23 Highest Paying Psychology Jobs in the United States (All States) [2020]

highest paying psychology jobs

Psychology is the academic and scientific discipline of the human mind and human behavior. Psychology includes the study and application of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feelings or thoughts of the human body or mind. Psychology is a multidisciplinary and multifaceted discipline that includes many sub-fields of study such as areas of human development, sports, health, clinical, and social behavior.

Those who are seeking jobs in the field of psychology should have the qualifications required for the job. This would include a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree in psychology (or the sub-field of study), and a master’s degree or doctorate degree in psychology.

23 Highest Paying Psychology Jobs

Below are psychology jobs that can be pursued with a psychology major as a psychology graduate. Each job listed below is sorted by psychologist salary, from highest to lowest.

1. Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist is a physician and psychologist who focuses on the specialty of psychiatry. This is the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental illness and mental disorders. These doctors focus on mental health, behavioral health, and substance use or substance abuse.

Median annual salary: $220,380

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

2. Adolescent Psychologist

An adolescent psychologist is a psychologist that focuses on the issues unique to adolescents. The field of adolescent psychology focuses on adolescent development (psychical and cognitive), puberty, sexual and gender development, as well as the emotions and mental health of adolescents.

Median annual salary: $135,009

3. Engineering Psychologist

An engineering psychologist, sometimes referred to as a human factors engineer, is a psychologist that focuses on the science of human behavior and capability. The objective of this profession is to use applied psychology to improve the relationships between people and machines. This profession redesigns equipment, interfaces, interactions, and equipment in which the interactions between humans and machines occur.

Median annual salary: $111,368

4. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

An industrial-organizational psychologist is a professional who uses psychological principles and research to solve problems in the workplace. This psychologist practices the field of organizational psychology. The objective of this profession is to improve the quality of life of the workers. They study workplace management, productivity, and efficiency. And how that is interconnected with employee working styles.

Median annual salary: $111,150

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

5. Geriatric Psychologist

A geriatric psychologist is a professional who works with elderly clients. The field focuses on the treatment of certain mental illnesses in workplace settings. Working primarily with patients over the age of 55, the field focuses on depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Median annual salary: $104,623

6. Experimental Psychologist

An experimental psychologist is a professional that uses scientific research and methods to collect data and perform research. They work in a variety of settings, including universities, research centers, government, and private corporations. Depending on the setting of the professional, the type of research and experimentation of this professional can vary.

Median annual salary: $96,338

7. Neuropsychologist

A neuropsychologist is a professional that conducts and evaluates behavioral and cognitive changes resulting from central nervous system diseases or injuries. Primarily working with diseases like Parkinson’s disease or other movement orders.

Median annual salary: $93,572

8. Educational Psychologist

An educational psychologist is a professional who works within an educational setting, supporting schools and local authority to improve all children’s experiences of learning. These professionals use their psychological training and knowledge to assist with child development and assess learning disabilities or difficulties.

Median annual salary: $93,411

9. Psychology Teacher

A psychology teacher uses a psychology degree or doctoral degree to teach the science of psychology and human behavior based on observational analysis, the scientific method, and psychological theories. A psychology teacher is sometimes referred to as a psychology professor and can be found in high schools or postsecondary institutions teaching psychology students.

Median annual salary: $87,530

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

10. Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist practices clinical psychology. Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of preventing and relieving psychologically-based distress of dysfunction. Clinical psychology is a specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals and families.

Median annual salary: $87,450

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

11. School Psychologist

A school psychologist applies the principles of educational psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, and community psychology. They used applied behavioral analysis to meet children’s and adolescents’ behavioral health and learning needs. School psychology refers to the field that applies to educational psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology to children and adolescents.

Median annual salary: $87,450

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

12. Counseling Psychologist

A counseling psychologist is a professional who specializes in helping people with physical, emotional, and mental health issues to improve their well-being, alleviate distress, and resolve crises from their life. A counseling psychologist focuses on interpersonal functioning across the life of the patient.

Median annual salary: $80,370

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

12. Military Psychologist

A military psychologist is hired by the military to assist with military personnel and their families. The military psychologist assists with performing psychiatric evaluations, treating mental disorders, emotional disorders, and other counseling that’s required before or after active duty.

Median annual salary: $80,460

13. Social Psychologist

A social psychologist is a professional who studies interpersonal and group dynamics or social challenges. This professional practices the field of social psychology. This includes prejudice, implicit bias, bullying, criminal activity, and substance abuse. This professional will research social interactions and the factors that influence them, including behavior, attitude, public perception, and leadership.

Median annual salary: $79,768

14. Sports Psychologist

A sports psychologist practices the field of sports psychology. This professional helps athletes cope with the intense pressure that comes from competition, sports, and other issues with focus or motivation. The sports psychologist may assist athletes from overcoming injuries, as well.

Median annual salary: $71,821

15. Forensic Psychologist

A forensic psychologist practices the field of forensic psychology. It involved the application of psychological knowledge and methods to civil and criminal legal questions. Sometimes referred to as a criminal profiler, the forensic psychologist works with law enforcement agencies to develop a profile of criminals based on common psychological traits.

Median annual salary: $63,221

16. Behavior Analyst

A behavior analyst is a psychologist who focuses on teaching others how to collect data to create therapeutic environments. A behavior analyst writes reports and implements plans to improve support programs. These professionals help to educate support professionals, parents, and teachers on how to implement behavior support procedures and skills.

Median annual salary: $60,419

17. Career Counselor

A career counselor works with clients at varying levels of their careers. Career counselors help people find and get jobs by teaching them methods of the job search, resume writing, and interviewing process. A career counselor primarily focuses on assisting clients and professionals who are out of work or looking to advance their lives through work changes.

Median annual salary: $57,040

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

18. School Counselor

A school counselor is a member of the faculty within an educational institution. They provide assistance to students who have academic goals. The counselor examines their social and personal development, along with their career development. A school counselor is found in private elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across the United States.

Median annual salary: $57,040

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

19. Social Worker

A social worker uses the applied science of social work. This is the discipline of helping individuals, families, and groups of people cope with the problems they’re facing in life. This could be learning disabilities, psychical disabilities, or other developmental disabilities.

Median annual salary: $50,470

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

20. Recreational Therapist

A recreational therapist is a professional that uses a variety of therapeutic techniques and activities to address multiple modalities. The recreational therapist may use physical activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, theater, music, dance, sports, games, and other community activities or activities to maintain or improve a patient’s social and emotional well-being.

Median annual salary: $48,220

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

21. Mental Health Counselor

A mental health counselor assists patients with emotional wellness. The mental health counselor is a professional who works with individuals or groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. They may address trauma, addiction, or other youth issues as part of youth services.

Median annual salary: $46,240

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

22. Victim Advocate

A victim advocate is a professional who is trained in supporting victims of crime. They offer emotional support to families and the victims of a criminal act. These professionals may support the families and victims during criminal justice proceedings, as well.

Median annual salary: $36,164

23. Psychiatric Technician

A psychiatric technician is a professional who works under psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. This professional is sometimes referred to as a mental health technician. They typically observe a patient's behavior, listen to patient concerns, and monitor or record the patient’s conditions and vital signs (like blood pressure, eating, bathing, and other activities).

Median annual salary: $32,020

For more information about this job, the number of jobs available in the United States, and the required training type, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics here.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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