Salary Outlook with Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology Degree

As more Americans are seeking help with their mental health issues as they are living longer than ever, obtaining a Ph.D. in developmental psychology can be a solid career choice. With this advanced degree, you may work as a licensed developmental psychologist, or in academia and/or research. Many professionals earning their Ph.D. in this specialization choose to work as college professors or researchers, but it is possible to work in private practice as a psychologist with this degree.

Whatever type of Ph.D. in psychology you earn, it will take at least four to six years and a lot of money. So it is wise to understand what your salary potential is with this postgraduate degree.

Below is more information about the salary outlook as a psychologist with a Ph.D., as well as related fields.

Salary Outlook Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the median salary for all psychologists in 2018 was $79,000 per year. The bottom 10% earned $43,000 per year, and the top 10% earned $129,250. Professionals with their Ph.D. in developmental psychology can generally expect to earn towards the top of the income scale.

BLS also reports all other psychologists, including developmental psychologists, earn a median salary of $100,700, while clinical, counseling and school psychologists earn $76,900 per year.

Salaries in the top psychology industries are:

  • Government: $96,400
  • Hospitals: $86,500
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: $79,100
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $75,800 reports the average salary for developmental psychologists is $67,985, with a range between $61,000 and $81,000. (

Many professionals with this Ph.D. may want to work as professors and college instructors, so it is beneficial to look at the salary potential for postsecondary teachers.

BLS reports the median wage for postsecondary teachers was $78,400 in 2018. The top 10% earned more than $75,000 per year. The website also stated that postsecondary psychology teachers earned a median salary of $76,700. (

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High Salary Growth in Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology Job

If you want to earn as much money as possible with a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, it is recommended to work in private practice. You can earn a typical salary of $100,000 per year, according to BLS. Also, it is recommended to work for government institutions at the state or federal level to earn the highest income as a practicing psychologist in most specialties.

Ph.D. Job Outlook

Because of the general higher demand for psychological services in America, getting your Ph.D. in developmental psychology should offer you many career opportunities. It is anticipated that employment for psychologists will grow by 14% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. ( Employment for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is expected to grow by 14%, as well.

Demand for clinical, counseling and developmental psychologists is expected to grow as more people want help with their problems as they age. More people also want to understand how the human brain develops and changes with age, so developmental psychologists will be needed in greater numbers.

If you are interested in a career in academia with your Ph.D. in developmental psychology, you can expect to see a 15% increase in demand for postsecondary teachers, which is faster than average. ( The number of people who will attend college will rise in the next 10 years. They will continue to want higher education to gain the education and skills they need to meet their career goals.

Colleges will be hiring more instructors to meet this demand in the psychology field, but many of these jobs will be part-time. There are not as many full-time, tenured positions at college and universities, and you can expect tough competition for them.

Featured Online Ph.D. in Development Psychology Programs

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology where you will gain and apply knowledge of human growth and development to empower other people as a consultant, researcher or teacher. (

SEE ALSO: Top Online PhD in Developmental Psychology Programs

Students apply the newest theories, research and best practices in human development to help individuals, families, and communities. You also will enhance your understanding between cognitive, physical, emotional, social, health and cultural components of development to help people overcome major challenges.

Key learning outcomes of this accredited Ph.D. program are:

  • Synthesize research and theory in the key aspects of human development
  • Develop your identity as a developmental psychologist
  • Evaluate how critical issues in the developmental psychology field apply to major aspects of human development
  • Produce unique scholarly research with advanced research methods
  • Understand how major social and political issues, events and policies affect the field of developmental psychology
  • Apply development psychology research in various organizations and institutions focused on issues that affect human development
  • Participate in professional activities that relate to developmental psychology that promote social change for the better of the community

Required courses for graduation from this four-year Ph.D. program include:

  • Themes and Theories of Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Culture and Psychology
  • Development in the Digital Age
  • Gender and Development
  • Language and Cognitive Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Culture and Psychology
  • Research Theory, Design and Methods
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

Most students who graduate with this Ph.D. work in careers involving research, consulting, teaching or administration. You may seek employment in these fields:

  • Academia
  • Crisis intervention
  • Early childhood education facilities
  • Individual and family services
  • Public and private hospitals
  • Rehabilitation and senior centers
  • Nonprofit human service organizations
  • Community youth organizations
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Earning your Ph.D. in developmental psychology is a solid career option if you want to work as a licensed psychologist, or if you want a career in academia or research. There will be strong job opportunities across the country for licensed developmental psychologists. There also is rising demand for postsecondary teachers in psychology, but full-time, tenured positions are fewer in number, and you may need to take part-time jobs as a college instructor to maximize your salary.