Are you interested in how the world around us impacts our minds? Are you a good listener? Is helping others a passion you wish to pursue? If yes, a job in psychology might be the right fit for you.
Given the sensitivity of the human brain to its environment, especially in the fast-paced world that we live in, psychology is a field that continues to grow. Good listening, problem-solving, analytical, and empathic abilities are skills required in multiple sectors including education, criminal justice, health and medicine, sports, and recently, even data science. As such, a degree in this discipline has a vast scope and can land one of the highest paying psychology jobs.
Types of psychology jobs vary depending on the field of work, but on a whole, the average annual salary for psychologists in the United States in 2022 is $96,749. According to Glassdoor, just the top 10 companies in the country have almost 16,000 job openings which shows the massive scope for psychologists these days.
Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2021 and 2031 psychology-related jobs will grow by 6% with an average of 14,100 new job openings every year.
13 Highest Paying Psychology Jobs/Careers
If you are considering psychology as a career in the future, you may want to know what some of the best psychology jobs are and what types of psychologists make the most money. Keeping in mind the demand for psychologists in today’s world, we have drawn up a list of 13 of the highest-paying careers in psychology with their average annual salaries.
Psychiatry is the highest paying job in psychology with psychiatrists making a median salary of almost $208,00 per year.
Psychiatrists are mental health doctors who work with patients to understand their psychological problems and identify how these problems can impact their mental, and physical health and ultimately their well-being. They use treatments that involve different forms of psychotherapy and medications and before they can start their psychiatric practice, they need to complete proper education and become certified in their field.
To become a psychiatrist, you will first need to complete med school and earn a bachelor’s degree. Following that, you will have to give a written exam and acquire a license to practice psychiatry. You will then have to complete a four-year psychiatry residency and give an oral and written exam so that you can get board certification. This certification needs to be renewed every ten years.
2. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
Industrial-organizational psychologists also earn one of the highest psychology salaries earning an average annual pay of $105,310.
Industrial-organizational psychologists work with companies to understand the psychology of the workplace and provide insights that help ensure efficiency. They work with employers and employees to understand behaviors at work and in doing so, help the organization solve problems related to recruitment, employee motivation, reward systems, peer relationships, quality of work life, and several other work-related issues.
Industrial psychologists have certain educational prerequisites that they must meet before they can start practicing this skill which includes a Bachelor’s in psychology or a related field and at least a Master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
Neuropsychology is also one of the highest-paying jobs that you can land with a psychology degree. The median annual pay for neuropsychologists is almost $97,000.
Neuropsychologists try to understand and evaluate behavior and cognition in relation to the central nervous system. Their job is to determine how changes that may occur in the brain as a result of disease or injury impact the way a person responds to the environment. Neuropsychologists not only work in hospitals and medical centers to treat patients but also work in research facilities to carry out further studies in the field.
Neuropsychologists need to earn a Doctoral degree in neuropsychology after completing their basic medical education. Then, they need to complete an internship and give a written exam to acquire a license to practice.
4. Military Psychologist
The military psychologist is one of the best careers in psychology with an average annual salary of almost $87,500.
Military psychologists work with military personnel to help ensure their mental well-being. The chances of anxiety, depression, and mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder amongst soldiers and war veterans are high as a result of the harsh experiences they face. This makes it necessary for professionals to understand their struggles and help them develop healthy coping mechanisms.
To become a military psychologist you need to complete a Bachelor’s degree in counseling psychology, clinical psychology, or general psychology. Then, you will have to complete your Master’s in a related degree followed by a Ph.D. or PsyD
5. Engineering Psychologist
The average salary of a psychologist in the field of engineering psychology is $84,425 per year.
With the growing dependence of the world on technology in the 21st century, engineering psychology is a popular career choice. Engineering psychologists work with organizations to try and understand how humans interact with technology. They play an important role in helping companies design machinery that is efficient in terms of performance and security and has a human-centered design.
Engineering psychologists need to complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in engineering psychology to land a job. If they proceed to earn a Doctoral degree, it gives them leverage and they can secure top-level positions in the field.
6. . Clinical Psychologist
Clinical psychologists earn an average annual salary of $83,530. Their job is research-based and requires them to work with people of all ages and understand their emotions, behaviors, social problems, and intellectual and cognitive abilities through psychological analyses. Clinical psychologists work to help couples, families, teenagers, etc, to evaluate, understand and solve their issues by introducing them to methods like self-reflection, therapy, and communication.
To practice clinical psychology, you will need to complete your Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in psychology. If you want to aim for senior positions with higher salaries you will also need to complete a doctoral degree program with a 1-year internship.
