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Salary Outlook Masters in Clinical Psychopharmacology Degree

People in the United States are growing older and living longer, which are major reasons for the increase in demand for healthcare services in the country, including clinical psychology and pharmacology. This increased need for healthcare professionals of all kinds is causing more need for workers in all healthcare occupations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that healthcare occupation employment will rise an impressive 18% from 2016 to 2016, much faster than average. There will be more than 2.4 million new jobs in the growing healthcare field. (BLS.gov)

If you want to enjoy high job demand and a solid salary, earning your master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology is a good option. This degree is a two year, full-time program that educates you on psychopharmacology and mental health care conditions. You will learn about patient mental health assessment, diagnosis and intervention, and engage in case study-based learning that will increase your collaborative medical practice skills. (thechicagoschool.edu). Students also learn about how to use drugs to treat many mental health problems.

But what is the salary potential with this graduate degree? Consider these points:

  • Whether it is worth it to earn a master’s vs. a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare field
  • The exact career path you select with your master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology
  • Amount of work experience you possess
  • Where you live in the United States

When you have collected this information, you will understand your salary potential with a clinical psychopharmacology degree.

Educational research shows that professionals with a master’s degree will earn more money over their careers than those with a bachelor’s degree. BLS states that bachelor’s degree holders earn a salary of approximately $56,000 and those with a master’s earn about $68,000. This means you will earn about $12,000 more each year on average with your master’s degree.

In the healthcare field, we generally see higher salaries for professionals with a master’s as well. Consider the salary increase potential in these healthcare fields with a master’s:

  • Counselor: $66,000 vs. $95,000 – $29,000 salary increase
  • Medical and health services manager: $70,000 vs. $90,000 – $20,000 salary increase
  • Registered nurse: $63,000 vs.$75,000 – $12,000 salary increase
  • Physician assistant: $66,000 vs. $95,000 – $29,000 salary increase

While there is limited information available on salaries for this specific master’s degree, we can look at the average salary for professionals with a bachelor’s in psychology vs. master’s in psychology to understand the salary difference.

Payscale.com states the average salary for a person with a bachelor’s in psychology is $54,000. For a person with a master’s degree in psychology, the average salary is $66,000. (Payscale.com). If you earn a master’s degree in pharmacology, the average salary is $61,000. This shows a higher salary with your master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology than with a bachelor’s in a comparative field.

Types of Psychopharmacology Careers

Your salary potential with this master’s degree also depends on the type of career you select. With your clinical psychopharmacology skills and degree, you can work in many jobs that earn a good salary. Many professionals in the healthcare field who deal with psychotropic medications and patient care work in some form in clinical psychopharmacology.

Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist meets and works with patients to determine if a serious mental health disorder is present. You will evaluate the patient’s symptoms, behavior and medical history to determine if a mental health condition is present that requires treatment with counseling and drug therapy. Clinical psychopharmacology skills are necessary to determine the best types of drugs to treat complex mental health disorders.

Payscale.com states the average salary for a psychiatrist is $201,000 per year, with a range between $100,000 and $288,000. (Payscale.com)

Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist performs patient treatment and evaluations to diagnose and treat many psychological problems. These issues could be due to a mental health condition, as well as their environment and personal situation. Some of the common problems that clinical psychologists address with counseling and drug therapy are depression, anxiety, and many behavioral problems.

Payscale.com states the average salary for clinical psychologists is $77,300, with a range between $49,000 and $111,000. (Payscale.com)

Mental Health Counselor

A mental health counselor provides mental health treatment to individuals, families, couples and larger groups. Some mental health counselors work with certain populations, including the elderly, college students or children of a certain age. Mental health counselors need to be familiar with how different types of drugs can be used to treat various mental health and relationship issues, including depression, anxiety, grief, low self esteem and more.

BLS reports the median salary for mental health counselors is $44,600, with the top 10% earning $72,000 per year. People with a master’s degree in this field tend to earn at the top of the income scale. (BLS.gov)

Physician Assistant

A physician assistant or PA is a licensed healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a doctor. You may work in a healthcare practice, clinic or hospital. A PA may do many of the same tasks as a doctor, which allows the doctor to spend more time with more advanced healthcare problems with certain patients. A PA is able to prescribe most drugs, including those to treat mental health problems, so having solid clinical psychopharmacology skills is important.

The average salary for a PA is $94,200, with a range between $76,000 and $121,000. (Payscale.com)

Psychopharmacology Work Experience

It also is important to consider your level of work experience in clinical psychopharmacology and related fields when looking at your salary potential.

For example, a psychologist will earn a different salary based on years of experience. Payscale.com reports a psychologist with one year of experience will make $60,600 per year. A psychologist with one to four years of work experience will earn $69,200, and a psychologist with five to nine years of experience will earn $81,300 per year. A psychologist with 10-19 years of work experience will earn $87,900 per year.

In most fields related to clinical psychopharmacology, you will see a gradually higher salary from years one through 20 in your career.

Psychopharmacology Geographic Location

The last item to consider in your salary potential with a master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology is your geographic location. Different cities in the United States have a different cost of living and salaries.

For example, a professional with a master’s degree in psychology has an average salary in the US of $76,000, but will see salary variances as follows by city:

  • Portland OR: +6%
  • New York City: +4%
  • San Diego CA: +3%
  • Chicago IL: +1%
  • Boston MA: -1%
  • Los Angeles CA: -3%
  • Miami FL: -18%

Your salary potential with a master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology is quite high; there are many well-paying occupations you can enter with this in demand degree.

References

  • Healthcare Occupations. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm
  • Master’s in Clinical Psychopharmacology. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/online/programs/m-s-clinical-psychopharmacology/
  • Master of Arts in Psychology Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Arts_(MA)%2C_School_Psychology/Salary
  • Master of Science in Clinical Psychology Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Clinical_Psychologist/Salary
  • MD in Psychiatry Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Psychiatrist/Salary
  • Mental Health Counselor Salary. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm#tab-5
  • Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Physician_Assistant_(PA)/Salary

NARROW YOUR PROGRAM SEARCH

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Editor-In-Chief

Ann Steele, Ph.D., is Editor-In-Chief of PsydPrograms.org. Ann has training as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked with adults, couples, adolescents, and preteens throughout San Diego county.