PsyD Degree Salary Outlook (Updated)

The field of psychology is a popular and exciting educational area to pursue for many reasons, not the least of which is that the expansive industry provides many opportunities to make a comfortable living.

That’s one big reason why Doctor of Psychology, or Psy.D., degrees have become an in-demand way to earn a doctorate in psychology, crucial to earning professional licensure in many states.

While there are obvious job titles in this area — psychologist, for one — the career opportunities expand far beyond that, and they often will depend on the area of specialization within the Psy.D. program.

Let’s take a look at the salary outlook for those who have completed a variety of Psy.D. tracks and what the future might hold for these jobs.

What’s On This Page

  • PsyD Salary Specializations
  • Clinical PsyD Salary Outlook
  • Counseling PsyD Salary Outlook
  • School PsyD Salary Outlook
  • PsyD Job Growth

PsyD Salary Specializations

There are more than a dozen possible specialties students can pursue within Psy.D. programs, though most will have a heavy focus on working directly with clients or patients. This is due to the nature of the degree itself because the Psy.D. was developed in the 1960s and 1970s to provide a psychology doctoral experience that focused on the clinical practice of the subject.

Many other specialty areas have evolved within the Psy.D since then, and here’s a look at some of those specialties:

  • Clinical
  • Counseling
  • School
  • Industrial-Organizational
  • Child & Adolescent
  • Forensic
  • Sports
  • Health
  • Neuropsychology
  • Addiction & Substance Use Disorder
  • Military & Veterans
  • Group
  • Gerontology
  • Sleep

While some job titles may spill over into multiple specializations, there are a few that are only or mostly found in a single specialty. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular specialties and the job titles that would most often be possible.

PsyD Specialty Areas & Possible Jobs

Clinical PsychologistCounselorSchool PsychologistSubstance Abuse TherapistIndustrial Psychologist
Licensed TherapistMarriage and Family TherapistChild PsychologistGroup FacilitatorBusiness Psychologist
NeuropsychologistCareer CounselorGuidance CounselorLicensed Alcohol CounselorTalent Management Specialist
Licensed Clinical Social WorkerBehavioral TherapistLearning Disability SpecialistTrauma SpecialistChange Manager
Staff PsychologistGenetic CounselorSocial WorkerRehabilitation CounselorTraining Director

Among these concentration areas, clinical, counseling and school psychology are the most commonly available educational programs, and most people who earn Psy.D. degrees in a given year are on one of those three tracks.

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Clinical PsyD Salary Outlook

The distinguishing factor in clinical psychology programs vs. other specialty areas is that clinical psychology can be considered the umbrella or default specialty area in Psy.D. programs. While there are a few that only offer some specialty like school or counseling psychology, the vast majority of generalist programs are actually clinical psychology programs.

SEE ALSO: Best Online Clinical PsyD Programs

Here’s a look at some of the relevant coursework you’re likely to find in these programs:

  • Psychological Measurement
  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Cognitive & Affective Bases of Behavior
  • Human Development
  • Personality Assessment
  • Cognitive & Intellectual Assessment

Let’s take a look at a few jobs you can get with a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, what they do and what you can expect to earn:

Clinical Psychologist

  • Description: Works directly with clients and patients to assess and treat emotional and behavioral health problems
  • Average Salary: $80,000

Recreational Therapist

  • Description: Uses recreational, leisure or hobby activities to assist patients and clients in coping with anxiety or emotional issues, including grief or mental illness
  • Average Salary: $53,000

Behavioral Therapist

  • Description: Works with individuals, often those with autism-spectrum disorders or other behavioral diagnoses, to change harmful habits and overcome disordered thought patterns
  • Average Salary: $50,000


  • Description: Studies how the structures of the brain affect behavior and emotional responses, and depending on their job, makes recommendations for improving behavior and habits
  • Average Salary: $92,000

Research Scientist

  • Description: Works in academia, pharma or other research spaces to study human behavior and mental health
  • Average Salary: $102,000

Clinic Director

  • Description: Serves as chief executive officer of public or private mental health or behavioral clinic, overseeing all aspects of operations
  • Average Salary: $124,000


  • Description: Devises, administers and interprets results of tests, including psychological and personality tests, to help inform research or therapeutic recommendations for individuals
  • Average Salary: $59,000

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Description: Diagnoses and treats mental health and emotional issues and advocates for patients and clients in social service settings.
  • Average Salary: $61,000

Counseling PsyD Salary Outlook

Programs with a counseling focus are heavy on coursework that helps Psy.D. students learn how to help clients and patients who are less likely to have serious mental health disorders that prevent them from leading healthy lives. Generally, counseling psychology focuses on people who have fewer pathological emotional disorders, though many individuals who graduate with degrees in this area go on to work with people in crisis.

