They can work in a wide variety of settings that includes private businesses, schools, group or private facilities, and hospitals. Clinical psychologists use their wide variety of skills and knowledge of the human mind and behavior to treat patients with a wide variety of issues. Clinical psychologists commonly help patients readjust to life after a life-changing event, like divorce, death, or can help patients with other mental or physical illnesses. They often work in one-on-one settings with patients to help them evaluate, diagnose, and provide appropriate treatment for mental and emotional illness. Counseling psychologists often do much of the same but they also help their patients to understand and deal with their problems. They help the patients indicate methods for treating their own issues, often dealing with behavioral or substance abuse problems. Industrial-organizational psychologists are another popular specialization. This field of psychology deals with the study of work place behavior, and industrial-organizational psychologists usually work in the private sector, helping companies to select the ideal employee and to maximize productivity.
Education, Training and Certification
For you to become a psychologist, a master’s or doctorate degree in Psychology is almost certainly needed. However, there are certain perquisites before enrolling in one of these. You will need a bachelor’s degree, and some Ph.D. programs require a master’s degree before you can enroll. While strong undergraduate grades are not necessarily required, they certainly will help you be admitted to a graduate program. At the completion of doctoral programs, students are required to complete a yearlong internship as part of the program. The amount of education and degrees requires varies upon which specialty one wishes to enter. Admission to master’s and Ph.D. programs can be competitive and often require either an undergraduate degree in psychology or clinical practice or coursework.
Psychologists will require workplace training before obtaining a license, like face-to-face interaction and work experience are very important aspects of the job. In all states, psychologists who practice independently must have a license. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, and one to two years of professional experience and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Many specific fields of psychology, like school psychologist, may require a specific certification to practice. Certain workplaces, such as hospitals, may also require specific or additional licenses and certifications.
Average Annual Salary
The average annual salary of psychologist is $72,220. This is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and dividing that value by the total number of employees. The lowest 10% of all psychologists can expect to make less than $$38,450 each year while others with more experience in the top 10% can expect well over $109,340 each year.
Factors that Affects the Psychologist Salary
Psychologist salaries vary according to the area of psychology, with clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earning an average $72,220; industrial-organizational psychologist salary is, on average, $98,800; and the average for all other psychologist salary is $86,380. In general, the highest paid psychologists are those working in the industrial organizational sector that includes in areas such as human resources, administration, and management, as well as sales and marketing. Of these, those working in management, scientific, and technical consulting services have the highest average salary, at $125,980.
• Education and Specialization – A psychologist requires a master’s as well as a doctoral degree in psychology at minimum. The master’s program can be in either arts or sciences of psychology. At the doctoral level, for those wishing to engage in psychologist services for clients, a one-year internship with supervision is generally required. Some schools allow students to enter a doctoral program immediately following a bachelor’s degree, reducing the time spent in school. While there are positions for those holding only a master’s degree (a shorter program than a doctoral one), a doctoral degree will yield a higher salary.
• Experience and Position – The majority of psychologists have a doctoral degree, and so increased experience on the job will result in a higher salary. Advanced-level positions will pay higher than entry-level. In addition, particular specializations are in higher demand, such as neuropsychologists or engineering psychologists. However, industrial-organizational positions tend to be the most lucrative.
• Industry – With the multiplicity of possible areas for focus in psychology, the industry is highly variable. However, as mentioned, industrial-organizational psychologists tend to earn the highest wages. While a starting salary for a master’s holder will be in the $40,000 range, a doctorate-level entry position will receive above $50,000. According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the top five percent of their earners have a salary greater than $250,000 per year.
• Location – While the greatest number of jobs for psychologists tends to be in more densely populated areas such as California and New York, the demand in more rural regions will yield a higher salary. While this is highly dependent on the specialization chosen, area such as Rhode Island and Hawaii, along with New York, pay better than others, averaging above $90,000 for most focuses.