How Much Can You Make With a PhD in Clinical Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

If you’re considering a career in clinical psychology, one of the questions that may be on your mind is how much money you can expect to make. A PhD in Clinical Psychology is a significant investment of time and money, so it’s important to have an idea of what kind of salary you can expect to earn once you graduate.

The Average Salary for Clinical Psychologists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists was $78,200 as of May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,040 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $129,310 per year.

Factors That Can Affect Your Salary

Several factors can affect how much money you make as a clinical psychologist:

Geographic Location

Your location can play a significant role in determining your salary. In general, areas with high costs of living tend to offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses. For example, according to the BLS, clinical psychologists working in California had a median annual salary of $100,850 as of May 2019.

Experience Level

Like most professions, your level of experience can also impact your earnings. As you gain more experience and build up your reputation in the field, you may be able to command higher salaries.

Employer Type

The type of employer you work for can also affect your salary. Clinical psychologists who work in private practice may have more control over their income since they set their own rates but may also have higher overhead costs such as rent and advertising expenses. Those who work for government agencies or hospitals may have more stable salaries but may not earn as much overall.

  • Private Practice: Private practice psychologists typically earn between $80,000 and $150,000 per year.
  • Hospitals: Psychologists working in hospitals typically earn between $60,000 and $120,000 per year.
  • Schools: School psychologists typically earn between $50,000 and $85,000 per year.


Finally, your area of specialization can also impact your earning potential. Some specializations may be in higher demand than others or may require additional training or certifications. For example, clinical neuropsychologists who specialize in the relationship between the brain and behavior can earn salaries of up to $200,000 per year.

The Bottom Line

Overall, a PhD in Clinical Psychology can lead to a lucrative career. While salaries can vary depending on several factors such as location, experience level, employer type, and specialization area; the average salary for clinical psychologists is around $78,200 per year. It’s important to keep in mind that salary should not be the only factor you consider when choosing a career path – it’s also important to find a field that you are passionate about and find meaningful.