Clinical Psychology Salary Outlook

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Using cognitive therapy and other approaches to treatment, clinical psychologists help treat their patients who may suffer from any number of mental afflictions. They also can work in the research or academic worlds, however, depending on preference and training. Graduates who possess a Masters in Clinical Psychology can expect to have a strong outlook for their job prospects, due to a steady need for qualified mental health professionals. 

About Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the branch of the wider field of psychology that is most concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of abnormal mental conditions. While counseling psychologists will help patients who need help coping with their daily lives, clinical psychologists will be working with those who need medical treatment when something is fundamentally wrong. There are thousands of different types of conditions that a clinical psychologist could treat throughout the course of their Psychology career, but many will choose to specialize in one area. These could include neurological disorders, addictions, mood disorders, or panic disorders. Some of the typical functions that a clinical psychologist may be needed for include the following:

  • Providing therapy for addiction or substance abuse
  • Diagnosing mental illnesses
  • Treating mental illness
  • Conducting laboratory research
  • Teaching high school or college students
  • Working in a social welfare office
  • Providing expert testimony in court

What Jobs Does This Lead To?

With such a wide range of different subjects that are covered in a typical Masters in Clinical Psychology program, it’s possible for students to go from this course into many different types of work settings. Generally, they will choose between working in medical, research, or academic settings. Clinical psychologists may work in their own private practice, in a government office, or in halfway houses.

The following are some typical job titles that a graduate from this program could pursue:

  • Addiction and Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Clinical Psychologist in a Hospital
  • Geriatric Care Specialist
  • Public Policy Expert
  • Mental Disorders Consultant

While the majority of professionals in this field will offer therapy to patients, there are others who will work in an administrative or research capacity instead. A benefit of working as a clinical psychologist is that you can sometimes set your own hours or standards of work, such as those working in a private practice.

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Salary Prospects

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average clinical psychologist can expect to earn a median wage of $64,140 per year. This is an above-average salary, but it also reflects the higher level of education required to earn this wage. There are a number of factors that will influence the exact salary that a clinical psychologist can expect to receive. These factors include:

  • Work setting – Clinical psychologists who work out of their own private practice will earn more than those who work in academia or research.
  • Years of experience – The greater a psychologist’s seniority, the higher their average salary will be.
  • Level of Education – Those who take continuing education courses or go on to earn a doctoral degree will earn more money, on average.

Job Outlook for Masters in Clinical Psychology Grads

The job outlook for graduates with a Masters in Clinical Psychology is bright, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for professionals in this field to continue to rise. The growth rate is projected to remain steady at 22% each year through 2020, which is a faster rate of growth than the national average. This demand may reflect the needs of an aging population, which is greater need of healthcare to deal with mental afflictions. The exact rate of growth will vary depending on specialty.


About the Author: Ann Steele

This website is co-authored by Ann Steele, a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with extensive experience with children and adolescents. Ann Steele attended American School Of Psychology & Argosy University Online. She especially enjoys using music therapy for mental and emotional well-being.

About This Site

We are an open forum for articles, manuscripts, unpublished thesis, and letters as well as a guide for job, career and program advice from like-minded Graduates. We are seeking submissions that will be of interest to the community.