Washington Clinical Psychologist Salary Outlook

Nationally, about 18% of adults currently have at least one diagnosable mental illness, including depression, bipolar or schizophrenia. In the state of Washington, that number is even higher — 22.8%, the fifth-highest rate in the country.

But despite the relatively high prevalence of mental health issues, few people seek help for their behavioral or emotional problems. In fact, according to the most recent available federal data, only about 14% of adults have received any mental health services in the past year.

Making a difference in the struggle for better mental health are licensed clinical psychologists, who are highly trained in identifying and treating disorders and conditions related to mental, behavioral and emotional health.

SEE ALSO: What It Takes to Earn a Clinical Psychology Degree

For clinical psychologists who want to practice their trade in the state of Washington, what is a typical wage they can expect, where in the state are wages the highest, and what types of employers are available?

How Much Do Clinical Psychologists Make in Washington?

Clinical psychologists earn a national median wage in the U.S. of about $77,000. The median wage for the job in Washington is a bit lower than that. In fact, Washington’s median wage for clinical psychologists places the state in the bottom half among all Western states.

Median annual clinical psychologist wage, Western states

California $100,850
Oregon $89,150
Alaska $84,740
Colorado $84,410
Hawaii $78,440
Nevada $77,200
Wyoming $74,350
Washington $71,670
Utah $70,740
New Mexico $66,810
Idaho $66,140
Arizona $61,500
Montana $60,540

While it’s true that clinical psychologists in Washington earn a typical wage that’s lower than the national rate for this job, there are many other common clinical psychology careers that earn even less in the state.

Median annual Washington wage, select occupations

All Occupations $46,100
Accountants and Auditors $70,600
Baggage Porters and Bellhops $28,290
Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters $38,640
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists $71,670
Dental Assistants $42,260
Electricians $65,650
Firefighters $75,200
Graphic Designers $58,450
Health Educators $59,140
Industrial Machinery Mechanics $58,990
Labor Relations Specialists $76,460
Manicurists and Pedicurists $29,760
New Accounts Clerks $39,520
Occupational Therapists $80,300
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $57,670
Real Estate Brokers $61,050
Roofers $54,200
Tax Preparers $31,130
Web Developers $89,660

While Washington’s current median wage for clinical psychologists isn’t among the national leaders, the state is expected to add hundreds of these jobs over the next several years, earning Washington one of the highest growth rates in the country.

States by projected long-term growth rate for clinical psychologist job openings, top 15

Colorado 33.5%
Utah 30.8%
Arizona 24.9%
Nevada 21.7%
Washington 21.5%
Texas 20.0%
Florida 19.9%
Virginia 18.2%
Arkansas 17.7%
Georgia 17.4%
North Dakota 17.2%
Missouri 16.2%
Oklahoma 15.9%
New York 15.6%
Oregon 15.5%

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

Which Washington Cities Are Best for Clinical Psychologists?

Clinical psychologist wages vary pretty widely across the state, though none of the cities or metro areas for which data is available have wages higher than the overall U.S. median.

Washington cities and metro areas by median annual clinical psychologist wage

Spokane-Spokane Valley $76,690
Yakima $76,690
Olympia-Tumwater $76,310
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue $74,080
Kennewick-Richland $68,750
Bremerton-Silverdale $64,020

In addition to the great variety in wages, job availability varies a bit.

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

Yakima 0.773
Kennewick-Richland 0.772
Spokane-Spokane Valley 0.76
Bremerton-Silverdale 0.748
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 0.68
Olympia-Tumwater 0.566

Who’s Hiring for Clinical Psychologists in Washington?

For the highly skilled and educated individuals who seek work as clinical psychologists, the state of Washington offers dozens of different types of employers and workplace settings, from education to the military.

SEE ALSO: 15 Great Places to Work in Clinical Psychology

Here’s a look at some actual examples of employers in Washington who were seeking to hire clinical psychologists in the summer of 2019:

  • Seattle Children’s
  • Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare
  • S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Seneca Family of Agencies
  • Concentric Methods
  • Advanced Medical
  • Columbia River Mental Health
  • Washington State University
  • Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington
  • Willapa Behavioral Health
  • Northwest Pediatric Center
  • Discovery Behavioral Healthcare
  • Frontier Behavioral Health
  • Saratoga Medical
  • Senior Connections
  • Western Washington University
  • Seattle Public Schools
  • Bluestone Psychological Services

Conclusion

Washington has one of the highest rates of adults who have at least one diagnosable mental illness. An untreated mental illness can negatively impact an individual’s life in virtually every way, from their personal relationships to their jobs and even their physical health. That’s why Washington is in such need of trained, compassionate clinical psychologists.

Additional References

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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.