the BLS, clinical psychologists overall earned a median annual salary of $76,810 as of May 2019. Industries with the highest level of employment opportunities for clinical psychologists include elementary and secondary schools, offices of health practitioners, family services, government agencies, and outpatient care facilities, as reported by the BLS. Top paying states for this occupation include New Jersey, Colorado, California, and New York.

Code of Ethics

Of course, along with a clinical psychologist salary comes a host of other benefits – and concerns. Employees in the field are responsible for maintaining the code of ethics by helping people through their problems, attempting to correct their behaviors and emotions in ways that benefit the patient.  Such practice can be incredibly empowering, adding fulfillment and promise in a job that may otherwise seem full of other people’s problems.

By the same token, clinical psychologists must be careful to remain removed from the affairs of their patients. If they are not careful, they may wind up growing attached to patients and influence their behavior in particular ways.  Perhaps more practically, clinical psychologists may wind up taking their patients’ problems home with them, leading to stressful mindsets of their own.

Becoming a clinical psychologist is about much more than a salary. Those embarking down the long road to entry in the field must have a passion for getting to the root of the problems of their patients and fixing them. They must enjoy talking to, listening to, and helping people who they may not like as people, but respect and patients.

In reward, they get to end each day knowing that they are influencing other people for the better, leading them towards greater things while taking home a clinical psychologist’s salary. A fulfilling and extremely challenging career, clinical psychology promises it’s practitioners an interesting life.

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