The current psychologist salary fluctuates based on a number of factors. One good place to get a feel for the various earning potentials is in the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Department of Labor. This handbook was published in 2008, and it gives a good idea of the median salary in the marketplace today.
According to the handbook, the median salary is around $64,000 for counseling, clinical and school psychologists. On the lower end of the salary range is entry level positions at $38K, and on the upper end salaries can go as high as $106K It really depends on your experience and what field of psychology you are aiming for.
Clinical psychologists, for example, start out around $62,000. Cognitive psychologists come in at around $55K, and forensic psychologists make about $60k. General health psychologists make about $40 for an entry-level position and command around $85k for people with more experience.
Human resource management, employee productivity and training are just a few of the areas that an Industrial/Organization psychologist deals with earning up to $100K+ per year. However, the starting salaries are low for an Industrial/Organizational psychologist according to the latest from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Salaries vary but follow a certain level: Master’s degree is around $39,000; Ph.D. starts at $55,000; the median salary level is $80,000 which comes from working in the private sector.
Although opportunities exist all over the field, most people with bachelor’s degrees tend to work in the human resources arena. Getting a master’s degree will raise the salary of anyone working in the field. With a Ph.D. a person can find employment opportunities all over the psychology field.
While the Industrial/Organizational psychologist is one of the highest paid, it does take a certain type of individual to be successful. Unlike counseling or clinical psychology, the Industrial/Organizational psychology position requires a great deal of research and the ability to crunch numbers. Because this job involves extensive research and a good knowledge of statistics, only certain types of people will find this job rewarding.
Clinical psychologists deal a lot more with people one on one, doing assessments and diagnosis. They also provide a wide variety of treatments for mental issues. This type of psychologist also provides preventative measures and works in a medical setting. Although The psychology subcategory covers a wide range of groups: learning disabled, drug and alcohol abuse, childhood, adult and geriatric mental health issues.
The clinical psychologist salary ranges from 40K to 55K generally, and clinicians are taught a wide range of approaches and techniques to deal with psychological issues.
In the end, no matter what the psychologist salary, you should pursue what you love. Going into a career as an Industrial and Organizational psychologist might be a mistake if you really are a people person. However, if you like working with statistics and find extensive research a challenging and rewarding job goal, you might want to pursue the Industrial-Organizational psychology position.