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The Psychologist Salary Guide

The Psychologist Salary Guide

The world of psychology is complex, and requires a lot of schooling in order to begin working in the field.  For that reason, the psychologist salary range is generally on the higher end.  Of course, as with any field, you will need to work your way up to making the top dollar that is available to psychologists, and the psychologist salary that you will make depends on a variety of other factors as well.

The psychologist salary in the United States ranges from about $63,000 to over $100,000 across the country.  Of course, most psychologists will fall somewhere in the middle of this range.  Entry level psychologists just out of school can count on making a decent salary even at the low end of the range.  Of course in certain positions, the psychologist salary range can go even higher than the top end; this is generally in rare private practice positions in affluent areas or in high level government or law enforcement positions.

What you can expect as far as your psychologist salary will depend greatly on where in the country you live.  Areas with a higher general salary range and cost of living will also have better salaries available to psychologists.  It will also depend on the type of work you choose to do.  The psychologist salary range will be lower for those working with nonprofit organizations or in public service, while it is often higher for those in private practice or those working for prestigious hospitals and clinics.  

There are plenty of different places where a psychologist can find work, and the salary range will differ in all of them.  A psychologist does have a Ph. D and can therefore expect to have access to a salary range similar to that of other doctors.  However, the psychologist salary range is not as high as that for a psychiatrist, who generally has more medical knowledge than a psychologist and in most states can prescribe medication, whereas a psychologist can not.  Many people confuse the two professions, but the extensive medical training and knowledge of pharmacology is the reason that a psychologist salary is often a bit lower than a psychiatrist.

Of course, a psychologist can still make a very good living, and in most cases those who choose psychology do so for reasons unrelated to salary.  Psychologists tend to see problems as treatable without medication, and spend more time on counseling and dealing with issues in the past and present of the patients life through talking and special exercises.  The psychologist salary tends to reflect the fact that this is a specialized field requiring a great deal of schooling, and most psychologists do quite well.

The psychologist salary you can make once you graduate will certainly increase over time from the initial entry level pay, and you can expect to reach into the high $80,000s in most areas of the country if you continue to do well in the field.  The average psychologist salary in the US is right around this amount; it is a good average to consider when deciding if psychology is right for you.

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane.

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