The average psychologist salary is a crucial factor to consider for students considering a master's in psychology program. While a doctorate is needed for clinical, counseling, and research-based psychologist positions, master's graduates also gain access to several viable jobs. Among these are roles as school psychologists, industrial-organizational psychologists, and marriage and family therapists.
While an individual cannot call themselves a psychologist without a doctorate, they can work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist in roles such as psychological assistant. The kinds of jobs that master's graduates qualify for are more patient-involved and pay higher than jobs requiring only a bachelor's degree, as those who hold only a bachelor's do not possess the qualifications to take part in clinical work, even under supervision.
How Much Can I Make With a Psychology Degree?
One of the most commonly asked questions from prospective degree-seekers when considering a master's in psychology is "How much money can I make?" In short, the answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including highest degree attained.
For those who pursue a doctorate and are employed as psychologists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual wage of $80,370 in 2019. For those who graduate with their master's and don't continue on, PayScale reports average yearly wages of $60,725. Readers should note that salaries are self-reported on this website, with some careers not directly in the field of psychology.
When assessing a job offer, it's also important to remember that factors such as location, type of employer, amount of experience, and cost of living all affect the bottom line. Psychologists in San Francisco may make more than those living in Jackson, MS, but the cost of living is substantially lower in the second location.
Master's in Psychology Salary for Different Specialities
The field of psychology includes a large number of specialties, making it possible for professionals to build skills and experience in a variety of areas. Salaries can differ substantially based on the specialization chosen, making it important to research options prior to making a decision.
Sports psychologists help athletes at every level and from every sport handle the mental pressures inherent to their sport. They can help them build coping strategies, improve focus, and maintain motivation. PayScale notes the average annual salary currently stands at $73,730.
I-O psychologists work with companies of all sizes to help improve efficiency and effectiveness while also developing and maintaining employee satisfaction. They may work in-house or in a consulting role. Average salaries topped $92,880 in 2019, according to the BLS.
These professionals work in K-12 and college settings to help students address personal and academic concerns and overcome challenges as they arise. They may also work with family members. The BLS reports average earnings for 2019 were $57,040.
These professionals sit at the intersection of psychology, criminal justice, and the legal system. They often work within court systems, for law firms, or in other capacities to help assess the accused and the victim. The average salary according to PayScale is currently $69,514.
Addiction counselors work with clients facing substance abuse issues who need professional assistance to overcome their addiction. These professionals create treatment plans, provide counseling, and work with other healthcare professionals to create a comprehensive plan. PayScale notes average annual salaries of $39,738.
Engineering psychologists concern themselves with how humans interact with machines and their environments. They are often involved in the design process and can work for a single company or consult with several. The average salaries for those with master's is $85,271, according to the American Psychological Association.