Clinical Psychology Salary Outlook PsyD vs PhD

Students who want to have the best possible career path in clinical psychology may want to earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology. Clinical psychology is a specialty that offers complete and continuing mental and behavioral healthcare to individuals and families. These professionals also provide consultation to a variety of agencies and community centers, as well as training, education and research-based practice. The scope of the profession involves all age groups, systems, and diversities. (

Some of the theoretical knowledge in this field includes:

  • Gaining a grasp of psychopathology as well as diagnostic and intervention considerations.
  • Mental health problems across the entire lifespan, based upon essential psychopathology knowledge.
  • The ability to assess, integrate and synthesize personality test data with standardized assessment measures.
  • Be able to consult with a variety of health and behavioral health professionals and organizations about serious psychopathology, suicide, and violence.
  • Engage in psychological research and science that relate to areas that are vital to clinical psychology.

Students who want to earn their Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology may want to understand their salary potential once they have earned their degree.

Below is more information about salaries with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

The Difference Between a Ph.D. and a Psy.D.

As a doctoral student, you can earn either a Ph.D. or Psy.D. Which should you get? A Ph.D. in clinical psychology tends to be more research and academia focused. Many graduates with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology become professors or researchers at universities.

SEE ALSO: What is Difference Ph.D. vs PsyD of Psychology?

A Psy.D. degree in clinical psychology provides you with clinical practice skills that you will typically use in a patient setting. The Psy.D. generally will prepare you for a psychology career in private practice. (

Salary Outlook For Clinical Psychology

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary for all psychologists in 2017 was $77,000, and the median salary for clinical psychologists was $75,000. ( For professionals with a doctoral degree, the salary can go as high as $124,000 per BLS. Another source reports the average salary for clinical psychologists with a doctoral degree is $76,352, but the salary can go as high as $110,000. (

SEE ALSO: How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Below are other common occupations and salaries you can expect to find with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology: (

  • Counseling psychologist: $77,000. Help patients to work through less serious mental and emotional problems than in clinical psychology, such as issues at home, marriage problems, workplace issues, etc. Identify strengths and weaknesses and help them to navigate their personal problems.
  • School psychologist: $75,100. A school psychologist applies clinical and counseling psychology principles to various education disorders and developmental problems. They could address behavioral and student learning problems. They also may devise and implement new performance plans and provide counseling to students and families.
  • Forensic psychologist: $75,100. Use clinical psychology principles in the legal and criminal justice area to assist judges, attorneys and other legal experts to understand the underlying psychological aspects of a case.
  • Substance abuse and behavior counselor: $70,000. A substance abuse and behavior counselor provides advice and support to those who suffer from such conditions as alcoholism, drug addiction, mental health problems, eating disorders and other behavioral problems.
  • Marriage and family therapist: $48,000, but up to $81,000 with an advanced degree. Help couples and individuals deal with their relationship issues and experiences. Also, assist clients to better process reactions and hard changes to life, such as divorce or death of a child. You may also refer your clients to other community resources, such as support groups.
  • Social and community service manager: $64,000, but up to $109,000 with an advanced degree. Responsible for coordinating and supervising social service programs and community organizations. These professionals often must also show supervisors that their programs and services are being used to good effect.
  • Career counselor: $55,000 but those with an advanced degree can earn up to $91,900. Responsible for performing aptitude and achievement tests to assist clients to understand interests, skills, and abilities. Also, you will guide clients through making important career decisions, including choosing a new profession, and what type of degree to possibly choose.
  • Health educator: $97,100. A health educator provides assessments of the health needs of people and communities; develops programs materials and events to educate people about important health topics; and provides training to community health workers and related professionals.
  • Clinical social worker: $79,740. This is a social worker that has been licensed to treat behavioral, mental and emotional disorders. Provide individual, group and family sessions to help them to deal with serious mental health and family issues. These social workers may develop treatment plans with doctors, clients and many other healthcare professionals, and could adjust the plan as needed.

Clinical Psychology Job Outlook

The job outlook for professionals with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology is quite good. The entire field of psychology is seeing strong growth, with 14% more jobs expected to exist by 2026. It is expected that more demand for psychological services will occur in hospitals, schools, mental health facilities and social service agencies. (

Demand for clinical and counseling psychologists is increasing as Americans are aging, want to live more productive lives, and want to deal with their mental health issues to make this a reality. More psychological services are needed for military veterans who suffer from trauma, as well as people at home who deal with other forms of trauma.

Rising Healthcare Job Trends Point to More Openings

As you consider the salary potential for your Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology, it is good to know that employment generally is rising for most healthcare occupations in the US. BLS reports employment in every healthcare occupation is rising dramatically, with 18% growth expected by 2026. (

Government data also reveals there will be nearly 2.5 million new healthcare jobs created in this time. It is certain that a healthy number of these openings will be jobs for people with an advanced degree in clinical psychology. The job growth is being caused largely by an older population who want more healthcare services, and better technology and treatments available.


As a holder of a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology, you can anticipate a good salary and ample job demand, whatever specialty or career path you choose related to this popular and growing field.


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