Salary and Career Guide for Clinical Psychologists

A Clinical Psychologist assesses and treats mental health issues, such as emotional or social disorders. They work in a variety of settings using individual, child, family, and group therapy methods. To become a clinical psychologist you must earn your doctorate degree, and then study psychology in a clinical setting before completing state licensing exams. The prospective salary and job outlook for clinical psychologists is in a state of progressive improvement. Between the many different sectors one can work in and the social factors influencing growth in the field, this is a very promising time to be a clinical psychologist.

Salary Outlook for Clinical Psychologists:

Compensation starts relatively high for clinical psychologists and depending on preference to what field one is willing to work in, it can vary by as much as $15,000. With a number of fields in need of clinical psychologists, it’s fairly easy to transition into another sector of work. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the May 2011 national wage estimates for clinical psychologists were $35.14 per hour, or $73,090 annually. Of course, depending on the industry one wishes to enter, earning potential can either increase or decrease substantially.

Industries with the highest level of employment for clinical psychologists, including the mean annual wage for May 2011, are as follows:

  • Elementary and Secondary Schools: 40, 930, annual mean wage $71,510
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners: 12,670, mean annual wage $83,650
  • Individual and Family Services: 6,810, mean annual wage $67,900
  • State Government (OES Designation) 5,350, annual mean wage $79,550
  • Outpatient Care Centers: 4,770, annual mean wage $69,300

The top paying industries for clinical psychologists include:

  • Employment Services: $46.67 hourly mean wage; $97,060 annual mean wage
  • Business Schools and Computer and Management Training: $45.99 hourly mean wage; $95,670 annual mean wage
  • Scientific Research and Development Services: $42.09 hourly mean wage; $87,550 annual mean wage
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises: $42.07 hourly mean wage; $87,500 annual mean wage
  • Home Health Care Services: $41.51 hourly mean wage; $86,340 annual mean wage

By no means are these the only fields clinical psychologists can be successful in, it just illustrates the fields that currently are the most fruitful. Entering another subsection of the clinical psychology field can help prepare one for expected growth in the coming years or even decades. From the perspective of those currently working to become clinical psychologists, it is definitely worthwhile to research trends in mental health and the best avenues to explore not only lucrative opportunities, but also areas that will need the most help and have the best chance for one to have an impact.

Job Outlook for Clinical Psychologists:

After attaining a doctorate, clinical experience is imperative to successfully attaining a job within the clinical psychology field. This experience will properly prepare those in the field for adequate care once they gain a job. Employment of all psychologists is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is faster than the average for all other occupations, yet varies based on specialty. For example, industrial-organizational psychologists are estimated to grow by 35 percent from 2010 to 2020.

The best job prospects are for those who have a doctoral degree in a specific area of psychology. As a clinical psychologist, the factors attributing to the growth in the field are already in place. As the “Baby Boomer” generation continues to age, it will see an increased need for almost every facet of healthcare, including the services clinical psychologists can provide to assist with the mental and physical changes of elderly people.

The greatest demand for psychologists will be in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and social services. Additionally, clinical psychologists are in greater need than ever due to rising issues such as depression, marriage and family problems, job stress, and addiction.

Earn Your Clinical Psychology Degree

Purdue University
MS: Psych - Applied Behavioral Analysis
Purdue University - Purdue University is one of the largest schools in the US, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Purdue has over 170 programs that can be taken online including an MS in General Psychology or an MS in Psychology in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
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Northcentral University
MA: Psychology
Northcentral University - Northcentral University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. NCU has online programs for an MA in Health Psychology and an MA in General Psychology. These programs are well-suited for working professionals who must balance personal lives with their education.
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