What is the Average Salary for a Psychologist?

If you have the inherent qualities that you need to become a psychologist, it is important to take time to research the discipline before you spend 4 to 8 years earning your degree. The field of psychology is a large one, and there are many different specialty areas to choose from. If you would like to enter the career as an entry-level professional, or you would prefer earning an advanced degree it is important to understand how your decisions can affect your earning potential. There are several different factors that can affect the average salary of a psychologist, and knowing these factors can help you make the right decisions early on in your college career. Read on and find out which factors can affect your salary, and how much psychologists make on a national level.

What is the National Average Reported in the Field of Psychology?

Knowing the average salary reported in the field can give you a general idea of how much you can expect to make over a period of time. By averaging the salaries of lower level and upper level professionals in low-paying and higher-paying regions, you can set realistic expectations before you even earn your degree in Psychology. While the salaries reported in the field of psychology vary greatly, currently, the national average reported by theĀ US Bureau of Labor is $64,140 for clinical professionals and counselors, with the lower tenth percentile earning $37,900 and the upper tenth percentile earning over $106,840.

What Factors Will Affect a Psychologist’s Salary?

Now that you know the averages, it is important to understand how certain factors can affect your earning potential. Your educational level, geographic area, type of employer, specialty area, and years of experience can all affect your salary. Psychologists with a Master’s degree tend to earn more than psychology professionals in counseling who may only possess a Bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, professionals who have earned their doctorate will almost always make more than professionals with lower level degrees because they are doctors and experts.

Demographic area also plays a major role in salary ranges. Cost of living and demand for psychologists will affect salaries. In large populated areas where the cost of living is high, psychologists earn salaries in a higher range. This is true in virtually any professional field. You must consider the demand for psychologists within your specialty area where you intend to live. If there is a higher demand in another area, there may be the option to relocate.

You should also consider which industry you would like to be employed in. Psychologists who have their own practice tend to earn more than those employed by health practitioners, government agencies, public schools, and outpatient care centers. Demand in each field can also go up and down depending on the economy and the current supply of professionals can dramatically change salaries each year. If you are really committed to becoming a psychology major and earning your degree, learn about all of your options, consider the money, and choose a specialty in an area where the salaries satisfy you and keep you motivated to work.