SEE ALSO: Best Online Counseling PsyD Programs

Here’s a look at some of the relevant coursework you’re likely to find in counseling Psy.D. programs:

  • Counseling Theories
  • Cognitive & Affective Bases of Behavior
  • Social Psychology & Behavior
  • Foundations & Methodology of Social Inquiry
  • Advanced Group Counseling
  • Theories of Personality

Let’s take a look at a few jobs you can get with a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, what they do and what you can expect to earn:

Counseling Psychologist

  • Description: Works directly with individuals or groups to help participants cope with day-to-day stresses of life
  • Average Salary: $58,000

Community Psychologist

  • Description: Helps patients and clients understand how communities and places they live and work impact their emotional well-being
  • Average Salary: $78,000

Spiritual Psychologist

  • Description: Provides counseling services in one-on-one or group settings from perspective of a faith tradition, such as Christianity or Judaism
  • Average Salary: $77,000

Crisis Intervention Specialist

  • Description: Works with individuals to provide counseling services in the aftermath of violence or another emergency situation
  • Average Salary: $56,000

Addiction Counselor

  • Description: Helps individuals who are part of recovery programs to develop healthy ways of interacting with others and ensuring they remain sober
  • Average Salary: $51,000

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Description: Provides counseling services to families and couples, as well as sometimes other close groups, to ensure the group dynamic is healthy
  • Average Salary: $56,000

Art Therapist

  • Description: Uses creative outlets, including painting, drawing or music, to help clients cope with anxiety or stress
  • Average Salary: $45,000

Career Counselor

  • Description: Most often works in high schools or colleges to help students and adults identify possible careers and improve their chances of landing the job they want
  • Average Salary: $47,000

School PsyD Salary Outlook

It should be obvious, but those with educational backgrounds in school psychology will be able to find the largest number of career opportunities in schools, including elementary, middle and high schools and, sometimes, higher education. Depending on their job, it’s fair to say many school psychology roles combine aspects of counseling and clinical psychology and the biggest difference is that they focus on patients and clients in educational settings.

SEE ALSO: Best Online School PsyD Programs

Here’s a look at some of the relevant coursework you’re likely to find in Psy.D. programs with a focus on school psychology:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Psychopathology of Childhood
  • Behavior Assessment & Interventions in Education & Community Settings
  • Consultation in Schools
  • Child Neuropsychology

Let’s take a look at a few jobs you can get with a Psy.D. in School Psychology, what they do and what you can expect to earn:

School Psychologist

  • Description: Works within elementary, secondary and high schools to assess students for emotional and behavioral problems and helps teachers, parents and others develop treatment plans
  • Average Salary: $62,000

Child Psychologist

  • Description: Assesses and treats emotional and behavioral health disorders in children and adolescents
  • Average Salary: $69,000

Guidance Counselor

  • Description: Works alongside teachers, parents and administrators of children in high school or middle school to help students pursue their life and educational goals
  • Average Salary: $51,000

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

  • Description: Specializes in helping children with autism-spectrum and other behavioral disorders to identify and change problem behaviors using applied behavior analysis
  • Average Salary: $60,000

Special Education Teacher

  • Description: Works with young people, including at elementary, middle and high school, to develop strategies for academic success despite physical, emotional or behavioral health disorders
  • Average Salary: $51,000

Learning Disability Specialist

  • Description: Helps students diagnosed with specific learning disabilities to achieve academic success and overcome their learning challenges
  • Average Salary: $58,000

PsyD Job Growth

We’ve seen typical salaries for many jobs that you can get after earning a Psy.D., but what about how available these jobs will be over the next couple of years? Let’s take a look at where your state stands when it comes to projected growth rates in clinical, counseling and school psychology:

SEE ALSO: Best Paying Careers in Psychology

States by projected growth in clinical, counseling and school psychology employment, 2018-2021

District of Columbia4.9%
South Dakota4.7%
North Carolina4.3%
North Dakota3.7%
New Hampshire3.4%
New York3.4%
Rhode Island2.8%
New Jersey2.5%
South Carolina2.2%
New Mexico1.5%
West Virginia1.5%
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With a wide variety of types of jobs, including ones that focus on a diverse array of populations, there’s no shortage of satisfying, fruitful careers for people who can take on the challenge of earning a Psy.D. And when you add that these jobs are growing rapidly in many states, the outlook for Psy.D. degree-holders is quite bright.

SEE ALSO: Is it Worth It to Get a PsyD in Psychology?

Additional Resources

  • Salary figures were collected from, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.