With the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting an employment rate for psychologists of 19% between 2014-2024 (a much higher than average employment rate), students with a masters degree in psychology will find an average salary range for this profession between $73,270-$95,710 on an annual basis. Psychology has a cross section of salary ranges, dependent on a number of factors: degree status, licensure or certification, area of the country, experience and place of employment. Psychology specialty areas will affect salary expectations.
School Psychologists and Counseling
Employed primarily in public or private elementary and secondary schools, students with a degree in Educational Psychology may earn, in the upper 75% earning, $95,910 annually. School psychologists in California, New Jersey, South Dakota, New York and Oregon may earn the highest compensation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an average between $87,170- $94,650 a year. According to the BLS, 10% of these psychologists earn a mean salary of $41,830, with 50% earning $73,270 median salary.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Those with a masters degree in this subject area will find wide employment opportunities including industry, manufacturing, educational facilities, consulting services and state and local governments. Salary ranges for this specialty, according to the BLS, may range from $57,320-$123,290, dependent on employer. Those working in states with the highest number of jobs in this field such Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Missouri and New Jersey may see the highest salaries; while, those in other areas may see lower salary compensations.
Working with law enforcement, the court system, attorneys, etc., these psychological specialists may see average salaries between $60,000-$78,000 annually, with those in the top 10% earning $100,000 a year. PayScale Human Capital, an online compensation analysis, provides a salary range on the lower end of around $38,000 and $110,000 per year. Specific geographic location salaries for forensic psychologists were not readily available.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median salary for this profession to be $41,070 a year. PayScale rates the median salary slightly higher at $46,717 a year. Depending on where one works, salaries will vary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates psychologists working in residential facilities may earn an average of $37,050, individual and family services around $39,130, outpatient facilities $39,820 and state, local and private hospitals pulling down approximately $48,300 a year.
Another category for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific information, students with a Masters in Sports Psychology will find themselves in a burgeoning field of psychology. The American Psychological Association calls this one of the "hot careers" in psychology today. Estimated salary expectations for those working in collegiate athletics may range between $60,000-$80,000 a year. PayScale projects salary averages with 5-9 years experience at nearly $46,000 annually.
Also known as Human Factors Psychology, the American Psychological Association projects those holding a masters degree in engineering psychology may earn upwards of $90,500 in government positions, $75,150 in college and university environments and $90,164 in private or public business settings.
Although the information provided above cites basic salary information, it's important to also factor in employee benefits. Benefits such as 401-k retirement plans, paid time off for illness, vacation or personal time and health benefits should also be factored into your salary compensation.
Best Medical Degrees has published a ranking of the 25 Most Affordable Online Master of Psychology Degree Programs, which rates colleges and universities by base tuition cost, length of program and accreditation.