Counseling Psychologist Salary

The average salary of counseling psychologist in US is $68,900.

Do you have a passion for helping people? A career as a counseling psychologist may the right choice for you. These professionals diagnose and treat cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems; mental disorders; and learning disabilities through the use of therapy. Some may also create and implement behavior modification programs. Those who work in the counseling psychology field earn an above-average salary and receive great benefits.

Median counseling psychology salary

  • $68,900 per year
  • $33.12 per hour

The median salary is the midpoint earnings of all percentiles. This number tends to be more accurate as it is not skewed by the few workers who earn very high or low salaries. The median salary for a counseling psychologist is $68,900 per year, or $33.12 per hour.

Salary range for middle 50% of counseling psychologists

  • $51,980-$89,830
  • $24.99 – $43.19 per hour

The middle 50% salary range represents the amount the 50th percentile will earn. This is calculated by removing the top and bottom 25% of earners in the field. After removing these high and low earners, the salary range for the middle 50% of counseling psychologists equates to $51,980-$89,830 per year ($24.99-$43.19 an hour).

Lowest and highest salary

  • Lowest – $40,080 ($19.27/hour)
  • Highest – $113,640 ($54.63/hour)

Counseling psychologists who earn the lowest salary may be entering the field or working in an area with low demand for their skills. In the lowest range, these professionals will still earn a modest salary of $40,080 per year, or $19.27 hourly. Those who have more experience or work in locations with high demand for their services will earn as much as $113,640 annually ($54.63/hour).

The total salary package

In addition to a counseling psychologist’s salary, valuable benefits are also provided. Such benefits may include a pension plan, retirement benefits, extensive healthcare plans, and paid time off. With these benefits included, a counseling psychologist’s total salary package may be $89,236 or more.

Cities with the highest paid counseling psychologists

  • Counseling psychologists in Cedar Falls, Iowa earn an annual salary of $116,470.
  • Counseling psychologists in Corcoran, California earn $109,900 each year.
  • Counseling psychologists in San Luis Obispo, California make $105,780.
  • Counseling psychologists in Fairfield, California make $102,960 a year.

States with the highest paid counseling psychologists

  • Rhode Island at $94,590 a year.
  • Hawaii at $87,620 per year.
  • Connecticut at $86,120 a year.
  • New Jersey at $85,670 per year.
  • Alabama at $85,440 a year.

Factors affecting counseling psychology salaries

Industry, location and experience will greatly affect a counseling psychologist’s salary. Generally speaking, the more experience a person has in this field, the higher their salary will be.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics makes note of several industries that employ counseling psychologists. These include: elementary and secondary schools, offices of other health practitioners, individual family services, outpatient care centers, general hospitals, child day care services and offices of physicians. Some of the highest paying industries are child day care, physician offices and hospitals.

In addition to industry, location will also affect how much a counseling psychologist earns. Those who work in Rhode Island, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey and Alabama will earn the highest salaries. As far as cities are concerned, Cedar Falls, Iowa offers the highest pay, but various cities within California and New York offer above-average pay.

As for the occupation’s outlook, the Occupational Outlook Handbook states that the psychology field will grow 12 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is about as fast as all occupations. Those who have earned a doctoral degree will have the best job prospects.

Training and certification requirements for counseling psychologists

Most counseling psychologist positions require a doctoral degree such as a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). In some cases, a master’s degree is all that is necessary to find employment in this field.

Before a doctoral or master’s degree can be earned, prospective counseling psychologists will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Many colleges and universities offer counseling psychology programs, but the curriculum will vary from one school to the next. Generally, the fundamentals of psychology are learned along with research methods, and therapy and counseling techniques.

Next, students will need to continue on with their education to earn their doctoral degree. Regardless of whether the student chooses a Ph.D. program or a Psy.D. program, it will need to be accredited by the American Psychological Association. The journey will be a long one, with 2-3 years spent on coursework and 1-3 years spent on a dissertation. Clinical training and supervised experience are also required, which are typically obtained during a one-year, full-time internship.

Doctoral graduates will then need to complete a post-doctoral placement to gain the necessary experience for licensure. Once this step is complete, a license can be obtained.

All counseling psychologists must be state-licensed in order to practice. The majority of states will require the completion of a doctoral degree, post-doctoral internship and the passing of the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology. There are some states that also require potential counseling psychologists to complete an ethics exam.

International Counseling Psychologist Salaries

£ 25,783 – £ 81,618 in the U.K.

C$29,077– C$64,916 in Canada

AU$64,578 – AU$79,845 in Australia




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