Sports Psychology Salary Outlook
Graduates with a Master's degree in Sports Psychology can expect to make a good living in this discipline. There are many different types of jobs & careers that a sports psychologist could perform, combining elements of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, athletic research, and motivational speaking. They help athletes improve their performance, while studying the relationship between mental and physical health and how it affects human behavior.
Average Sports Psychology salaries for job postings nationwide are 122% higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide.
About Sports Psychology
One of the most interesting specializations of psychology for those who are interested in sports and exercise, sports psychology is a field that helps study the way that the mind and body work together. Sports psychologists help athletes in a variety of ways. They may help with the mental aspects of sports rehabilitation after an injury, for example. They can also provide counseling to help athletes cope with the psychological pressure that accompanies a big game, and teach the types of techniques that help athletes perform at their highest level. They work with professional athletes as well as amateurs. A sports psychologist can help motivate an athlete to try harder and overcome physical and mental barriers. They teach motivational techniques as well as ways to improve overall feelings of well-being, so that the athlete is able to overcome psychological barriers and perform at their top physical and mental level. Sports psychology also involves community outreach and counseling, as these professionals often try to help improve public knowledge of a healthy lifestyle by promoting physical activity.
What Jobs Does This Lead To?
Sports psychologists could work at the college sports level or for professional teams, helping perform a variety of functions. The types of jobs that graduates of a Master's degree program in sports psychology have will typically fall into one of the following three categories:
- Applied Sports Psychologists - This field focuses on teaching goal setting, visualization, and other motivational skills to athletes.
- Clinical Sports Psychologists – Graduates working in a clinical capacity will help identify, diagnose and treat the types of mental disorders that are common to athletes. Depression, eating disorders, and performance anxiety can be treated by these professionals.
- Academic Sports Psychologists – Some sports psychologists will choose to teach at the high school or college level. They may also work as researchers in university settings.
The typical salary for a sports psychologist will vary quite significantly depending on several factors. This includes the level of education, training, experience, and the area in which a sports psychologist chooses to specialize.
- The US Department of Labor states that the median salary for sports and clinical psychologists falls into the range between $41,850 and $71,880, depending on these factors listed above.
- Those who choose to teach in a university faculty position can expect an average salary of $55,000.
- At the higher end of the salary spectrum are those who work as consultants for professional sports figures, who may earn six figures or even more depending on the profile of the athlete and their level of experience.
As with most areas of psychology, it's expected that the demand for sports psychologists will grow in the years to come. The outlook is best for those who hold an advanced degree, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They expect that competition for the highest paying positions may be strong, so it's best for budding sports psychologists to distinguish themselves with a doctoral degree in this field or relevant work experience. Volunteering with sports teams may also help improve the chances of finding a high-paying position in the future.