Tennessee Clinical Psychologist Salary Outlook

Nearly 20% of U.S. adults, according to federal mental health data, have at least one diagnosable mental illness. This could include depression, PTSD or schizophrenia, and everything in between.

But while having mental illnesses is very common, getting help for mental health issues is much less common. In fact, less than 15% of adults have received any mental health services in the past year, which means that thousands of people are needlessly suffering from emotional or behavioral disturbances.

Many of them are here in Tennessee; the state is in the bottom half of the nation when it comes to the percentage of adults who have availed themselves of mental health services — 14.9%. Part of the reason Tennessee lags in treatment of mental health could be because typical salaries for licensed clinical psychologists in the state are not among the most generous in the nation.

SEE ALSO: Steps to Becoming a Clinical Psychologist

So what can a clinical psychologist expect to earn here in Tennessee, how do those salaries compare to those in other states or for other jobs in Tennessee, and what types of employers are available for clinical psychologists who want to practice in Tennessee?

What’s On This Page

  • How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Make in Tennessee?
  • Who’s Hiring for Clinical Psychologists in Tennessee?
  • Which Tennessee Cities Are Best for Clinical Psychologists?

How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Make in Tennessee?

The typical U.S. clinical psychologist earns a wage of about $77,000 per year, but the median wage for the role in Tennessee is considerably lower, and Tennessee’s wage puts the state in the middle of the Southern region.

Median annual clinical psychologist wage, Southern states

District of Columbia$84,780
Maryland$78,980
Delaware$74,390
Virginia$73,930
Georgia$71,200
Florida$69,650
Texas$66,070
Tennessee$64,330
Louisiana$63,540
North Carolina$62,470
Arkansas$62,200
South Carolina$61,030
Alabama$60,370
Kentucky$59,300
Mississippi$57,780
West Virginia$50,890
Oklahoma$49,830

While it may be true that clinical psychologists in Tennessee are likely to earn wages that fall below the national median for the job, they still can expect to make a salary that’s relatively high among other jobs in the state.

Median annual Tennessee wage, select occupations

All Occupations$34,890
Animal Control Workers$32,370
Bailiffs$34,290
Carpenters$38,740
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists$64,330
Dental Assistants$37,250
File Clerks$30,140
Furniture Finishers$31,940
Graphic Designers$46,500
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary$81,650
Interior Designers$45,910
Legal Secretaries$42,820
Machinists$43,110
Medical Assistants$31,220
Pharmacy Aides$24,350
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers$44,270
Procurement Clerks$41,970
Real Estate Brokers$80,020
Security Guards$23,970
Veterinarians$84,330

Salaries in Tennessee for clinical psychologists may be relatively low today, but the state is expected to see double-digit growth in job openings, which could help the most qualified people demand higher wages.

Southern states by projected long- and short-term growth rate for clinical psychologist job openings

StateLong-termShort-term
Florida19.9%4.0%
Georgia17.4%3.9%
North Carolina15.3%3.7%
District of Columbia12.2%3.5%
Maryland15.2%3.4%
Texas20.0%3.1%
Arkansas17.7%2.8%
Louisiana11.4%2.7%
Mississippi2.6%
Virginia18.2%2.5%
Tennessee13.9%2.5%
Alabama12.8%2.5%
Oklahoma15.9%2.4%
Kentucky12.1%2.1%
South Carolina13.7%1.3%
West Virginia13.0%0.0%
Delaware11.8%0.0%

Note: Short-term 2018-2020; long-term 2016-2026

Which Tennessee Cities Are Best for Clinical Psychologists?

Most of the major cities and metro areas in the state for which salary data is available have higher wages for clinical psychologists than the state’s median wage, and one exceeds even the national median.

Tennessee cities and metro areas by median annual clinical psychologist wage

Clarksville$79,830
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol$75,800
Memphis$71,730
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin$63,240
Knoxville$51,240
Chattanooga$48,760

Just as wages vary by geography, job availability is not consistent across the state, with Memphis having a far higher concentration of clinical psychologists than Chattanooga.

Tennessee cities and metro areas by clinical psychologist employment per 1,000 jobs

Memphis1.06
Knoxville0.83
Clarksville0.60
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin0.52
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol0.30
Chattanooga0.28

Who’s Hiring for Clinical Psychologists in Tennessee?

There is no one single typical job for a clinical psychologists, as roles vary depending on whether they’re in the public or private sector or whether they focus on particular conditions, such as depression or anxiety.

Consequently, there are dozens of different possible employers across Tennessee for clinical psychologists. Here are several examples of real-world organizations that were looking to hire clinical psychologists in the state in summer 2019:

  • S. Air Force
  • Oak Plains Academy
  • PediaStaff
  • The Sexual Assault Center
  • Omni Community Health
  • University of Tennessee
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Haven of Hope of DeKalb County
  • Ballad Health
  • Fairhaven Treatment Center
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Luke & Associates
  • Chattanooga Autism Center
  • Truecore Behavioral Services
  • S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Wayne Provision
  • Nashville Public Schools
  • Siskin Children’s Institute

Conclusion

For individuals who have devoted their lives to the study and treatment of mental, emotional and behavioral health disorders, the desire to help other people lead happier, healthier lives is the primary drive. But earning a fair wage doesn’t hurt, and while the state of Tennessee isn’t yet among the leaders in that area, double-digit job opening growth could change all of that.

SEE ALSO: Best Tennessee Psychology Doctorate Programs

Additional References