10 High Paying Jobs in Psychology

Psychology is a field that offers a host of benefits to both practitioners and the public. While many assume that all professionals in this field perform the same type of duties, reality shows us that the discipline of psychology is broadly diversified, ranging from pure research to work in the public school system. However, psychologists don’t live upon gratification for a job well done. They, too, must eat, pay bills, and build a life beyond their professional sphere. In the article below, we’ve outlined ten of the highest-paying occupations in the field to help guide those interested in pursing an education and career in psychology.

1. Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists are typically interested in studying brain function and behavior. As per the title, they often conduct research, both pure and applied in focus, to design predictive models of behavior. These psychologists may also conduct personality, aptitude, and intelligence tests, either as a function of research or in the capacity of professional consultants for business or academic institutions. Because consultations are part of their profession, that can influence yearly income substantially. However, the median income for this field is $ 69,280, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Experimental Psychologist

The experimental psychologist rarely, if ever, works in a context of direct public service. Unlike many of their therapeutic peers, their focus is often that of pure data. These professionals work with research design, data analysis, and may spend many years pursuing the answer to a single question about human behavior, according to the American Psychological Association. Their salary can range between $76,000 and $116,000 depending on what institution or business employs them.

3. Forensic Psychologist

This is an intersectional career path that draws together both law enforcement and criminal court practices with ethical and practical aspects of the field of analytical psychology. Individuals who pursue this path will use their knowledge of the discipline to draw conclusions and assess human behavior within the context of the legal system. It is considered a broad application specialty. Generally, the median income for these professionals is reported as $95, 710 per year.

4. Industrial and Organizational Psychologist

These psychologists study human behavior in the context of organized groups, the workplace, and educational institutions. A number of relational fields utilized I/O psychologists, including human resources, sales, management, and administration in order to streamline procedure and solve problems that arise within corporate culture. They may also be called upon to assist in the increase of worker productivity, organize the workplace to elevate employee morale, and help provide solutions for issues pertaining to resource allocation and human conflict. Their median earnings hover at the $83,000 per year mark.

5. Neuropsychologist

This field is considered a specialization of general psychology, in which a precise application of theories and models is applied to the normal or abnormal functions of the central nervous system. They tend to study problems such as Parkinson’s disease and other issues that are classified as developmental or acquired. In addition to the rigorous training psychologists receive, these specialists complete postdoctoral training that draws on intimate knowledge of neurophysiology, brain development, neurological disorders, diagnostic techniques, and how disorders manifest. Based on their level of education and professional expertise, they may earn anywhere from $73,000 per year or more.

6. Research Psychologist

Also called an experimental psychologist, this specialist applies rigorous data-gathering and analytical techniques to a problem specific to their field of employment. They can work in a university or laboratory setting, for businesses, non-profit corporations, or government institutions. What they study is highly dependent upon their particular educational background and areas of interest, but their scrutiny is often applicable to a range of subfields. It may also provide interdisciplinary insight or answer questions that improve both teaching and application of real world technologies and philosophies. Based on their level of experience and education, they can earn between $77,000 and 116,000 per year.

7. Professor of Psychology

Because rank matters in academia, a full professor with tenure earns the highest salary in a university setting. These individuals are those who have completed doctoral and post-doctoral work, published extensively, and have several years of teaching or research to their credit. However, the type of university at which one teaches also makes a difference—a research university pays more than a simple 4-year undergraduate institution. Hence, across the range of types of program within which one may teach and the level of education or experience accrued, yearly salaries range from $59,000 per year to $115,000 per year.

8. Psychiatrist

While this discipline holds much common ground with psychologists, psychiatry also displays a distinct medical aspect. This places them firmly in another community, which is commensurate with a different salary range. These mental health practitioners apply biological knowledge and therapeutic approaches to individuals who are mentally ill, treating disorders with a primarily organic or biological root, such as schizophrenia, according to the American Psychiatric Association. As a result of their specialized place in the therapy community, they earn on average $163,000 per year.

9. School Psychologist

These specialists apply a broad range of psychological theory and therapy. However, their main foci include children, families, and the educational environment and process. Hence, they use developmental psychopathology and social psychology more than general practitioners. They also focus sharply on juvenile emotional development and pedagogical impacts on specific groups or subgroups of school culture. Interpersonal interaction between and within peer groups is both a fertile research context and an essential area of study for healthy student development. Like generalized psychologists, their yearly income median rests at $73,000.

Related Resource: 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Criminal Justice Grads

10. Sports Psychologist

Sports psychology utilizes both cognitive and behavioral therapeutic approaches in order to help athletes set and achieve goals as either private practitioners or nominal members of a sporting team. They also use traditional counseling techniques to provide team members with stress relief, addiction intervention, and as a way to balance the natural aggressive tendencies that competitive sports can arouse. Many teams, whether scholastic or professional in origin,employ a sports psychologist to assist with the health, wellbeing, and optimum performance of their team members within a defined sphere of sporting culture. This broad range of applications also translates to an equally broad salary range. Such specialists may earn between $60,000 and $100,000 per year, depending on their employer.