What Is The Highest Paying Psychology Job

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Psychology is a well-paying profession in general, according to Payscale. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median compensation for psychologists is $79,010, which is more than double the median wage for all occupations combined (BLS).

Psychologists with the same credentials might make vastly varying amounts of money based on their employment in various industries. 

In some areas of psychology, the average salary is close to or above six figures. The same may be said for some types of workplaces and industry sectors.

One can make thousands of dollars more each year in higher-paying positions than in lower-paying positions, depending on the type of position.

Psychological Management Roles

Given that leadership positions are among the most lucrative, it’s no wonder that psychology’s highest-paid psychologists hold them.

An average of $136,260 is earned by psychologists in management positions, with a median income of $110,000 and a mean wage of $110,000 reported by the American Psychological Association (APA) (APA).

It is possible to have a general psychologist work title that includes managing interns, counselors, and direct-care professionals as well as a job title like Clinical Supervisor in psychology.

Higher salaries typically accompany greater responsibilities for a larger team. For psychologists who directly oversee a staff of five to 20 personnel, the APA reported a salary of $110,000, while those who are indirectly accountable for a team larger than 20 earned $141,000.

In contrast to psychologists with fewer responsibilities, individuals in positions where they had to oversee a team of 20 or more were more likely to get lower pay.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), private companies pay the most for psychologists in management jobs, with median compensation of $150,000 and an average salary of $232,250.

For psychologists, government management positions are among the highest-paying in the private sector.

At $129,413, the average federal salary is larger than that of the state government; the state government’s median compensation is $111,000, which is more than the $106,000 federal salary.

The APA found that private colleges and universities pay significantly more than public ones, with median salaries of $106,000 vs $64,000 and mean salaries of $98,090 versus $75,279 respectively.

Psychological Research Careers

You’re in luck if you’re more interested in clinical research than clinical practice. Research is the second-highest-paying job function for psychologists after management. The average salary for research psychologists is $95,000, according to the APA. 

Once again, the most lucrative positions are found in the for-profit private sector, where the median compensation is $132,000 and the average salary is $144,800.

Non-profit organizations also pay highly, with median incomes of $125,000 and mean wages of $113,588.

The sort of study undertaken by psychologists impacts their salary. According to the APA, the median compensation for applied research positions is $100k, with a mean salary of $116k.

The median wage for development positions is $96,000, while the average compensation is $81,955; these roles use research findings to build practical gadgets and materials. 

Basic research or research is done for the purpose of scientific discovery rather than practical application and is the least lucrative sort of study.

The average salary for psychologists who work in fundamental research is half that of psychologists who work in applied research. Almost half of all research employment for psychologists is found at educational institutions.

Pay in this sector is higher in public colleges, where the median salary is $80,000 and the average salary is $84,000, respectively, compared to merely $50,000 at private schools.

Roles of Psychologist Professionals in Service

Professional assistance is a typical image that most people have of psychologists. It is no surprise that the most common jobs in these professional service categories, such as school psychology or clinical psychology, are also the most prominent.

In the United States, there are 166,600 psychologists employed and 147,500 of them are in these three categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

However, according to the BLS, psychologists in professional service earn an average income of $76,990. However, according to the APA, psychologists in professional service earn far more.

Self-employed psychologists in non-incorporated businesses may expect to make the most money, with a median pay of $120,000 and the average compensation of $139,591 each year.

Psychologists in professional service roles who are self-employed in incorporated businesses had the widest variation in compensation of all psychologists, demonstrating that maintaining a private practice carries considerable risk.

Degree Programs in Psychology to Pursue

However, it’s important to consider your professional preparation and prospects for work experience while trying to optimize your earning potential as a future psychologist.

An industrial-organizational psychology degree is linked to an average salary of $125,000, according to the American Psychological Association.

Experimental psychology degrees have a high median income, and they provide students with the abilities needed to work in high-paying research positions.

One of the many low-paying professions is education. Students with a degree in educational psychology make the least money. Only $62,000 is the average salary for psychologists who work in teaching jobs.

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