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Virginia Clinical Psychologist Salary Outlook

According to federal health data, nearly 20% of American adults have a diagnosable mental illness, from depression to bipolar disorder. But a much smaller percentage of adults have sought mental health services in the past year, meaning millions of people could be suffering needlessly from mental or emotional health issues. Virginia has slightly higher percentages both of adults with mental illnesses and percentages who have sought mental health services in the past year.

One group of professionals is uniquely qualified to help make a difference in the everyday lives of people dealing with emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges — clinical psychologists.

SEE ALSO: Clinical Psychology Phd vs PsyD

Whether they’re working in medical settings or even for the military, licensed clinical psychologists can help people learn to cope with their mental health challenges and improve their day-to-day lives. What does the job market look like for such individuals here in Virginia?

How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Make in Virginia?

Clinical psychologists in Virginia earn a median wage of $73,930, which is not far below the overall U.S. median of around $77,000, and Virginia’s median wage is fourth-highest among all Southern states.

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

Virginia’s typical wage for clinical psychologists does lag slightly behind the overall national median, but such professionals in the commonwealth tend to be better paid that workers in many other common jobs.

Median annual Virginia wage, select occupations

All Occupations $40,820
Accountants and Auditors $76,490
Bailiffs $41,110
Cashiers $20,770
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists $73,930
Dental Hygienists $81,240
Editors $65,050
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations $32,520
Graphic Designers $55,560
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers $40,620
Interior Designers $50,380
Librarians $63,310
Machinists $49,320
Nuclear Technicians $57,250
Order Clerks $32,610
Pest Control Workers $38,350
Real Estate Brokers $74,480
Security Guards $32,740
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks $33,430
Tire Builders $42,520

In addition to offering the fourth-highest median wage in the South, job openings for clinical psychologists in Virginia should experience rapid growth over the next decade.

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

State Long-term Short-term
Alabama 12.8% 2.5%
Arkansas 17.7% 2.8%
Delaware 11.8% 0.0%
District of Columbia 12.2% 3.5%
Florida 19.9% 4.0%
Georgia 17.4% 3.9%
Kentucky 12.1% 2.1%
Louisiana 11.4% 2.7%
Maryland 15.2% 3.4%
Mississippi 2.6%
North Carolina 15.3% 3.7%
Oklahoma 15.9% 2.4%
South Carolina 13.7% 1.3%
Tennessee 13.9% 2.5%
Texas 20.0% 3.1%
Virginia 18.2% 2.5%
West Virginia 13.0%

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

Which Virginia Cities Are Best for Clinical Psychologists?

Salaries vary widely across the commonwealth, with the Washington, D.C. area’s median wage surpassing Virginia’s overall median wage for this job as well as the national median.

SEE ALSO: Highest Paying Clinical Psychology Careers & Jobs

Virginia cities and metro areas by median annual clinical psychologist wage

Washington, DC $79,360
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News $77,200
Charlottesville $74,480
Winchester $74,020
Richmond $70,030
Staunton-Waynesboro $69,280
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford $67,960
Roanoke $61,270
Harrisonburg $61,170
Lynchburg $60,260

Clinical psychologist job openings are strongest in Winchester and least prevalent in Harrisonburg.

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

Winchester 0.93
Staunton-Waynesboro 0.88
Washington, DC 0.81
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford 0.77
Roanoke 0.75
Richmond 0.72
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News 0.70
Charlottesville 0.68
Lynchburg 0.66
Harrisonburg 0.58

Who’s Hiring for Clinical Psychologists in Virginia?

Whether they have a particular specialty, such as addiction or childhood mental health, clinical psychologists should find ample job opportunities here in the commonwealth of Virginia. Here are several real-life examples of organizations that were looking to hire clinical psychologists in the summer of 2019:

SEE ALSO: 15 Great Places to Work Anywhere in Clinical Psychology

  • City of Alexandria
  • Deloitte
  • Sentara Healthcare
  • S. Air Force
  • Valley Health
  • Peak Wellness Group
  • State of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Mynd Matters Counseling
  • Bridges Therapy and Wellness Center
  • Distinctive Home & Health Care
  • Prince William Family Counseling
  • Tri-Area Community Health
  • The Three Seas Psychology Group
  • Shenandoah Psychological Services
  • Old Dominion University
  • Loudoun County

Conclusion

A deep passion for helping other people understand and learn how to cope with their emotional, behavioral and mental health issues is the primary drive for most people who pursue careers as clinical psychologists. But making a comfortable salary doesn’t hurt, which helps make Virginia an attractive place for such professionals.

Additional References

  • Information on clinical psychologist job openings in Virginia was gathered from listings posted in August 2019 on Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Query System. (2019). Accessed from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/home
  • Projections Managing Partnership, Projections Central, Short Term Occupational Projections. (Undated). Accessed from https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/ShortTerm
  • Projections Managing Partnership, Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections. (Undated). Accessed from https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2016-2017 NSDUH State Prevalence Estimates. (Undated). Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2016-2017-nsduh-state-prevalence-estimates
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5
  • Average Clinical Psychologist Salary by State. (2019). Retrieved from https://psydprograms.org/average-clinical-psychologist-salary-by-state/
  • How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Make? (2019). Retrieved from https://psydprograms.org/how-much-do-clinical-psychologists-make/

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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.