What is the Job Growth Outlook for PsyD Degree Grads?
There are multiple options for your career once your have earned the coveted doctoral degree in psychology. The job growth and salary potential can vary widely by career and the specialty that you select.
That said, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary for all psychologists in 2017 was $77,000. (BLS.gov). Also, job demand overall for psychologists is projected to grow 14% through 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations.
Below are some of the best and most common occupations that people get with their doctoral degree in psychology, as well as job growth potential and salaries.
The occupation of psychiatrist is one of the best-paying professions with this advanced degree. A psychiatrist is an MD possibly with a Ph.D. in the field of psychology who meets regularly with patients to determine if there is a mental health disorder present. The professional will evaluate the patient’s symptoms, behavior and medical history. There may be tests performed as well to determine any major psychological issues that are present.
There are many subspecialties of psychiatry, such as:
- Adolescent and child
The average psychiatrist salary is $198,900, with a range between $100,000 and $287,000 per year. (Payscale.com). BLS does not state job demand statistics for this profession, but overall job demand for psychologists will rise by 14% through 2026.
#2 Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
An industrial-organizational psychologist helps companies with research design, work and employee assessment exercises and survey work for many companies. The goal of the I/O psychologist is to analyze human behavior and interactions in the work environment. This psychologist works with a small team in a company to improve tools and methods for selecting employees, testing programs, policies and other HR issues. This can involve work with company management and counsel them on how to work with employees most efficiently. The overall goal of this work is to produce higher profits and efficiency in an organization by optimizing employee hiring and staffing.
The average salary for this profession is $72,200, with a range between $40,000 and $121,000. (Payscale.com). Job demand should also rise by approximately 14% in the coming years. It is important to remember that this is a very small profession, with only about 1000 workers in the US. Even if there is a strong rate of growth, it will result in relatively few job openings.
#4 Clinical Psychologist
A clinical psychologist who holds a doctoral degree is responsible for assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing a variety of mental illnesses. Most professionals who earn their doctoral degree want to become clinical psychologists. With this degree, you can practice as a psychologist in many areas and places, including mental health centers, private practices, hospitals and more.
Clinical psychologists use many modern approaches to help their patients. Strategies can differ, but they often will conduct patient interviews, perform diagnostic tests, and offer family, individual or group psychotherapy. They also may establish behavior modification programs and assist patients in implementing their program. Some clinical psychologists may focus on a certain population: children, elderly or even a certain area, such as neuropsychology. A clinical psychologist may work in consultation with other healthcare professionals regarding the best outcomes for patients.
#5 Counseling Psychologist
A counseling psychologist helps patients to deal with and understand a variety of problems, including work, family, marriage and children. Through psychological counseling, these psychologists work with their patients to identify strengths and resources that are useful to manage their problems. Some of the subspecialties of counseling psychologist are marriage and family therapists, substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors. (APA.org).
Some of the specialized knowledge of counseling psychologists are:
- Determining the healthy aspects and strengths of the client
- What the situational and environmental influences are
- Diversity and social justice issues
- How career and work influence the patient’s life
Some of the specific issues a counseling psychologist may address are:
- School and career
- Learning and skill deficits
- Stress management
- Organizational issues
- Making decisions about job and career
- Relationship problems
The median wage for counseling psychologists is $75,090, and job demand should rise by 14% through 2026. (BLS.gov).
#6 School Psychologist
A school psychologist often holds a doctorate in psychology. They work mostly in schools, and they work on assessing and interpreting students in the school to ensure they get the best education that is suited to their circumstances.
They also may review test results, work with parents and teachers, and provide general observations of students and the environment in which they are learning. School psychologists may also recommend certain approaches to teachers and parents regarding the behavioral problems of specific students. They also may work directly with the students and offer counseling and advice on how to cope with certain classroom problems.
The average salary for a school psychologist is $59,900, with a range between $44,000 and $89,000. (Payscale.com).
A neuropsychologist specializes in the structure of the brain and how mental abilities, behaviors and emotions relate to the brain and nervous system. These psychologists are usually used to evaluate brain function when brain injury is clear, such as in a physical trauma case. A neuropsychologist also may be brought in if the impairment is caused by aging, illness or due to treatment. The person’s abilities are checked with tests that involve memory, following directions, doing simple math, emotion, language and various other mental and physical attributes.
Neuropsychologists usually work in a hospital or medical facility of another type. In addition to performing assessments on patients in these environments, the neuropsychologist could be needed to evaluate neurophysiological information on a forensic basis and possibly to testify in a court case.
Payscale.com reports the average salary for this field is $90,600, and a range of $62,000 to $125,000. (Payscale.com).
Each of the above specialties are excellent job options for a person who earns their doctoral degree in psychology. It is important to carefully investigate each option and tentatively decide which is the best career fit for you. If you have that information, then you can select the best program that fits your career goals.
- School Psychologist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=School_Psychologist/Salary
- Psychiatrist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Psychiatrist/Salary
- Industrial Organizational Psychologist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Industrial-Organizational_Psychologist/Salary
- Psychologist Overview. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
- Counseling Psychologist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx
- Neuropsychologist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Neuropsychologist/Salary