7. Health Psychologist
Health psychologists earn a median salary of around $82,000 a year.
As a health psychologist, your job will be to work with large groups of people and come up with ways to promote healthcare amongst members of the population. You will assess the behaviors of individuals and determine the factors that damage their health, like smoking, and also those that are necessary to ensure health, such as sanitation. You will then come up with methods to help spread awareness.
To work as a health psychologist you must complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s in the relevant field as well as an internship that will be a part of your graduate degree. If you wish to move further and practice clinically, you will also need to pursue a doctoral degree.
8. Psychology Teacher
Psychology teachers are popular in the fields of education and psychology and can earn a median annual salary of up to $77,860.
As a psychology teacher, your job will be to teach about the human mind and human behavior. You can choose to teach at any academic level from high school to university depending on your qualification and interest. You can also choose between the availability of part-time and full-time jobs along with online and offline options. As a psychology teacher, you can choose to work privately or associate yourself with an institution.
The basic education that will make you eligible for teaching psychology is a Bachelor’s degree followed by a student-teacher program. After that, you can do your Master’s, get a license and opt for further education if you want.
9. Experimental Psychologist
Experimental psychologists earn an average annual salary of almost $77,000.
As the name suggests, experimental psychologists conduct research and lab experiments using a variety of scientific methods to look for new findings in how the brain thinks, learns, remembers, and responds to various physical and emotional stimuli. The day that they gather allows them to gain a better understanding of how the human mind works.
To practice experimental psychology, having strong mathematical skills is a requirement because you will need to collect and analyze data. You will also need a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in psychology and can choose to complete a doctoral degree program if you want.
10. Counseling Psychologist
Counseling psychology comes under our list of top 13 psychology jobs because of the scope it has and the salary it offers. The average salary of a psychologist in the counseling field is $72,540.
Counseling psychologists are similar to clinical psychologists in the sense that they too work with patients to help treat mental health conditions through assessments, psychotherapy, and counseling. Unlike clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists deal with patients who have less severe issues.
Practicing counseling psychology may require you to complete a set of educational prerequisites including Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in psychology followed by an internship and then a professional license.
11. Forensic Psychologist
Forensic psychology is a highly popular field, especially in criminal justice, and pays an average of almost $73,000 annually.
Forensic psychologists usually find jobs with the government or private institutions in the law enforcement sector. They help to understand how a crime was committed, why it was committed, and who committed it, by looking at the suspect and criminal files, reviewing cases in detail, and analyzing the underlying psychological conditions of the criminal. As such, forensic psychologists are valued because they help solve crimes and maintain security.
Forensic psychology requires you to complete your Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in criminology, criminal justice, general psychology, or other related fields.
12. Developmental Psychologist
Developmental psychology is an excellent field to work in, with the average annual salary at around $70,000.
Developmental psychologists seek to understand how the human mind changes over the course of one’s life and how emotions, cognition, intellect, memory, and behavior evolve as one matures. They also evaluate developmental abnormalities that occur in the mind and body and determine the internal or external factors that may have caused them. They also help children and adults to cope with these disabilities if they have them.
To become a developmental psychologist you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Doctoral programs in developmental psychology.
13. Sports Psychologist
Sports psychology is another well-paying career choice in the field of psychology with the average therapist’s salary being almost $66,500 a year.
Sports psychologists ensure the mental well-being of athletes. They work with them to understand the psychological issues they might be facing as a result of their sport, whether it is trauma from an injury, anxiety and anger management issues, motivational concerns, or exhaustion and burnout. Athletes need to be physically fit to perform their best, but doing that also requires good mental health – which is why sports psychologists are highly valued.
To practice sports psychology, you do not necessarily need to complete a doctoral program to land a job. While a doctorate may give you leverage in some positions, you can start your practice even after completing your Master’s in sports, clinical, or counseling psychology.
Psychology is a popular career with an average annual salary of almost $97,000 and is estimated to grow by 6% within the next ten years.
If you have a passion for helping others and want to enter into a career where you can make a real difference in people’s lives, consider one of these highest paying psychology jobs. With the right education and training, you could be on your way to a very rewarding career.
To recap, this article covered 13 of the highest-paying careers in psychology – with psychiatry, industrial organizational psychology, and neuropsychology being among the best options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, absolutely! Infact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Also, about 14,100 openings for psychologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
The ease of finding a job in the field of psychology depends on multiple factors, such as specific subfields of psychology, your level of education and work experience, the demand for psychologists in your geographical area, and prevailing market conditions. Remember, if you stay informed about current trends and gain relevant experience, you can substantially increase your chances of securing a lucrative job in the field of psychology.